CFP: Essays on Post-Politics, Aesthetics, and
(New) Media for edited collection
This Call for Papers seeks abstracts for essays that reflect on the analytical triangulations that might exist between post-political theory, the study of aesthetics, and (new) media studies.
The main question the project aims to answer is the following: Decades after everything was declared to be political, what are the affordances, triumphs, and pitfalls of a post-political theory of aesthetics? The work of theorists of post-politics such as Jacques Rancière, Chantal Mouffe, Ernesto Laclau, Alain Badiou, Slavoj Žižek, and Erik Swyngedouw among others has exposed the processes by which political action is currently being eroded, sites for its practice are increasingly disappearing, and political agency is in need of urgent revitalization. At the same time, much post-political critical discourse has concentrated on connecting the saturation of the practice of politics, as well as its subsequent evacuation, with the need to formulate new and alternative ways to generate meaningful political change.
While post-political theory has featured in analyses traditionally labelled “political,” a more explicit reflection on the contours, scope, and interpretive value of post-political theory for the study of aesthetics is absent in the critical theory corpus and it can offer a crucial contribution. At the core are questions: What does the post-political stand for exactly, and how can issues concerning representation (textual, visual, aural, etc. as well as political) be rethought through this lens? Related questions immediately arise that may provide an adequate critical frame. What imaginative processes dovetail political activity and the work of the aesthetic imagination in the posterior period marked by the “post” in post-politics?
Because post-political theory places a special emphasis on neoliberalism and governance, papers that explore a wider range of connections and deal with other themes, topics, and registers will be given preference. How can the boundaries of post-political theory be expanded as it works in conjunction with and for the purpose of exploring the work of the creative imagination? (New) media play a particularly crucial role in the current post-political landscape. Questions concerning issues such as perception, the aestheticization of political life, and hypermediation become critical as they intersect with matters of attention, information dissemination, individuation/collective organization, and others.
Topics that essays might cover include:
- Populism, “the people,” collectives, fragmentation, and/or division
- The individual, identity (race/ethnicity, gender, class, etc.), subjectivity, autopoiesis, (strategic) essentialism, and/or personhood
- Alternative genealogies of the current post-political moment
- Improvisation, affect, micropolitics, and/or the impolitic
- Strategic disruption, delay, dark patterns, and/or forced continuity
- Austerity, vulnerability, and/or violence
- Dystopia and utopia, especially against their grain
- Rights and responsibilities, individualism, and/or collectivism
- Sovereignty, dignity, autonomy, and/or the (un)exceptional
- Technology, mediation, (neo)luddism, and/or technophobia
- Work, jobs, weisure/playbor, and/or automation
- History, memory, revisionism, and/or amnesia
- Truth, “post-truth,” (dis)information, and/or propaganda
Essays must put front and center the connection between post-political theory and the study of aesthetics, and not simply the application of the former to the latter.
DEADLINE: Please submit a 300-word abstract and CV to Juan Meneses (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than NOVEMBER 1.