Imago multitudinis. The Image of the Multitude in Art and Philosophy
The Courtauld Institute of Art, The British Academy and the Collège International de Philosophie are pleased to announce a one-day interdisciplinary conference focusing on the philosophical representation and the artistic conceptualisation of the multitude and its associated concepts: the many, the masses, the crowd, the mob and the commonality.
A spectre is haunting our times: the spectre of the multitude. Uprisings, popular unrests, mass migrations, revolutions—the past ten years have been marked by unprecedented quests for freedom, embodied by unconventional political subjects pointing to the possibility of alternative outcomes of the crisis of both authoritarian regimes and representative democracies. Through the masterful drawing of Abraham Bosse, Hobbes attempted to tame the multitude forever. Constrained within the body politic of the monstrous Leviathan (1651), the multitude was transfigured into an obedient people and its potentia was (apparently) usurped. Yet, the multitude resisted—and still resists—this movement, challenging the predominant definitions of sovereignty. Following the collapse of modern master narratives, such as in the nascent seventeenth century, the multitude has returned.
Invited speakers: Horst Bredekamp (Humboldt–Universität); Claire Fontaine (artist); Sandro Mezzadra (Università di Bologna).
We invite submissions on the following topics including, but not limited to:
- Political iconography (from the Revolt of the Ciompi to the Arab Spring via the German Peasants’ War),
- Feminism and the multitude,
- The multitude in the USSR,
- The multitude and the English Civil Wars,
- Hobbes’ Behemoth,
- Spinoza’s, Machiavelli’s, Negri’s, Deleuze’s and Schmitt’s depictions of the multitude,
- The “popular hydra” in nineteenth-century Paris,
- Baroque and the multitude,
- The multitude and migrations in contemporary art.
Please send a title and an abstract of no more than 500 words together with a short CV to email@example.com by the 15th of September. Successful candidates will be notified in early October. Papers should not exceed 25 minutes in length.
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