The Politics of Emancipation. Utopia, Insurgent Democracy and the Legacy of Miguel Abensour

Paul Mazzocchi's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
April 1, 2020 to April 3, 2020
Location: 
Ontario, Canada
Subject Fields: 
French History / Studies, Humanities, Philosophy, Political Science, Social Sciences

Conference Call for Papers

The Politics of Emancipation. Utopia, Insurgent Democracy and the Legacy of Miguel Abensour

York University, Toronto, Canada, April 1-3, 2020.

French political philosopher Miguel Abensour (1939-2017) was centrally concerned with the persistent opening and closing of the political universe, via emancipation and domination, providing original and formative contributions to democratic and utopian political theory. His call for the articulation of a “critico-utopian political philosophy” sought to understand how the return of political events – irrupting in response to the needs of humanity – raise questions about the nature and meaning of politics and emancipation.

The first English-language international conference on Abensour’s work and legacy, The Politics of Emancipation. Utopia, Insurgent Democracy and the Legacy of Miguel Abensour follows his insight by considering his work and legacy in the context of the irruption of political events in our time. In particular, the conference explores Abensour’s understanding of the possibilities of emancipation and the perils of totalitarian or authoritarian domination, as well as what these insights can contribute to the contemporary return of political things both in a Canadian and global context.

We invite papers that discuss Abensour’s contribution to four main areas of political theory in the context of contemporary political events and issues:

a) utopian thought, in particular his insights on the development of a “new utopian spirit” since 1848;

b) emancipatory and/or radical politics, specifically his insistence on thinking politics as a realm of freedom that must take into account the possibility of “voluntary servitude”;

c) contemporary political theory, notably his call for “critico-utopian” political philosophy as well as his relationship to other contemporary thinkers;

d) totalitarianism, in particular his understanding of it as an attempt to destroy politics.

 

To submit a paper proposal, email a 200 to 250 word abstract to abensourconference2020@gmail.com by November 15, 2019. Selected participants will be notified by December 15th 2019. Follow the event page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/events/1642250909243432/

Please note that the conference is unable to provide financial assistance for travel or accommodation. 

Conference organizers:

Martin Breaugh - York University (Toronto)

Paul Mazzocchi - York University (Toronto)

Sylwia Chrostowska - York University (Toronto)

James Ingram - McMaster University,

Devin Penner - Trent University.