CFP: The Relevance of the Human in Politics

The Relevance of the Human in Politics, April 27-28, 2012. University of Dundee

Keynote Speakers: Todd May, Christina Howells, and Gerald Moore

The Post Graduate philosophy conferences at the University of Dundee have, over the last four years, explored the resurgence of interest in continental metaphysics. This year’s conference will continue to build on this theme, but in an explicitly political direction and explore the role of the human in the contemporary philosophy of politics. With the renewed interest in humanisms of all sorts, we are seeking to address the problematic of the human in politics: are humanistic political philosophies part of a bygone era? What is the potential place for the human, or a robust humanism, in both the academy and the popular sphere? Are the criticisms of post-phenomenological thinkers still relevant in light of recent philosophical interests and world events? To what extent can ‘post-humanist’ philosophies contribute to political desires?

This year, we will take an explicitly political turn by seeking to explore the importance, or unimportance, of the human in politics. Through an examination of the human, the conference will examine one of the overlooked aspects of the subject and subjectivity, a key concern of previous conferences at Dundee, as well as occurring under the unique historical conditions that have seen political uprisings emerge around the globe across various cultural, political, and religious spectrums.

We invite abstracts of up to 500 words for 20 minute presentations on topics generally related to the contemporary importance (or unimportance) of the human in politics.

Suggested topics include (but are by no means constrained to):

Humanism and/or anti-humanism in Continental thought: particularly in relation to Badiou, Agamben, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Henry, Hardt/Negri, Zizek, Heidegger, de Beauvoir, Malabou, etc.
21st Century Humanism
Humanism and its critics in German Idealism
Post-human political theory
Resurgence of interest in Sartre and existentialism
The role of advanced media in political theory
Politics and/or economics after ‘The Arab Spring’
Political theory and the ‘Occupy’ Movements
Speculative Realism, Object-Oriented-Ontology, and the critique of anthropocentrism
The conditions of group action
Neuroscience and political philosophy
Ontology and Politics
Feminism and human identity

Abstracts due by 15 February, 2011. Email to Austin Smidt at ahsmidt AT or a.h.smidt AT