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Daily Archives: June 9th, 2012

Werner Bonefeld


June 15-16, 2012
University of Sussex, Brighton

Keynote Speakers:
Werner Bonefeld (York)
Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths)

While governments around the world have initiated austerity measures on a grand scale and have even been ousted in favour of technocratic administrations, pockets of sustained resistance continue to manifest themselves. Whether it is the populist Occupy movement, ultra-left theorists of Communisation, anti-cuts protesters, or even the rioters who took to the streets of London and beyond, the struggle against the apparent status quo continues. When taken in the light of the Arab Spring, questions must be asked in regards to the relationship between resistance and revolution. These movements managed to turn a tide of resistance into a force for revolution. Is this a paradigm-shift in the way this relationship must be thought?

Alongside these movements and despite the optimism generated by them, the power of the governments to crush, de-legitimise, and ignore opposition appears to remain. Some critics blame a lack of coherent message and agenda; others say that the forces of opposition are not dealing with the reality of the situation. This critique, however, does not have the last word. These forms of resistance, in their many guises, challenge the state’s belief that it has a monopoly on reality. They challenge the very legitimacy of the state to disseminate the status quo and, therefore, represent a radical alternative even if they do not, or cannot, dictate what the alternative may be. What role do the concepts of power and resistance play in our analysis of the current situation? Do they require a reassessment or does the contemporary conjuncture simply represent a reassertion of the same old forces in a different guise?

Power is one of the core concepts of social and political thought. Yet there is plenty of disagreement about what is, how it functions and how it should be contested. Our present conjuncture is witnessing many different manifestations of power and resistance. However, there is a lack of serious theoretical engagement with the current situation. We are seeking papers that engage theoretically with the current situation, and which emphasise the central roles of the concepts of power and resistance. Possible theoretical frameworks include, but are not limited to, theories of biopolitics, instrumental reason, critical theory, post-colonialism, discourse and democratic theory, structuralism and post-structuralism, recognition, soft-power, hegemony, world-systems, sovereignty, legality, and legitimacy.


Day 1: June 15, 2012 (All talks unless otherwise noted will be held in Fulton 107)

9-10 – Registration

10-1045 – Gianandrea Manfredi (Sussex), Understanding the structural form of resistance and the processes by which resistant social spaces are negated

1045-1130 – Jeffery Nicholas (Providence College/CASEP London Metropolitan University), Reason, Resistance and Revolution: Occupy’s Nascent Democratic Practice

1130-1215 – Svenja Bromberg (Goldsmiths), A critique of Badiou’s and Ranciere’s notion of emancipation

1215-1315 – Lunch

1315-1400 – Khafiz Tapdygovich Kerimov (American University in Bulgaria), From Epistemic Violence to Respecting the Differend: The Fate of Eurocentrism in the Discourse of Human Sciences

1400-1445 – Marta Resmini (KU Leuven), Participation as Surveillance? Counter-democracy versus Governmentality

1445-1515 – Coffee Break

1515-1600 – Alastair Gray (Sussex), Activity Without Purpose: Parrhesia, The Unsayable and The Riots

1600-1645 – Zoe Sutherland (Sussex) & Rob Lucas (Independent Researcher) – A Theory of Current Struggles

1645-1700 – Coffee Break

1700-1900 – Keynote: Werner Bonefeld (York) (Fulton Lecture Theatre A)

Day 2: June 16, 2012 (All talks unless otherwise noted will be held in Fulton 102)

1045-1145 – Registration

1145-1230 – Sarit Larry (Boston College), The Status of Vagueness: Mythical Events and the Israeli Social Justice Movement

1230-1315 – Mehmet Erol (York), Bringing Class Back In: The case of Tekel Resistance in Turkey

1315-1430 – Lunch

1430-1515 – Torsten Menge (Georgetown Univesity), A deflationary conception of social power

1515-1600 – Sarah Burton (University of Cambridge), Reimagining Resistance: misrule and the place of the fantastic in John Holloway’s anti-power

1600-1645 – Jorge Ollero Perán & Fernando Garcia-Quero (University of Granada), Can ethics be conceived as an economic institution? An interdisciplinary approach to the critique of neoliberal ethics

1645-1700 – Coffee Break

1700-1900 – Keynote: Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths) (Arts A1)

Please email to register and check for more information. There will be a £15 conference fee (£7.50 for one-day) payable in cash on the day to help cover expenses.




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