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RETHINKING 1968

Call for Papers
“Rethinking 1968”
PhaenEx: Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture
Special Issue

The events of 1968 shook the world. On the 40th anniversary > of the protests in France, Germany and the United States, the EPTC organized a series of panels to investigate these industrial and student actions, and whether they can serve as a basis for critiquing our current political climate. We want to ask if the philosophical underpinnings of these revolutionary acts have continued relevance today.

For example, in France, the French phenomenologist and existentialist, turned Marxist, Jean-Paul Sartre was held up as one of the intellectuals who could provide an intellectual basis for the revolution. Alongside structuralists like Althusser, Sartre was viewed as an intellectual god-father of the movement, not only because of his writings critical of capitalism and the bourgeois system, be they his early writings on existentialism, or his later reformulation of Marxism in the Critique of Dialectical Reason, nor because he linked left-wing activism in the first world with support for the oppressed elsewhere, but because he was willing to lend his name and support to the Maoists against the Gaullist government.

Similarly, in Germany, two philosophers, the phenomenologically-inspired and Marxist Herbert Marcuse and the neo-Marxist and member of the Frankfurt School Jürgen Habermas were central figures for the student revolutionaries. As a member of the Frankfurt School’s second generation, Habermas was viewed by the students as safely removed from the alleged post-World War II conservatism of Adorno and Horkheimer. For the first several years following its publication, Habermas’s habilitation thesis, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, was a text central to the student struggle in Germany. Similarly, Marcuse’s texts, Reason and Revolution, Eros and Civilization, and One-Dimensional Man, as well as his occasional writings, were used as rallying cries by the left both in Europe and in the United States.

The question we propose for this volume is: what relevance do these philosophers’s works have today, in light of the continued expansion of the capitalist system, and the fact that student leaders like Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Bernard Kouchner, and Joschka Fischer have renounced extra-political activities and joined the political mainstream? We are interested in papers that explore the relevance of the philosophical critiques that inspired the movements of 1968 for present day radical politics, including papers that use the philosophical inspirations behind 1968:

(1) To critique global capitalism while providing a positive way forward,
(2) To examine American hegemony,
(3) To examine possibilities for overturning existing political structures in either the developed or developing world,
(4) To examine issues surrounding the environment or environmental justice,
(5) Or any other topic, provided that the paper deals extensively with the philosophical ideas of 1968 and their relevance for today’s changed political landscape.

Interested authors should submit a copy of their paper in RTF or WORD format to PhaenEx’s website: http://www.phaenex.uwindsor.ca/ojs/leddy/index.php/phaenex

Queries should be sent to Kevin W. Gray at: kevin-william.gray.1@ulaval.ca

The submission deadline is July 1, 2009.

Contact: Kevin W. Gray, Faculté de Philosophie, Université Laval,Québec, QC G1K 7P4, Canada. Phone: +1 845 228.8548, Skype: kevinwgray, Email: kevin-william.gray.1@ulaval.ca
Web: http://www.phaenex.uwindsor.ca/ojs/leddy/index.php/phaenex

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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