CfP: Irony: framing (post)modernity

Alon Lischinsky alischinsky at
Tue Jul 9 16:15:14 UTC 2013

(With apologies for cross-posting)

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Call for Papers
4th Graduate Conference in Culture Studies
January 23-24, 2014
School of Human Sciences – Catholic University of Portugal, Lisbon

Irony: framing (post)modernity

Deadline for Submissions: August 31st, 2013

Irony, either as a paradigmatic strategy of inquiry and critique or as
a trait of character and existential perspective, has deeply informed
Western culture and its philosophical and political tradition. The
contemporary presence of irony in arts and everyday life – in the use
of quotation, appropriation, pastiche, parody, kitsch, etc. – while
questioning authenticity and authority, often conceals a lack of
commitment that might be seen as a revival of the Jena romantics’
epistemological view, in some cases taken to a solipsistic extreme. On
one hand, irony as a strategy can be subversive, by deconstructing
dogmas and canons, as, for instance, in the challenging of the Kantian
notion of beauty by the Duchampian ready-made. On the other hand, it
can be conformist when it is expressed as an end in itself, devoid of
demystifying quality. Refusing to be dialogical or dialectical, it
leaves no room for significant aesthetical experience and/or desirable
ethical and political reactions to the established thinking.

In order to reflect upon the ways irony frames (post)modernity, we
must rehearse answers to questions such as: how is irony used as a
trope in today’s artistic, cultural and political discourses, and
practices? How do these rhetorical devices relate to postmodernity as
an ironic epoch? How does irony make way for critique? Or, instead,
how does irony neutralize the power of criticism by becoming self-

This conference wishes to bring together doctoral students and
post-docs working within disciplines that relate to the study of
culture (arts, humanities and social sciences), and seek a forum for
prolific debate.

Contributions are welcome on the topics listed below, amongst others:

• Irony, politics and communication

• Irony vs. humour, absurd

• Irony vs. silence, death

• Irony and satire

• Irony, popular culture and subcultures (e.g. camp, retro, hipster)

• Irony, post-history and nostalgia

• The ironic potential of re-enactment

• Irony as a strategy in artistic practice

• Irony and the “interesting” (interessant)

• Irony, subjectivity and deconstruction

• Irony, cynicism and ideology

• Irony, criticism and resistance

• Irony of fate and the discourse of crisis

• Irony, desacralization and secularization

• Irony and language-games

• Post-ironic ethics

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Jorge Fazenda Lourenço (Catholic University of Portugal)
Mario Perniola (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”)
Michele Cometa (University of Palermo)
Philip Auslander (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Speakers should be prepared for a 20-minute presentation in English
followed by discussion. Please send a 300-word abstract, as well as a
brief biographical note (100 words) to irony2014 at by August
31st, 2013. Proposals should list paper title, name, institutional
affiliation and contact details. Successful applicants will be
notified by September 30th, 2013.

Please note there is a conference registration fee of 50€ due by
November 15th, 2013. We regret that travel and accommodation funding
for conference participants is not available at this time.

Organizing Committee

Ana Dinger and Elsa Alves
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