Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Streetnotes havs moved to http://streetnotes.tumblr.com/

Streetnotes havs moved to http://streetnotes.tumblr.com/

Friday, April 08, 2011

CFP: Spaces of Capital, Moments of Struggle

Spaces of Capital, Moments of Struggle

Eighth Annual Historical Materialism Conference

Central London

10–13 November 2011

The ongoing popular uprisings in the Arab world, alongside intimations of a resurgence in workers' struggles against 'austerity' in the North and myriad forms of resistance against exploitation and dispossession across the globe make it imperative for Marxists and leftists to reflect critically on the meaning of collective anticapitalist action in the present.

Over the past decade, many Marxist concepts and debates have come in from the cold. The anticapitalist movement generated a widely circulating critique of capitalist modes of international 'development'. More recently, the economic crisis that began in 2008 has led to mainstream-recognition of Marx as an analyst of capital. In philosophy and political theory, communism is no longer merely a term of condemnation. Likewise, artistic and cultural practices have also registered a notable upturn in the fortunes of activism, critical utopianism and the effort to capture aesthetically the workings of the capitalist system.

The eighth annual Historical Materialism conference will strive to take stock of these shifts in the intellectual landscape of the Left in the context of the social and political struggles of the present. Rather than resting content with the compartmentalisation and specialisation of various 'left turns' in theory and practice, we envisage the conference as a space for the collective, if necessary, agonistic but comradely, reconstitution of a strategic conception of the mediations between socio-economic transformations and emancipatory politics.

For such a critical theoretical, strategic and organisational reflection to have traction in the present, it must take stock of both the commonalities and the specificities of different struggles for emancipation, as they confront particular strategies of accumulation, political authorities and relations of force. Just as the crisis that began in 2008 is by no means a homogeneous affair, so we cannot simply posit a unity of purpose in contemporary revolutions, struggles around the commons and battles against austerity.

In consideration of the participation of David Harvey, winner of the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize, at this year's conference, we would particularly wish to emphasise the historical and geographical dimensions of capital, class and struggle. We specifically encourage paper submissions and suggested panel-themes that tackle the global nature of capitalist accumulation, the significance of anticapitalist resistance in the South, and questions of race, migration and ecology as key components of both the contemporary crisis and the struggle to move beyond capitalism.

There will also be a strong presence of workshops on the historiography of the early communist movement, particularly focusing on the first four congresses of the Communist International.

The conference will aim to combine rigorous and grounded investigations of socio-economic realities with focused theoretical reflections on what emancipation means today, and to explore – in light of cultural, historical and ideological analyses – the forms taken by current and coming struggles.

Deadline for registration of abstracts: 1 May 2011


Preference will be given to subscribers to the journal and participants are expected to be present during the whole of the event – no tailor-made timetabling for individuals will be possible, nor will cameo-appearances be tolerated.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

CFP: “Wannabe Cities: Everyday Strivings and Emergent Urbanisms"

Call For Papers
2011 American Association of Anthropology Annual Meeting
Montreal, November 16th-20th, 2011

“Wannabe Cities: Everyday Strivings and Emergent Urbanisms"

Organizers: Timothy Murphy, PhD Candidate, University of California, Davis; Bascom Guffin, PhD Candidate, University of California, Davis

Imaginaries - whether they be global, national, regional or local - always play an important role in how cities are understood and hence come into being. Hierarchies of status pervade these imaginaries, placing some cities in the limelight of social and cultural importance while leaving others to grapple with their secondary status. Saskia Sassen's rubric of "global cities," for instance, has long proved seductive both for academics seeking to classify cities and, maybe more important, for policymakers and citizens striving to elevate their cities to "world class" status.

While anthropological inquiry tends to focus on so-called "premiere" or “important” cities placed at the top of global and regional hierarchies, and rural communities relegated to the bottom, our discipline largely overlooks cities caught between these two positions. But this is where much of the world's urban growth is taking place. As such, these cities are extraordinarily dynamic fields of social and spatial change. They play host to people forging new ways of living and associating. They are spaces where people individually and collectively strive to define and achieve ideals of what it means to be urban, to be members of a modern world, and to live a good life. Some ways these aspirations manifest are how people pursue their personal visions of success, how they perform status, how they consume, and how they act out their moral visions of the way a city should be organized and its members should behave.

This session invites papers that address some of the following questions: What does it mean for a city to be considered unimportant, always emerging but not quite, caught in the middle, or even failed? How do these cities desire, aspire, and strive for recognition? What roles do residents play in a city's striving to emerge? How do the ways people live their lives affect a city's social and spatial development? How do ideas of what makes a good, successful city play out on the ground?

Deadline for abstract proposals: Thursday, March 31st

Please send paper title, abstract (no more than 250 words), affiliation, and contact information to: Timothy Murphy at temurphy@ucdavis.edu and Bascom Guffin at mbguffin@ucdavis.edu .

Bascom Guffin
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Anthropology
University of California, Davis
+91 95812 07179

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

CFP: "Critical Refusals" Conference

CALL FOR PAPERS & PARTICIPATION for the "Critical Refusals" Conference

We warmly welcome your participation:

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA / USA
27-29 October 2011

This renascence is an affirmation of negation. It is an affirmation of the relevance of critical theory – in all of its emancipatory manifestations. This conference is organized by the INTERNATIONAL HERBERT MARCUSE SOCIETY, but it is bigger than our small group, and it is about more than the important critical theorist Herbert Marcuse. With concrete hopes for what we will question, learn, imagine, struggle for, and create together, we warmly invite you to join us in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania—once the academic home of W.E.B. Du Bois, Kwame Nkrumah, Noam Chomsky, and Donald Trump; the contradictions of this place will amaze you. This conference is an affirmation of critical intellectual inquiry and an affirmation that austerity must be refused, that oppression – in all of its forms – must be resisted with radical questions, liberatory ideas, and emancipatory movements for an alternative economy and better ways of living together. Join with us on the 40th anniversary of Marcuse's speech here at Penn in 1971 —to move forward with critical visions of qualitative change. See the website above for more information!

ABSTRACTS & PROPOSALS due by 23 April 2011
email: ATLamas@sas.upenn.edu


The contributions that relate to any of the conference's themes or arenas, broadly interpreted. All manner of presentation is welcome – by faculty, independent scholars, students, activists, artists, and others. Many participants will present scholarly papers, but we also encourage other kinds of contributions, e.g., a debate about Marcuse's legacy, a panel discussion on academic life today, a roundtable on future directions for Critical Theory scholarship, an open-mic forum for former students of Marcuse and Angela Davis, a late-night discussion on future directions for the Left, workshops on critical pedagogy, author-meets-critics sessions, as well as videos, music, poetry, performance art, and other alternative – even experimental – formats that provoke critical awareness and imagination, that assess the potential for critical engagements in a variety of spheres, and that enable conference participants to get to know each other better.

The 2011 conference seeks papers, panels, workshops, art, and other forms of presentation related to the following three themes and four arenas:

Critical Refusal(s) Conference Themes
Theme One: Critical Spaces--Critical Theory meets Critical Theories of Urban Space, Struggle, and Overcoming
Theme Two: Critical Intersections--Class, Race, Gender, Queer, Disability, Ethnicity, Postcolonial, Africana, Indigenous, Caste, Animal, Nature….Critical Theory / CRITICAL THEORIES / Liberation Theories
Theme Three: Critical Theories--The Frankfurt School and Its Contemporary Heirs – Legacies, Debates, Possibilities
See the CFP (website above) for more details.

Featured speakers (confirmed) include:
Angela Davis
Stanley Aronowitz
Alex Callinicos
Enrique Dussel
Andrew Feenberg
Michelle Fine
Axel Honneth
Peter-Erwin Jansen
Douglas Kellner
Heather Love
Peter Marcuse
Charles Mills
Nina Power
David Roediger

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

On the Commons; or, Believing-Feeling-Acting Together

BANFF RESEARCH in CULTURE (BRiC) / Research Residency Program
Banff Centre for the Arts / University of Alberta

THEME: On the Commons; or, Believing-Feeling-Acting Together

Application deadline: December 1, 2010

Guest Faculty: Lauren Berlant, Michael Hardt, Pedro Reyes
Organizers: Imre Szeman, Heather Zwicker, Kitty Scott

Program dates: May 9, 2011 - May 27, 2011
Email contact: bric@ualberta.ca

(Note: There are only 25 spots available in the residency program this year)

The commons has emerged as one of the key concepts around which
social, political, and cultural demands are being articulated and
theorized today. Harkening back to the displacement of people from
shared communal spaces and their transformation from public into
private property ? a central act in the development of European
capitalism in the 18th and 19th centuries ? the commons insists on
the fundamentally shared character of social life: that everything
from language to education, from nature to our genetic inheritance,
belongs irreducibly to all of us. As an increasingly rapacious
capitalism draws ever more elements of social life into its profit
logic and renders seemingly every activity and value into a
commodity, thinking with and through the commons has become an
important means of generating conceptual and political resistance to
the multiple new forms of enclosure that continue to take place
today, and which need to be confronted and challenged forcefully and

The commons is a concept used in analyses and interventions in popular
culture, art, new media, political philosophy, social theory, law,
literary studies, and more. The ease with which neoliberal ideology ?
which celebrates the supposed rationality of privatization and has
managed to transform taxation into an act feared above all else ? has
become embedded in the beliefs and lived structures of everyday life
demands an intensive examination of how and why we have come to
prefer enclosure to the commons in almost every area of social life.
Just as importantly, it also requires us to investigate and invent new
ways of being-in-common--ways of believing, feeling and acting
together, of creating the commons that seem everywhere to be receding
from view.

The aim of this year?s Banff Research in Culture workshop is to give
scholars, cultural producers, and artists an opportunity to explore
how we believe, feel, and act together, and the ways in which we are
prevented from doing so. How might we shape new collectivities and
communities? What are the capacities and dispositions essential to
producing new ways of being? What lessons can we learn from history as
well as contemporary struggles over the commons (from challenges to
intellectual property to indigenous struggles)? What concepts and
vocabularies might we develop to aid our critical and conceptual work
with respect to the commons (e.g. Alain Badiou?s revival of communism
or Jacque Rancière?s reconfiguration of equality and democracy)? How
does artistic and cultural production participate in the production
of new collectivities and defense of the commons? Where do we go from
here-a moment in which neoliberalism seems to have stumbled and lost
its forward momentum? We welcome projects dealing with the full range
of issues and topics related to being-believing-feeling-acting
together today.

On the Commons will run concurrently with the thematic residency La
Commune. The Asylum. Die Bühne led by artist Althea Thauberger,
providing opportunities for interaction and collaboration with
artists in residence.

Developed by Imre Szeman, Canada Research Chair in Cultural Studies
and Professor of English and Film Studies at the University of
Alberta, Heather Zwicker, Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) in the
Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta, and Kitty Scott,
Director of Visual Arts at the Banff Centre, On the Commons is part of
Banff Research in Culture (BRiC), a new residency program designed for
scholars engaged in advanced theoretical research on themes and topics
in culture. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, junior faculty,
and practicing artists from across Canada and beyond will convene at
The Banff Centre to pursue their work ? and, ideally, to incubate new
collaborations and creations ? for three weeks. During the residency,
participants will attend lectures, seminars, and workshops offered by
distinguished visiting faculty from around the world, each of whom
will stay at Banff for a week or more and will be available to discuss
projects and ideas. Participants will also be encouraged to present
their work to colleagues through readings, talks, and presentations
held over the course of the program.

As a residency program, BRiC is designed to allow participants to
devote an extended period of time on their own research in the company
of others with similar interests. In addition to giving researchers
and creators from different disciplinary and professional backgrounds
an opportunity to exchange opinions and ideas, it is hoped that
participants will develop new artistic, editorial, authorial, and
collective projects during their time at Banff, both individually and
in connection with others. We are especially pleased by the
opportunity that BRiC affords visual artists and researchers to work
together on issues of common interest.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Cities & Synecdoche

Call for Papers: 2010 Annual Meeting of the Association of American

Cities & Synecdoche

'Synecdoche', as defined by Webster's New World Dictionary, is "a figure
of speech in which a part is used for a whole, an individual for a
class, a material for a thing, or any of the reverse of these." In
Geography, we find this especially in representations and discussions of
scale where, for example, 'the city' is (mis-)represented using
phenomena and patterns better understood and analyzed at local or
regional scales ... or vice versa. Place-marketing and other
entrepreneurial endeavors - branding, for example - have made ample use
of synecdoche in the interest of economic development and investment.
'Best Places' claims and categorizations are, almost by necessity,
derived from scale-specific data that are hardly universal to the
'place' at hand. This is especially true for cities, for whom 'best' (or
'worst') place-branding (either self-generated or by others) has taken
on increasing competitive significance. To this end, it seems,
synecdoche is increasingly vital to projects of accumulation and - by
extension - uneven development and thus potentially rife with inter- or
intra-scale contradictions and the potential for conflict and injustice.

For this paper session, I invite papers that explore the complexities of
synecdoche at the Urban Scale, and that attempt to reveal its
implications (be they positive or negative) for those 'other' scales
(e.g., communities, environments, households, people, and places)
abstracted within it and from which it is emergent. I encourage
participation from a breadth of ideological and theoretical
orientations, sub-disciplinary interests, and international

Please send a message of intent and abstract electronically by no later
than October 18th to:

Alec Brownlow
Assistant Professor of Geography
DePaul University
Chicago, IL 60614
phone: 773-325-7876
fax: 773-325-4590

Monday, September 27, 2010

Race and Space: The Materiality of Difference

Call For Papers: Association of American Geographers, annual meeting:
April 12-16, 2011, Seattle, WA

Race and Space: The Materiality of Difference

Co-organizers: Rachel Brahinsky (UC Berkeley Geography) and Kate
Derickson (University of Glasgow)

This session seeks to put scholars in conversation who are drawing out
the vitally important connections between racialization and the
production of space. We’re interested in these processes from a
theoretical perspective – but even more so because of the way they
play out in people’s everyday lives. Thus for this session, we are
particularly interested in papers that tease out the materiality of
space-race relationships. How do racial constructions connect to
spatial ones and vice versa – and why does it matter? If “race” makes
spaces, or if racialization occurs in and through space, then how are
these processes sedimented and resisted in everyday life?

This call for papers is devised in the spirit of drawing connections
between class- and capital-centered literatures on the production of
space and critical race literatures that aim to destabilize “race.”
This session therefore seeks both to extend the body of race-space
literature that is emergent in Geography and to open new pathways of
research and analysis, perhaps using interdisciplinary methodologies
to tease out how race and class (and other stratifications) interact
with space. Local, regional, national, and global studies are all

We invite scholars from across disciplines to submit abstracts that
may include (but aren’t limited to):

• Intersections of racialization with gender, class, or religion
– and space
• The ways in which financial crises are borne out through both
spatial and racialized patterns
• Ideologies and spatialities of Whiteness
• How race-space relationships play out in cities, rural spaces
or in “nature”
• Spatialities of post-racial thinking
• Race and space, post-9/11 – or in the context of the Obama presidency
• Urban (re)developments of the past and future
• Ethnographies of racialized space
• Genealogies of race-space research in the discipline
• Race and nature, in its various formulations
• Approaches for developing social justice praxis in this vein of thinking