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‘Critical Theories’ conference to examine reemergence of ‘fascisms’ in US and elsewhere

Although the deadline has passed for abstracts to be considered (NOOOO!!), make note that the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs’ “Critical Theories in a Global Context” conference will take at the end of the month at the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom.

The conference “takes place at an unprecedented time” according to its abstract, because “the early years of the 21st century have seen the reemergence of fascisms; the naturalization of nationalist, populist, sexist, xenophobic and provocative hate speech and conduct; and the marginalization of local and global progressive politics.”

One of the reminders of the ‘ol 1920s and 30s: “Democratically” (quotes in the original) elected leaders in the US and elsewhere “have resorted to nationalist tactics, undermining law and parliamentary sovereignty,” and have fostered “resentment” toward “others” — migrants, refugees, and other “stateless people.”

It certainly should come as no surprise the critical studies crowd parrots the progressive narrative that Donald Trump wasn’t “democratically” elected; just don’t make the mistake, however, of asking them for a logical explanation regarding their claims — as you’ll likely not understand much (and through no fault of your own).

The conference’s suggested topics include:

1. Conceptualizing the convergence and divergence of populist and/or fascistic tendencies in different contexts across the globe;
2. Reframing critical theoretical work for emancipatory politics in the 21st century;
3. Critiques of (neoliberal) capital including associated processes of accumulation, precarization, flexible labour, xenophobia, and prejudice;
4. Decolonial critiques of “Western” conceptualizations of domination, violence, and critique;
5. Conceptualizing new forms of domination and violence, and their specificities, across the globe;
6. Analysis of the economic, social, and political dynamics which limit emancipatory politics;
7. Theoretical reflections on movements and ideas which enact and animate equality across the globe.

Featured speakers include UC Berkeley’s Donna Jones, author of the book “The Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy: Négritude, Vitalism and Modernity”; German philosopher Christoph Menke who’s written about “theories of subjectivity, and the aesthetics of modernity”; and Lorenzo Bernini who studies “contemporary theories of radical democracy, critical race and queer theories.”

There also are several speakers associated with South Africa (apartheid, “decolonality”), and one who has studied the former communist east bloc countries … but “has been involved with collectives” and who focuses on “right wing populism and neoliberal globalization.”

MORE: University hosts ‘critical look at whiteness’ forum

MORE: ‘Critical plant studies’ challenges ‘human’ privilege

IMAGE: Adam Tess / Flickr.com

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 15 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.

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