Professor Cecilia Méndez
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
LAIS Program Director Professor Cecilia Méndez is awarded the University of California Humanities Research Institute Fellowship to participate in the Residential Research Group, Civil War at UC Irvine for Fall 2019! Congratulations Professor Méndez!
About the Fellowship:
The Fall 2019 UCHRI Residential Research Group on Civil War coalesces around diverse and unconventional readings of civil war. How can humanistic scholarship benefit from inquiry into civil war, broadly defined? The term itself carries an inherent contradiction. What is “civil” about civil war? How is civility, supposedly the hallmark of “civic” participation and “civilization,” also used as a weapon or a form of silencing? Rhetoric, representation, and aesthetics can be nominally “civil,” but reinforce senses of belonging and exclusion, stir up rage, and cement boundaries while simultaneously gesturing towards decency. Civil wars spark contests over meaning: Who can claim the power to name a civil war? Where does the boundary lie between civil war and just plain war? Why and how do states make war on their own citizens? What are the intellectual and political stakes of mapping new battlegrounds of civil wars?
A broadened idea of civil war can provide a fruitful framework for analyzing the disruptions born from irreconcilable and contesting notions of being and contested conceptualizations of the social. This group will open new ways to apply humanistic methods and sensibilities to phenomena, affects, objects, structures, and architectures that can be investigated through the lens of civil war. Research projects might map the contrasts within and across discourses, representations, objects, groups, and species.