News Archive: 2014

Michael Kowen

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

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.
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Global Philosophy Conference at UC Berkeley

On October 2-3, 2014, UC Berkeley’s Philosophy Department presents “Global Philosophy? European, Asian, and American Perspectives.” Conference speakers include Critical Theory Faculty member Hans Sluga, who will present on, “The Local and the Global: Political Philosophy from a Global Perspective.” For more information and a complete schedule of talks, visit the Philosophy department website.

Critical Theory’s 2014-2015 Events Calendar

The Program in Critical Theory announces its 2014-2015 season with lectures and seminars on the critical legacies of Walter Benjamin, Bertolt Brecht, and Jacques Derrida, and a Fall semester working group and Spring conference on neoliberalism and biopolitics. Partha Chatterjee, founding member of the Subaltern Studies collective, arrives in April to speak on non-western forms of governmentality.
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Michael Kowen

Announcing the Neoliberalism + Biopolitics Working Group | Sessions Begin September 17

The Neoliberalism + Biopolitics Working Group is a semester-long series investigating the role of neoliberalism and biopolitics as both contemporary objects of study and paradigms of analysis for humanistic and social- scientific inquiry. While the two concepts were originally linked at both the historical and conceptual level by Michel Foucault’s 1978-79 Collège de France lectures, their contemporary usage extends far beyond this earlier articulation. Today, neoliberalism and biopolitics are increasingly deployed as conceptual tools to describe and evaluate new forms of political power, social control, technological developments, and economic orders. (more… )

Designated Emphasis Student Joshua Williams Receives Critical Theory Dissertation Fellowship

Joshua WilliamsCritical Theory is pleased to announce the selection of UC Berkeley graduate student Joshua Williams for the 2014-2015 Dissertation Fellowship. Williams is working towards his Ph.D. in Performance Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory. His dissertation, “Don’t Tell the Hyena How Well You Can Bite: Performance, Race, and Animality in East Africa,” considers the politics of race and animality in Kenyan and Tanzanian performance art from the 1930s through the 1990s. (more… )

Critical Theory Receives Humanities Grant for Working Group on Neoliberalism and Biopolitics

The University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI) has selected The Program in Critical Theory to receive $10,000 toward a 2014-2015 working group on neoliberalism and biopolitics. The student- and faculty-led working group will engage critical scholarship on neoliberalism and biopolitics, and consider, among other questions, the compatibility or incommensurability of various approaches to the concepts and practices represented by the key terms. (more… )

Sixteen UC Berkeley Graduate Students Accepted into Critical Theory’s Designated Emphasis Program

The Program in Critical Theory welcomes sixteen new graduate students to the Designated Emphasis (DE) in Critical Theory. The incoming cohort represents diverse research and disciplinary backgrounds that add substantially to the community of nearly 100 Critical Theory DE students. The Program in Critical Theory congratulates these students on their acceptance to the DE and looks forward to their contributions in coursework, working groups, and events. (more… )

International Critical Theory Conference at Northwestern University

On May 2-4, 2014, Northwestern University’s Program in Critical Theory will be hosting an International Critical Theory Conference. The keynote speaker is Jürgen Habermas, who will be lecturing on “The troubled future of democracy – inside and outside Europe,” and the conference also features The Program in Critical Theory’s Wendy Brown giving a lecture entitled “Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism and the Economization of Political Rights.”


2014-2015 Designated Emphasis (DE) Applications Due March 20

The Program in Critical Theory Critical Theory is accepting applications for its Designated Emphasis (DE) program. Critical Theory is often associated with the Frankfurt School, a group of intellectuals who developed a critique of German fascism in the 1940s and 50s, and who established a form of social theory distinct from established forms of philosophy. But the concept of critique emerges in various forms in the 18th and 19th centuries in the work of Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, and Karl Marx and has assumed distinct forms in recent years. The Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory offers courses on the 19th century notion of critique, the Frankfurt school (more… )

The Program in Critical Theory Announces Politics Beyond the Human, a Spring 2014 Workshop on Theory and Contemporary Politics

In the series following-up from last Fall’s Forms of Survival and the Politics of Vulnerability, Politics Beyond the Human continues to address notions of survival and how survival can act as a license to force and at other times a basis for resistance. Politics Beyond the Human expands the scope of inquiry to include discussions of the nonhuman world. Heightened attention to the nonhuman may be necessary for understanding how, not only resources, but exposure to risk are unevenly distributed and managed under late capitalism. Sessions are oriented around four sites of exploration: ecology, infrastructure, animal capital, and forms of embodiment. (more… )