Images of Terror, Narratives of (In)security:
Literary, Artistic and Cultural Responses
23rd and 24th April 2013
Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon, Portugal
One of the greatest paradoxes of the 21st century is the fact that, even though western societies have reached an outstanding scientific and technological development, fear and insecurity continue to be very much alive in public discourse as well as in our private life. Concerns about terrorism, urban criminality, global epidemics, computer piracy and organized crime and, more recently, about the outcomes of the financial and economic crises circulate widely in the media and their highly politicized representations shape much of our everyday life.
To what extent are many of these (in)securities real, exaggerated or constructed? What explains the disparate amount of attention paid to different sources of insecurity? Why do certain forms of “terror” achieve the status of “spectacles” and “memorable events”, while others receive comparatively little attention by the media and popular discourse?
In this conference we aim to examine how literature, art and culture have dealt with notions of insecurity and to what extent they have provided significant challenges and responses to hegemonic discourses.