CfP: Engaging Foucault

Engaging Foucault, Belgrade, December 5-7, 2014

Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory

Click here for the conference website.

June 25, 2014 marks the 30th anniversary of the passing of Michel Foucault. During his lifetime, Foucault was, in his own words, described as an anarchist and a leftist; a covert Marxist or an explicit or covert anti-Marxist; a nihilist, a technocrat in the service of Gaullism, and a neoliberal. In addition, Foucault can also be described as an intellectual who cannot be aligned or positioned within the existing matrices of thought and action, especially when defined ideologically. How should one understand the societal and political implications of Foucault’s work? These dilemmas remain very much unresolved today.
The conference “Engaging Foucault” will gather international and regional theorists who have engaged with Foucault’s work, either endorsing or disputing the main premises of his work. The intended aim of the conference is to open up space for a general discussion of the actuality of Foucault’s work. Bearing in mind the specific political economy of truth and power, about which Foucault wrote extensively, we intend to examine the changes in scientific and theoretical discourses, as well as the institutions that produce these changes. In what ways is this production economically and politically initiated, expanded and consumed? What is the form of control and dissemination of certain regimes of truth through reforms and old and new ideological struggles around them? Taking as our point of departure Foucault’s statement that the role of the intellectual is not merely to criticize ideological contents supposedly linked to science, or furnish him/herself with the most appropriate ideology, we want to incite a debate on the possibilities of “constituting new politics of truth”, advocated by Foucault. Thus, central to this conference would be the investigation into the possibilities for (re-)articulating public engagement today: how to change political, economic, social and institutional regimes of production of truths? The debate should, in that sense, critically examine the meanings of emancipatory practices, social movements, contemporary forms of innovative action and engaged theory through the Foucauldian optic of bio-politics and ’thanato-politics’, sexuality and (non)identity, resistance, ’counter-power’, ’techniques of the self’ and the genealogies of societally engaged practices (e.g. insurrectionary knowledge and action). In light of the uprisings that have in recent years spread across the globe and are characterized by a variety of causes and consequences, this conference should critically reflect on the meaning of ’engagement’ – what is public engagement, who can be called ’engaged’ and in what sense, what are the effects of engaged thought and action – in the spirit of Foucault’s cues.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

– Public Engagement and the (Im)possibility of Political Emancipation

– Foucault and Intellectuals

– Foucault and the Micromechanics of Power

– Discursive Orders and Orders of Power

– Embodied Engagement

– Foucault and Feminism

– Foucault and Queer Activism

– Foucault (against) Identity Politics, and Social Movements

– Foucauldian Techniques of the Self

– Microphysics of Resistance and Structural Emancipation

– Economy and Bio-politics

– Foucauldian Approach to Security: Discipline, Control, Surveillance

– (Auto-Regulated) Censorship and Engagement

– (Dis-)engaged History of the Present

–Heterotopias and Distopias

– Sovereign Engagement and War

Organization of the conference

The official languages of the conference are BHS and English.

Conference applications (download here) should be sent only via e-mail to the following address: We kindly ask you to put in your email subject the following title: ’Application: title of the paper’.

The complete application in the .doc, .docx or .pdf format must contain: the title of the presentation, abstract of up to 250 words, key words in the presenter’s mother tongue – BHS or English – and a short biography.

Presentations should not exceed 15 minutes.

The Program Committee of the conference will select the presenters based on the submitted abstracts. The book of abstracts will be published by the time of the conference, and a collection of conference papers will be published in 2015. The papers submitted for the collection should be in BHS or English (between 5000 and 7000 words).
There will be no registration fees. Conference organisers will provide lunch and beverage refreshments during the conference program. Participants are kindly requested to make their own accommodation and travel arrangements.

Important dates
Application deadline: 15 September 2014
Notification of acceptance: 1 October 2014
Conference dates: 5-7 December 2014
Submission deadline for the collection of papers: 1 February 2015
Publication of the collection: June 2015

Conference organizer
The conference is organized by the Group for the Study of Public Engagement, part of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory in Belgrade, with the support of the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development.

Program Committee
Čarna Brković, Institute for Advanced Studies, CEU
Ankica Čakardić, University of Zagreb
Hajrudin Hromadžić, University of Rijeka
Peter Klepec, Institute of Philosophy, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Katerina Kolozova, Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities – Skopje
Vjollca Krasniqi, University of Prishtina
Ivan Milenković, Treći program Radio Beograda
Sanja Milutinović Bojanić, Center for Advanced Studies, Rijeka
Ugo Vlaisavljević, University of Sarajevo

Where to stay:
The conference venue is close to the city centre and there are many comfortable hotels in its vicinity. Below is a list of the several most convenient places, not more than 5 minutes walking from the conference venue.
Hotel Excelsior
Hotel Helvetia
Hotel Prag
Hotel Park
Hostel 40Garden Park

CfP: Historicizing Foucault – What Does This Mean?

Workshop at the University of Zurich

Click here for the conference website.

Michel Foucault figures among the icons of today’s cultural and social sciences. The French philosopher and historian is productively read, quoted, discussed, refuted, and recycled in virtually every cultural and social scientific discipline. Voiced in 1975, Foucault’s invitation that people should help themselves to his works and concepts as if using a ‘toolbox’ (‘make of it what you will’) was so widely taken up that the toolbox has since become standard equipment above all for the work of the cultural sciences. Indeed, the ‘toolbox’ contains an extraordinarily dazzling inventory of concepts, methods, models, sketches, and instruments, and last but not least still proves to be a treasure chest.

But today, thirty years after Foucault’s death, we – the group of editors of the foucaultblog – also face questions regarding the historicisation of this tool box with its instruments whose applicability seems independent of the context of their origins. How did this toolbox that we use actually come about? What does it mean for us today that it originated in the Cold War era in opposition to the ‘hyper-Marxism’ of the New Left, in a certain proximity to structuralism, in the struggle against the French prison system, that it was possibly shaped by commitments to Soviet dissidents, Spanish anarchists, Shiite revolutionaries, or Polish workers and undoubtedly by a fascination with the American counterculture and the Zen culture of Japan, but maybe even influenced by the New Age…? Do all of these ‘contexts’, ‘backgrounds’, and genealogies belong to the Foucauldian toolbox? It can be no other way: Foucault’s thought always and explicitly referred to his present and the political context of his time. But does this not imbue his own concepts and analytical models with an ineluctable historicity? Undoubtedly, and today we should therefore set about writing the genealogy of the Foucauldian toolbox in order to understand it better, to be able to keep using it, but also to bring it up to date and adapt it to today’s scholarly and political situation. And perhaps also to discard some of it.

With such a project in mind, the foucaultblog invites all interested scholars to attend a workshop at the University of Zurich on 6-8 November 2014 to discuss the question ‘historicising Foucault: what does this mean?’ The initial objective will be to locate within a genuine historical context not only the life and work of the author Michel Foucault (1925-1984) but also ‘Foucault’ in his iconic nature and almost ubiquitous presence as a body of interrelated statements that for thirty years has been virulent in the cultural sciences throughout the world. This means interrogating this body of interrelated statements with regard to its specific conditions of possibility, theory formation processes, discursive strategies, and resonance chambers. But it also means taking the claim of historicisation seriously and filling this catchword with life, making the historicisation of Foucault (and ‘Foucault’) the object of one’s own research. We hold the view that such a venture does not by any means require an exclusively historiographical orientation but rather should proceed from all disciplines that work or deal with Foucault. For the new perspective that this can open up is always contemporary in nature: we believe that the historicisation of Foucault’s toolbox opens up new opportunities to think about how this intellectual tool kit can still be used today – or explains why it must perhaps be partially rejected. Work about Foucault is work on Foucault.

Organizational information:

The workshop will take place on 6-8 November 2014 at the University of Zurich.

All interested scholars are invited to send their proposals for papers (abstracts no longer than 500 words) by 30 June 2014 to

The costs of travel and accommodations will be covered for contributors.

The plan is to publish and comment on the workshop contributions on the foucaultblog. The contributors are therefore requested to post brief preliminary versions of their papers on the foucaultblog in advance of the workshops. These will then be provided with commentary, which the contributors can or should address during the workshops. After the conference, the presented papers can be published in full length on the foucaultblog.


Conference languages: German and English

CfP: Conduct and Counter-Conduct: Critical Concepts for Old and New Times?

A special issue of Foucault Studies, edited Barbara Cruikshank (University of Massachusetts at Amherst) and Sam Binkley (Emerson College)

Recently, Arnold Davidson distinguished Michel Foucault’s conceptions of conduct and counter-conduct as the most notable contribution of Foucault’s 1978 lectures. “It is astonishing,” he wrote, “and of profound significance, that the autonomous sphere of conduct has been more or less invisible in the history of modern (as opposed to ancient) moral and political philosophy.” Following Davidson’s lead, we invite contributions for a special issue of Foucault Studies on the theme of counter-conduct. We invite submissions, in particular, to take up the historical, conceptual, and political significance of conduct and counter-conduct either separately or in combination. These might include theoretical inquiries, empirical studies, comparative historical works, interpretive cultural studies or any other mode of intellectual engagement that addresses the theme of counter-conduct.

Questions and topics we aim to address in this volume include:

  • Given the immanent relation between conduct and counter-conduct, what is the critical difference between them? How can we distinguish between an instance of conduct and one of counter-conduct?
  • How should we understand the concepts of conduct and counter-conduct, articulated by Foucault in 1978, in relation to his previous and subsequent published works? Or, do these concepts stand apart in relation to a particular problematization?
  • Are these categories we can use across time, place, religions, institutions? If so, what forms do conduct and counter-conduct take today? If not, what demarcates their usage?
  • How can contemporary political movements, governmentalities, or moral and political philosophies be engaged through the concepts of conduct and counter-conduct?
  • Does counter-conduct help us understand new subjectivities and identities shaped by race, class, gender, sexuality, ability or other categories at the margins?
  • What value does the concept of counter-conduct hold for historical studies?
  • How is counter-conduct distinguishable from reform and reformation of the self, institutions, or of society? Foucault struggled in his lecture to distinguish counter-conduct as a category from resistance, revolt, and dissent, among other categories. Why does Foucault need to invent a new concept rather than use the vocabularies of pastoral struggles themselves?
  • What contribution can the concept of counter-conduct make to contemporary scholarship on governmentality?
  • What is the significance of counter-conduct in the context of contemporary neoliberalism or other formations of global capital, and to the many oppositional social movements that have emerged in their wake?
  • How can counter-conduct be understood alongside other theorizations of resistance, revolt, and transgression derived from Marxism, post-colonial theory, feminism, cultural studies or queer theory?
  • What is the relationship of counter-conduct to religion, spirituality and mysticism, either historically or in contemporary manifestations?
  • How does counter-conduct enable a bridge between the politics and ethics, either in Foucault’s researches or in other contexts?

This special issue of Foucault Studies will appear in Spring 2016. At this time the editors welcome abstracts for submission by October 1, 2014. Final essays will be due April 1, 2015. Please direct all questions and correspondence to both editors:, and

Foucault Studies is an open-access, peer reviewed interdisciplinary online journal. Since 2004, Foucault Studies has covered the full influence of Foucauldian thought on such problematics and fields of study as power, politics, law, history, social and cultural theory, sexuality, race, religion, gender studies, psychoanalysis, philosophy, geography, architecture, education, health studies, management studies and media studies, as well as others. The Journal also publishes translations of shorter pieces from Foucault’s oeuvre, and carries book reviews, conference and seminar reports.

CfP: Critical Ethnic Studies Association Conference

From the CESA website...

Sovereignties and Colonialisms: Surviving Racism, Extraction and Dispossession

April 30 – May 3, 2015
York University, Toronto

In December 2012, four women sparked the most recent movement to honour Indigenous sovereignty and protect the environment. They named the exploitation of Indigenous land and resources as the source of state and corporate wealth, and referred to the “interconnections of race, gender, sexuality, class and other identity constructions in ongoing oppression” of Indigenous people.

The third conference of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association aims to continue the critique of toxic industries and “industrial complexes” (academic, nonprofit, prison, psychiatric, medical, arts, etc.) by shedding light on exploitation and expropriation, and by examining the institutions, methods and molds that comprise globalized imperialist capitalism, including anti-oppression movements themselves. This call is premised on the need for Indigenous decolonization, and invites a focus on a range of struggles within this context, including food, water and seed sovereignty, struggles between postcolonial state sovereignties and imperialist sovereignties, liberation of racialized groups and other non-state nations, and the implications of economies of race, gender, sexuality and disability in all of these.

Acknowledging the forerunning work of Indigenous feminists, migrant feminists and feminists of color, we would like to open up space for further interconnections at the heart of critical ethnic studies, including disabled Indigenous and people of colour perspectives, and two-spirit and trans/queer of color perspectives. We are interested in facilitating abolitionist and decolonizing conversations on various industrial formations, including the academic industrial complex, in the face of permanent precarity, extraction and exploitation, unequal divisions of labor, risks and benefits of critique, and the uneven institutionalization of liberation movements through programs around gender, sexuality, disability, environmentalism, multiculturalism and Indigeneity. We aim to provide a space where resistance and oppression can be thought transnationally (including outside the US and in the global south), in ways that attend to the travels and cross-fertilizations of racist and colonial methods in various geopolitical contexts and regimes, such as settler-colonialism, occupation and apartheid; race and coloniality in the global south; globalized travels of anti-blackness; colonialism and development; and confinement, border fortification and global wars on terror.

Upcoming Conferences

This weekend, March 21-22, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Memphis is hosting the conference “Dignity: The History of a Concept.” More information here.

The conference “Strategies of Critique: Decolonizing Anti-Racism” will take place from April 16-17 at York University in Toronto, Canada. The conference website can be found here.

Finally, the International Social Theory Consortium will be holding its 2014 meeting from May 15-17 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Keynote speakers include Gurminder Bhambra, Moishe Postone, John Holmwood, Courtney Jung, and Stephen Turner. More info here.

Origins of Truth: Extended CfP

There is still time to submit abstracts for the conference “Origins of Truth: Foucault’s Lectures on the Will to Know.” Here is the extended CfP from the conference organizers:


We still have space for a few additional papers. In order to fill some gaps in our coverage of the Lectures on the Will to Know, we are especially interested in papers which offer feminist, queer or critical race perspectives.  If you are working on Lectures on the Will to Know and would like to present your research–either as a full paper or as part of a more informal roundtable discussion–please send a 500 word proposal to  We can accept new proposals on a rolling basis until February 14. 

Please also email us if you would like to serve as a moderator for a panel or paper presentation.

Suggested Topics:
The Lecture Courses: “The Will to Know” and “The Order of Discourse” ▪ Issues of Translation and transcription ▪ Continuities and disjunctions among the Lecture Courses ▪ Thematic connections to Foucault’s earlier or later works
 Intellectual History: Foucault and Deleuze ▪ Foucault and Nietzsche ▪ Foucault on Aristotle and the Sophists ▪ Foucault and Eastern Knowledge
Forms of Knowledge: Connaissance, Savoir and Truth ▪ Judgment ▪ Justice ▪  Measurement (Being) ▪  Repetition and Becoming ▪ The Event
Truth and the City-State: Law ▪ Money ▪ Sovereignty  ▪ Political Economy ▪ Purity/Impurity ▪ Criminality

 Please send 500 word proposals to:


For more information click here.

CfP: London Conference in Critical Thought 2014

London Conference in Critical Thought 2014:  Goldsmiths, University of London,  27-28 June 2014

Call for Papers

The third annual London Conference in Critical Thought (LCCT) will offer a space for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas for scholars who work with critical traditions and concerns. It aims to provide opportunities for those who frequently find themselves at the margins of their department or discipline to engage with other scholars who share theoretical approaches and interests.

Central to the vision of the conference is an inter-institutional, non-hierarchal, and accessible event that makes a particular effort to embrace emergent thought and the participation of emerging academics, fostering new avenues for critically-oriented scholarship and collaboration.

The conference is divided into thematic streams, each coordinated by different researchers and with separate calls for papers, included in this document. We welcome paper proposals that respond to the particular streams below. In addition, papers may be proposed as part of a general stream, i.e. with no specific stream in mind. Spanning a range of broad themes, these streams provide the impetus for new points of dialogue. Read the full call for papers here.

·         Aesthetic Refusals: Oppositional Citizenship and Public Culture
·         Conceptions and Practices of Critical Pedagogy
·         Critical Approaches to Care Relationships
·         (Dis)orders of Migration
·         Dissenting Methods: Engaging Legacies of the Past, Defining Critical Futures
·         ‘entitled’
·         ‘everyday political’
·         How Does One Think Difference?
·         Legal Critique: Positions, Negotiations and Strategies
·         Moving Through the Intersection? Interrogating Categories and Postintersectional Politics
·         Philosophy and Critical Thought Inside and Outside The University
·         Pragmatism and Critical Traditions
·         Sounding the Counterfactual: Hyperstition and Audial Futurities
·         Strategies of Silence
·         Street Level: Towards a Critical Discourse on Urban Aesthetics
·         Subjects in Space(s): Navigating Multiplicity
·         The Critical Brain
·         The Human After Anthropocentrism? Life. Matter. Being.
·         Time Discipline
·         What is the Question of Critique?
Please send paper/presentation proposals with the relevant stream indicated in the subject line to paper-subs @ AT|.

Submissions should be no more than 250 words and should be received by the 10th March 2014.

Participation is free (though registration will be required).

Contact us at inquiries @ AT|.