CFP: London Conference in Critical Thought 2014

Submission deadline: March 10, 2014

Conference date(s):
June 27, 2014 - June 28, 2014

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

Goldsmiths College, University of London
London, United Kingdom

Topic areas


The third annual London Conference in Critical Thought (LCCT) will offer a space for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas for scholars who work with critical traditions and concerns. It aims to provide opportunities for those who frequently find themselves at the margins of their department or discipline to engage with other scholars who share theoretical approaches and interests.

Central to the vision of the conference is an inter-institutional, non-hierarchal, and accessible event that makes a particular effort to embrace emergent thought and the participation of emerging academics, fostering new avenues for critically-oriented scholarship and collaboration.

The conference is divided into thematic streams, each coordinated by different researchers and with separate calls for papers, included in this document. We welcome paper proposals that respond to the particular streams below. In addition, papers may be proposed as part of a general stream, i.e. with no specific stream in mind. Spanning a range of broad themes, these streams provide the impetus for new points of dialogue. Read the full call for papers at: 

·         Aesthetic Refusals: Oppositional Citizenship and Public Culture

·         Conceptions and Practices of Critical Pedagogy

·         Critical Approaches to Care Relationships

·         (Dis)orders of Migration

·         Dissenting Methods: Engaging Legacies of the Past, Defining Critical Futures

·         ‘entitled’

·         ‘everyday political’

·         How Does One Think Difference?

·         Legal Critique: Positions, Negotiations and Strategies

·         Moving Through the Intersection? Interrogating Categories and Postintersectional Politics

·         Philosophy and Critical Thought Inside and Outside The University

·         Pragmatism and Critical Traditions

·         Sounding the Counterfactual: Hyperstition and Audial Futurities

·         Strategies of Silence

·         Street Level: Towards a Critical Discourse on Urban Aesthetics

·         Subjects in Space(s): Navigating Multiplicity

·         The Critical Brain

·         The Human After Anthropocentrism? Life. Matter. Being.

·         Time Discipline

·         What is the Question of Critique? 

Please send paper/presentation proposals with the relevant stream indicated in the subject line to paper-subs @ AT|.

Submissions should be no more than 250 words and should be received by the 10th March 2014.

Participation is free (though registration will be required).

Contact us at inquiries @ AT|.


 ''What is the Question of Critique?''


Stream organisers: Andrea Rossi, Diana Stypinska, and Chris Witter

This stream revolves around the question of how – in what way and in what contexts – critique’s status, potential and techniques are to be interrogated today. To ask this question means first raising the question of critique, questioning the normative frameworks and assumptions that inform contemporary critical practices. It implies scepticism towards the moral imperatives that invariably follow from attempts to authoritatively secure the problem of what critique ought to be and do. Raising these questions, however, does not necessarily entail embracing some form or another of radical relativism. Contingency may well represent the conditions of possibility of the critical task in the present. Critique, perhaps, can only be preserved by an unremitting work of self-elaboration – one which, hopefully, would not recoil into intellectual narcissism, but would locate critical openings fostered by the present.

The aim of the stream is not to define the nature of critique in general – as an abstraction or a universal – but to explore its contemporary emergence and possible points of application. We thus intend to provide a forum for open-ended investigation of this problem from all sides – whether that be the possibilities and limits of social movements, the role of intellectuals, a questioning of academia as an institution capable of producing critique, or some as yet unanticipated object of enquiry.

For this reason, we invite speakers to produce, not papers, but frameworks through which to convene participatory discussions involving all attendees (i.e. the ‘audience’). The role of the panellist will be to delineate a domain of problems, spheres of intervention and objects of inquiry on the basis of which to set out and chair collective discussions (ideally in the form of interconnected workshops running throughout one day).

Possible areas of discussion include:

  • What are the most pressing questions of critique today? What is critique demanding of us in the present?
  • What terrains of struggle and/or critique exist or are coming into being today?
  • What is the relation between the critic and the critique they advocate?
  • How are the forms of critique determined by contingent historical and social contexts?
  • Is the very act of questioning a form of political engagement?
  • Can aesthetics be a site of critical resistance? Is aesthetic energy exhausted in its questioning of the present?
  • What are the possibilities and limits of critique with regards to popular culture?
  • Is academia still a site of critique/still capable of producing critique? What is the role of critical intellectuals in the 21st century?
  • What is the relation of critique to everyday life?
  • What is to be done? (Can we actually expect critique to answer this question?)

Please send abstracts for 20-minute papers to [email protected] with ‘Question of Critique’ in the subject line.

"Pragmatism and Critical Traditions"


Stream Organizers: Michael Bacon and Clayton Chin

Pragmatism has a turbulent intellectual history. Lauded by some as an engaged, non-metaphysical form of political thinking, it has been rejected by others as naïve instrumentalism that breeds only complacent acquiescence to the status quo. However, as a voice within nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century Anglo-American social and intellectual life, pragmatism persists and effects new returns and interventions into political and social thought. Part of the recent surge of interest in pragmatism surrounds its relationship to other critical traditions, and it is to the possibilities that such interdisciplinarity affords that our proposed stream turns.

Recent work in pragmatism (e.g. Colin Koopman, Barry Allen, C.G. Prado, Paul Fairfield, and Melvin Rogers, amongst others) has engaged with prominent members of other critical traditions, highlighting both the overlap in fundamental concerns and the distinctive contribution of pragmatism to critical thought. Here, for example, the reconstructive and meliorative resources of pragmatism have been emphasized in contrast to the capacities for critique in genealogy and critical theory. Further, by building on such analyses, there has been a turn to the development of specifically pragmatist critical methodologies. Such approaches emphasise the distinctive value of the pragmatist lens for thinking politics critically. For example, the pragmatist rejection of ontology in favour of situated analyses of specific social practices and contexts is seen significantly to diverge from critical traditions in political thought which rely on ontological frames for analysis. The argument here and elsewhere is that its distinctive approach sets pragmatism apart as a critical tradition.

Our stream invites papers exploring such critical utility through dialogue with disciplinary practices and resources outside the tradition of pragmatism. Topics include, but are not limited to: 

•             The connections between pragmatism and critical traditions of thought, such as genealogy, critical theory, deconstruction, Marxism, and radical democracy (amongst others). 

•             Pragmatism’s relationship to the ‘ontological turn’ in political theory.

•             Pragmatism and feminist critique.

•             The ways pragmatism as a tradition of thought is influenced by contingent historical contexts.

•             The relationship between pragmatism and capitalism.

•             Pragmatism as a resource for critical political engagement.          

•             Pragmatism as a democratic mode of thinking.

 •             Pragmatism and empirical social science.

 Please send abstracts for 20-minute papers to [email protected]with ‘Pragmatism and Critical Traditions’ in the subject line. Submissions should be no more than 250 words and should be received by the 10th March 2014.

* Call for papers *

'Philosophy and critical thought inside and outside the university'

Stream at London Conference in Critical Thought, Goldsmiths, London
27-28th June 2014
Deadline for abstracts: 10th March 2014

There is a growing discourse that is raising pressing questions about the
place of philosophy (and the critical humanities in general) within the
current English university system. In the context of the tuition fees
increase and the increasing marketisation of higher education, is the
university still the place in which philosophy and critical thought should
primarily be located? Can engaged and rigorous work flourish outside the
university: perhaps even to a greater extent than inside it? How is the
distinction between the inside and outside of the university unsettled by
the concept of para-academia, alternative education initiatives and even the
influence of government and the corporate sector on the university? What are
the implications of these changing conditions for theoretical and critical

We want to foster spaces for critical thinking in extra-university settings,
and aim to link up existing initiatives and bolster theoretical
understanding of these spaces through this stream at the London Conference
in Critical Thought 2014.

For full details, please see page 12 of the LCCT CFP here:

Please send 250-word abstracts for 20-minute papers to paper-
[email protected] with ‘Inside and Outside the University’ in the
subject line, by 10th March 2014.

How Does One Think Difference?

Many of the most radical interventions in philosophy since Kant involve the recognition that the classical categories of thought are inadequate for an enquiry into the nature of the world. The presupposition that the world can be understood as composed of centres of identities determined by properties ultimately makes explaining the notions of genesis, transformation, and totality impossible. Whether criticising the ‘fixed, objective Self’ that makes dialectical transition impossible (Hegel), the ontotheological categorisation of the ground of beings as itself a being (Heidegger), or the transcendental illusion of understanding all organisation in terms of extensive categories (Bergson), it is the same methodological structures of classical metaphysics that are sought out, critiqued, and surpassed. Nonetheless, while the diagnosis of the failures of traditional modes of philosophising is shared, modern continental philosophy offers a proliferation of alternative models of thinking and philosophising. The aim of this stream will be to explore the ways in which a move from thinking in terms of identity to one in terms of difference is expressed in the thought of modern continental philosophers, and particularly to explore the conflicts, affinities and intersections between these different attempts to surpass thinking in terms of identities. Priority will be given to papers exploring the theoretical aspects of the question of difference, and that critically bring different paradigms and topics into relationship with each other. Potential topics papers could address include but are not limited to the following:

·         Foucault’s rejection of the juridico-discursive paradigm

·         Rhizomatic and Arborescent thought

·         Différance as the spacing and deferring that constitutes our metaphysical categories

·         Hegel’s critique of Verstand

·         Merleau-Ponty’s perspectival logic of perception

·         Heidegger on grounding

·         Adorno’s thesis of non-identity

·         Bergson’s logic of multiplicities

·         The image of thought/transcendental illusion in Deleuze’s philosophy of difference

Please send abstracts for 20-minute papers to [email protected] with ‘How Does One Think Difference?’ in the subject line. Submissions should be no more than 250 words and should be received by the 10th March 2014.

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