Populism and Global Geopolitics: Critical Reflections on Sovereignty, Borders and (un)Belonging

Call for Papers

Department of International Politics Aberystwyth University 23-23 June 2017

The BISA ISMMEA Working Group is an interdisciplinary forum for engaging scholars, practitioners and policymakers. We focus on the geopolitics of the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia beyond the bifurcated views of a West vs. non- Western world order on knowledge production, power, identity, and foreign policy and for a more critical and alternative approach to theorizing international relations.

Following our last two workshops on ‘Bodies, Borders and (un)Belonging’, and ‘Identity, Space and the Questions of State’ at the Westminster Forum in London this year’s annual workshop will take place at the Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University on 22 and 23 June 2017. The theme of our workshops is inspired by the ongoing debates on the rise of nationalism, populism and refugee crisis at Europe’s unrelenting national borders, stateless nations, internally displaced minorities, Brexit and most recently the election of Donald Trump. While these events further exposed the blind spots within international relations, including Critical International Relations (CIR) it also highlighted global injustices and their relation to political power in different parts of the world, Western and non-western alike. In orthodox international relations, at least in the dominant Eurocentric discourses, global quest for justice is derived from liberal Western ideas and usually expressed in territorial nation-state terms. Has CIR opened the avenue to challenge the “methodological nationalism” of orthodox international relations’ obsession with maintaining the coherence of state sovereignty over any other claim to right, justice, identity or cosmopolitan citizenship?

With these contentions in mind, we call for critical, exploratory and inter-disciplinary perspectives on the nature and complexities of emerging challenges international relations scholars encounter with a global revival of populism and nationalism mixed with anti-immigration policies. We will critically reflect on how state sovereignty is constituted through embodied borders, violence, nationalist discourses of othering, and the framing of pain and grievable life.

This workshop aims to extend the regional focus of the ISMMEA working group to the broad range of expertise of the BISA members and the research community of other working groups to exchange knowledge and ideas on ‘Populism and Global Geopolitics: Critical Reflections on Sovereignty, Borders and (un)Belonging.

We ask the following questions: What is the problem with populism? How can post- structuralism respond to populism and post-truth politics meaningfully? How borders function more than just a physical demarcation of nation-state, sovereignty and belonging?

We welcome papers proposals on the following themes:

Colonial continuities: Intervention, killing and postcolonial sovereign power; Embodied borders and practices of sovereignty;
Sovereign power and the politics of killing;
Sovereignty as emotional performance;

Bare life and sovereign exceptionalism;
Grievable/precarious life and the politics of framing pain;
Machismo populism and the gendered nature of (un)belonging; National discourses of othering and exclusion;
And, ‘Consent’, agency and incitement in the Trump/Modi/Erdogan era

We invite scholars to discuss these issues and applications in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia with the aim of generating new knowledge and perspectives in critical international relations. We particularly welcome papers from a variety of disciplines and fields in humanities, social and political sciences. We will also invite prominent scholars to give keynotes and participate in the two-day workshop.

Deadline for Abstract Submission is 1 May 2017.

Please email the abstract (200 words max) and a short biographical note (100 words max) to cae23@aber.ac.uk by 1 May 2017.

Applicants will be notified of the decision in by 15 May 2017.

If accepted, participants are required to write a full paper (between 6,000 and 8,000 words) and submit it to ayg@aber.ac.uk no later than 15 June 2017.

Funding is contingent on submitting the paper by this deadline. Selected papers will be published in an edited volume, after a peer-review and an editing process.

Exhibiting Gender, Curating Conflict Body Politics and Affective Objects in Art and Museums

CALL FOR PAPERS

University of Bristol, Tuesday 6 June 2017

Conveners: Dr Audrey Reeves, University of Bristol, audrey.reeves@bristol.ac.uk and
Dr Charlotte Heath-Kelly, University of Warwick c.heath-kelly@warwick.ac.uk

Keynote speaker: Christine Sylvester, University of Connecticut

Workshop description
The gendered nature and power of public exhibitions has long sparked feminist interest and activism. National art galleries, history museums, and war memorials glorify statesmen, captains, and soldiers as the makers of war and history. Meanwhile, the same public exhibits represent women as passively grateful for these men’s desire, protection, and sacrifice. Women and the feminist movement have nonetheless often taken hold of art and exhibitions to disrupt the narrative that while men fight foreign men on the battlefield, women are kept safe and pacified at home. From the suffragettes to the Guerrilla Girls collective, artists, activists, and curators have denounced diverse forms of gender-based violence, and showcased alternative narratives of conflict and peace. As museums evolve to integrate digital technologies, popular culture, and interactive experiences, feminist enquiries remain essential to investigate the curation of conflict. How do increasingly global, digital, and commercial museums and galleries construct gender through the medium of the exhibit? And how is conflict – in the home, in the streets, on the battlefield – represented by curators and experienced by visitors? This workshop invites researchers, artists, and curators to interrogate museums and art as sites where common sense about gender, peace, and conflict is seamlessly reproduced and actively challenged. It also opens an exploration of exhibits’ power to affect and inspire feminist research. Empirically, exhibits and artefacts under study may be located anywhere in the world. We hope that cross-national perspectives can inform a joint reflection with local curators and artists on art and museums in Bristol, the UK, and beyond.

We seek contributions at various stages of development – work in progress or at early stages is very welcome – on the following topics, inter alia:
• Feminism and women’s bodies in art/exhibition
• Gender in the curation of violence and war
• Intersectionality and representations of race, ethnicity, and imperial heritage
• Curatorial performances in conversation with queer/feminist theory
• Performance, embodiment, and sensation in exhibitions
• The gender politics of affect and emotion at the museum
• Materiality, spatiality, and technology in curatorial practices
• Feminist political economy of art and exhibitions

General queries and abstracts of no more than 200 words should be sent to audrey.reeves@bristol.ac.uk by 1 May 2017.

While the workshop is free to attend, unfortunately we cannot provide funding for transport or accommodation.

CFP: Workshop on Populism and Global Politics

Call for Papers

British International Studies Association

Working Group on

The International Studies on the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Asia

 

Workshop on

Populism and Global Geopolitics:

Critical Reflections on Sovereignty, Borders and (un)Belonging

Department of International Politics Aberystwyth University

23-23 June 2017

The BISA ISMMEA Working Group is an interdisciplinary forum for engaging scholars, practitioners and policymakers. We focus on the geopolitics of the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia beyond the bifurcated views of a West vs. non- Western world order on knowledge production, power, identity, and foreign policy and for a more critical and alternative approach to theorizing international relations.

Continue reading

CFP: Workshop on ‘Exhibiting Gender, Curating Conflict’

CALL FOR PAPERS
Exhibiting Gender, Curating Conflict:
Body Politics and Affective Objects in Art and Museums
 
University of Bristol, 6 June 2017
Gender Research Centre | Global Insecurities Centre | FSSL Gender Research Group
Keynote speaker: Professor Christine Sylvester, University of Connecticut
 
Workshop description
The gendered nature and power of public exhibitions has long sparked feminist interest and activism. National art galleries, history museums, and war memorials glorify statesmen, captains, and soldiers as the makers of war and history. Meanwhile, the same public exhibits represent women as passively grateful for these men’s desire, protection, and sacrifice. Women and the feminist movement have nonetheless often taken hold of art and exhibitions to disrupt the narrative that while men fight foreign men on the battlefield, women are kept safe and pacified at home. From the suffragettes to the Guerrilla Girls collective, artists, activists, and curators have denounced diverse forms of gender-based violence, and showcased alternative narratives of conflict and peace. As museums evolve to integrate digital technologies, popular culture, and interactive experiences, feminist enquiries remain essential to investigate the curation of conflict. How do increasingly global, digital, and commercial museums and galleries construct gender through the medium of the exhibit? And how is conflict – in the home, in the streets, on the battlefield – represented by curators and experienced by visitors? This workshop invites researchers, artists, and curators to interrogate museums and art as sites where common sense about gender, peace, and conflict is seamlessly reproduced and actively challenged. It also opens an exploration of exhibits’ power to affect and inspire feminist research. Empirically, exhibits and artefacts under study may be located anywhere in the world. We hope that cross-national perspectives can inform a joint reflection with local curators and artists on art and museums in Bristol, the UK, and beyond.

Continue reading

Pessimism in International Relations

A one-day interdisciplinary workshop funded by the BISA Poststructural Politics Working Group, exploring the politics and philosophy of pessimism and its implications for the study of international politics.

When: Friday 22nd September 2017

Where: Council Room (K2.29), Strand Campus, King’s College London

Hosted by: Dr Tim Stevens and Dr Nick Michelsen, Department of War Studies, King’s College London

Workshop rationale:
Pessimism abounds in international politics. From visions of cyber insecurity and economic dystopias to narratives of ecological decay; from the abandonment of migrants to the sea to the complexities of the Syrian civil war; from the return of East-West geopolitical tensions to the empowerment and rise of demagogic forces within democracies worldwide. Commentators lament a sense of rising and apparently unassailable global crisis. In response, we are recurrently bidden to the promise and potential of optimism in the face of such dynamics and events. In contrast, to be pessimistic about these phenomena is to cleave to an anti-social and regressive perspective on international politics. Pessimists are derided as reactionaries, irrational or emotional, yet there is no a priori reason why pessimism should be any less respectable or defensible than its more acceptable counterpart, optimism. Moreover, pessimism has a long philosophical heritage, from Rousseau, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer to Adorno, Camus and Foucault, that can illuminate contemporary problems in international politics. In International Relations, pessimism is often implicit in narratives of terminal decline and, indeed, in the critical project also: IR is viewed as an academic discipline constrained by its own formative concepts and intellectual history to an empty fatalism. This workshop invites IR scholars to look again at the philosophy and politics of pessimism, and draw out its implications for the discipline of IR and the theory and practice of international politics.
We invite paper submissions that address the following topics, or any other issues related to the exploration of pessimism in International Relations:

x normative assumptions about pessimism in IR
x historiographies of pessimism in IR
x pessimism in political philosophy
x pessimism and poststructuralism
x pessimism and cynicism
x epistemologies of pessimism
x pessimism and environmentalism
x pessimism and progress
x pessimism and democracy
x pessimism and populism
x pessimism and revolution
x pessimism and the critical project
x pessimism and neo/liberalism
x productive pessimism
x pessimism and technology

Our aim is to select several papers for development and submission to a leading IR journal for publication as a special forum.

We have some limited funds available for PhD students to facilitate their participation. If you would like to receive this support, please indicate how much you would need, and provide a short case for support with your abstract.
Deadline for abstracts (300 words max.) June 30th 2017.

Please submit to tim.stevens@kcl.ac.uk and nicholas.michelsen@kcl.ac.uk.

Provisional Event Programme (tbc)
8:15 – 9:15 Registration and Refreshments
9:15 – 9:30 Welcome by Event Organisers
9:30 – 11:00 Panel I: Intellectual Histories of Pessimism in IR (provisional)
11:00 – 11:15 Break
11:15 – 12:45 Panel II: The Powers of Pessimism in International Politics (provisional)
12:45 – 1:45 Workshop Lunch
1:45 – 3:15 Panel III: Pessimism and Hope: Can the Future Exist? (provisional)
3:15 – 3:30 Break
3:30 – 5:30 Roundtable: Can Pessimism be Rehabilitated?