[Msa-discuss] CFP: Security and Hospitality: New Literary Perspectives

Jeff Clapp jeffrey.clapp at gmail.com
Sat Mar 8 22:07:09 EST 2014

For wide distribution:

  Security and Hospitality: New Literary Perspectives

Call for Contributions to an Edited Volume of Essays

In exile in the early 1940s, Stefan Zweig looked back on his youth in
pre-war Vienna as the 'golden age of security'. In Zweig's narrative, a shared
sense of private and public stability was soon shattered by the onslaughts
of two world wars, giving rise to a generation perceived to have 'long
since struck the word "security" from [its] vocabulary as a myth'. Yet
immediately following the war, the very word 'security' began to acquire a
new currency and resonance which intensified through the paranoid military
and diplomatic manoeuvrings of the Cold War and has increasingly come to
define our own digital age. Security talk is now ubiquitous, heightened by
the war on terror on the one hand, and the possibilities of new information
technologies on the other. Following revelations about the extent to which
security agencies have penetrated daily lives, we believe that the time is
right to examine how the discourse of security has come to control major
features of contemporary experience.

In particular, security concerns are reshaping conceptions, discussions,
and practices of hospitality. Security and hospitality have long been
uneasy bedfellows. If security is that which one purports to offer in
extending hospitality, it is also that which one puts at stake. As
technologies, processes, and imperatives strive to forestall adverse
events, security activities could well endanger hospitable relationships
between friends and among strangers. From the individual's telephone and
data, to the threshold of the family home, to the borders of the nation,
sites of securitization confound hospitality's injunction to openness,
gifting, and refuge. Modes, etiquettes and platforms of hospitality are,
moreover, evolving. It seems that as we are increasingly "always on", we
extend our means of being "at home" to one another; at the same time, we
find ourselves password-protecting caches of passwords. Further, home twins
homeland: people move more than ever, yet they move through borders which
are progressively militarized.

Such questions--questions at once novel and perennial, intimate and
universal, ethical and political--are amplified in modern and contemporary
literature. Indeed, writers themselves can be found to invite and repulse
their very readers in ways which meditate on the meanings of security and
hospitality. We call on contributors to examine literary texts, in any
genre or language, which consider how subjects, citizens, communities, or
states negotiate the mutual, and potentially exclusive, desires to secure
themselves and offer hospitality to others. We are particularly interested
in interdisciplinary engagements. While our emphasis is on modern and
contemporary experiences and expressions, we are also open to
considerations of the literatures of earlier periods.

In addition to the established theoretical discourses around hospitality
and security, contributors might mobilize a wide range of adjacent ideas,

-privacy and surveillance

-strangers, neighbors, others

-risk, insurance, planning

-information technology
-valences of "domesticity"
-world literature and translatability

-globalization and globalization

-development and neoliberalism

-human rights

-displacement, immigration, asylum

-networks and diasporas
-friends and enemies
-security theatre

Please submit a 500-word abstract for an 8,000-10,000-word essay to Dr
Jeffrey Clapp (jmclapp at ied.edu.hk) and/or Dr Emily Ridge (
eamridge at ied.edu.hk) by 30 May 2014. Please also include a brief biography.
Completed essays will be expected by 31 September 2014. Enquiries welcome.
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