'You know the left think that I am conservative, and the
conservatives think I am left or I am a maverick or God
knows what. And I must say that I couldn't care less. I
don't think the real questions of this century get any kind
of illumination by this kind of thing.'
On April 25th and 26th 2008, students in the Graduate Programme in Social & Political Thought at York University in Toronto will be hosting their 22nd annual Strategies of Critique conference. This year, we are inviting proposals for papers that attempt to think, re-think, or un-think the distinction or difference between the Left and the Right in social and political thought.
The various moral, economic, and cultural problems facing society today are occurring at a time when the Conservative Right and New Right continue to garner substantial support in North America and Europe in the face of a Left that is often divided or paralyzed despite substantial grass-roots and global mobilizations. We are seeing traditional parties of the Left (such as New Labour) accepting and absorbing the presuppositions of global capitalism and the security state. We are also seeing far right parties accepting and absorbing themes of the traditional Left in an effort to become more acceptable or credible.
In light of these complex and puzzling circumstances, what does it mean -- or what can it mean -- to invoke the distinction between the political or social Left and Right? This question provokes other questions, such as:
What do we make of the Left's appropriation of thinkers traditionally associated or affiliated with the Right? What do we make of the Left's acceptance of political programs that acquiesce to ideals and institutions traditionally associated with the Right (e.g. nationalism or capitalism)? What is left for the Left? What is left for us to learn from theories gone awry in practice (e.g., what can we learn from 20th century experiences of Revolution)? Can new praxis arise from academic critiques (e.g. what do we construct from deconstruction)? Can new academic critiques arise from praxis (e.g. what do we learn from broadening coalition-building movements)?
We welcome a broad range of submissions including, but not limited to,
the following themes:
Progressive Ideology or Progressive Rhetoric
Old Left and Right, New Left and Right
Theory and Practice, Theory meets Practice
Women and Radical and Reactionary Politics
Racism and Imperialism
What shape does political rhetoric take outside Europe and North America? How does that re-enforce/disrupt this divide?
Indigenous struggles and the left/right distinction
Natural Law and Natural Right (Natural Left?)
The Post-Modern Left and Right
Problems in Identity Politics
History of Theory and Theory as History
Crisis, Decadence, Nihilism, and the Future (l'a-venir)
Power-Resistance, Strategies of Refusal
Critique of Modernity and Enlightenment
Spectacle and Critique in Art and Media
Class and Class Consciousness
What is Democracy?
Authoritarianism and Neo-Fascism
Socialism and Anarchism in the 21st Century
Socialism and Dictatorship, Socialism and Stratification
Consumer Socialism? Welfare Capitalism?
Religion and Politics/Spirituality and Politics
The Environment and the Left/Right
The politics of Armed Revolution, Guerrilla Tactics
The Mainstreaming of Counter-Cultural Expression
Far-Left and Far-Right Party Politics and Ideology
The Angel of History
Strategies of Critique is an annual interdisciplinary graduate conference hosted by the Graduate Programme in Social & Political Thought at York University, Toronto, Canada.
Abstracts for papers and all queries should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstracts must be a maximum of 250 words in length.
The deadline for abstract submissions is January 25th, 2008.
Social and Political Thought,
CANADA Email: email@example.com
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