Here’s the original Call for Papers for the conference that took place on 2 July 2014. We are still considering contributions to the Procrastination Seminar, to take place at All Souls College in autumn 2014, so do get in touch if you would like to be involved.
a one-day interdisciplinary conference
at the University of Oxford
Wednesday 2 July 2014
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.