States of Suspension
The Eleventh Annual Conference of the Marxist Reading Group
Keynote Speaker: Michael Hardt
University of Florida, March 26–28, 2009
If crisis theory centered much of Engels’s criticism of Duhring in 1877, the invocation of the term “crisis” is today no less problematic. Indeed, while Engels argues that Duhring rejects the historical significance of industrial crises, one would be hard pressed to argue that the same defines contemporary manifestations of the term. Faced with the discussions of the successive crises in the humanities, economic crises, and crises in U.S. foreign policy, Marxists are at once reminded that between the historical moment named by the word and the act of naming itself arises the question of the real work of crisis’s political elaboration. This elaborative work constitutes one of the central tasks of States of Suspension.
The Eleventh Annual Conference of the Marxist Reading Group investigates crisis from a Marxist perspective and challenges Marxist scholars to clarify and explore such questions as: What are the uses of crisis, and what does crisis produce? What does crisis look like, in terms of both fictional narratives and historical moments? When and how does an event become a crisis? How does a critique of crisis work? What does a rhetoric of crisis reveal and conceal?
Michael Hardt is Professor of Literature and Italian at Duke University. His recent and current research focuses on legal, political, economic, social, and cultural dynamics of globalization as well as global resistance movements and alternatives to neoliberal global capitalism. He is the author of Gilles Deleuze: A Philosophical Apprenticeship (1993) and coauthor, with Antonio Negri, of Labor of Dionysus: A Critique of the State Form (1994), Empire (2000), and Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004).
Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:
Aesthetics of crisis
Crisis in and around finance capitalism
Crisis in, posed by, and undertaken by indigenous movements
Crisis of the unemployed and the precarious
Crisis and academia
Reform and revolution
Histories of crisis
Narratives of crisis
Images of crisis
Crisis and productivity
Periodizing crisis (or, using crisis to periodize)
Perpetual crisis (out of one crisis, the introduction of its supplement)
Potential inquiries into non-crisis futures
Crisis and revolution / crisis of revolution / revolution of crisis
Please submit a 250-word abstract (and some keywords) for a 20-minute presentation along with a short bio and contact information at the conference website by January 21, 2009. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by February 6, 2009.
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