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Collaborations and Interventions

Aesthetics and Radical Politics

2 February 2007, University of Manchester
Sponsored by the SGSA

There has always been a strong connection historically between aesthetics and radical politics, and this is no less true for the global justice movement's current preoccupation with cultural approaches to political action. This conference seeks to bring radical artists, activists, theorists and academics together to discuss past and present convergences between the theories and practices of artists and writers and the theories and practices of movements for radical social change.

There is already a massive amount of literature on Marxist approaches to aesthetics, art and literature, and whilst we welcome papers engaging with such approaches, we would also encourage presentations and discussions that address these issues from other radical critical positions - whether they be anarchist, autonomist, ecological or otherwise. Such perspectives have often been overlooked historically, but it is arguable that they now more centrally influence the activities of radical artists and activists.

The event will be defined by those who participate. What would you like to see happen? What kind of discussions do you think are important? Would you like to present a paper, facilitate a discussion, propose a panel presentation, organise a workshop or contribute in other ways?

We imagine papers, discussions & workshops about things like:

Carnivalesque protest and theatrical interventions
Affect and political action
Anarchist literary criticism
Situationism and its reception by contemporary activists
'Second wave' anarchism and culture - John Moore, Hakim Bey etc.
Anarchism and Modernism
Cultural production and immaterial labour
Anarchism and poststructuralism
The politics of the avant-garde
Anarchist fiction, biographies and autobiographies

Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words, along with a brief biographical introduction. Papers from all perspectives will be considered. Papers should aim to be accessible and to encourage discussion. We are also considering publishing selected papers in a special issue of Anarchist Studies.

Please send us a proposal (1 page at most) which addresses the
following questions:

* how long would you want for your session (e.g., 1 or 2 hours)?
* do you want to limit the number of participants? If so, how many?
*what are the aims of the session? What do you envision coming out of it?
* how does the session work toward those aims?
* what experience would you bring to the session? *

DEADLINE: December 15th 2006.

REGISTRATION: Costs of participation have yet to be determined but will be kept to an absolute minimum and on a sliding scale. If possible, we also aim to provide a small number of travel grants. Please contact us to be kept up to date on these details.

We welcome groups interested in aesthetics and radical politics to participate by organising workshops, sending folk along or providing materials for distribution (whole info stalls or bunches of leaflets, flyers, etc).

Proposals toward evening entertainments, artistic interventions, etc very welcome!

CONTACT for submissions, proposals, registration, etc :
Gavin Grindon
Department of English and American Studies
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PL