Planetary Spaces. The Humanities at the Crossroad of the Local and the Post-Global

Country: Romania

City: Cluj-Napoca

Abstr. due: 01.04.2019

Dates: 17.10.19 — 19.10.19

Area Of Sciences: Arts; Cultural science;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Centre Phantasma et le Centre des Études Culturelles et Littéraires sur la Planétarité; Babes-Bolyai University


This conference examines and seeks to redefine the “transgressiveness” that characterizes current global spaces. “Transgressiveness” may refer to large migrations of populations, refugees, diasporic or economic displacements, as well as to connected presences that are linked to digital spectrality and reasoning in the era of the post-image. This fluidity of space, including the porosity of borders, constitutes a threshold between the real and the fictional and subverts current political geographies. We invite contributions that explore the ways in which the planetary supersedes, develops, and limits older notions of space, diaspora, psychologies of displacement and (un)belonging, and border thinking. The planetary is a conceptual category that needs to be interrogated for its critical potential. Therefore, the conference seeks to explore topics that address the planetary in innovative ways.

The conference seeks to investigate the intersections between national geographies with their connotations of tradition violence, zombies and ghosts of the past (e.g., ghost towns) — and planetary geographies. The conference raises questions as to how, when, and for what reasons national societies disintegrate and larger planetary social and cultural formations emerge. Is there a causality beyond global neo-liberalism and capitalist market ideologies? How might we relate the notion of a “spectrography of the territory” (N. Clitandre) to planetary forms of people’s sovereignty, sustained slow or/and intensive violence? How do continuous divisions of gender, race and class spatialize the planet or planetary thinking? How does time and temporality intervene into a predominantly spatial planetary imaginary? These questions also serve to interrogate the way in which the various current humanities (nuclear, digital, environmental) are reformulated through a post-global perspective.

In this context we want to explore the planet – as different from “the globe” — as a concept that lacks hierarchical order and promises a heterarchy (D. Hofstadter), namely, a desecrated hierarchy that lacks particular rankings and priorities and scrambles given social, political and cultural inequities of power. Thus, the conference seeks to address the ways in which contemporary readings, representations and discourses of the planet as an ontological and critical category differ from earlier postmodern discourses of diversity, difference and alterity. How does such an understanding of the planetary accommodate and trouble the resurgence of heterodoxies within radically heterogeneous spaces, as, for example, amplified in the contemporary context of the archive of the cold war that resurfaces in the current geopolitical landscape and has long been neglected?

How do cultural and literary representations of radical “alterity” (Spivak) and emerging concepts of planetary space and time configure planetary subjects? How do we understand, aesthetically and politically, alterity as a mode of subject formation? This conference will specifically investigate the relationship between concepts of planetarity and micro-local and anachronistically national localities. The latter are frequently marked by the traumas of communist censorship, by militarized biopolitics of the Cold War, and by surveillance and repression, while, simultaneously experiencing a resurgence  of nomadic music, ancestral traditions, feminism and Roma activism (Giuvlipen), and inter-ethnic “barbarism”. How, then, does planetary thinking negotiate micro-local transformations? How do these transformations contribute to, trouble, or obstruct the articulation of planetary “transgressiveness”? How do they enable, complicate or undermine the making of a planetary imaginary?

Keywords and topics to be addressed:

1.    Urban myths, ghost towns, “planetary slums” and megacities

2.    Geocritics, planetary commons and planetary solidarities

3.    Nomad cartographies, literary and planetary geographies

4.    Nuclear humanities

5.    Performativity and the making of  public planetary spheres

6.    The territory, anti-territory and non-territory in the post-image era

7.    Cold war archives and planetary thinking

8.    Barbarians, monsters, zombies and spectrality (in the context of global capitalism and neo-liberalism)

9.    Perception of refugees and planetary imaginaries

10.  Neuroses and psychopathies of history and nation in the post-cold war era

11.  Radical subjectivities (as related to planetary epistemologies of the subject)

12.  Autochthonous feminism and planetary subalternity.

Conference Web-Site: