The Art and Politics of Irony | L’art et la politique de l’ironie
12-14 April 2012 ~ Montréal, QC
An interdisciplinary conference hosted by the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas, McGill University, in collaboration with Improvisation, Community and Social Practice (SSHRC-MCRI) and the Département d’études anglaises, Université de Montréal
Call for papers (http://www.mcgill.ca/iplai/conferences/)
“The ironist does not have the new within his power . . . he destroys the given actuality by the given actuality itself.” Søren Kierkegaard
Irony makes the world new by putting the world that exists in question. Its strength lies in its destabilizing power—it is the politics of art, the art of politics, and the language of dissent. By enabling critical representations of the world as it is known, but from within and against the familiarity of our own expectations, irony gives art and discourse special kinds of access to the public sphere, especially by mining beneath the given, the actual, and the known.
In politics, philosophy, art and literature, across post-modernism, post-colonialism, and globalization, the question of irony is of expanding relevance to a range of fields of cultural formation and inquiry. Yet it remains insufficiently noticed, understood, or theorized; ironically powerful and silent at once. What is the meaning of irony? What does it accomplish and exactly how and with what effects? Is irony impoverished or indispensable, disenchanted or enchanting, world-breaking or world-making?
Conference organizers invite proposals for papers addressing the public and public-making function of irony across time and through a range of contexts and media. Disciplines may include but are not limited to:
Architecture and Design
Gender and Sexuality
Media and Communications
Musicology and Music Performance
Theatre and Performance
Proposals for complete panels as well as for individual papers in English or French are welcome. Researchers are invited to submit paper abstracts of 250 words and brief (2 page) cvs to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for submissions: 30 September 2011