Sixth Annual Radical Democracy Conference
May 5-6, 2017 | NYC
The Department of Politics at the New School for Social Research embraces the occasion of the 6th Annual Radical Democracy Conference to ask what’s the matter? As a springboard into the material, practical, historical, lived, aesthetic, discursive and theoretical manifestations of Radical Democracy, and the constellation of claims with which it is associated. As preceding conferences have done, RD#6t will consider the theory and practice of radical democracy in its historical and contemporary settings.
This year’s theme is galvanized by an attention to the mattering happening all around us, and the ways these matters make radical claims upon the demos — popular sovereignty, demagoguery and tyranny, fascism and anti-fascism, racial justice, freedom struggles, declarations of defiance, resistance to oppression and colonial violence, and ongoing grassroots organizing; from Palestine to Ferguson, Syria to Delhi, Charlotte to DC, London to New York, Tepoztlán to Rojava, Oaxaca to Athens, Dhaka to Rio de Janeiro; people rise up in defense of water, land and democratic sovereignty; create migrant spaces of refuge, and enact critical multi-species with-standings around the world. As always we urge submissions of panel and paper abstracts that take up the theme of Radical Democracy in all its global resonances.
Possible considerations include: What are the stakes of thinking and practicing RD in light of the increasing number of anti-democratic, nationalist and crypto-fascist demagogues around the globe? What does RD mean in the era of Trump, Erdogan, Le Pen, and the Brexit? What is the relationship between RD and #BLM? Where does RD occur? What are its physical and virtual spaces? Is it a commons? An Undercommons? How do we make or find RD? Where is it between the classroom and the street? When does it manifest? Radical Democracy in a state of emergency? Between autonomy and austerity? Who enacts it, and how? Who is a citizen? What are the media of RD? What are the boundaries between democracy and art? What are its representations and how does RD stretch the limits of representation? What are the aesthetic registers of democracy, of radical politics? What vibrates between POP and AGIT-PROP?
In addition to graduate student participation in panels, we invited guest speakers participate in plenaries and talks over the course of the two days. Our keynote speaker is Dilip Gaonkar. Gaonkar is a Professor of Communications at Northwestern University, director of the Center for Global Culture and Communication and author of Cultures of Democracy, among numerous other the books. RDC6 will benefit from Dr. Gaonkar’s extensive and rigorous scholarship around crowds, publics, and constructions of democracy. A closing plenary will host Yasmin Nair a Chicago-based writer, political activist and scholar of postcolonial, affect and queer theorist. In her many articles, Nair offers powerful attacks against the structures of state violence, imperialism, and neoliberalism, colonialism, racism and sexism.
For individual paper proposals, please submit a short abstract (max. 400 words) that includes institutional affiliation, academic level and contact information. Complete panel proposals with up to four papers are strongly encouraged. Please submit your panel or paper abstracts by March 19, 2017 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Full conference papers are due by April 21, 2017.
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