Engaging the Contemporary 2017: Issues in Contemporary Political and Social Philosophy

November 16, 2017 - November 17, 2017
Department of Philosophy, University of Malta

University of Malta


Claude Mangion
University of Malta

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Engaging the Contemporary 2017

Issues in Contemporary Political and Social Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy of the University of Malta is hosting the 4th edition of Engaging the Contemporary at the University of Malta on 16-17 November 2017

Engaging the Contemporary 2017 addresses current debates in political and social philosophy by examining different theoretical approaches as well as their application to existing political and social realities. 

It raises questions about the possible shape of critique in contemporary times, its objects and its scopes. It seeks to identify spaces where critique – within and without academic discourse – can intervene in a public sphere. It attempts to invigorate a sense of democracy beyond populism; and aims to explore a political language of responsibility beyond burden-sharing. It hopes that attempts to think of a world without unjust economic inequalities, or of solidarity that is not reducible to economic gain, do not amount to thinking the impossible. It questions whether we are, after all, living in times of crises: crises of democracy, refugee crises, environmental crises. It invites sensible urgent transformations – at the levels of discourse, law, and institutions – and the necessary work of thought to complement them. 

Inviting proposals from Masters/PhD students and academics, this conference encourages a critical consideration of a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Contemporary formulations of central political notions such as justice, rights, democracy, recognition and equality.
  • The concept of a critical public sphere and its relevance in a technocratic age.
  • The role of critique and its (ir)relevance.
  • The relation between democracy and populism.
  • Contemporary reformulations of critical concepts such as alienation and reification.
  • Rationality, affectivity, and post-truth politics.
  • Contemporary political and social issues such as migration and borders, refugees and human rights, social complexity and autonomy, surveillance and security, cosmopolitanism.
  • Identities, social ontology and intersectional theory.
  • Biopolitics, law and technology.
  • Spaces of Insurrection: Bodies in the street, the university; Resistance in the work place, in digital spaces.

Interested participants are to submit by email an abstract of around 500 words and a brief biographical note by 30 June 2017. Decisions will be communicated by 15 July 2017.

Coordinator: Prof. Claude Mangion, Head of Department, Department of Philosophy, University of Malta.

Submissions of abstracts and queries are to be sent to: engagingthecontemporary@um.edu.mt

Conference Fee: Free

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