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Negri

FROM EMPIRE TO COMMONWEALTH: COMMUNIST THEORY AND CONTEMPORARY PRAXIS

Call for Papers
From Empire to Commonwealth: Communist Theory and Contemporary Praxis

Conference to be held at the University of Wollongong, 
25-26 November 2010

With the publication of Commonwealth in 2009 Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s three part series (which started with Empire and continued with Multitude) is complete. The series constitutes an almost unparalleled attempt to revitalise emancipatory communist politics for our time. Drawing on the Italian traditions of operaismo and autonomia and combining them with post‐structuralism, Hardt and Negri attempt a radical reworking of the basis of anti‐capitalist thought. Following the disasters of the 20th Century, two directions seemed open to radical thought: one denied the specificity of late capitalism and insisted that nothing had fundamentally changed while the other asserted that everything had changed and that the revolutionary transformation of society was no longer possible.

Hardt and Negri reject both these alternatives. They maintain the Marxian critique of capitalism, and emphasise the emancipatory potential of labour by attempting a challenging rethinking of the revolutionary project. They do so in a way which refuses the dominant ideologies of global capitalism, is heretical to orthodox Marxism, is refreshingly different from the staid left liberalism and reheated social democracy typical of the Academy, and resonates with struggles across the globe.

At ‘From Empire to Commonwealth’ we would like to open up a space for critical dialogue about Hardt and Negri’s work, their understanding of the world, their politics, the traditions with which they engage and the criticisms they have faced. We would also like to generate our own ideas and critiques and contribute to the development of emancipatory and rebellious theories of the world.

While this conference takes place within the boundaries of the university we would like to position ourselves on the edge of this space, challenging both the demarcations which separate the university from the rest of society and struggling within the university to open up the horizon of what and how we can think.

We are seeking papers on, but not limited to, the follow topics. Presentations that defy the genre of academic conferences are welcome:

·  The politics of love

· Affective, precarious and immaterial labour

·  Feminism and autonomy

· Empire as a theory of international relations

· Capitalism and the control society

· The intellectual history of autonomist Marxism

· Queer struggles against capitalism

· Post-structuralism and anti-capitalism

· Multitude and class composition

· Labour and value in contemporary capitalism

· Contemporary anti-capitalist politics

· Identity and subjectivity

Please email abstracts of approximately 200 words to Alexander Brown at: alexandersragtimeband@gmail.com by 30 July 2010. Further information will be posted on the conference blog, http://fromempiretocommmonwealth.wordpress.com as it becomes available. We are considering publishing the conference papers.

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Autonomia

Autonomia

AUTONMIA, OPERAISMO AND CLASS COMPOSITION

 

Call for Papers

Autonomism, Class Composition, and Cultural Studies

2010 Cultural Studies Association Conference – Berkeley, CA – March 18th – 20th, 2010

Coordinators: Stevphen Shukaitis (Autonomedia / University of Essex) & Jack Z. Bratich (Rutgers University)

The publication of Hardt and Negri’s Empire (2000) brought new attention to a previously ignored current of revolutionary theory and practice, namely that of autonomist Marxism, or more broadly, autonomism. While the work of Hardt and Negri have receive quite a deal of attention within cultural studies research and writing since then, this have tended to neglect the vast wealth of engaged theoretical reflection contained within the history of autonomist thought and organizing, reducing it to the work of a few recent works by particular authors. For instance, the concept of class composition, or the ways in which class formations emerge from contestation and the primacy and determining role of social resistance, shares much in common with various strains of thought in cultural studies. Similarly, workers’ inquiry as a method of inquiring into the conditions of working class life to rethinking its ongoing subversive political potentiality, functions in similar ways to how early cultural studies shifted to an analysis of the everyday based on renewing and deepening radical politics.

Autonomist political analysis involves something very much like a form of cultural studies, exploring how the grounds for radical politics are constantly shifting in response to how capital and the state utilize social insurgencies and movements against themselves. How do cultural studies and autonomism converge and diverge over matters of power, the state, and subjectivity? The panel will explore the future behind our backs, focusing on how autonomist politics and analysis can inform cultural analysis and vice versa. Possible topics for consideration could include:

– Autonomy through and against enclosures

– Class composition and the creative class

– Immaterial labor and cultural production

– Libidinal parasites and desiring production

– Escape and the imperceptible politics of the undercommons

– The multitude and its dark side

– Affective labor and social reproduction

– Work drawing from/on particular autonomist theorists (Tronti, Virno, Fortunati, etc.)

– Precarity and the autonomy of migration

– Post-hegemonic & post-dialectical interventions

– Schizoanalysis & class formation

– Autonomism and the political

 

Send proposals of 500 words to Stevphen Shukaitis (stevphen@autonomedia.org).

The deadline for submissions is September 7th, 2009.

Stevphen Shukaitis is an editor at Autonomedia and lecturer at the University of Essex. He is the editor (with Erika Biddle and David Graeber) of Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization (AK Press, 2007). His research focuses on the emergence of collective imagination in social movements and the changing compositions of cultural and artistic labor. For more on his work and writing, see http://stevphen.mahost.org.

Jack Z. Bratich is assistant professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University. He is the author of Conspiracy Panics: Political Rationality and Popular Culture (2008) and co-editor of Foucault, Cultural Studies and Governmentality (2003), and has written articles that apply autonomist thought to such topics as audience studies, reality TV, secession, and popular secrecy.

Stevphen Shukaitis: Autonomedia Editorial Collective, http://www.autonomedia.org, http://info.interactivist.net

“Autonomy is not a fixed, essential state. Like gender, autonomy is created through its performance, by doing/becoming; it is a political practice. To become autonomous is to refuse authoritarian and compulsory cultures of separation and hierarchy through embodied practices of welcoming difference… Becoming autonomous is a political position for it thwarts the exclusions of proprietary knowledge and jealous hoarding of resources, and replaces the social and economic hierarchies on which these depend with a politics of skill exchange, welcome, and collaboration. Freely sharing these with others creates a common wealth of knowledge and power that subverts the domination and hegemony of the master’s rule.”  – subRosa Collective

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Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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