OCLW-TORCH Post-Graduate Conference: Procrastination

2 July 2014 – 9:00am – 7:00pm

this conference was the Winner of the 2013-14 OCLW-TORCH Postgraduate Conference Grant Award. The event is being convened by Elizabeth Chatterjee and Danielle Yardy; it will take place on 2 July 2014 at the Radcliffe Humanities Building in Oxford and at the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing at Wolfson College. For more information, please email the conference organisers, and visit the official conference website by clicking here. You can follow the conference on Twitter at @ProcrastinOx. Click here if you are interested in applying for the 2014-15 OCLW-TORCH postgraduate conference grant.

What do St. Augustine, Kafka, Samuel Johnson, William James, Susan Sontag, Douglas Adams, Hitler, and Hamlet all have in common? PROCRASTINATION. If it isn’t ‘the quintessential modern problem’ (New Yorker), it is certainly familiar to all who have picked up a pen, both within and outside academia.

Through papers from a variety of disciplines, we hope to chart the phenomenon of procrastination, and the fraught moral and political claims it provokes. Who procrastinates, how, and why? Is the concept a moral universal, the product of particular contexts, or unique to the anglophone world? What ‘cures’—and what unexpected defences—have various writers proposed?

The conveners welcome 20-minute papers on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Literary treatments, life histories, and ethnographies of procrastination
  • Conceptions of time and time management across history
  • The morality of procrastination, from the ancient world to the Eurozone, the factory to the self-help shelves
  • Procrastination and creativity
  • Political procrastination, from bureaucratic pathologies to ‘weapons of the weak’ and government ‘nudging’
  • Procrastination’s relations: weakness of will, boredom, apathy, disgust, and fear
  • Office life, academic life, and communal procrastination
  • Procrastination, the internet, and social media

250-word proposals, along with a 50-word autobiography, should be sent to Danielle Yardy and Elizabeth Chatterjee at ProcrastinationOx@gmail.com by 4th April 2014.

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