2016 ISSEI conference
The University of Lodz, Poland
New or old, Europe is typically theorized as the birthplace of democracy, of political innovation and experiments. Yet over the centuries its idealistic visions have turned into ideological blocs and the Westphalian nation-state has been transformed into modern empires. Innumerable distributions and reshufflings of power within European politicized spatiality have, from antiquity to the present, produced promises—more failed than kept—and disasters: dreams of the ideal polis, political ideologies and systems, political philosophies and political terror for ‘others’ within and outside Europe. Politics itself, as concept and practice, has undergone numerous transformations. One such transformation, which is often singled out, was the passage from ancient politics as engagement with ideality to medieval politics, which culminated in the modern managerial outlook on the world as a gigantic household. This outlook raises the fundamental question whether what currently passes as politics deserves the name. What’s left of politics in the world of today—at times a world of self-protective fear and despondency, at times a world of gleeful and shallow political optimism? Can we envision a different kind of politics today, one that signifies an as yet unfulfilled promise, and a possible escape route from a past whose effects cannot be fully undone but continue to haunt the present, evoking a likely, if not more nightmarish, future?
This workshop invites papers that explore themes related to European political philosophy and ideality concerning a ‘world pedagogy’, a redirection and reinvention of human relationality and world positionality (i.e., humanity’s position in a natural and cultural world that is endangered by humanity).
Topics relevant to this workshop:
For participation, please send a 350-500 word abstract by 31 March 2016 to Marianna Papastephanou, at email@example.com
Workshop: The Remains of Politics / The Politics That Remains