JVF Conference Papers

The title ‘Extraordinary Times’ is not meant simply to impress upon the reader the incomparability of our contemporary historical moment. After all, few (if any) generations have considered its own time to lack some kind of extraordinary frisson or another. Rather, our title reflects on the extraordinary as a process, as a means of seeing the world through the lenses of various disciplines. One pleasant discovery made was that our varied academic backgrounds did not inhibit discussion but rather made for challenging scholarship and stimulating debate. Rather than retreating into the comfortable confines of our individual academic specialties, we turned those specialties into tools that disciplined our debates. A coming together of experiences, a blending of perceptions, and sharing ideas turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. This collection of papers is a testimony to an inter-disciplinary process. Each paper in this collection can be located on a continuum of history, political science and philosophical thought collating various subject positions, defined not simply by its geographic locations but rooted in an inquiry of the structural or institutional means and mechanisms which result in the emergence of the different, the birth of the new.

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