Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category

Pierre Rivière – Infamie et Normalisation
13 avril 2014 par Maria Muhle, Ici et Ailleurs

Les trois termes qui donnent le titre à notre colloque, « Exclusion, discipline, terreur », mettent en perspective deux points fondamentaux de l’analytique du pouvoir élaborée par Michel Foucault : D’une part, il s’agit de la discussion entamée depuis la publication de la Volonté de Savoir en 1976 au moins, autour du partage entre les différents régimes de pouvoir dont parle Michel Foucault ; et d’autre part, il s’agit de la question épineuse de la « positivité » du pouvoir que Foucault semble définir en introduisant la notion de biopolitique comme « un pouvoir qui investit la vie de part en part ». Le malaise formulé dans l’exposé par rapport à ces questions étant celui de savoir si vraiment le pouvoir moderne biopolitico-gouvernemental peut se passer du recours aux techniques répressives, d’exclusion voire de terreur. Foucault lui-même a souligné dans la Volonté de savoir que le XXème siècle, siècle biopolitique donc, a été bien plus meurtrier que les siècles précédents et que le pouvoir biopolitique se doublait donc d’un « formidable pouvoir de mort » ou d’une thanato-politique. On connaît les analyses d’Agamben qui, à partir d’ici, a tenté de montrer que toute biopolitique était au fond traversée par un pouvoir souverain d’exception. Je pense, néanmoins, que cette interprétation passe à côté de l’analyse de biopouvoir de Foucault qu’elle homogénéise du côté du pouvoir souverain, et qu’il faudra repenser la « labilité des dispositifs du pouvoir » dont il est question dans l’exposé en termes généalogiques, en se tournant, justement, vers les écrits des années 1970–75 autour du rapport entre le savoir psychiatrique sur les anormaux et leur prise dans les dispositifs disciplinaires qui viennent à constituer la généalogie directe, si l’on veut, de ce que Foucault appellera en 1976 la biopolitique ou, un an plus tard, la gouvernementalité : l’exclusion, technique principale du pouvoir psychiatrique, se maintient donc à l’intérieur du dispositif biopolitico-gouvernemental à travers le pouvoir de normalisation mais elle y change d’apparence : car le trait fondamental de la normalisation comme mécanisme fondamental des dispositifs de sécurité est de projeter l’exclusion dans le futur, c’est-à-dire d’élaborer des analyses de risques futurs ainsi que de mettre à disposition des moyens pour remédier à ces risques avant d’avoir pris forme.

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Call for papers

CRMEP 2015 Graduate Conference: Philosophy, Power, Potentialities

Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy,

Kingston University London, Penrhyn Road campus, KT1 2EE

Thursday 21st – Friday 22nd May 2015

Confirmed keynote speaker: Alenka Zupančič (Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts/EGS)

Deadline for abstracts: 28th February 2015

* * *

In a contemporary discourse suffused with the theme of ‘crisis’ – political, economic, educational, social, ecological, technical – what are the resources of philosophy at this moment for thinking power relations and potentialities?

‘Power’ has long been a central concept for philosophy and critical thought. The theme gained particular influence in the wake of Michel Foucault’s studies of the 1970s and ’80s, spurring productive dialogue with different accounts of power and domination provided by the feminist, post-colonial and Marxist traditions, and in race/ethnicity, gender and queer studies. More recent European thought – drawing on influences as broad as Spinoza, Marx, Aristotle, Heidegger, Benjamin, mathematics and religious texts – has provided challenging new resources for thinking power, potency, potentiality, subjectivities and politics.

For all this, to what extent can philosophy in 2014 help comprehend contemporary social and political forces? Can it think the powers and potentialities at work within our modern context? Have the concepts of power, potency and potentiality been adequately theorised? How might these concepts help us to think the relation of theory and practice? How do powers and other force relations manifest themselves in the very location of philosophical and critical thought itself?

We invite papers from a broad spectrum of disciplines engaging with modern European philosophy, on topics that could include (but are not limited to):

  • contemporary conceptualisations of power (Marxist, post-Marxist, post-colonial, feminist and other)
  • historical potentialities
  • theorising the reversibility of social power relations in gender, sexuality and race/ethnicity studies
  • actualisations of philosophy, contemporary impacts
  • theories of resistance
  • the potential of philosophical history: dynamis, energeia, potestas, potentia
  • regimes, discourses, institutions of power
  • power and limits of critique
  • contemporary political power, crisis, and philosophical/critical responses

Please send 300-word abstracts to: crmepagc@gmail.com by 28th February 2015.


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PDF for download

Conference website



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CFP: Time Served: Discipline and Punish 40 Years On

Nottingham Trent University is now accepting submissions for their 2015 conference on Michel Foucault‘s “Discipline and Punish.” The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2015.

11-12 September 2015, The Galleries of Justice, Nottingham, UK

40 years after it was first published in French, the impact of Michel Foucault’s seminal text Discipline and Punish on theories of incarceration, discipline and power remains largely unchallenged. The aim of this conference is to revisit the text in light of the past four decades of penal developments, public debate and social consciousness on incarceration as it continues to constitute society’s mode of punishment par excellence.

In addition to thinking through the legacy of Discipline and Punish and its continued relevance today, specific focus will be given to the text itself, its position within Foucault’s wider critical project and its important relationship with his activism most notably the work of the GIP [Groupe d’Information sur les prisons] during the early 1970s. For example, the publication in 2013 of his 1973 lectures at the Collège de France on La Société Punitive, calls for a return to this period and a new engagement with Foucault’s work on prisons, not least in its pursuit of a more openly Marxist critique of the relationship between incarceration and bourgeois capital accumulation.

Here, attention should also be paid to Foucault’s methodology in researching and writing the text. Discipline and Punish marks his movement from an archeological to a genealogical approach towards what he terms the ‘history of the present.’ What is at stake in this shift and how effective is his genealogical method for thinking through the material and discursive structures of incarceration operating within our own society and moment? How does the juxtaposition set up between the torture and killing of Damiens and the prison timetable of the book’s opening raise important questions not simply about punishment but the role of representation – images and narratives of incarceration – in framing public consciousness about the space of the prison?

It is hoped that the conference will bring together a range of participants: scholars working in the fields of philosophy, sociology, criminology, urban geography, architecture, history, literature, media studies as well as artists, writers and activists involved in projects based in and about prisons and their conditions.

If you would like to offer a paper or other form of intervention, please send us a 250 word abstract along with your name, e-mail and (if relevant) institutional affiliation. If you would like to organize a panel of 3 or 4 presenters, please also send a panel title along with the abstracts and contact details.

Deadline for abstracts: 1 March 2015.

E-mail: sophie.fuggle@ntu.ac.uk

The conference is organized by Nottingham Trent University and will be held at the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham.

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Call for Papers: Critical Spaces – Disorienting the Topological

Critical Spaces Call for Papers

Facebook page

***The deadline for applications has now been extended to Friday 14th November 2014***

A graduate conference in the critical humanities to be hosted by The London Graduate School at Kingston University, London.

Monday 5th January 2015

Keynote speakers will include:

Claire Colebrook

Eyal Weizman

Eleni Ikoniadou

Fred Botting

Call for Papers:

“The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space.” — Michel Foucault ‘Of Other Spaces’

“Oh God! I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space.” —Hamlet

Foucault’s assertion that the present epoch will be one of space immediately evokes the temporal. Whether we consider our epoch as modern, postmodern, or as nonmodern, the philosophical treatment of space has been subordinated to time. Elizabeth Grosz has suggested that philosophy could draw on architecture to consider itself as a form of building or dwelling rather than as reflection of thought, evoking the spatial already implied by Heidegger. Occupy Wall Street and other recent anti-establishment protests in Brazil and Istanbul have been defined by journalist Bernardo Gutierrez as forming ‘a new architecture of protest’, convened by networks of consensus rather than dominant groups and ideology. Current theories and practices surrounding geopolitics, metamodelling, neuroscience, cartography and choreography support this growing emphasis on spatiality – whether focusing on produced space, social space and spaces of resistance, imaginary and poetic space, psychoanalytical and embodied space, sovereign space, performative space, digital space and/or virtual space.

This conference invites interdisciplinary approaches to the spatial. In particular we are interested in how thinking spatially or spatial practices reveal and open up disruptive, subversive or minoritarian fields within already existing discourses, be they philosophical, political, cultural or aesthetic. As Foucault has done in defining heterotopias, and as Edward Soja shows us through the idea of ‘thirding as othering’, it aims to rupture not only the particularities of those discourses, but the very possibility of thought itself through challenging existing borders, boundaries, horizons, surfaces and planes.

We welcome proposals from all approaches including but not limited to: New Materialisms, Non-philosophy, Philosophy and Praxis, Cultural Studies, Political Theory, Geography, Architecture, Postcolonial Theory, Feminist and Queer Theory, Literature, Visual Cultures, and Art Theory and Practice, which consider space in the broadest terms. We also welcome proposals for practice based approaches and interventions.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to lgscriticalspaces@gmail.com by Friday 31 October 2014.

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Journée Foucault Paris 8 (1)

Journée Foucault Paris 8:  PDF of Program

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Performing Sexual Liberation: The Body and the Medical Authority of Pornography

A critical counter point to the current academic trend for analysing pornography as sexually liberating for women

Further info

Date 24 October 2014
Duration One day
Venue College Court
Fee £7
Contact Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans        hbe1@le.ac.uk
Book now only 50 places available

Keynote Speakers

Dr Gail Dines, Wheelock College, Boston, USA:
Neo-liberalism, Pornography and the De-fanging of Feminism

Dr Stephen Maddison,
the University of East London, UK:
Make Love Not Porn? Pornography and the Entrepreneurial Voyeur

Dr Meagan Tyler, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia:
Spectacular Sex: The Collision of Sexology and Pornography

The 21st century has witnessed a growth in academic interest in what has come to be understood as the pornographication of culture.

The purpose of this conference is to gather a group of scholars together whose approach provides a critical counter point to the current academic trend to analyse pornography as sexually liberating for women (and men).

The conference addresses whether pornography, as an emblem of sexual freedom in a democratic society, needs rethinking. It aims to do so through analysing the complex inter-relation of pornography with branches of medicine (for example, sexology and psycho-therapy, and the pharmaceutical industry that helps support these latter) which afford pornography considerable legitimacy and even authority with regard to sexuality. The conference provides the opportunity to explore the relationship between pornography and medicine within the context of larger social structures and neo-liberal government.

The papers presented critically examine the increasing medical authority of pornography in the light firstly of feminist ideas, and secondly, of the rapidly changing conditions of neo-liberalism, global capitalism and digital-technologies.

Selected presentations include:

  • ’Squirting’ and the pathologisation of female sexuality as uncontrollable.
  • The disciplinary production of the pornographic body.
  • Dark desires versus natural sex: medicine, pornography and the history of women’s sexuality.
  • The confessional health practices of male porn performers.
  • Pornographic assistance in bio-political times.


09:30-10:00 Registration

10:00-10:15 Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans, Centre for Medical Humanities, University of Leicester

10:15-10:50 Key Note: Neo-liberalism, Pornography and the De-fanging of Feminism
Dr Gail Dines, Wheelock College, Boston, USA

10:50-11:10 Coffee

11:15-11:50 Key Note: Make Love Not Porn? Pornography and the Entrepreneurial Voyeur
Dr Stephen Maddison, University of East London, UK

11:50-12:25 Key Note: Prescribing Porn: Sexology, sex therapy and the construction of ideal sex
Dr Meagan Tyler, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia

12:30-13-30 Lunch

13:30-15:00 Theme 1: The Disciplined Body

13:30-13:45 The Violable Body: cosmetic practices and the pornographic (de)construction of women’s bodies
Dr Julia Long, Anglia Ruskin University, UK

13:45-14:00 Dark Desires versus “Natural” Sex: medicine, pornography and the history of women’s sexuality
Dr Tracy Penny Light and Dr Diana Parry, University of Waterloo, Canada

14-00-14:15 The Performance and Consumption of the Erotic Body
James Kay, University of Warwick, UK

14:15-14:30 Pornography and the Enfreakment of Disability
Dr Helen Pringle, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

14:30-15:00 Questions and discussion to the Panel

15:00-15:30 Tea

15:30-17:00 Theme 2: The Performing Body

15:30-15:45 Squirting: one in the eye for feminism!
Rebecca Inez Saunders, King’s College, UK

15:45-16:00 Focusing Foucault’s ‘Lens’ on Adult Film Performer’s Sexual Health Within the Sexual Health Setting
Gregory King, University of Greenwich, UK

16:00-16:15 Pornography, sexualising sexism, and sexual consent: exploring how young people talk about gender in pornography and about sexual consent
Dr Maddy Coy, London Metropolitan University, UK

16:15-16:45 Questions and discussion to the Panel

16:45-17:00 Comfort break

17:00-17:45 Plenary

17:45-18:00 Final Remarks – ways forward: Heather Brunskell-Evans

18:00-19:00 Wine reception

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