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Daily Archives: May 21st, 2010

No Future

NO FUTURE

NO FUTURE: AN INTER-DISCIPLINARY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
Durham University, UK
25-27 March 2011

First Call for Papers

From biblical apocalypse to the nihilism of the late nineteenth century, from the Enlightenment invention of progress to the counter-cultures of the late twentieth century, from technological utopianism to contemporary anticipations of environmental catastrophe, western civilization has been consistently transfixed by the figurative potential of the future. ‘No Future’ seeks to connect and inter-animate these disparate ways of thinking about the future, while at the same time questioning the basis of the various discourses of futurity they have produced, and which have proliferated in recent years. ‘No Future’ thus also implicitly questions what it is – other than the preoccupations of the present – that is invoked when we talk about the future.

The conference aims to stage a series of inter-disciplinary encounters around these different senses of ‘No Future’, and to examine the value and implications of adopting a ‘futurist’ position across and between a range of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Contributions may take retrospective form, re-assessing significant moments in past discourses of futurity such as apocalypticism, Enlightenment ideas of progress, the persistence of the apparent dialectical unity of utopia/dystopia, the constructions of Modernism and the Historical Avantgarde, the symbolic projections of psychoanalytic theory. Others might examine the disciplinary shifts that have displaced or dispersed avantgardism in postmodernity, opening out onto such themes as transhumanism, post-postmodern reinflections of the dialectic, and various forms of contemporary utopianism. All of these are related to the central question of the ideological and aesthetic implications of any appeal to futurity, at the heart of which lies the tension between the future as rhetorical evasion and the future as the most persistent and deeply embedded of all heuristic devices.

Keynote speakers:
Mikhail Epstein (Emory)
Jean-Michel Rabaté (Pennsylvania)
Patricia Waugh (Durham)

Plenary panels:

Apocalyptic Futures
Lenin and Futurity
Bloch and Utopian Futures

Proposals for individual papers or integrated panels that engage with any aspect of the central theme are invited. Papers should be of 20 minutes duration to allow adequate time for discussion, and proposals for integrated panels should comprise a chair and three speakers.

Proposals that specifically engage with any of the following themes are particularly welcome:

Ontologies of the Future
Forms of Utopia
Dystopian Futures
Aesthetics and Technology
Eco-criticism and Ecotopia
Gendered Futures
Transhumanism
Futurism(s)
Futures of Freud
Dialectics of the Future
The Future of Theory

Proposals should be no longer than 250 words and should be submitted as an attachment to: alastair.renfrew@durham.ac.uk by Friday 2nd July 2010.

Further information will be available in due course at the conference web-site: http://www.dur.ac.uk/mlac/research/nofuture

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Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

David Harvey

SPACES OF DEMOCRACY EVENTS: DAVID HARVEY, DOREEN MASSEY, ANANYA ROY

Please see below for details of FIVE forthcoming, present and related Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space events:-

1] A one day workshop centred around a debate between DOREEN MASSEY and DAVID HARVEY, Friday 19th November, organised by Chantal Mouffe (node Director at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, Westminster). (further details forthcoming).

2] ANANYA ROY ON POVERTY, DEMOCRACY AND PUBLIC SCHOLARSHIP: A micro-seminar on the research and activism of ANANYA ROY (organised by Katharyne Mitchell, node Director, University of Washington) and Victoria Lawson at University of Washington).

This includes a public lecture by Ananya Roy: Monday, Oct 11, 6:00pm, Kane Hall; a preliminary seminar on Friday, Oct 8, 2:30 – 5:20pm, CMU 202 and a concluding seminar on Tuesday, Oct 12, 3:30 – 5:20pm, CMU 202 where there will be a discussion of intersections between public lecture, Roy’s publications and her public activism and scholarship.

3] A FILM is being made on NEOLIBERALISING INDIAN CITIES with Director of the South Asia Node of the Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space network, Swapna Banerjee-Guha, from the School of Social Sciences, TISS, India. (further details forthcoming).

4] The book WHAT IS RADICAL POLITICS TODAY? (2009) Palgrave-MacMillan, edited by Jonathan Pugh, Newcastle University, is now available for £10 at some bookstores.

A crisis makes you re-think your life. The recent economic crisis is no exception. All of us are now thinking how the world could be run differently. Despite this, a radical alternative has hardly emerged to mobilise the masses, which begs the question: What is radical politics today? In this book, leading academics, politicians, journalists and activists attempt to pinpoint an answer, debating the issues facing radical politics in the 21st Century. Rarely united in their opinions, they collectively interogate the character and spirit of being radical in our times.

Including original contributions from Zygmunt Bauman, Will Hutton, Frank Furedi, Clare Short, Ken Worpole, Nick Cohen, Hilary Wainwright, Paul Kingsnorth, Chantal Mouffe, Terrell Carver, Edward W. Soja, David Chandler, Dora Apel, Doreen Massey, Jason Toynbee, James Martin, Michael J. Watts, Jeremy Gilbert and Jo Littler, Gregor McLennan, Tariq Modood, Amir Saeed & David Bates, Alastair Bonnett, Nigel Thrift, Sheila Jasanoff, Saul Newman, David Featherstone, James Heartfield, Alejandro Colás and Jason Edwards, David Boyle, Saskia Sassen.”

* Explores the spirit and character of radical politics, at this pivotal moment in history.

* Thirty well known and influential commentators write original 3000 word essays.

* Offers thought provoking and often conflicting opinions.

* The only current wide ranging survey of the state of radical politics, post-crisis.

* Accessibly written for the general public and student audiences.

Recent reviews include:

“Provocative, authoritative and timely …” (New Statesman)

“This stimulating and impressively diverse collection of essays helps us to begin re-thinking our predicament. Anyone who finds themselves in agreement with all the authors here must be seriously confused, since several of the pieces offer directly contradictory analyses. But the strength of the book as a whole lies precisely in bringing different political traditions into productive dialogue” (Red Pepper)

“Jonathan Pugh gathers some of the most innovative and insightful voices from Britain and beyond to stage a series of debates on the central issues facing radical politics today.  This collection is a model for the kinds of discussion we need to move forward.” Michael Hardt (Duke University).

“This is a bold, brave and timely book. As we emerge, blinking into the light after three decades of neo-liberal darkness, Jonathan Pugh has put together a collection of essays that will provoke and provide clues to the question of what comes next; what indeed is radical politics today?” Neal Lawson (Director, Compass).

“This timely and well-planned collection of essays by distinguished and concerned scholars throws much new light on where we should be looking for new ideas. It represents a major contribution to the ongoing debate on the problems of our times.” Lord Bhikhu Parekh

5] A number of participants in the network have also contributed to the following special issue of the journal GLOBALIZATIONS

Special Issue: Globalization and Crisis
Volume 7, Issue 1-2, April 2010

This special issue of Globalizations consists of a set of analyses provided by leading international scholars in the field of both the theoretical and the practical relationship between ‘globalization’ – as each contributor interprets this concept – and ‘crisis’ both historically and in the present context i.e. the most severe global systemic crisis for a century. The articles are intended to provide substantial analytical critique, and contribute to the development of new
understandings of globalization.

Contributors: Editor:

Barry K. Gills, Newcastle University, UK
Foreword: ‘Fair Globalization in Crisis’
Mrs Tarja Halonen, President of Finland
Saskia Sassen
Walden Bello
Grahame Thompson
Ankie Hoogvelt
Henry Veltmeyer
Richard Falk
Craig N. Murphy
V. Spike Peterson
Mustapha Kamal Pasha
Heikki Patomaki
James H. Mittelman
Barry K. Gills
Francois Houtart
Susan George
Wazir Jahan Karim
M. Scott Solomon
Ronaldo Munck
Andreas Bieler
Ingemar Lindberg
Werner Sauerborn
Samir Amin
Jonathan Pugh
Nick Buxton
Gemma Bone

END

For “The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space” network website: http://www.spaceofdemocracy.org/

For Radical Politics Today magazine: http://www.spaceofdemocracy.org/resources/publications/magazine/magazine.html

For more on the book What is radical politics today?, published in 2009 by Palgrave MacMillan: http://www.spaceofdemocracy.org/resources/resources_bookstoread.html

Jonathan Pugh
Senior Academic Fellow
Director “The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space” network
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
5th Floor Daysh Building
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 7RU
United Kingdom
Honorary Fellow, The Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

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

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon at MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

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

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com