A one-day symposium on the “Critical/Liberal/Arts” will be held at UC Irvine on Friday, April 19th. The eleven speakers include specialists in medieval studies and early modern studies (Aranye Fradenburg, Bruce Smith, Aaron Kunin, Maura Nolan, Brantley Bryant, Rebecca Davis) as well as an academic activist, a digital humanist, and a filmmaker. The following partial description of the aims of the symposium series:
The “hermeneutics of suspicion” has fallen under suspicion. There has been a turn against “critique” and away from “paranoid reading.” Yet critique — understood to encompass heterogeneous practices of judgment and pursuits of justice — has not outlived its usefulness. Critical/Liberal/Arts is a project and event-space seeking new articulations and performances of critique’s timeliness, beginning with two one-day symposia: at UC Irvine in April 2013, followed by another at The Graduate Center, CUNY in September 2013, with both symposia to be documented in a special issue of postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies. We have been inspired by the recent experiments of thinkers, artists, and technologists who are crafting, composing, curating, inventing, agitating, building, healing, resisting, and playing as ways of inquiring into the limits and consequences of our humanities, university, and world. Presenters were invited to think about critique in proximity to other modes of action, especially those of making and creation — to discover creation and critique inhering in one another, or wending apart, or crossing one another again and again like a pair of knives being whetted, or like the faces of the proverbial Mobius strip.