Monday, November 19, 2007

CFP: "A Foucault for the 21st Century . . .," University of Massachusetts, Boston, April 16-17, 2008.

A Foucault for the 21st Century: Governmentality, Biopolitics and Discipline in the New Millennium. The aim of the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Social Theory Forum is to weigh in on the relevance of Foucault's ideas in the context of a new millennium, and to reassess Foucault's contributions to contemporary social theory in light of these developments. We invite papers from any disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective, addressing the contemporary application of Foucault to contemporary social life and social theory. How relevant is Foucault's social thought to the world we inhabit today? Foucault is best remembered for his historical inquiries into the origins of 'disciplinary' society in a period extending from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Today, however, under the conditions of global modernity, the relevance of his work has been called into question. With the increasing ubiquity of markets, the break up of centralized states and the dissolution of national boundaries, the world today seems far removed from the bounded, disciplinary societies Foucault described in his most famous books. Far from disciplinary, society today is 'post panoptic,' as Nancy Fraser has argued - in a move which seems to confirm Jean Baudrillard's demand that we "forget Foucault." Yet in recent years, it has become apparent that Foucault's thoughts on modern society have not been exhausted, and, indeed, that much remains to be explored. While ripples from his initial impact on English speaking scholarship are still evident in such areas as the study of discourse, sexuality, the body and institutions, it is undeniably the case that new threads of Foucauldian influence have also become available. For example, his reflections on 'governmentality' have by now garnered a rich scholarly focus on the conditions of personal life under the economic liberalism. His work on 'biopower' has opened new terrain for political and activist discourse on globalization and population. His accounts of panopticism and surveillance have proven relevant to the study of contemporary policing practices in a post 9/11 world. Indeed, it could be argued that, in the new millennium, new threads of Foucauldian thought have emerged, enabling richer understandings of power and subjectivity under uniquely contemporary conditions. Topics might include, but are not limited to:
  • Governmentality and Neo-liberalism
  • Political Spirituality and Contemporary Religious Movements
  • Biopolitics, Globalization and Populations
  • Race, Genetics and the Politics of Life
  • Ethics, Biopower and the Politics of Consumption
  • Panopticism and Surveillance in a Post 9/11 World
  • Governmentality, Biopower and the Politics of Risk
  • Subpolitics, Life Politics and New Social Movements
  • Foucault and the Left in a Global Context
  • Foucault and the Penal-Industrial Complex
  • Ethics, Identity and Individualization
  • Genealogy
  • Feminism

Keynote Speakers Include:

  • James Bernauer (Boston College)
  • Charles Lemert (Wesleyan University)
  • Barbara Cruikshank (UMASS Amherst)
  • Margaret McLaren (Rollins College)

The conference will feature both invited and submitted papers and presentations, as well as audiovisual materials. Please send a one-page abstract or proposal as email attachment (MS Word Format) to by December 18, 2007.

Further information is here:

No comments:

Post a Comment