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Call for Papers

International Conference
Faculty of Human and Social Sciences of the New University of Lisbon
18-20th April 2012

The definition of a collective subject of politics constituted one of the most important questions in modern political thought, history and social sciences. All these disciplines tried to answer the question: who makes politics? As part of a wider questioning on: what is politics? In the last decades, however, the names given to collective political subjects – such as people, nation, class or masses – became the object of an ever growing questioning regarding their adequacy, thus creating a conceptual crisis.

This crisis’ first consequence was the downgrading of any notion of politics as a collective affair. The view that individuals were both the base and object of politics became dominant. According to such a view, the collective should be seen as a mere aggregation of individualities. Nevertheless, this conceptual crisis also opened up to other possibilities. Recent years were also marked by the quest for new concepts or for a renewal of old concepts in order to name the collective subject of politics. Such a quest, in its many guises, entails a strategic notion of politics where the plurality of a singular subject always exceeds the sum of its parts. Such debates around the names of the collective political subject have been taking place in domains as diverse as philosophy, history, economics, political science and anthropology.

This conference aims to gather a set of contributions to the question of the collective subject of politics. The conference welcomes papers that present theoretical contributions to the debate as well as case studies gathered from any geographical space and from all historical periods. It is mainly – but in no way exclusively – directed at researchers from different disciplinary areas working on political thought and social movements. The working language of the conference is English. A limited number of papers presented in Portuguese, Spanish or French may also be accepted. Those interested in presenting a paper at the conference should submit an abstract no longer than 300 words before the 31st of December 2011. An answer will be issued before the 10th of January 2012.

Abstracts (and a brief CV) should be sent to:  and


Boaventura de Sousa Santos is Director of the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, Distinguished Legal Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and Global Legal Scholar at the University of Warwick. His books include Toward a New Legal Common Sense: Law, Globalization and Emancipation and The Rise of the Global Left: The World Social Forum and Beyond.

James C. Scott is Professor of Political Science and Anthropology at Yale University. His books include The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts and Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance.

Pablo Sánchez-Leon is Professor of History at the University of the Basque Country. His books include Absolutismo y Comunidad: Las Orígenes Sociales de la Guerra de los Comuneros de Castilla and La Guerra que nos han contado: 1936 y nosotros (with Jesús Izquierdo).

Peter Hallward is Professor of Philosophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University London. His books include Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment and Badiou: A Subject to Truth.

Sandro Mezzadra is Professor of Political Theory and Sociology at the University of Bologna. His books include Crisis in the Global Economy – Finantial Markets, Social Struggles and New Political Scenarios (edited with Andrea Fumagalli) and Diritto di Fuga: Migrazioni, Cittadinanza, Globalizzazione.

Institute for Contemporary History of the New University of Lisbon
Complutense University of Madrid – Department for the History of Thought and Social and Political Movements
Birkbeck College of the University of London – Department of Iberian and Latin American Studies.

Conference fees

Bruno Peixe Dias (University of Lisbon), Diego Palacios Cerezales (Complutense University of Madrid), José Neves (New University of Lisbon), Luís Trindade (Birkbeck College), Ricardo Noronha (New University of Lisbon) and Victor Pereira (University of Pau and Pays de l’Adour).


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Our book, ‘What Would it Mean to Win?’ is published by PM Press in April 2010. It contains all the articles from the now out-of-print first issue of the magazine, our collective text ‘Move into the Light? Postscript to a Turbulent 2007’, and a previously unpublished extended interview by PM Press author Sasha Lilly with Turbulence editors Michal Osterweil and Ben Trott. John Holloway has written a Foreword.

BACK COVER BLURB: “Movements become apparent as ‘movements’ at times of acceleration and expansion. In these heady moments they have fuzzy boundaries, no membership lists – everybody is too engaged in what’s coming next, in creating the new, looking to the horizon. But movements get blocked, they slow down, they cease to move, or continue to move without considering their actual effects. When this happens, they can stifle new developments, suppress the emergence of new forms of politics; or fail to see other possible directions. Many movements just stop functioning as movements. They become those strange political groups of yesteryear, arguing about history as worlds pass by. Sometimes all it takes to get moving again is a nudge in a new direction… We think now is a good time to ask the question: What is winning? Or: What would–or could–it mean to ‘win?’”


“Where is the movement today? Where is it going? Are we winning? The authors of the essays in this volume pose these and other momentous questions. There are no easy answers, but the discussion is always insightful and provocative as the writers bravely take on the challenge of charting the directions for the Left at a time of ecological crisis, economic collapse, and political disillusionment.” – Walden Bello, Executive Director of Focus on the Global South

“Turbulence presents an exciting brand of political theorising that is directed and inspired by current strategic questions for activism. This kind of innovative thinking, which emerges from the context of the movements, opens new paths for rebellion and the creation of real social alternatives.“ – Michael Hardt, co-author of ‘Commonwealth’ , ‘Multitude’ and ‘Empire’.

“The history of the past half-century and particularly the last decade is as easily told as a series of victories as defeats, maybe best as both. Sometimes we won–and this is what makes the ‘What Does It Mean to Win?’ anthology
such a powerful vision of the possible and the seldom-seen present. The authors of this book connect some of the more remarkable events of the last decade–in Oaxaca, in the banlieus of Paris, in the crises of neoliberalism– into a constellation of possibilities and demands, demands on the world but also demands on the readers, to think afresh of what is possible and what it takes to get there. As one author begins, ‘The new movements embodied and posited deliberate reactions to the practical and theoretical failures of previous political approaches on the left.’ This is the book about what came after the failures, and what’s to come” – Rebecca Solnit, author of ‘Hope in the Dark’ and ‘A Paradise Built in Hell.’


‘Preface’, by Turbulence Collective

‘Foreword: Hope Moves Faster than the Speed of Thought’, by John Holloway

‘Are We ‘Winning’?’, by Turbulence Collective

‘Politics in an Age of Fantasy’, by Stephen Duncombe

‘Enclosing the Enclosers’, by Gustavo Esteva

‘Singularisation of the Common’, by Sandro Mezzadra and Gigi Roggero

‘A New Weather Front’, by Paul Sumburn

‘Money for Nothing’, by Max Henninger

‘Walking in the Right Direction?’, by Ben Trott

‘Organise Local, Strike Global’, by Valery Alzaga and Rodrigo Nunes

‘Solidarity Economics’, by Euclides André Mance

‘Compositional Power’, an interview with Todd Hamilton and Nate Holdren

‘‘Becoming-Woman?’ In Theory or in Practice?’, by Michal Osterweil

‘Politicising Sadness’, by Colectivo Situaciones

‘Commonism’, by Nick Dyer-Witheford

‘The Crazy Before the New’, by Kay Summer and Harry Halpin

‘Move into the Light? Postscript to a Turbulent 2007’, by Turbulence Collective

‘An Interview with the Turbulence Collective’, by Sasha Lilly with Michal Osterweil and Ben Trott

Author: Turbulence Collective
Publisher: PM Press (Oakland, CA)
ISBN: 978-1-60486- 110-5
Published: April 2010
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 160
Dimensions: 9 by 6
Subjects: Politics, Philosophy, Activism

Ask your university, city or town library to order to a copy of the book. Just provide them with the ‘Book Details’ above and they should be able to do the rest themselves.

We’re looking for individuals and publications interested in reviewing the book. If this takes your fancy, drop us a note letting us know your name, address and the publication you’re considering writing for and we’ll get the publisher to send you a copy of the book.

We’ll be organising a series of events to launch the book, the first of which will take place in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, on March 14, 15 and 16.

For more information, see:



PM PRESS: detail&p=193 

AMAZON.COM: Win-Press/dp/160486110X/ref=sr_1_ 1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266057060&sr=8-1


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The 8th Crossroads Conference in Cultural Studies will be hosted by the Department of Cultural Studies jointly with Kwan Fong Cultural Research & Development Programme of Lingnan University in HONG KONG during June 17-21, 2010. Please check the details at our conference website:

This year we are very pleased to have invited the following keynote and plenary speakers:

   * Katherine GIBSON (Australia)

   * Tony BENNETT (UK/Australia)

   * Anne BALSAMO (US)

   * Nilufer GOLE (Turkey/France)

   * Josephine HO (Taiwan)

   * Sandro MEZZADRA (Italy)

   * PUN Ngai (China)

   * Vinod RAINA (India)

   * Andrew ROSS (US)

   * Catherine WALSH (Ecuador)

As always, we are open to all innovative topics in Cultural Studies. There is certainly no boundary of your scholarly thinking; however, we do have some suggested topics listed in the section “Topic Suggestions” in the conference website as food for thoughts. Please also refer to the section on “Panels and Proposals” in the conference website for the submission guidelines.

Please submit your proposals by *December 31st, 2009* to the Academic Programme Sub-committee at:

We look forward to receiving your proposals soon!

Crossroads 2010 Academic Programme Sub-committee

Academic Director: Professor Meaghan MORRIS, Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University

Committee Members:

* Professor Stephen Ching-kiu CHAN, Dept of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University

* Professor John Nguyet ERNI, Dept of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University

* Dr Helen GRACE, Dept of Cultural & Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

* Professor Mette Anne HJORT, Dept of Philosophy, Lingnan University

* Dr Po-keung HUI, Dept of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University

* Dr Wing-sang LAW, Dept of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University

* Dr Angel LIN, Dept of English, City University of Hong Kong

* Dr Shuang SHEN, Dept of Chinese, Lingnan University

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