CfP: Italian Biopolitical Theory. Life, Power and Political Theology

Interrogation into the nexus between power and life, characterised by
Foucault as ‘biopolitics’, has been taken up by many thinkers in the
past twenty years. So much so that it is now justifiably perceived as
one of the most important fields in continental philosophy.  With the
desire to understand and confront the political stakes as well as the
more challenging concepts at the forefront of this exciting domain,
Italian thinkers have come to embody innovation in this field: Giorgio
Agamben, Roberto Esposito and Antonio Negri being good examples. Despite
many differences between thinkers, some clear themes, methods and
problems can be discerned – both traditional-philosophical (e.g. the
subject, political community, sovereignty, genealogy), and unique to
their approach (the logic-life relationship, biblical exegesis, etc.).

This conference aims to rigorously explore the nuances of these Italian
political philosophers, with the aim of making connections, drawing
conclusions and producing readings.

Some questions:

What scope does the inclusion-exclusion paradigm have?
What is the difference between the logic of immunity and the logic of
What or where is the locus of resistance?
Can economic determination be included within the concept of nuda vita?
How does the church (ekklesia) function?
What is praxis and what is the relationship between this new trend in
biopolitical theory and the Marxian tradition?
How is the macro-physics of power related to the so-called ‘micro-
What is the relationship between the oikonomia and the economy?

Keynotes confirmed so far

Prof. William Watkin (Brunel, London)
Dr. Michael Lewis (UWE, Bristol)
Dr. Lorenzo Chiesa

13th – 14th March, 2015.
Bristol, UK.
UWE Philosophy, Royal Institute of Philosophy, [Again]

Papers will each last 30 minutes with 15-20 minutes for discussion.
We welcome abstracts (300-500 words) for papers on the topics in

Deadline for abstracts: January 16th, 2015.

To be sent, along with any queries to:

CfP: Beyond Bars: The Future of Prisons

Beyond Bars: The Future of Prisons

February 27-28, 2015

Keynote Address: Andrew Dilts, Loyola Marymount University

Plenary Panel: Lisa Guenther, Vanderbilt University; Kym Maclaren, Ryerson University; Joshua Dohmen, University of Memphis

Punishment has featured prominently in the development of Western political thought as a vital component of developing and maintaining a polity. Philosophers ranging from Aristotle to Mill to Foucault have engaged the use of disciplinary and punitive practices. In the public sphere, debates have been waged over the purpose of prisons, the morality of capital punishment, and the political status of incarcerated persons both during and after incarceration. Over the last decade, in particular, there has been an explosion in the number of discourses surrounding incarceration practices, capital punishment, and criminal law in the United States. Debates about the wars on drugs and terror, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the moral and legal status of capital punishment have featured prominently in the media and in the political landscape. Recent demonstrations in response to police violence have drawn attention to both the militarization of police forces and the disproportion of this violence directed at communities of color. In intellectual circles, solitary confinement practices, felony disenfranchisement, and the proliferation of the prison-industrial complex have all been scrutinized. This conference seeks to provide a forum for these discussions on the status and meaning of prisons, incarceration, and punishment. Particular questions of interest include but are not limited to:

  • What do figures in the history of philosophy have to say about punishment and what can we learn from them?
  • How does imprisonment, or any practice associated with the prison, affect our understanding of notions like the self and subjectivity?
  • What moral issues are raised by the prison or incarceration?
  • What epistemological issues do practices relating to the prison raise?
  • Does prison reform or prison abolition provide the more satisfactory or useful response to criticism surrounding prisons? What do these terms even mean?
  • What broader historical trend might the rampant use of imprisonment as a means of punishing criminal behavior signify?
  • Are there more just alternatives to current incarceration practices?
  • What does imprisonment punish?
  • Are the stated goals/ends of imprisonment aligned with its practices or effects?
  • What responses to imprisonment practices can we get from critical race, feminist, queer or trans*, disability, or intersectional approaches?
  • What do philosophical or theoretical treatments of these questions have to offer more practical pursuits like activism or prisoner’s rights advocacy?
  • What value does the practice of philosophy have for incarcerated persons?

Location: University of Memphis (Memphis, TN)

We welcome contributions from philosophers working from any orientation, as well as contributions from scholars in a variety of disciplines and contexts.

To submit, please prepare a proposal (500-700 words) for blind review in either .pdf or .rtf format.  Send the file as an attachment to with a body containing the title and the author’s name, contact information, institutional affiliation and status (graduate student, faculty member, independent researcher, etc.)  If accepted, final papers need to be suitable for a presentation approximately 20 minutes in length (roughly 3000-3500 words).

The deadline for submissions is November 22, 2014.

This conference is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, the Lillian and Morrie Moss Chair of Excellence, and the Philosophy Graduate Student Association at the University of Memphis.

CfP: Violence and Embodiment

Duquesne University Women in Philosophy Conference CFP
March 21, 2015
Duquesne University

Violence and Embodiment
Keynote Speaker: Ann Murphy, University of New Mexico

Duquesne Women in Philosophy (D-WiP) invite philosophical papers that explore the relationship between violence and embodiment.  Given the enduring presence of violence in contemporary society as well as its lasting historical consequences, it is important to ask the question: How does violence shape both human existence and the meaning we associate with our experiences?  This conference will explore the connection between violence and embodiment, considering both past understandings and possible future directions for examining these issues.  We invite submissions that engage both contemporary philosophical discourse as well as those philosophical discourses that are primarily informed by perspectives grounded in the history of philosophy (or some combination of the two).

Please send full paper submissions to by December 1, 2014.  Each presentation will be allotted approximately 20 minutes.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
-violence and coexistence/community, sociality, culture
-violence and/in colonialism
-violence and the constitution of the self
-trauma and self-identity
-built space and the natural environment, ecophenomenology, labor, globalization
-shame, fear, empathy and violence
-agency, power, control
-vulnerability, intimacy, and violence
-violence and the politics of expression
-sexuality and violence
-violence, bodies, and post-humanism
-techniques, technologies, and structures of violence
-violence and inequality (race, class, gender, LGBTQ, dis/ability, etc.)
-the body, pleasure, and violence

CfP: 8th Annual Ida B. Wells Conference

Friday, December 5 through Saturday, December 6, 2014

University of Memphis

Call for Papers:

The Ida B. Wells Philosophical Association invites submissions of papers for the annual Ida B. Wells Philosophical Conference that will be held on December 5 – 6, 2014. We welcome submissions in all areas of study that engage the experiences of minorities including, but not limited to, African Americans, Latin Americans, and Americans of Middle Eastern descent, etc. The Ida B. Wells Philosophical Conference is dedicated to furthering interdisciplinary discourse regarding circumstances and problems such as gender, race, prejudice, sexual orientation, nationhood, etc. that confront minorities in the United States, as well as providing a context in which both minority undergraduate and graduate students can be connect and be encouraged in their philosophical aspirations.

Keynote speakers:

Linda Alcoff, Ph.D., City University of New York

Paul Taylor, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Paper submission deadline: Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Eligibility for submission: Senior year Undergraduate and Masters students in the 2014-2015 academic year are eligible. (While submissions from all fields of study will be considered, preference will be given to students intending to enroll in a Masters or Doctorate program in philosophy the following academic year.)

Submission Instructions: Papers should not exceed 3000 words and are to be submitted electronically (PDF or Word) as an email attachment to the contact person below. Please provide an abstract of your submission, curriculum vitae, and a personal statement that you would like to be placed in the program of the conference upon acceptance of your submission. We will confirm receipt of submission by email within 24 hours of submission. We will also notify you (by the email address you provide) if you have been selected as a presenter for the conference. If you are selected as a presenter, you will have a total of 35-minutes allotted for your total presentation (20-minutes in which you present your written work, 10-minutes for questions from selected respondents, and roughly 5-minutes for answering questions from the audience).

Contact: Corey L. Barnes


Ida B. Wells Philosophical Association

University of Memphis

Department of Philosophy

327 Clement Hall

Memphis, TN 38152

CfP: Resisting Force and Discourse (Foucault Madness Conference)

The Foucault Madness Collective is now accepting submissions for their September, 2014 conference.  The conference is free and open to the public.

Deadline for abstracts is August 15, 2014.

Resisting Force and Discourse

Host: California State University, San Marcos

Date: Friday, September 26, 2014

Location: University Student Union, Ballroom

Keynote Speaker: TBA

The conference theme brings into critical light the way that bodies are marked and regulated by discursive practices and spaces, and institutional procedures. This operational force can take the form of juridical and normative practices.

Examples of juridical practices include but are not limited to current police protocols, immigration requirements, and sexuality-managing legislation. In their operation, these forces betray their impingement upon raced, gendered, and classed bodies. As such, the conference solicits papers that challenge neutral and objective neoliberal practices that ultimately regulate, disqualify, torque, and punish bodies at the margins of classification.

The conference theme further recognizes that the regulation of marginal bodies is not limited to institutional codes. Social norms are an essential disciplinary mechanism in the reproduction of the dominant order. Indeed, conformity to, or deviation from, norms designates which subjects are the proper recipients of accusation, disavowal, and injury. Denial of normative power can occur on multiple grounds including: sex work, living with HIV, body size, sexual orientation, and being gender-nonconforming. As such, the conference also invites papers that engage with the regulatory effects of normative power.

We highly encourage submissions from graduate students and advanced undergraduates for fifteen minute presentations. Academic disciplines and methodologies across the humanities and social sciences may be used. Research questions may include, but are not limited to:

  • How is the policing and norming of marginalized bodies represented in literature and film? Or, newer cultural mediums, such as MMORGs and internet spaces?
  • How do state regimes of punishment similarly besiege parolees and racial minorities?
  • Does the U.S immigration system constitute a branch of biopolitical administration?
  • What are the modern norms of surveillance that may be going unnoticed?
  • How is the human body a political site (i.e., hunger strikes, self-branding, gender bending, trans politics)?
  • What is the function of the citizen “Other”?
  • Do social norms challenge the viability of HIV+ persons as subjects proper, leaving only a dangerous corporality?
  • Which social norms are challenged through the undocuqueer identity marker and movement?
  • Do all white subjects possess normative power?
  • How do queer subjects challenge dominant procedures and norms through queer world-making practices? How is this portrayed in popular media, activism, etc.?
  • Where do we find alternative networks, spaces, and autonomous zones? How are they constituted (i.e., spaces of reprieve and crisis heterotopias)?
  • How do juridical and normative systems produce catastrophic violence that no one seems responsible for?
  • Finally, critical theory and psychoanalytic approaches to the conference theme are welcome.

 Submissions: Please submit a 250 word abstract to by August 15, 2014. In the email body include your name, institutional affiliation, and email address.

For any questions about the conference, or our bi-monthly reading group, please contact us at

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