The Work of Art


Critical Juncture is an international conference event uniting those who seek to cross traditional boundaries of academic disciplines, embodying the spirit of interdisciplinary discourse. Now in its fourth year at Emory University, Critical Juncture offers a forum, an intersectional node for emerging scholars, artists and activists to present their work, and together advocate for social justice progress.


Critical Juncture 2017: The Work of Art, will explore how art works to defy, resist, and call attention to the particular injustices produced by the social construction of Disability, Race, Gender, and Sexuality. As these topics are by no means mutually exclusive, we also seek thoughtful contributors who engage problematic issues involving social class, ageism, ableism and geographic determinism, etc.


CJ17 seeks to engage a heterogeneous group of participants, ranging from academic scholars of all disciplines, to artists, activists and representatives of NGO’s, who will share how they employ the Arts in their work of social justice advocacy. We encourage applications for projects of divergent content and form, building from and around our key foci of Disability, Race, Gender and Sexuality. Such presentations may contain, but are not limited to: performances of artists whose art gives expression to the silenced or invisible; organizations that utilize art for community outreach; scholars who contemplate the place of art in greater academia, or their scholarly work in particular; and scientists who collaborate with artists to bring awareness to socially underrepresented issues.


In order to maximize the potential for interaction between emerging and established scholars, in place of traditional paper presentations, we will feature shorter panel presentations with ample time for discussion, a poster & networking reception, and brief performances/lightning talks. In addition, we will host workshop seminars with luminaries from the Atlanta arts and science community, including Anne Pollock, Andy Ditzler, Bettina Love, Ken Hornbeck and more to be announced.


The first evening of the conference will feature a keynote address by Doris Sommer, Director of the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University, which promotes the divergent thinking of arts and humanities in the service of solutions to real life problems. Her interdisciplinary work draws from post-structural feminist critiques, contemporary Latin American history and linguistics in order to radically reshape pedagogical frameworks for public school curricula and political activism.


The conference will conclude with Art@Work, a film festival featuring short pieces selected for their particular emphasis on the empowerment of marginalized communities, expansive perspectives of disability, sexuality, race, and/or gender. Very soon, filmmakers may read more about submission-guidelines on our website; contributions from non-academic or community organizers will be especially welcomed.


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