Political Epistemologies

March 15, 2019 - March 16, 2019
Philosophy Graduate Student Union (PGSU), Villanova University

800 E Lancaster Avenue
Villanova 19085
United States

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Political Epistemologies

Villanova University     ||       March 15-16, 2019

Featuring a keynote address by

José Medina(Northwestern University)


The systems of domination shaping our world, including classism, coloniality, and norms of embodiment, are deeply entangled. Because of this, pulling at a single thread cannot untie the knotted network of oppressions and may even tighten tensions between the other threads. A singular focus on one axis of oppression is, in Angela Davis’ words, an “ideological snare” -- a trap meant to derail liberatory projects. Theories ensnared by this trap neglect the complexity of the social and political relations they seek to transform. This shortcoming is compounded by the specialization and professionalization systematically encouraged in contemporary academic institutions and the divisions of labor internal to it. As groups and as individuals, within and without the academy, hegemonic epistemologies leave their mark on us all. Epistemology, understood this way, is always political.

Developing alternatives to an oppressive socio-political order while experiencing domination and subjugation within that order is a central concern, not just for theorists of political struggle, but for theories of knowledge in general. Critical approaches to political epistemology require collective work toward the transformation of knowledge production and its material practices. With this task in mind, our conference seeks to embrace a variety of methodologies, disciplines and perspectives, and to facilitate their engagement. Our conference will bring together scholars in disciplines such as social epistemology, decolonial theory, feminisms, Marxist political economy and social theory, Latin American philosophy, critical philosophy of race, queer theory and disability studies. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to:

-        Epistemic disobedience, activism, and/or organizing

-        The Marxist tradition of ideology critique

-        Coloniality and decolonizing epistemologies

-        Genres of the human and the geopolitics of knowledge

-        Epistemologies of ignorance and meta-ignorance

-        The history of resistance movements and their processes of political education

-        Liberation theologies and the religious dimensions of political struggle

-        Collective social imaginations

We will be accepting abstracts/summaries up to 800 words, full papers, and panel proposals for review. Presentations should not exceed 20 mins. For panel proposals, please submit an abstract for the whole panel along with separate abstracts for each of the papers.  Please prepare submissions for anonymous review and email them, or any questions, to [email protected].

*** EXTENDED DEADLINE: January 4, 2019

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Iaan Reynolds

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