Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA; April 13-14, 2012 (Deadline: January 31, 2012).
to begin a revolution is a question that has received much attention
from many great thinkers. The goal of the 2012 Interdisciplinary
Graduate Conference at the Mahindra Humanities Center is to reverse that perspective and ask: How to end a revolution?
end of a revolution is not something inherently given, but a process in
the making that serves different perspectives and interests. At the
same time, the phase of transition characterized by chaos and
instability very often opposes and challenges the attempts of making an
end - from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. Is an end of a
revolution even possible if history is understood as a constant process
based on a linear definition of time and temporality? What challenges
does the idea of a leaderless movement pose towards traditional views of
political authority and authorship? What happens when unity and
cohesion break apart and many different individual interests and powers
evolve? What comes after the revolution?
ongoing revolutions and uprisings in the Arab world highlight both the
challenges of making a (constructive and collective) end, as well as the
significance and timeliness of these questions to be addressed at the
conference. Drawing upon contemporary and historical examples like the
Arab Spring and the French Revolution, we invite you to examine the
complex, multifaceted and mutable discourse that is shaped by historians
who define, politicians who declare, writers who narrate and lawyers
who legitimate the end of a revolution. In what violent and non-violent
ways have people tried to stop, use or influence a revolution? Which
strategies, tools and techniques are employed to end a revolution and
how are they determined by underlying concepts of time, history and
change? Through our collective inquiry - by analysing how people deal
and dealt with moments of transition and by comparing their strategies,
interests and narratives - our goal is to better understand the
phenomenon of social and political change. With this approach we hope
not only to expand the knowledge of revolutions but also to develop new
ideas and strategies that will potentially prove to be practically
important and relevant.
seek rich, rigorous graduate student contributions from the humanities,
social and political sciences (in particular from the following
disciplines: law, literature, history, philosophy, political sciences,
sociology), and even natural sciences if relevant.
Discussion themes may include, but are not restricted to:
* What is an End? Thinking About and Representing the End
* The End Versus Ending - Revolution as Process or Given?
* Controlling the End - Controlling the Power. Attempts of Overtaking the Protest
* Temporality, Change - and Order? How to Transform Chaos into Stability
* New Beginnings. Manifestos and Literary Narratives
* The People, the Media or the Military? Authorship of Revolution
* Continuity of Power. How to Deal with the Old Structures?
* Circular Revolution, Linear Progress and Permanent Evolution?
* Arts, Religion and Empathy. Lessons to Unite the People
* Trials, Constitutions and Elections. The Role of Law in Transitional Periods
ask prospective participants to submit a short curriculum vitae and a
500 word abstract that outlines the paper's topic, methodology and
argument, as well as how the prospective participant's research
interests relate to the theme of the conference more generally.
Participants will be notified by mid-February whether their paper has
been accepted into the conference. Please note that participants can
apply for a limited number of travel grants.
DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACT SUBMISSION: TUESDAY, JANUARY 31st, 2012
For more information and submission details, please visit:
For further questions, please contact the coordinators by e-mail:
Eike Hosemann, Harvard Law School
Scott Liddle, Center for Middle Eastern Studies
Matthias Meyer, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
Ani Nguyen, Chemical Biology Graduate Program, Department of Systems Biology