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CRIT-GEOG-FORUM  January 2012

CRIT-GEOG-FORUM January 2012

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Subject:

Oxford Deserts Conf = CFP

From:

Troy Sternberg <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Troy Sternberg <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 23 Jan 2012 18:25:10 +0000

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For all interested in deserts... 
 
 
The 2nd Oxford Interdisciplinary Desert Conference will take place on March 29-30, 2012. The event is for researchers and those interested in desert and dryland environments and societies. All fields are encouraged to participate in presentations, discussion and debate on dryland research. For more conference details, registration and abstract submittal please visit the conference website: http://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/news/events/deserts/  
 
2nd Oxford Interdisciplinary Desert Conference  
When: March 29th & 30th, 2012 
Where: School of Geography, Oxford University,UK 
 
The conference features a special afternoon on ‘T E Lawrence’s Oxford’ on March 28th. This event is co-sponsored by the Ashmolean Museum and the Bodleian Library and will include a private tour of their Lawrence-related collections. 
We look forward to seeing you at the conference. Please let us know any questions. 
 
Dr Troy Sternberg 
School of Geography 
Oxford OX1 3QY  UK 
44 (0) 1865 285070 
[log in to unmask], [log in to unmask] 
 
 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: A forum for critical and radical geographers [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Leila Dawney 
Sent: 23 January 2012 18:00 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: CFP: “Common life: critical perspectives on authority, experience and community” 
 
Cfp: London Conference in Critical Thought June 29-30, 2012, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities Stream title: “Common life: critical perspectives on authority, experience and community” 
 
Organisers: 
Leila Dawney, Goldsmiths, University of London Samuel Kirwan, University of Bristol Authority Research Network 
 
“Common life: critical perspectives on authority, experience and community” 
This stream will bring together perspectives, drawn from geography, sociology and political philosophy, in which questions of authority and its relationship to ‘common’ practices and techniques have been re-framed through the critical force of post-structuralist and new-materialist thought. In so doing it will seek to re-open a debate that has been largely ignored within the critical social sciences, namely the discussion of community, whose role within the highly normative, and influential, ‘communitarian’ literature of the 1980s and ’90s has left an enduring hostility within  such critical approaches to ‘positive’ accounts of collective action. 
Recent events such as the ‘riots’ of summer 2011 have led to a resurgence in debates around the loss of community and the problem of social cohesion. This debate has centred on an alleged ‘crisis of community’ defined by a ‘lack of authority’ – a lack of values, meaning and moral leadership within communities. The ‘big society’ political rhetoric raises similar questions about community formation in an atomised world. Finally, recent ‘occupy’ movements have brought contestations of the ‘common’ to the forefront of political debate.  
Media and political responses to the ‘crisis’ of authority have been divided between conservative voices that point to failures of parenting and values, especially amongst minority or deprived groups, and liberal voices that point to impersonal structural economic causes of unrest. Whilst both capture some truth about contemporary society, both ways of seeing exclude from view the very domain that is supposed to be at stake: shared life, the ‘common’. They divert attention from the practices of collective action in and upon the public, which is the domain of community life, in which authority is fostered and performed. 
This stream will bring together theoretical and empirical perspectives that elucidate such techniques for the production of authoritative claims upon, or challenges to, the common in contemporary societies. It will open a space for a critical academic language that does not abandon collective action, and respond also to worries that there has been a loss of the positive sense of the social in contemporary sociology and public discourse, demonstrating show how recent theoretical work on the ‘common’ can be of use in developing a reinvigorated account of the social. 
 
We welcome theoretical and empirical papers that address the above concerns, for example,  
•	Engagements with the work of Nancy, Ranciere and Negri  
•	New formulations of the idea of enclosure, the commons and the social 
•	Transindividual ontologies 
•	Collective practices and processes 
•	Collective political subjectivities 
•	Critical analyses of political/cultural discourse on authority, community and the commons 
 
Please submit abstracts of 300 words or less to [log in to unmask] stating that you are interested in submitting to this stream. See the conference’s website for further details about the conference and paper submission: http://londonconferenceincriticalthought.wordpress.com. Deadline for abstracts is 19th February 2012. 
 
For an informal discussion about the stream, feel free to contact Leila Dawney: [log in to unmask] 

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