In the Humanities and Social Sciences today, “Theory” has provided the staging ground for debates over the methodological structure and interpretive purchase of a wide range of disciplines, while also acting as the site of interventions into the epistemological and ethical assumptions which undergird them. The question for theorists today lies precisely in how to grapple with what is included, what is excluded, and what is left behind in both “theory” and the discourses that constitute and contest it.
With these issues in mind, this conference aims to investigate whether or not “theory,” has come to an end, and if so, to ask: how could such an end be possible? What do the range of “theory’s” periodizations propose in its stead? What are the prevailing “theories” of today? What effects do they have, both intentional and unintentional? What is the relationship between “theory” and interdisciplinarity? And what role, if any can “theory” play in the future of humanistic inquiry?