Announcing the Neoliberalism + Biopolitics Conference | February 27-28, 2015

Michael Kowen

Neoliberalism + Biopolitics | Conference

Friday, February 27 – Saturday, February 28, 2015
Maude Fife Room, Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley

Neoliberalism + Biopolitics is a two-day conference featuring lectures and panels on neoliberalism and biopolitics by major thinkers currently working to develop and problematize these two concepts. As both objects of study and frames for analysis, neoliberalism and biopolitics have served as key ciphers over the past two decades for those attempting to appreciate the novelty of contemporary political rationalities, forms of social control, technological developments, and economic orders. Michel Foucault’s 1978-79 Collège de France lectures famously linked biopolitics and neoliberalism at both the historical and conceptual level; contemporary usage of both terms, however, extends well beyond Foucault’s original articulation. Part of the ambition of this conference is to interrogate the compatibility or incommensurability of different approaches seeking to deploy both concepts.

Envisioned as a dialogue among diverse theorists, Neoliberalism + Biopolitics extends the discussion across disciplinary lines by bringing together scholars from both the humanities and social sciences. The program includes presentations by Étienne Balibar (Université Paris X – Nanterre), Banu Bargu (New School for Social Research), Wendy Brown (UC Berkeley), Michel Feher (Zone Books), Bernard Harcourt (Columbia University), Colleen Lye (UC Berkeley), Christopher Newfield (UC Santa Barbara), Leslie Salzinger (UC Berkeley), Charis Thompson (UC Berkeley), and James Vernon (UC Berkeley).

The Neoliberalism + Biopolitics Conference is free and open to the public. Attendees will be admitted at the door on a first-come first-served basis.  Please arrive early. Seating is limited. Contact criticaltheoryconference@berkeley.edu for more information.

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This conference is the culminating event in a series of working group meetings and presentations on neoliberalism and biopolitics organized by UC Berkeley graduate students William Callison (Ph.D. Candidate Political Science, DE Critical Theory) and Zachary Manfredi (Ph.D. Candidate Rhetoric). The Neoliberalism + Biopolitics Working group and conference are supported by Cultural Services-French Embassy in the United States, French American Cultural Society, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute along with UC Berkeley’s Program in Critical Theory Divisions of Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences, Center for the Study of Law & Society, Class of 1936 First Chair of Political Science funds, Departments of English, Political Science, Rhetoric, and Sociology, Maxine Elliot Professor funds, and The Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities.

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