Writing in Times of Crisis


Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.

Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom


The turn of the 21st century ushered in a series of crises at a supranational scale. From humanitarian to environmental, from economic to epidemiological, crises tend to galvanize change—changes in policies, as Friedman observes, but also in epistemologies, philosophies, and practices.  From a structural perspective, a crisis is that which disrupts, parenthesises, and/or suspends quotidian life. During a crisis, an array of political strategies are employed to maintain order social order: nations declare martial law, emphasize national security, declare states of emergency, and/or re-work tax legislations, with varying effects and public responses. The corollary fallout of these strategies raises questions concerning temporalities and potentialities, legislated boundaries and borders, and hospitalities and resistances. And indeed, in some cases the concept of crisis has been intentionally deployed as a justification for political change, for better or for worse. We warmly invite all papers – from across the fields of Literature, Linguistics, and Theatre Studies – that investigate how crises are represented, interrogated, perpetuated, and/or mediated. Focusing on either one specific crisis or more general notions of crisis or crises management, papers might also discuss how the crisis is mobilised as a political, aesthetic, ethical, linguistic, and/or theoretical tool, or how writing is a site of contesting and/or mediating crisis.


COEDA 2020 is now open for submissions. Papers should be no more than 15 minutes long in delivery. Each panel will likely be comprised of 3-4 postgraduates working in different fields and/or disciplines. Please email your title, 250-word abstract, and two-page c.v. in a Word document to your university's COEDA representative. The submission deadline is 30 May, 2020.