Fascism? Populism? Democracy? Critical Theories in a Global Context

January 23, 2019 - January 25, 2019
University of Brighton

Brighton, England, United Kingdom
United Kingdom

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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  • ICCTP

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Fascism? Populism? Democracy?

Critical Theories in a Global Context

 

Keynote Speakers: Lorenzo Bernini; Luciana Cadahia; Jean Comaroff; Kelly Gillespie; Saygun Gokariksel; Donna Jones; Maurizio Lazzarato; Christoph Menke; Leigh-Ann Naidoo; Suvendrini Perera; Enzo Traverso

 

January 23-25, 2019


University of Brighton, UK


The conference has three aims:

(a) to reanimate the analytical and critical tools of the past in addressing the xenophobic, fascistic, racist, and sexist tendencies of the present;

(b) to engage in debate with critical theoretical scholars from every part of the globe;

(c) to address the inequalities intrinsic to the global political order, while identifying the places, spaces and practices which inspire democratic politics today.

Organising Committee

Volkan Çıdam (Boğaziçi University); Mark Devenney (University of Brighton); Zeynep Gambetti (Boğaziçi University); Clare Woodford (University of Brighton).

Context

This conference takes place at an unprecedented time. The early years of the 21st century have seen the reemergence of fascisms; the naturalization of nationalist, populist, sexist, xenophobic and provocative hate speech and conduct; and the marginalization of local and global progressive politics. Many events suggest a return to the 1920s and 1930s:  “democratically” elected politicians in the United States, Hungary, Turkey, and India have resorted to nationalist tactics, undermining law and parliamentary sovereignty; resentment of culturally or religiously distinctive “others” is nurtured to reactionary ends; millions of immigrants, refugees, and stateless people are refused recognition as rights-bearing human beings. Yet the world today is also profoundly different than it was in the 1930s. Political discourses are mediatized in real time across the globe and a single mode of networked and financialized production structures all economic and political activity. Class structures, resource distribution, and the forms that inequality takes have changed in unprecedented ways.

Critical theory has never contented itself with describing surface appearance—and there is no reason why it should today. Fascism, capitalism, and inequality have assumed new forms, and taken on different significance in novel social conditions. This conference aims to reinvigorate critical and theoretical approaches to the present, devoid of dogmatism, but committed to a politics of equality.  

Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):

1. Conceptualising the convergence and divergence of populist and/or fascistic tendencies in different contexts across the globe;

2. Reframing critical theoretical work for emancipatory politics in the 21st century;

3. Critiques of (neoliberal) capital including associated processes of accumulation, precarization, flexible labour, xenophobia, and prejudice;

4. Decolonial critiques of “Western” conceptualisations of domination, violence, and critique;

5. Conceptualising new forms of domination and violence, and their specificities, across the globe;

6. Analysis of the economic, social, and political dynamics which limit emancipatory politics;

7. Theoretical reflections on movements and ideas which enact and animate equality across the globe.

Conference attendance and participation is free. However, we will limit the number of presentations in order to ensure that we can structure the conference as a set of on-going conversations.

 

Full financial support for flights and accommodation in Brighton is available to scholars from around the globe who cannot otherwise attend.

About the Consortium

The International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs documents, connects, and supports the various programs and projects that now represent critical theory across the globe. Through its work, the Consortium aims to document the global contours of critical theory today, supporting critical thought both inside and outside the university in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and science and technology studies, and seeking collaborative ways to become critically responsive to pressing global challenges. The Consortium was established in December 2016 with a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the University of California, Berkeley. A special project of the Program in Critical Theory at UC Berkeley, the grant is led by Professor Judith Butler as Principal Investigator. More information is at criticaltheoryconsortium.org.


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