This panel explores the historical association of Europe with whiteness and civilization in the context of contemporary economic crisis. We invite critical examination of the historically formed and emerging European subjectivities, especially as engaging with intimacy within discourses of crisis
The recent financial crisis has brought into focus the multiple differentiations that constitute contemporary Europe. The contours of the crisis in specific national contexts, as well as the public and political responses to the crisis, have become important criteria for locating national subjects in relation to the normative European subject. In this panel, we explore how the historical association of Europe with whiteness and civilization is re-envisioned or contested in the context of contemporary economic crisis. The panel invites critical examination of the effects of the economic crisis on both the historically formed figure of the European subject and on multiple and emerging European subjectivities. We take Europe to be a contested space with plural histories. We therefore counter the ideal-typical image of Europe as homogenous and fixed in time and space that permeates hegemonic and counter-hegemonic discourses alike. We invite contributions that focus on how intimacy—cultural or otherwise—is constituted and contested within contemporary discourses of crisis. What kinds of intimacies are encouraged and what kind are discouraged in attempts to approximate the European subject? How are spaces of distance and intimacy created in the context of intensified human mobility? How does memory work to facilitate the handling of the crisis, and how are racialized conceptions of difference reconstituted in the process? How do neoliberal forms of government fare in relation to the crisis, and how do they work to mobilize or silence particular sensibilities and subject positions?