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Call for Papers
November 21, 2020 to December 31, 2020
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Cultural History / Studies, European History / Studies, Philosophy, Sociology

Call for Papers: Special Issue of International Political Anthropology (May 2021) 

'Depersonalization, or the Question of a Generation’

‘The flag goes with the foul landscape,
and our jargon muffles the drum.’
In the great centers we'll nurture
the most cynical prostitution.
We'll massacre logical revolts.

In spicy and drenched lands!--
at the service of the most monstrous
exploitations, industrial or military.
‘Farewell here, no matter where.

Conscripts of good will,
ours will be a ferocious philosophy;
ignorant as to science, rabid for comfort;
and let the rest of the world croak.
This is the real advance. Marching orders, let's go!’

Arthur Rimbaud, Collected Poems


The editors call for papers for a special issue in International Political Anthropology (IPA) (www.politicalanthropology.org) (May 2021 Issue); this issue will be led by the piece ‘Decadence and the Phenomenon of Generations’ (https://www.politicalanthropology.org/images/PDF_S/Julien_Freund-Decaden...) published in 1985 by the French philosopher and sociologist Julien Freund, and translated for the first time from the original French into English. Freund says in this paper: ‘We have entered into an interregnum, in the transition towards this other type of civilization, of which the sources will be, without doubt, no longer entirely European.’ Related to this claim, some questions can guide the enquiry: ‘How to see signs of a civilizational erosion beyond the fading promises of prosperity and wellbeing? What and where is the measure? In what sense can a collective experience of decadence be captured through the concept of generation? If it is true that the world war and its resistance movement was the last jolt of Europe confronted with its demons, then how is it that we again are confronted with the demons of depersonalization? Instead of a blunt statement such as ‘life goes on, and Europe is no longer what it was. It’s not a matter of the end of the world, but of the decadence of Europe’, how can we capture the general culpability of a civilization, described by Rimbaud in the poem above? Are we at the historical closure of a civilization, as Freund’s text states? Can we accept the decline or just quite simply ignore it? Which are the new problems facing us and do we have an idea how to define the spirit that can help articulating solutions to such problems?


Submission deadline is 15 April 2021. Please send your Abstract by 31 December 2020 to Harald Wydra (co-editor of International Political Anthropology (hbw23@cam.ac.uk)

Contact Info: 

Dr Harald Wydra, St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge, CB2 1RL, United Kingdom

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