CALL FOR PAPERS
CATASTROPHE NOW: THE WRECKAGE OF UTOPIA
University of Florida's Marxist Reading Group Sixth Annual Conference
Keynote Speakers: Susan Buck-Morss and Christian Parenti
March 25-27 at the University of Florida
"In the wake of the failed utopia of industrial modernity, where the
promises of mass sovereignty, mass production, and mass culture have led
not to abundance and more freedoms, but instead to ecological
devastation, catastrophes of war, exploitation, dictatorship, and
technological destruction and to a panoply of phantasmagoric effects
that aestheticize the violence of modernity and anaesthetize its
victims, how do we re-conceive collective political action and a present =
utopia?" (Susan Buck-Morss, Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of
Mass Utopia in East and West)
This conference seeks papers that address how pedagogy, activism,
aesthetics, and theory help constitute positions against the hegemony of
Global Capital. To be precise, how do we disrupt the seemingly
undisruptable: a Capitalist system that conjures up a communal unity
that eventually obscures the social tensions of class conflict? How do
we re-constitute past modes of (modernist) discourse into oppositional
modes of engagement against the State? By dissolving the boundaries of
disparate modes of discourse e.g., Islamism, aesthetics, Marxism, can
we produce new forms of engagement against Global Capital? How do we
turn the dreamworld of consumerism into a state of desertion and
engagement? How can we imagine a progressive globalization? How do we
construct a progressive global left?
Susan Buck-Morss, a professor of political philosophy and social
theory at Cornell University, is the author of Thinking Past Terror:
Islamism and Critical Theory on the Left, Dreamworld and Catastrophe:
The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West, The Dialectics of Seeing:
Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project, and The Origin of Negative
Dialectics: Theodore Adorno, Walter Benjamin, and the Frankfurt
Institute. Buck-Morss has written a number of innovative essays on
aesthetics, politics, and the work of art, including: "Aesthetics and
Anaesthetics: Walter Benjamin's Artwork Essay Reconsidered" and "The
City as Dreamworld and Catastrophe."
Christian Parenti is the author of Lockdown America: Police and
Prisons in the Age of Crisis, Taking Liberties: Prisons, Policing, and
Surveillance in an Age of Crisis, and The Soft Cage: Surveillance in
America from Slavery to the War on Terror. He is a Soros Senior Justice
Fellow of the Open Society Institute and a Visiting Fellow at the CUNY
Graduate School's Center for Place, Culture, and Politics. He teaches at
the New College of California in San Francisco and works as a radio
journalist in Central America, New York and California. Parenti is a
regular contributor to numerous publications, including: Salon, The
Nation, San Diego Union Tribune, Washington Post, The Progressive, In
These Times, Christian Science Monitor, and The New York News Day.
Prospective papers may address (but are not limited to) the following:
*Anti-humanism/post-humanism in Empire
*Reification of history.
*Narrative mappings of the political.
*What counts as labor?
*Re-thinking subjectivities through singularity.
*Society of control and new forms of policing/discipline.
*The aesthetics of security.
*Re-writing the frontiers of the nation-state.
*Exploiting security: crime and the warehousing of the poor
*Prosthetics, Clones, Cyborgs: The body and technological ontologies.
*Strategies of containing revolutionary practices.
*Gender and the place of work.
*Global capital and imagining the apocalypse.
*Pedagogies and reorganizing relations of space.
*Literature and collectivity.
*Insurgent spatial practices: sites for alternative production.
*Professionalization and the corporate university.
*Media and formulations of collectivity.
*Constructions of a revolutionary identity.
*"National Dreams" of Prosperity and Poverty
*Politics of zoning.
*US policy, war, and terrorism.
Non-traditional or performative panels will also be considered.
One-page abstracts, questions, and comments should be submitted to the
Marxist Reading Group at [log in to unmask]
Abstracts due: February 10.
For more information about our group, conferences, and keynote
speakers go to www.english.ufl.edu/mrg
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