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Ergebnisanzeige "Complexity/Simplicity: 21st-Century Approaches"
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelComplexity/Simplicity: 21st-Century Approaches
BeschreibungCall for Papers:
Panel stream, GERMAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 4-7, 2012.

Complexity/Simplicity: 21st-Century Approaches

Recent theoretical trends champion diverging paths of cultural analysis: On the one hand, there is much talk of "complexity theory" (John Urry even identifies a "complexity turn"), or of replacing sweeping gestures of totalizing critique with detailed readings unpacking "the local, continent relations between any given piece of knowledge and its narrative/ epistemological entailments" (Sedgwick, Touching Feeling). On the other hand, one detects a growing desire to draw simple distinctions - be it in Zizek's insistence on retaining class as a fundamental point of political orientation, in the new popularity of 'affect' as a singular category of excess vis-a-vis symbolic mediation, or in the cognitive search for human universals.

This panel cluster invites explorations of how complexity and simplicity serve our scholarly aims, asking questions like: Does complexity, while promising a rich embedding of concepts in history and materiality, foster a kind of (not least political) inertia? Does simplicity, while promising elegance of differentiation and individuation, also lead to reductionism and polemic? Is the contemporary moment one that asks for a clear-cut investment in either complexity or simplicity? Or is there a case to be made for strategically combining concepts associated with both?

We invite both theoretical contributions and case studies of individual (literary, cinematic, and other cultural) works organized around a theoretical investigation. Please send abstracts (and short biographical statements, approx. 100 words) to Claudia Breger ( and Ben Robinson ( by January 31st (at the latest).

Claudia Breger
Associate Professor of Germanic Studies
Adjunct Associate Professor of
Communication and Culture and Gender Studies
Department of Germanic Studies
Indiana University
BH 644
1020 E. Kirkwood Ave
Bloomington, IN 47405
Tel. 812-855-1894

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