In the Name of Security: An International Roundtable Across the Disciplines
Frankfurt, 04 May 2018 (10 am, CAS 1.811)
We live in an age of security. It is in the name of security that nation-states routinely suspend civil rights. It is in the name of security that individuals take precaution against all kinds of harm in everyday life. But why is it that we worry so much about threats to our security? And why do we willingly give up rights and freedoms in the name of security? Prompted by the publication of Johannes Völz’s study The Poetics of Insecurity: American Fiction and the Uses of Threat (Cambridge University Press), this international and interdisciplinary roundtable discussion will consider whether insecurity and security are distinctly modern phenomena of handling uncertainty; what kind of constructions of the present and the future are enabled by the logic of security; whether security, and particularly insecurity, come to depend on a particular aesthetic; what security and insecurity tell us about the role of fiction for modern ways of perceiving the world; whether the preoccupation with threats signals a cultural desire for catastrophe; and how the spell of undemocratic rule in the name of security can be broken.
The panelists are Susana Araújo (Center of Comparative Studies, University of Lisbon), Astrid Erll (English and Anglophone Literatures, Goethe-University Frankfurt), Andreas Fahrmeir (Modern History, Goethe-University Frankfurt), Johannes Völz (American Studies, Goethe-University Frankfurt), and Michael C. Williams (Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa). For more information, click here.