Stock-markets and banks, the climate and bee populations, Germany in general and dairy farming in particular: dipping into newspapers reassures the reader every morning of the rise of another new crisis. After breakfast, being embedded in the capitalist labour market triggers a crisis at first hand: “How much more commitment should I show for the sake of keeping that job?” “How many workers may I substitute with new machinery in order to increase the company’s profit substantially?” Eventually back home, the crisis does not dare to desist from bothering. In the evening, the National Geographic Channel reports on direful Mayan prophecies picturing the scenario of an apocalypse in 2012.
Overwhelmed by crises, that is what we are. But why are crises such a dominant phenomenon? Are they necessary for society to move forward? However, different societies mean different crises, don’t they? But how present and of which quality is actually a crisis taking place in New Delhi, Beijing or Rio? Maybe it is just my crisis not being able to enjoy eating chips anymore while television is showing another food crisis in Africa.
In fact, the term crisis expresses that something doesn’t work as it should. However, words are like numbers. Even though they seem to reflect on a certain reality, they only become real when dealing with them, and they only become true or false when one interprets the deeper meaning lying behind the crisis’ first glance. So it comes that crises appear in economic, societal, individual, structural and many more elaborate disguises – be it Rousseau’s criticism towards civilisation, Durkheim’s criticism towards capitalist transformation, Marx’ critique of societal transformation via crises, Adorno’s claim of the enlightenment being susceptible to barbarism, or the democratic deficit of the European Union.
It is not rooted in no man’s land that Powision chooses “crises” as the topic of the upcoming 10th volume. Five years of students’ voluntary work have been past, and one issue per semester. Structural changes have let occur crises to us as well. Sometimes few students had to run our small association, sometimes many students could be attracted to it. Thus, we are looking for contributions of any kind by students, academics and annotators, from architecture to zoology, to tell us their approaches to crises.
We suggest about 8000 characters per article, including spaces and footnotes, which is comparable with one and a half pages (Times New Roman, type size 10). Harvard citation style is favoured. Closing date: 01.02.2011! For further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or check our website.
Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum (GWZ) der Universität Leipzig