CFP: On Bridges and Walls: Towards a Philosophy Without/Beyond Borders

Submission deadline: February 11, 2018

Conference date(s):
April 6, 2018 - April 7, 2018

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, The New School for Social Research
New York, United States

Topic areas


Discourse concerning the role of bridges and walls has become commonplace in our contemporary political scene. Xenophobic, racist, and nationalistic calls for the building of walls are opposed by calls to construct bridges by those seeking to form coalitions of solidarity and resistance. Yet, it is often ignored that both terms, in their own ways, preserve the logic of otherness and create relations of internality and externality, reinforcing hierarchies and structures of power. In this way, it is possible to identify a correlation between the use of this binary and the existence and perception of suffering and diverse instances of exclusion. Thus, this conference wishes to explore the normative consequences of the ubiquitous discourse of epistemic and geographic stratification by interrogating the way in which this metaphor is used—implicitly and explicitly—within philosophy, to the extent that the latter, as a frame of epistemological and experiential articulation, also builds its own bridges and walls.

It is with this in mind that at this year’s NSSR Graduate Student Philosophy conference we wish to provide a platform for a very particular kind of ‘philosophical investigation’ in which a vast range of approaches concerning the significance and use of spatial metaphors within philosophical debates could take place. Such an investigation of margins, bridges, walls, localization and beyond should be undertaken in a manner that makes room for ontological, ethical, epistemological, phenomenological, political and psychoanalytic discourses. To this end, we encourage full liberty and creativity with how this topic could be approached. This is because we conceive this investigation as an open, interdisciplinary kind of quest whose aim will be to rethink the way in which we conceive of boundaries, gaps, stages and common spaces for the purpose of interrogating the tensions underpinning our current political discourse, while also showing the ways in which these affect the way in which we conceive of Philosophy.


February 11th, 2018

Word Limit: 3500

Please submit complete papers by January 20th in the form of a Word attachment (.docx) to

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