Graduate Student Conference 2018
Politics of (de)Politicization
14 – 15 June, 2018
Central European University
We invite participants to discuss the analytical potential of engaging with contemporary empirical manifestations of political lives through the lens of (de)politicization. Approaching the often elusive and contradictory forms of politicization and depoliticization, we look to reflect on how this dichotomy can be made useful to scrutinize political entanglements of today. While discussions on 'post-politics' and 'the post-political' (Ranciere 2006, Mouffe 2005) have unfolded within the social sciences over the past two decades, we hope here to unpack the theoretical potentialities of (de)politicization beyond the teleology of 'the post-political', and explore these processes in their contemporary and intertwined configurations. To this end we are interested in contributions that transgress the demarcation between politicization and depoliticization, and explore how these processes might intersect and overlap.
Within anthropology and sociology, the political as an object of research has occupied many generations of scholars, placing it within or in relation to forms of governing and resistance, social movements, the public and the private, and intersections of gender, class, and race. Collective contestations and claims are oftentimes depoliticized and excluded by economically powerful institutions and formal political bodies through policy implementation, development programs, and trade agreements, among others. Simultaneously, marginalized groups and individuals are denied agency, while regularly evoked as scapegoats and antagonistic ‘Others’ within various discourses. Manifesting as colonial projects, land enclosures, labor exploitation, and confiscation of popular power, political and economic structures seek to reproduce pre-existing configurations of global hierarchy, which in turn leads to the emergence of social movements and subjectivities that politicize their claims through articulations anchored in for example, religion, the nation, or tradition, among others.
How can we understand contemporary processes of (de)politicization? Under what conditions, conjunctures, and times do particular alliances, networks, and solidarities confront the political apparatus of the global, national, and the local? What practices are employed in reclaiming political agency and contesting depoliticization? How does radical depoliticization of excluded groups relate to their political objectification in ideologically charged narratives? What political subjectivities are embodied by individuals and groups facing marginalization, disenfranchisement, and exclusion, and what do they tell us about future trajectories of political discourse and politics? What can be made visible by analyzing such processes through the conceptual framework of (de)politicization and what are its limitations?
As a joint Social Anthropology and Sociology department, we invite papers from both disciplines and beyond, as well as papers which push the boundaries of disciplinary conventions. We invite advanced Master's students and PhD students to submit theoretical, empirical, and methodological papers that explore issues of (de)politicization relating, but not limited to the following:
• Role of expertise and policy in (de)politicization
• Strategies and tactics of (de)politicization
• Struggles against (de)politicization
• Marginalization, social exclusion, and (de)politicization
• (de)Politicization and labor
• (de)Politicization and gender
• (de)Politicization of and within history
• Theoretical and methodological approaches to (de)politicization
• (de)Politicizing knowledge and knowledge production
Ranciére, J. (2006) Hatred of Democracy (Verso)
Mouffe, C. (2005) On the Political (Routledge)
For submissions, please send your title and an abstract (300 word max), along with your institutional affiliation to: SocAnthro_GradConference@ceu.edu
Limited amount of funding may be available for participants.
Deadline for submissions: 2 April, 2018
Expected response date: 17 April, 2018