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Call for Papers
March 8, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Philosophy, Humanities, Intellectual History, Political History / Studies, Psychology

The Meaning of Violence: An International Conference

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

8-9 March, 2017

Madrid, Spain.

Deadline for Abstracts: 30th November 2016.

While it has long been noted that violence has, in one form or another, been inherent to the history of human being, little work was done historically to identify what ‘violence’ means and entails. This changed in the 20th century as a number of thinkers, especially within critical theory, phenomenology, psychoanalysis, existentialism, post-structuralism, and feminist thought, turned to the topic. Contemporary thinkers have continued to be influenced by these attempts, with Walter Benjamin’s famous essay ‘Critique of Violence’ being particularly important to their re-engagement with the nature and meaning of violence and its relationship to ethics and politics, a re-thinking that has also necessitated a critique and re-evaluation of the meaning of and relationship between the ethical and political.

The purpose of this two-day international conference is to gather a range of scholars to discuss the nature and meaning of violence within and from these ‘traditions.’ Suitable contributions may engage with the meaning of violence in Benjamin, Schmitt, Freud, Heidegger, Arendt, Sartre, Levinas, Deleuze, Derrida, Lacan, Girard, Butler, Critchley, and/or Žižek. Alternative perspectives and figures are also welcome so long as they aim to provide insights into the meaning of violence.

Anyone wishing to present a paper should submit an abstract, with name and institutional affiliation included, of 300 words to by 30th November 2016. Papers should be suitable for a 20 minute presentation. Those accepted will be notified by the 20th December 2016. The working language of the conference is English. More information can be found at the conference website:

This conference forms part of the activities for the Conex Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Project ‘Sovereignty and Law: Between Ethics and Politics’ co-funded by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under Grant Agreement 600371, The Spanish Ministry of the Economy and Competitivity (COFUND2013-40258), The Spanish Ministry for Education, Culture, and Sport (CEI-15-17), and Banco Santander. Support is also being provided by the Department of Theoretical Philosophy, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.