Events

Cosponsor
  • Institute for Comparative Literature and Society

The Political Concepts conference returns to the Columbia University. The project is guided by one formal principle--the posing of a Socratic question "what is x?"--and by one theatrical principle--the concepts defined should be relevant to political thought and, more broadly, to thinking about the political.

Political Concepts: A Critical Lexicon is a multidisciplinary, web-based journal that seeks to be a forum for engaged scholarship. Each lexical entry will focus on a single concept with the express intention of resituating it in the field of political discourse by addressing what has remained unquestioned or unthought in that concept. Each entry will serve as a short defining essay for a concept. Through their argumentative strategies and employment of the concept in question, entries will aim to reconfigure a concept, rather than take for granted the generally accepted definitions of that concept or the conclusions that follow from them.

Political Concepts does not predetermine what does or does not count as a political concept. Our aim is to expand the scope of what demands political accounting, and for this reason we welcome essays that fashion new political concepts or demonstrate how concepts deserve to be taken as politically significant. It is our view that “politics” refers to the multiplicity of forces, structures, problems, and orientations that shape our collective life. Politics enters the frame wherever our lives together are staked and wherever collective action could make a difference to the outcome. As no discipline possesses an hegemony over this critical space, we welcome submissions from all fields of study.

We consider Political Concepts to be “a critical lexicon” because each contribution resituates a particular aspect of political meaning, thereby opening pathways for another future—one that is not already determined and ill-fated. The term “critical” in our title is also meant quite literally: Political Concepts is a forum for conversation and constructive debate rather than the construction of an encyclopedic ideal.

Program

March 6, 2015  Friday

8:50am - 9:00am EST

Welcome and Arrival

9:00am - 10:30am EST

Panel I
Exodus

Lydia Goehr

Professor of Philosophy

Columbia University

Resistance

Rebecca Comay

Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature

University of Toronto

Moderator

Adi Ophir

Professor at The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas

Tel Aviv University

10:30am - 10:45am EST

Break I

10:45am - 12:15pm EST

Panel II
Legitimacy

Andrew Arato

Dorothy Hart Hirshon Professor in Political and Social Theory

The New School for Social Research

Crisis

Nadia Urbinati

Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory and Hellenic Studies

Columbia University

Moderator

Andreas Kalyvas

Associate Professor of Political Science

New School for Social Research

12:15pm - 1:45pm EST

Break II

2:00pm - 3:00pm EST

Panel III
Normal

Hagar Kotef

Senior Lecturer in Political Theory and Comparative Politics

SOAS, University of London

Innocence

Miriam Ticktin

Associate Professor of Anthropology

The New School for Social Research

Moderator

Ann Stoler

Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology and Historical Studies

The New School for Social Research

3:25pm - 4:00pm EST

Break III

4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

Panel IV
Singularity

Samuel Weber

Avalon Professor of Humanities

Northwestern University

Interference

Emily Apter

Professor of French and Comparative Literature

New York University

Moderator

Stathis Gourgouris

Professor

Columbia University

March 7, 2015  Saturday

10:20am - 10:30am EST

Welcome

10:30am - 12:00pm EST

Panel I
Amnesty

Maxim Pensky

Chair of the Department of Philosophy

State University of New York--Binghamton

Infrapolitics

Alberto Moreiras

Professor

Texas A & M University

Moderator

Jay Bernstein

University Distinguished Professor

The New School

12:00pm - 1:45pm EST

Break I

2:00pm - 3:30pm EST

Panel II
Free Indirect

Timothy Bewes

Professor of English

Brown University

Grandeur

Jason Frank

Associate Professor

Cornell University

Moderator

Bonnie Honig

Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Modern Culture and Media and Political Science

Brown University

4:00pm - 5:30pm EST

Panel III
Whiteness

Linda Martín Alcoff

Professor of Philosophy

Hunter College

Comedy

Dmitri Nikulin

Professor of Philosophy

New School for Social Research

Moderator

Akeel Bilgrami

Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy

Columbia University

Participants
  • Linda Martín Alcoff Professor of Philosophy Hunter College
  • Emily Apter Professor of French and Comparative Literature New York University
  • Andrew Arato Dorothy Hart Hirshon Professor in Political and Social Theory The New School for Social Research
  • Jane Bennett Professor Johns Hopkins University
  • Timothy Bewes Professor of English Brown University
  • Rebecca Comay Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature University of Toronto
  • Jason Frank Associate Professor Cornell University
  • Lydia Goehr Professor of Philosophy Columbia University
  • Stathis Gourgouris Professor Columbia University
  • Bernard E. Harcourt Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law and Director, Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought Columbia University
  • Hagar Kotef Senior Lecturer in Political Theory and Comparative Politics SOAS, University of London
  • Jacques Lezra Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Comparative Literature New York University
  • Alberto Moreiras Professor Texas A & M University
  • Dmitri Nikulin Professor of Philosophy New School for Social Research
  • Maxim Pensky Chair of the Department of Philosophy State University of New York--Binghamton
  • Miriam Ticktin Associate Professor of Anthropology The New School for Social Research
  • Nadia Urbinati Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory and Hellenic Studies Columbia University
  • Samuel Weber Avalon Professor of Humanities Northwestern University