Studies in Social and Political Thought Annual Conference – Power and Resistance

Studies in Social and Political Thought Annual Conference – Power and Resistance
June 15-16, 2012
University of Sussex, Brighton

Keynote Speakers:

Werner Bonefeld (York)
Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths)

While governments around the world have initiated austerity measures
on a grand scale and have even been ousted in favour of technocratic
administrations, pockets of sustained resistance continue to manifest
themselves. Whether it is the populist Occupy movement, ultra-left
theorists of Communisation, anti-cuts protesters, or even the rioters
who took to the streets of London and beyond, the struggle against the
apparent status quo continues. When taken in the light of the Arab
Spring, questions must be asked in regards to the relationship between
resistance and revolution. These movements managed to turn a tide of
resistance into a force for revolution. Is this a paradigm-shift in
the way this relationship must be thought?

Alongside these movements and despite the optimism generated by them,
the power of the governments to crush, delegitimise, and ignore
opposition appears to remain. Some critics blame a lack of coherent
message and agenda; others say that the forces of opposition are not
dealing with the reality of the situation. This critique, however,
does not have the last word. These forms of resistance, in their many
guises, challenge the state’s belief that it has a monopoly on
reality. They challenge the very legitimacy of the state to
disseminate the status quo and, therefore, represent a radical
alternative even if they do not, or cannot, dictate what the
alternative may be. What role do the concepts of power and resistance
play in our analysis of the current situation? Do they require a
reassessment or does the contemporary conjuncture simply represent a
reassertion of the same old forces in a different guise?

Power is one of the core concepts of social and political thought. Yet
there is plenty of disagreement about what is, how it functions and
how it should be contested. Our present conjuncture is witnessing many
different manifestations of power and resistance. However, there is a
lack of serious theoretical engagement with the current situation. We
are seeking papers that engage theoretically with the current
situation, and which emphasise the central roles of the concepts of
power and resistance. Possible theoretical frameworks include, but are
not limited to, theories of biopolitics, instrumental reason, critical
theory, post-colonialism, discourse and democratic theory,
structuralism and post-structuralism, recognition, soft-power,
hegemony, world-systems, sovereignty, legality, and legitimacy.

Programme:

June 15, 2012

9-10 – Registration
10-1045 – Gianandrea Manfredi (Sussex University), Understanding the
structural form of resistance and the processes by which resistant
social spaces are negated
1045-1130 – Jeffery Nicholas (Providence College/CASEP London
Metropolitan University), Reason, Resistance and Revolution: Occupy’s
Nascent Democratic Practice
1130-1215 – Svenja Bromberg (Goldsmiths), A critique of Badiou’s and
Rancière’s notion of emancipation
1215-115 – Lunch
1315-1400 – Khafiz Tapdygovich Kerimov (American University in
Bulgaria), From Epistemic Violence to Respecting the Differend: The
Fate of Eurocentrism in the Discourse of Human Sciences
1400-1445 – Jorge Ollero Perán & Fernando Garcia-Quero (University of
Granada), Can ethics be conceived as an economic institution? An
interdisciplinary approach to the critique of neoliberal ethics
1445-1530 – Marta Resmini (KU Leuven), Participation as Surveillance?
Counter-democracy versus Governmentality
1530-1600 – Coffee Break
1600-1645 – Alastair Gray (University of Sussex), Activity Without
Purpose: Parrhesia, The Unsayable and The Riots
1645-1730 – Zoe Sutherland (University of Sussex) & Rob Lucas
(Independent Researcher) – A Theory of Current Struggles

June 16, 2012

945-1045 – Registration
1045-1130 – Sarit Larry (Boston College), The Status of Vagueness,
Mythical Events and the Israeli Social Justice Movement
1130-1215 – Mehmet Erol (York), Bringing Class Back In: The case of
Tekel Resistance in Turkey
1215-1315 – Lunch
1315-1515 – Keynote: Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths)
1515-1530 – Coffee Break
1530-1615 – Torsten Menge (Georgetown Univesity), A deflationary
conception of social power
1615-1700 – Sarah Burton (University of Cambridge), Reimagining
Resistance: misrule and the place of the fantastic in John Holloway’s
anti-power
1700-1900 – Keynote: Werner Bonefeld (York)

Please email ssptconference2012@gmail.com to register and check
ssptjournal.wordpress.com for more information. There will be a £15
conference fee (£7.50 for one-day) payable in cash on the day to help
cover expenses.

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About HR

Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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