Welcome to the Spring 2009 Graduate Student Conference of the Department of Comparative Literature at New York University. The conference will be held April 16-18, 2009.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The New York University Department of Comparative Literature

Waiting Time

April 16-18, 2009

Graduate Student Conference

Thursday, April 16

Location:                    53 Washington Square South, King Juan Carlos Auditorium

6:30 pm                        Opening Remarks

                                      John Hamilton (New York University)

7:00 pm                       Keynote Speaker

                                      Marshall Berman (CUNY)

7:30 – 8:30 pm          Reception                       


Friday, April 17

Location:                        42 Washington Mews, Deutsches Haus


9:00 am                        Breakfast


9:30 – 11:00 am            Panel I: Erotics of Waiting

                                    Moderator: Sonia Werner (NYU)

Béatrice Laurent (Asst. Prof. Université des Antilles et de la Guyane)

"Wan with Waiting": The Erotics of Expectation in Victorian Art

Christina Loughrey (NYU)

“Death and the Madeleine: The Tension Between Existence and Dying in The Erotic” Jane Shmidt (CUNY)

“Waiting for Consummation: Desire and Deferral in The Princesse de Cleves and The Heptameron”


11:00 – 12:30 pm            Panel II: Politics of Waiting

Moderator: Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz (NYU)

Brady Smith (University of Chicago)

“Are we there yet?: Children and the Time of Radical Politics”

Nicholas Hauck (University of Toronto)

“The politics of the Event and Messianic Time: Badiou on Benjamin, Benjamin on Badiou”

Brett Parker (University of Calgary)

“A Specter is Haunting Deconstruction: The Specter of Revolution”

12:30 pm                              Lunch Break


1:30 – 3:30 pm                  Panel III: Waiting Nations

                                                Moderator: Ozen Nergis Seckin (NYU)

Magalí Armillas-Tiseyra (NYU)

"La nuit dure longtemps: Narrative, Dictatorship, Deferral in Ahmadou Kourouma’s En Attendent la vote des bêtes sauvages

Noam Gal (Yale University)

“White Waiting: J.M. Coetzee's On-hold Apartheid”

Minna Neimi (University at Buffalo)

“The Logic of Messianic Hope and the Promise of a Just Future in the Work of Ngugi wa Thiong'o”

On Barak (NYU)

“Procrasti-Nation: Revolution and Feminine Flirtation in Colonial Egypt"


3:30 – 5:30 pm                  Panel IV: Waiting & Memory

                                                Moderator: Benedict Hunting (NYU)

Silia Kaplan (University of North Carolina)

“Modalities of Temporality in Ingeborg Bachmann's "A Place for Incidents”

Katalin Orbán (Eötvös Loránd University)

“Best Before Oblivion: Delayed Memories and Instant Memorialization”

Lauren Walsh (Adjunct Prof. The New School)

“When Waiting Is An Act of Survival:Killing Time in Sebald’s The Emigrants”


Saturday, April 18

Location:                              42 Washington Mews, Deutsches Haus


2:00 – 4:00 pm                  Panel V: Waiting Spaces                           

                                                Moderator: Anastasiya Osipova (NYU)

Katherina Baier (University of Konstanz)

“The Administration of Time: The motif of waiting and making someone wait as institutional effects”

Rosa Ainley (The Architectural Association School of Architecture)

“Playing Patience: Design for Waiting Room”

Jessica Santone (McGill University) 

“The Delayed Event: Community Between Performance and Document”

Gabriel Levine (York University)

“Time for Play: the Profanations of Tati and Petit


4:00 – 6:00 pm                        Round Table

                                                Moderator: Paul North (NYU)

                                                Anthony Vidler, Ben Kafka, Ken Wark, Joe Milutis


6:00 – 7:00 pm                        Wine and Cheese Reception                       



Sunday, December 28, 2008

Call for Papers

What are we waiting for? What awaits us? While often dismissed as a period of wastefulness or lost time, waiting may also intensify experience and become a condition in which to consider questions of modernity, aesthetic process, politics, erotics and the tempos of everyday life.

Amid other theorizations of time, history and eventfulness, waiting offers a thematic axis around which conversation among scholars from a wide range of disciplines and critical perspectives can emerge. How can we unsettle the received divide between waiting and action? Or given this divide, how can we re-think the relationship between the two? Beyond (in)activity, how might waiting also be conceived of as a mode of attention or practice?

Possible paper topics may include, but are by no means limited to:
-Messianism & eschatology
-Event & revolution

-Fidelity & trust
-Designing patience: waiting rooms, drawing rooms, prisons, train stations
-Style and technique: the pause (in music and beyond), rest, suspense, seriality
-Waiting Faster: technologies of convenience, speed, acceleration-Bureaucracy: legal process, immigration, the post, (un)employment, drudgery
-Sickness & convalescence
-Ennui, anxiety, boredom, killing time
-Erotics of waiting: desire and deferral, chastity, courtly love, chivalric romance, sexual suspense
-Gestation, inspiration, latency
-Hope, fate, & inevitability
-Progress, process, & telos
-Revenge & ressentiment
-Waiting nations: birth, belatedness, & modernization
-Military strategy: ambush attack
-Immigration & exile

Send abstracts (no more than 300 words) by January 20 to

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Keynote speaker Marshall Berman

Marshall Berman, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at The City College of New York and the CUNY Graduate Center, will be the keynote speaker. Berman is the author of All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, The Politics of Authenticity, Adventures in Marxism and other titles.