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Global Power

10th ESSEX CONFERENCE IN CRITICAL POLITICAL THEORY

THEORY IN THE FACE OF GLOBAL CHALLENGES: CAPITALISM & ECOLOGY, COMMUNITY & CITIZENSHIP

Call for Papers
Dates: 16-18 June 2010
Location: University of Essex, Colchester, UK
Call for Papers Deadline: 30 April 2010
Website: http://www.essex.ac.uk/idaworld/10th_Essex_Conference_in_Critical_Political_Theory.html
All Inquiries to: polcon@essex.ac.uk

Keynote Speakers
ROMAND Coles is Professor of Community, Culture & Environment at Northern Arizona University.
DIANA Coole is Professor of Political & Social Theory at Birkbeck, University of London.
STEPHEN K. White is James Hart Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia.

Other Confirmed Speakers Include:

JANE Bennett, The Johns Hopkins University (USA)
WILLIAM E. Connolly, The Johns Hopkins University (USA)
ERNESTO Laclau is Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Essex.
FRANCISO Panizza, London School of Economics and Political Science (UK)

Organizing Committee at the University of Essex
JASON Glynos, Department of Government, University of Essex
DAVID Howarth, Centre for Theoretical Studies, University of Essex
ALETTA J. Norval, Centre for Theoretical Studies, University of Essex
JONATHAN Dean, Department of Government, University of Essex
KHAIRIL Ahmad, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, University of Essex
GRAHAM Walker, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, University of Essex

Methodology Workshops Organizing Committee
GRAHAM Walker, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, University of Essex

The Conference Theme: Theory in the Face of Global Challenges: Capitalism & Ecology, Community & Citizenship

FEW doubt, today, that we face a series of connected global challenges: the dangers of climate change and environmental degradation; a crisis of international finance and global capitalism; an ever-increasing logic of minoritization, which threatens to fragment communities and societies; greater social and economic inequalities, both nationally and globally; the intensification of various forms of religious belief, including fundamentalism, alongside a growing secularization of communities and societies; and a palpable disillusionment with politics and politicians.

THEORISTS and scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and the natural sciences also face new challenges: insistent demands to show the ‘relevance’ of their research for the ‘real world’; diminishing resources and institutional support; a growing marginalization from mainstream and corporately subsidized research. Universities and colleges are being compelled to show that their research has a ‘direct impact’ on the economy, public policy, or society in order to secure funding and research grants.

‘THEORY in the Face of Global Challenges: Capitalism & Ecology, Community & Citizenship’ takes up the challenge of rethinking different aspects of global capitalism, religion, the place of minorities, and the environment. It will also problematize and explore the role of theory in the academy and in relation to the pressing issues we confront.

HOW do we problematize and critically explain these new phenomena? What are the limits and potentials of contemporary political and ethical theory in addressing these new issues? What is the relationship between community, citizenship, and democracy? What kind of ethos needs to be cultivated in the face of these new challenges, and how can it be brought about? Must ecology be sacrificed on the altar of rebuilding the global capitalist system, or is an eco-egalitarian alternative possible? In what ways can various fundamentalisms be challenged and engaged with in the name of a democratic politics that is not itself fundamentalist in character? What is the relationship between cultural theory, radical materialism and various sorts of naturalism? What are the prospects and limits of pluralizing pluralism? Ought we to restrict agency to humans, or does it extend to the material and non-human world more generally? What is the relationship between nature and culture? How can cultural theory respond to recent developments in science? How do these broad sets of issues and questions get addressed in specific contexts and policy arenas? And what theoretical languages and methods are best able to respond to these changes and trends?

THESE are just some of the tasks of critical political theory today. Our invited speakers shall deliver keynote addresses to the conference that will shape the discussions with their distinctive voices and perspectives. Each of the speakers will address one or more of the themes announced in the title.

ROMAND Coles is Professor and Director of the Programme in Community, Culture & Environment at Northern Arizona University. He works at the intersections between radical democratic theory, continental philosophy, and grassroots democratic activism. During his two decades at Duke University he co-founded and co-directed an interdisciplinary project called Dialogical Ethics and Critical Cosmopolitanism, as well as The Third Reconstruction Institute, which cultivated collaborations between scholars and grassroots organizers across the South-Eastern United States. He currently directs the Programme for Community, Culture, and Environment at Northern Arizona University where he writes, teaches and organizes politically on issues pertaining to building grassroots democracy in schools, developing a green economy, crafting public spaces, immigration rights, urban agriculture, and the engaged pedagogy movement in higher education. His writings include: Self/Power/Other: Political Theory and Dialogical Ethics; Rethinking Generosity: Critical Theory and the Politics of Caritas; Beyond Gated Politics: Reflections Toward the Possibility of Democracy; and (with Stanley Hauerwas) Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary: Conversations Between a Radical Democrat and a Christian. Romand’s address will explore possibilities for radical democratic transformation toward a green political economy, focusing on vital micro-relational dynamics among humans and the nonhuman that nurture revolutionary enthusiasms, hopeful visions of possibility, and networks of political power necessary for constructing alternatives to ecocidal global capitalism. His discussion will make connections between grassroots community organizing initiatives in which he is involved, theories of mimesis and mirror neurons, and broadening experiments in alternative political economy.

DIANA Coole is Professor of Political and Social Theory at Birkbeck, University of London. Her many books and articles include Women in Political Theory: From Ancient Misogyny to Contemporary Feminism, 2nd Edition (Hemel Hempstead, Harvester-Wheatsheaf & Colorado, Lynne Rienner, 1993); Negativity and Politics: Dionysus and Dialectics from Kant to Poststructuralism (London & New York, Routledge, 2000); Merleau-Ponty and Modern Politics after Anti-Humanism (Rowman and Littlefield, 2007); Materialism and Subjectivity (Duke University Press, 2007). Her address will focus on the discursive and ethical framing of question the population question for developed countries. Her concerns thus engage the intersection between capitalism and the environment, whilst raising significant controversies about immigration, community and new forms of citizenship. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of modern political and social theory, and contemporary continental political philosophy, she will also explore the role of theory and theorists in addressing these issues and their policy implications.

STEPHEN K. White is James Hart Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. His books include The Recent Work of Jurgen Habermas (Cambridge University Press, 1988) and Political Theory and Postmodernism (Cambridge University Press, 1991); Edmund Burke: Modernity, Politics and Aesthetics (Sage, 1994). He has also edited volumes entitled Lifeworld and Politics: Between Modernity and Postmodernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 1989) and the Cambridge Companion to Habermas (Cambridge University Press, 1995). His contribution to the forthcoming conference arises from his most recent book – The Ethos of a Late-Modern Citizen – where he contends that the global challenges facing Western democracies require a systematic re-examination and re-articulation of the role of citizens and citizenship. His approach does not deny, in the name of tradition, the force of what is new, nor does he imagine that we can adequately confront change by simply rejecting the traditions of modern Western political thought. Instead, he offers an incisive interpretation of our late-modern ethical-political condition and explains how a distinctive “ethos” or spirit of citizenship might constitute part of an exemplary response. This ethos requires reworking basic figures of the modern political imagination, including our conception of the self, citizenship, and democratic politics.

***

THE TENTH CONFERENCE IN CRITICAL POLITICAL THEORY at the University of Essex provides a space to address and engage with these issues. The conference has achieved a renowned reputation for the quality of the papers presented and the large number of international participants. Previous guest speakers have included Bill Connolly, Michael Hardt, Wendy Brown, Judith Squires, Quentin Skinner, Joan Copjec, James Tully, Jane Bennett, Fred Dallmayr, Bonnie Honig, David Owen, David Campbell, Simon Critchley, Ernesto Laclau, and Chantal Mouffe, amongst others. This year the conference will be hosted by the IDAWorld, Centre for Theoretical Studies, and the Department of Government at the University of Essex.

THE conference provides an important opportunity to engage with the contemporary challenges and possibilities of social and political theory and to exchange views on ongoing research. We welcome papers from all scholars, including postdoctoral researchers, postgraduates and early career scholars from a wide variety of backgrounds in the field of social and political theory. But as is customary with the Essex conference, the themes are in part shaped by the thought and writings of our invited guests, and this year is no exception. We are delighted to host Professors Romand Coles, Diana Coole, Ernesto Laclau & Stephen White.

Broad Themes Include
* Rethinking Community and Citizenship
* Critical Political Economy
* Discourse & the Media
* Politics of Immanence and Transcendence
* Ecology and Capitalism
* Politics and Technology
* Latin American Politics
* Universalism and Particularism
* Democracy and Representation
* Capitalism, Multiculturalism, Globalization
* Identity Politics and Mobilization
* Subjectivity and Psychoanalysis
* Religion, Faith and Pluralism
* Discourse and Affect
* Fundamentalisms
* New Ecologies
* Philosophies of Nature
* Discourse, Governance & Public Policy
* Culture and Political Economy
* The Politics of Space, Time and Territoriality
* Reworking Identity/Difference

Proposals for Papers, Panels and Roundtables
The conference organizers welcome proposals for individual papers; full panels (with papers); and roundtables (focused on discussion of a common theme rather than the formal presentation of papers). Paper, panel, and roundtable proposals (short abstracts) should be sent to polcon@essex.ac.uk no later than 30th April, 2010. Inquiries may also be sent to that address. Decisions on proposals will be made on a rolling basis. Inquiries may also be sent to that address. Final papers will be posted on the conference website.
Methodology Workshops

Some of the sessions will be devoted to methodological workshops. The 90-minute workshop sessions feature specialists in different aspects of critical and poststructuralist political analysis. The workshop sessions take the form of a “master-class”, with senior researchers meeting a small number of early career researchers using a particular methodological strategy or technique. The focus will be on questions raised by researchers, and their research will be treated as case studies to generate and engage a set of methodological questions.
The workshops aim at creating a setting where early career researchers can benefit from interaction with experts in their field. The sessions will be facilitated by fellow early career researchers, and the discussants will be established and renowned names in the field of interpretative political analysis, such as Jason Glynos, David Howarth and Aletta Norval. The sessions are fully incorporated into the regular conference program, and the sessions are open to all conference participants.

In order to take part in a workshop session, early career researchers invited to present their work in one of these will be asked to introduce their research project in a 2-3 page summary, pointing to the particular difficulties or methodological questions that arise from their research that they would like to explore in the workshop. Please note it clearly in your inquiry if you wish to be considered for inclusion in a Methodology Workshop. The deadline for inquiries is 30 April 2010. For additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the chair of the Methodology Workshop Advisory Board (polcon@essex.ac.uk) marking your inquiry clearly for attention: Graham Walker.

Conference Fees*
Conference fees for Staff: £140
Conference fees for Early Career Researchers: £80
*Conference fees include coffee/tea, 3 lunch vouchers and the conference dinner (excluding wine) on Thursday night.
Note: Those not wishing to attend the conference dinner may subtract £30 from the conference fee.

Conference Site
The University of Essex is located in the ancient market town of Colchester and near the picturesque village of Wivenhoe in Northeast Essex. It is about 45 minutes from London by rail, 30 minutes from London’s Stansted Airport by cab or about an hour by bus. The conference programme will offer opportunities to enjoy the traditional villages and countryside in this scenic part of England. More information about accommodation, costs, and venue is available on the website.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski

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Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/cold-hands-quarter-moon/

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