CfP: Michigan Conference: Austerity and Anti-Austerity Beyond Capitalism (September 12-14, 2019)

Cristian  Capotescu 's picture
September 12, 2019 to September 14, 2019
Michigan, United States
Subject Fields: 
Economic History / Studies, Humanities, Social History / Studies, Social Sciences, World History / Studies
Austerity and Anti-Austerity Beyond Capitalism
Interdisciplinary Conference
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA)
September 12-14, 2019
During the global economic crisis of 2008 many observers predicted that austerity economics would be discredited and abandoned, but over the ensuing decade it demonstrated surprising resilience. This conference at the University of Michigan will explore the history of austerity economics and the opposition to it, both uncovering overlooked forms of resistance and using those conflicts to better understand the nature of austerity itself. Our premise is that this economic ideology has a deeper and broader history than is commonly recognized. Though typically associated with neoliberalism, austerity has appeared as a central theme within a variety of economic frameworks. We hope to re-conceptualize this ideology as a more pervasive economic doctrine enacted and challenged at different historical junctures and across different economic and political systems.
Along these lines, our conference will emphasize how austerity and anti-austerity clashed both within and beyond liberal capitalism, and thus seek to better integrate the temporal and ideological binaries of political economy: pre-industrial and industrial, capitalist and socialist, communist and post-communist, developed and underdeveloped etc. In particular, this will involve discussion of how a politics of anti-austerity was both imagined and articulated in opposition to a variety of austerity programs around the world. We will discuss the potential of anti-austerity movements to topple governments, collapse political orders, and to affect other forms of change in society, both in direct and visible ways as well as through protracted and less obvious struggles. This will also include analysis of the failed attempts and arrested possibilities to displace austerity as a dominant socioeconomic formation.
We invite papers from all academic disciplines and welcome especially contributions that go beyond the well-publicized anti-austerity movements in North America and Europe. We encourage submissions from early-career scholars and graduate students, as well as from established specialists in these topics.
We plan to offer all participants room and board in Ann Arbor for the duration of the conference, and to provide travel stipends for those with limited institutional support. In your application, please indicate whether or not you have your own travel funds available.
Please submit proposals of 250-300 words and a CV to by February 15, 2019.
Contact information:
Brian Porter-Szucs, University of Michigan, Department of History,
Cristian Capotescu, University of Michigan, Department of History,
For additional information please visit our conference website.