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POST/AUTONOMIA – CALL FOR PAPERS

Post/autonomia – Call for Papers

Amsterdam, 19-22 May 2011

University of Amsterdam/SMART Project Space

Keynote speakers include:

Franco Berardi (‘Bifo’)

Vittorio Morfino

Stevphen Shukaitis (to be confirmed)

Immaterial labour; multitude; the communism of capital; commons; precarity; biopolitics: autonomist thought has undoubtedly provided contemporary critical theory with some of its major concepts and/or allowed for an important reconsidering of these. Most importantly, autonomist thought has been at the forefront of thinking the crucial shifts in contemporary capitalism and its effects in both the social and cultural sphere. Autonomism’s impact on current critical theory in both European and American academia can therefore hardly be underestimated. Moreover, today we witness a resurgence of autonomist models of activism and thought in social movements in for example Italy, Greece, the UK and California.

What can ‘post/autonomia’ mean today?’ therefore is one of the pivotal questions in contemporary critical theory and activism. Rather than packaging it as ‘Italian Theory’, we would like to explore the international dissemination of autonomous thought and activism today and their possible futures; in particular we would like to explore critical engagements and uses of autonomist ideas that shape what we might call post/autonomia. It is precisely the dynamics, tensions and ruptures between autonomia and its possible futures (or ‘posts’) that we would like to investigate. What are the effects of autonomia, as a thought and a movement, in a variety of domains: from critical theory to cinema, from activism to academic practice?

Crucial questions raised by the notion of post/autonomia are:

* How did autonomist thought move from what was in fact a specific local context to the global activist and intellectual sphere?

* What are the possible connections between (post)autonomia and other contemporary conceptualizations of ‘communism’?

* What is the role of (post)autonomist thinking in current efforts to reassemble and reconstitute the militant left?

* What are possible connections/convergences between (post)autonomism and post-situationism, anarchism or the green movement?

* How can post/autonomia be situated in the aftermath or even afterlife of the ‘no global’ moment?    * How is post/autonomia taking shape in diverse cultural and artistic interventions?

* What is the significance of autonomist thought in non-western/global contexts (e.g. the debates concerning precarious labour in China)?

* How does the current the interest in autonomism and its relevance relate to political discourses concerning the ‘heritage’ of 68/77 and their alleged ‘liquidation’ (by Berlusconi/Sarkozy); to what extent does it encourage or block these debates?

* What elements of autonomism remain unaddressed today (e.g. the feminist heritage)?

* What particular nexus between theory/militant practice takes shape in post/autonomia (e.g. in media activism and precarity-movements)?

* What new perspectives/connections can be created: e.g. post/autonomia and queer, the metropolis, bioeconomy, etc. etc.

The conference will provide a platform for addressing these and other important questions. Papers may address the following topics (but are by no means bound to these):

Post/autonomia and:

–       contemporary activism

–       conceptualizations of bio-politics

–       the neo-liberal state

–       precarity

–       media activism

–       academic activism and new student movements (L’Onda che viene etc)

–       post-situationism

–       queer autonomy

–       feminism

–       the work of individual theorists (e.g. Negri, Virno, Berardi, Guattari, Lazzerato, Marazzi etc)

–       semiocapitalism

–       artistic and cultural activism

–       political/cultural memories of autonomia

–       the metropolis and the social factory today

–       the new communism

–       transversality

–       new spinozisms

–       (the lessons of) Genoa 2001

–       strategies of resistance

–       populism

–       the law, the state of exception and legitimacy

We welcome both academic and practice-oriented contributions in English. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes. Please send abstracts (350 words) before March 15 to postautonomia@gmail.com. For further information, please contact postautonomia@gmail.com.

This conference is the first of a series within the project Precarity and Post-autonomia: the Global Heritage funded by NWO (Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research).

Organizing committee:

–       Vincenzo Binetti, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA)

–       Joost de Bloois, University of Amsterdam

–       Silvia Contarini, Université Paris Ouest, Nanterre La Défence

–       Monica Jansen, Utrecht University

–       Federico Luisetti, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA)

–       Frans-Willem Korsten, Leiden University/Erasmus University Rotterdam

–       Gianluca Turricchia, University of Amsterdam

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