Third Critical European Studies (CES) workshop, University of Greenwich (UK), 18-19 June

The workshop follows previous CES workshops held at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (2015) and at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2014), put together with the support of CPERN scholars. This year, additional support is generously provided by AkE/AkG,  BISA-IPEG and Greenwich University Business School. The workshop provides a forum for scholars and activists to meet and discuss critical theoretical and empirical perspectives on the configuration of European capitalism, the EU and political resistance. This year’s workshop will focus on Europe’s many crises (economic, social, political, ecological, geopolitical) and their consequences, as well as the potential and challenges for resistance, particularly through education and academia. The themes discussed will include forms of dispossession and punitive mechanisms under neoliberalism; challenges to class compromises and social reproduction; and the crises of Europe understood in relation to ‘the rest of the world’, for instance focusing on the migrants’ crisis.

The workshop is open to all scholars and activists interested in critical perspectives on European issues. It is free of charge but registration is required. See the full programme below.

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CPERN mid-term conference programme, 27-28 May 2016, Institute of Labour Studies, University of Ljubljana

(Conflicting) Political Ontologies and Implications for Transformative Action

Friday, 27 May 2016

09:00

Registration

09:30–09:50

Welcome by Mònica Clua-Losada, Chair of CPERN and Miha Andric, Director of the Institute of Labour Studies

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Call for Papers – Mid-term conference: (Conflicting) Political Ontologies and Implications for Transformative Action

CPERN in collaboration with the Institute of Labour Studies, Ljubljana:  (Conflicting) Political Ontologies and Implications for Transformative Action  

27-28th of May 2016, Department of Sociology, University of Ljubljana

Ontology is often overlooked in discussions about political thought and action. Several emerging debates reflect different and conflicting positions that are often either assumed, invisible or intentionally opaque. Breaking down the apparent barriers between philosophy and theory and theory and action, we welcome discussions on ontologies of power and transformative action. Critical realists have long demanded that ontology be taken seriously and have encouraged discussions on how ‘reality’ conditions action. New materialist and anti- and post-capitalist debates tease out the assumptions across Marxism and poststructuralism, and demand new ways of thinking about specific thought formations, ethical and moral frameworks. The current crisis has forced us to think, explore, and practice multiple ways of organising, resisting and building prefigurative practices. Understanding ontology not only as a philosophical standpoint but also as a myriad of calls for action will allow us to understand how people organise and what motivates us to do so/prevents us from doing so, and to initiate new ways of communicating and reflecting on our own ontological praxis.

We are keen to receive paper proposals which focus on exploring political and social ontologies for transformative action. Some of the topics we would like to invite in particular are:

  • Ontologies of capitalist spheres of production, trade and finance
  • Ontologies of praxis in trade unions, social movements and new Left political parties/platforms
  • Anarchism, feminism, new materialism and Marxism – ontological friends or foes?
  • The materialities of ecological challenges
  • The political economy of migration and human trafficking
  • Building tomorrow’s future today (with yesterday’s historical conditions) – Prefigurative practice and its relationship to time, space and capitalism
  • Damaged lives, intensified precarisation and horizontalist escapes
  • Reclaiming the Caliban and the Witch: social reproduction as a source of value-creation  

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