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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Minnesota Political Theory Colloquium Series for Spring 2012

The Spring Schedule for the Minnesota Political Theory Colloquium is now posted. This year's Colloquium theme is "Capital and Crisis" and will meet Fridays at 1:30pm in the Lippincott Room 1314 Social Sciences Building. The first event will be this Friday, January 27th with a presentation by Dr. Alexis Pogorelskin "Politics for Keeps: The Dynamics of the Soviet Succession Struggle in the 1920s".

27 January 2012:
Alexis Pogorelskin Department of History, University of Minnesota-Duluth
"Politics for Keeps: The Dynamics of the Soviet Succession Struggle in the 1920s."
24 February 2012:
Keya Ganguly, Department of Cultural Studies, University of Minnesota
"Malady versus Remedy: Critique in/and the Global South"
In his landmark work of intellectual history, Critique and Crisis (1959), Reinhart Koselleck argued that there is a fundamental contradiction between intellectual positions and political action produced by the distance separating critique from circumstances of crisis. This contradiction in turn produces a split between forms of political authority and a private sphere of critical opinion that attempts to revise or transform the public. According to Koselleck, this split originally emerged during the Enlightenment - when a group of uprooted onlookers emerged to comment on political concerns from which they were themselves distant. It has since informed the constitution of critique in bourgeois societies in which intellectuals are, by their structural position as well as nature, out of touch with the very realities they wish to address. The relationship of critique and crisis has thus largely been negative, one that Koselleck describes as a "malady." However accurate this historicization of critique in bourgeois societies, it neglects the specificity of intellectual production in the global South, where the breach between political and theoretical activity is less extreme and where critique is more immediately responsive to the crisis of existence rather than to crises of ideas alone. Here, one often finds a greater articulation of the two, in part deriving from a different reading of theory, particularly the texts of historical materialism, and also from a different understanding of intellectual and political practice. This paper elaborates on the nature of "peripheral critique" by going beyond Koselleck's conservative propositions about the "pathogenesis" of crisis and showing how "antagonism" operates as a mode of both thought and action when theoretical contradictions are understood as part of the social totality.
2 March 2012:
Robert Hullot-Kentor, School of Visual Arts, New York. "A Theory of Sacrifice and Right Wishing"
9 March 2012:
Alex Demirovic, Department of Political Science - Technische Universität Berlin. Paper TBD
30 March 2012:
Cesare Casarino, Department of Cultural Studies, University of Minnesota. Paper TBD.
6 April 2012:
Silvia Lopez, Spanish Department - Carleton College
"Brazil: critique, crisis and politics in the age of indetermination"
This paper will take as its point of departure the relationship between critique and crisis as originally theorized by Reinhart Koselleck, in order to present a reflection on the understanding of politics in the age of indetermination as advanced by a number of Brazilian thinkers, such as Paulo Arantes, Chico de Oliveira and Andre Singer. These thinkers have taken seriously the premise that the emergence of a public sphere always involves a suspension of the Hobbesian state and that its dissolution brings about the return to a state of conflict and of a war of all against all. The relevant case of such a dissolution is the current state of capitalism and its manifestations in Lula's Brazil. The paper will engage the debates surrounding the redefinition of the political and of a specific political realm in contemporary Brazil, and how this redefinition contrasts with the blurred distinction between the political proper and other public realms that Koselleck early on criticized in our modern understanding of politics. The work of the aforementioned thinkers invites us to rethink the relationship between crisis and critique, but this time in dialogue with Marx, Rancière and Habermas, and from the horizon of interpretation of the global south.
13 April 2012:
Linda Zerilli, Department of Political Science - University of Chicago
Paper TBD
20 April 2012:
Joan Tronto, Department of Political Science - University of Minnesota
"Privatizing Neo-Colonialism: Migrant Domestic Care Workers, Partial Citizenship, and Responsibility"
27 April 2012:
Eric Shepard, Department of Geography - University of Minnesota
Paper TBD
4 May 2012:
Antonio V√°zquez-Arroyo, Department of Political Science - University of Minnesota
"Realism, Utopia, and Colonial Enlightenment"