Politics at the Limits of Civil Society
A Conference in Political Philosophy
University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
September 20 – 22, 2013
Keynote Addresses: Max Pensky (Binghamton University), Chiara Bottici (New School for Social Research), and Monique Deveaux (University of Guelph)
Our present political moment has been marked by the diversification of political landscapes and the emergence of new antagonisms. These transformations demand that we rethink the extent to which our concepts in political philosophy are adequate to the task of making sense of our present situation. One pertinent question is whether the concept of society underlying our normative and critical theories is called into question by recent events, from the collective contestations of capitalism to the construction of state constitutions under military occupation. This question is attested to by the return to concepts from modern political thought, such as “civil society,” the “commons,” and the “multitude.” Part of the promise of these concepts is that they seem to provide conceptual resources for thinking the diverse forces of the social body, as well as new modes of political subjectivity, outside of and against the theoretical coordinates of the state and the market. An answer to this question will be both practical and ontological. It must take into account not only concrete changes to the institutional and political structures of society, but also the ideal models by which we judge claims to social justice and conceive the possibilities of political existence.
The Philosophy Graduate Students Association welcomes submissions in the history of social and political philosophy on, but not limited to, the following themes:
Civil society and its transformations
Democracy: challenges and limits
Conceptions of the political
The People, Citizens, Multitude
Critiques of modernity
Collective political organization and action
Theories of political sovereignty
Theories of power
History, utopia, and the future
Crisis, limit, and social transformation
Limits of political representation
Politics and culture
Politics of time
Capital, crisis, and political economy
Property and the Commons
Critique and method
The state, borders, and mobility
Liberalism and its detractors
Antagonism and conflict in society
Constitution-building under occupation
Submissions: Abstracts should be between 400–700 words. Submissions must be formatted for blind-review: abstract and title should be attached as a .pdf file and should not bear the name of applicant or any identifying information. Please include the following information in the body of the email: full name, title of paper, contact email and phone number, institutional affiliation and status (e.g. faculty, graduate student, independent). Final papers should be around 20 minutes spoken.
** There are two financial awards for top graduate student submissions to help cover travel expenses.
Please send all submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
All submissions must be received no later than June 15th, 2013.
This conference is sponsored by Philosophy Graduate Students Association, Department of Philosophy, Canada Research Chair in Ethics and Global Social Change, College of Arts, and Vice President of Research at University of Guelph.