CFP: University of Leeds Graduate Political Theory Conference

Submission deadline: July 15, 2022

Conference date(s):
September 16, 2022

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Conference Venue:

School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds
Leeds, United Kingdom

Topic areas


Call for Papers
University of Leeds Graduate Political Theory Conference 202
Centre for Contemporary Political Theory
September 16, 2022

Political Theory of Dignity


Submission deadline: July 15, 2022
Keynote speaker: Professor David Owen

In the history of western political philosophy dignity is a feature of theoretical discourse about human values and human status, so personhood and humanity. The concept of dignity became a core concept and a universal principle, especially from the work of Pico della Mirandola or Kant who conceptualized dignity as a characteristic of human beings in virtue of their reason. In other words, dignity is a foundational concept. Moreover, this concept of dignity can entertain a relativity, especially in ethical debates regarding, for instance, the question of the death penalty. To put it differently, when the question of dignity is related to the one of individuality, it raises all sorts of political and juridical debate.

Nevertheless, dignity has not always been associated with the universality of the individual or personhood. In The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon related dignity to the question of the land. It is the land that provides dignity and not an abstract conception of universal humanity or personhood. For him, dignity is not a human property, precisely because for the colonized it is something that needs to be fought for, acquired, sometimes through a violent struggle. Accordingly, dignity is a central concept of decolonial thought, Africana philosophy or indigenous studies. From that perspective, dignity is also an existential question as it concerns the modes of existence.

We  welcome PhD students to submit abstracts that highlight topics/questions from a wide range of approaches totheorising dignity – e.g. submissions in phenomenology, feminist philosophy, decolonial thought, Africana philosophy,ideal and nonideal political theory, but are certainly not restricted to these approaches.

Topics of interest:

·       An existential and phenomenological account of dignity

·       A pluriversal account of dignity

·       Dignity and personhood

·       Recognition and dignity

·       Feminist ethics and dignity

·       The dignity of the land

The conference will be in person, there will be a £20 attending fee and a single £150 travel bursary is available for self-funded PhD. Proposals will be selected from the abstracts (approximately 300-500 words) by the Conference Program Committee. The deadline for sending abstracts is July 15, 2022. Please send your abstracts formatted for blind-review to [email protected] and put your contact details in the email and indicate if you want to be considered for the travel bursary.

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