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PIIRS Conferences and Workshops

PIIRS provides funding and administrative support for conferences and workshops in international studies that are organized by Princeton faculty and held on the Princeton campus. The PIIRS Conference Fund  will provide up to $18,000 toward the projected costs of PIIRS-sponsored conferences and workshops, as well as staff support for conference organizers. The PIIRS director also provides smaller sums (in the range of $1,000-$5,000) to faculty as a conference cosponsor. There is no restriction on subject matter as long as the meeting engages international studies (specifically, the human dimensions of issues in global, comparative or regional perspective). PIIRS does not fund meetings simply because they involve participants from abroad.

The following are PIIRS-supported conferences scheduled for this year or supported by PIIRS in the recent past.

October 15-17, 2015

The Global 1860s

The long 1860s witnessed an extraordinary sequence of global developments. Massive conflicts rocked the Americas, Europe, South Asia, and parts of the Caribbean and the Pacific world, while even regions relatively untouched by warfare—such as North Africa, Russia and Japan—experienced momentous political transformations. Simultaneously, the decade saw major shifts in science, communications, art, economics, and the politics of gender. This conference brings together scholars from many different areas of expertise to discuss how far there was a "global 1860s"—and what this might mean.

The organizers for the conference are Linda Colley, Princeton and Matthew Karp, Princeton.

If you would like to register to attend the conference, email Patricia Zimmer at

Sponsored by Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, the Oxford University Centre for Global History, and the Princeton Program in American Studies.

Conference Description

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November 12-14, 2015

Conflict Shorelines
Betts Auditorium, School of Architecture

Eduardo Cadava (English), Kelly Caylor (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Rachel Price (Spanish and Portuguese), Paulo Tavares (Visiting Fellow in the Program in Latin American Studies), and Eyal Weizman (Global Scholar in the School of Architecture) are hosting a three-day symposium entitled “Conflict Shorelines: History, Politics, and Climate Change” that will take place November 12-14, 2015 at Princeton University and that will seek to explore the relations among colonial history, contemporary conflicts, and climate change. The symposium takes its point of departure from the growing number of conflicts that today unfold in complex relation to climatic and environmental transformations. On a global scale, some of these conflicts take place along environmental threshold conditions (“conflict shorelines”) in which climate transformations aggravate existing political tensions. Conflicts over land resources now take place along the threshold of the tropical forests of Central and South America, and of Central Africa and East Asia. Other conflicts are located along the ebbing threshold of deserts, in relation to the drying out of the Sahel and other places across the Middle East. And others are situated across the shorelines of melting glaciers, rising seas, and coastal cities, urban and natural environments increasingly vulnerable to climate instabilities. These conflict shorelines are not simply determined by climatic factors, but are instead deeply complex historical and natural processes that bring together political developments, urban transformations, colonial histories, and patterns of city growth and migration in relation to changing climatic conditions.

The symposium will bring together international scholars, climate scientists and activists, architects, geographers, engineers, visual artists, and theorists from around the globe to think about the entanglement of political conflicts along environmental thresholds by examining the political, legal, epistemic, and aesthetic challenges this kind of conflict initiates. It aims to provide a “forum” in which multiple and apparently distant disciplinary fields and modes of cultural production can think together about some of the most urgent challenges of our time.

*Image courtesy of the NASA's Conceptual Image Laboratory at the Goddard Space Flight Center. (the image is a conceptual animation of dust traveling from the Sahara Desert to the Amazon)

SEPTEMBER 12-13, 2014

Symposium poster

Symposium - Globalization and the Social Sciences
Sep. 12 (300 Wallace Hall) | Sep. 13 (219 Aaron Burr Hall)

Directors: Jeremy Adelman, Princeton; Olivier Bouin, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme-Paris; Michel Wieworka, Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme-Paris

How have global processes and global histories shaped the social sciences? While social scientists have thought a great deal about globalization, few how asked how the scales and depth of interdependence between societies have shaped the models and techniques – the cognitive styles – of the social sciences. This symposium aims to discuss the past, present and future of the social sciences from an international perspective. With hubs in Princeton and the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme-Paris, we plan to explore how new global scales remap disciplinary inquiry. This event will likely evolve into a working group and yield an anthology of future-oriented essays that chart alternative pathways for social science research.

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Co-sponsored by PIIRS and the University Center for Human Values.

OCTOBER 9-11, 2014

Symposium poster

Symposium - Unpacking Derrida's Library: Secrets of the Archive
Oct. 9,  3 to 6 p.m. | Oct. 10, 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. | Oct. 11, 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
101 McCormick Hall

No registration required. 

Directors: Eduardo Cadava, Princeton; Avital Ronell, NYU

The symposium was created to honor the tenth anniversary of the death of French-Algerian philosopher, Jacques Derrida. Participants will explore the ways in which Derrida’s writings helped transform our understanding of a range of disciplines and areas in the humanities, including philosophy, literature, art and art history, music, architecture, anthropology, cultural studies, gender studies, law, psychoanalysis and human rights. The symposium will bring together philosophers, literary critics and theorists from Algeria, Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Scotland, New Zealand and the United States to think about the multiple legacies his work has left.

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October 16-18, 2014

Zoopoétique: L’Animal en Littérature Française

André Benhaïm (Princeton University)
Anne Simon (CNRS / EHESS, Paris) 

“Zoopoetics” can be defined as the study of the literary representation of the animal’s modes of being. In this conference, European and American scholars will reach beyond literature to engage in a dialogue with other disciplines (ethology, ethics, philosophy...) more commonly associated with Animal Studies. Stemming from the scholarly activities of the international research program “Animots” (hosted by the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Paris), this colloquium thus aims at asserting the legitimacy of animality in literary studies.

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Deadlines for Proposals

September 30
January 17
April 15