Subversive Theories of the Political Workshop Colorado College (October 25-26, 2018) Deadline: July 15, 2018

Andres Fabian Henao Castro's picture
Call for Papers
July 15, 2018
Colorado, United States
Subject Fields: 
Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Indigenous Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Funded by the 2018 Collaborative Project Proposal Grant of the Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory, this workshop seeks to bring together faculty and graduate students who are working on ways to radically rethink the political in the face of a growing convergence between neoliberalism and neo-fascism. We are, thus, interested in both, interrogating the de-politicization that characterizes neoliberal hegemony, while at the same time investigating the differential modes that resistance to the exploitation of commodified and uncommodified life takes under new structures of disavowal. Our quest for today’s subversive theories of the political was inspired by the relational thinking of black feminist theorizing, queer of color critique, intersectional Marxism, critical indigenous studies, decolonial theory, and disability studies, and we believe that the very important work done in these traditions can help us to develop more nuanced theories of the political. But we also want to put these traditions in conversation with each other, to evaluate the concepts developed in each of them, and the problems they have identified. All participants are expected to discuss work-in-progress, and to identify two sessions in which they would like their contributions to be considered, taking into account the following two-day workshop sessions division:


Day 1:  Concepts

First Session: After hegemony and bio/necropolitics? Conceptualizing the political

We invite presentations that reinterpret already existing concepts of the political (i.e., hegemony, biopolitics, necropolitics, democracy, social death, settler colonialism, etc.), or develop new ones. 

            Second Session: After the demos? Conceptualizing political subjectivity

We invite presentations that reinterpret already existing concepts of political subjectivity (i.e., the demos, the slave, the native, the party, the social movement, the uncivil society, the undercommons, etc.), or develop new ones.

            Laura Padilla Lecture by Associate Professor Robyn Marasco, Hunter College


Day 2:  Problems

First Session: Rethinking the political

We invite presentations seeking to problematize our understandings of the emancipatory/liberatory energies and their coalitional modes of convergence/divergence, as well as the theoretical modes of inquiry that we have to interpret them.

Second Session: Rethinking political subjectivity

We invite presentations that unpack the implications, for our understanding of the political and of the intellectual traditions through which the political has been thought, of moving from difference understood as a question of social identity, to difference understood as a question of settler colonial positionality.

Third Session: Rethinking de-politicization

We invite presentations that reinterpret already existing concepts seeking to name neoliberal depoliticization (i.e., the police, coloniality, racial capitalism, etc.), or develop new ones.


The idea is to have two authors per session. This means that we will only accept a total of 10 submissions.




Colorado College is a small liberal arts college located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  The institution is interested in hosting this Workshop with the support of the following academic departments and programs: Program in Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies, and the Departments of Comparative Literature, English, and Philosophy. The College has several on campus venues that can accommodate a workshop of this size and will contribute the venue and audio/visual support to the event.  This naturally leads to consideration of the budget.


Responsible Organizers:

            Michael Sawyer

            Assistant Professor, Race, Ethnicity, Migration Studies (Colorado College)


            Andrés Fabián Henao Castro

            Assistant Professor, Political Science (University of Massachusetts Boston)



Funding Institutions: Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory.

Departments of Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies, Comparative Literature, English, and Philosophy at Colorado College.

Contact Info: 

These two-day workshop will take place at Colorado College on October 25-26. Interested applicants should submit a CV and an abstract by July 15th (11:59 EST) to the following e-mail address: With the following subject heading in the e-mail: “Subversive Theories of the Political Workshop.” Final decisions will be made on July 22rd and all applicants will be notified shortly afterwards. All accepted faculty applicants will be supported with $200 in funds, in order to facilitate their travel and housing arrangements. All graduate students will be supported with $400 in funds for the same purposes. Accepted participants should confirm their attendance by August 6th and make their own individual arrangements for airfare tickets and lodging. They should keep their receipts in order to be reimbursed.