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7th CONFERENCE ON POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 2010 “Figures of Emancipation” (International Conference)

mercredi 8 septembre 2010

Political Philosophy Seminar, University of Barcelona Barcelona, November 15-18, 2010 Faculty of Philosophy – University of Barcelona


“Figures of Emancipation” will be the topic for critical discussion of the 7th Political Philosophy Conference, convened by the Political Philosophy Seminar at the University of Barcelona. We believe that the current crisis and backward steps regarding past social achievements, along with the impoverishment of the political discourse, turn the present moment into a good one to discuss a topic such as emancipation. Emancipatory struggles have undergone historical periods of rise and fall in both the political discourse and the political practice—sometimes gone with revolutions, other times silenced by the counterrevolutions. And, in each of these moments, proposals for emancipation have expressed themselves very diversely. Nowadays, the idea of emancipation remains fragmented, divided into “specializations” and “trades,” just as it happens with knowledge and labor. The unitary project of human emancipation of the Enlightenment has given way to very diverse forms of emancipation—feminist, environmentalist, cultural, ethnic, social, of the peoples and of the minorities—gaining intensity at the expense of unity. The latter forms of emancipation, appeared as a consequence of the limits and failures of the former project, have created a trade-off between the commitment to, and the improvement of, the emancipatory project of the Enlightenment, on the one hand, and the appearance of new and more autonomous ways of emancipation that, in turn, give up universality and look at group and even individual forms of emancipation. In any case, these moves are not independent from the process itself. Clearly, they are effects—perhaps defeats—of the resistance of capitalism to any insubordinate subjectivity against its patterns of reproduction. It is hardly surprising thus the appearance, within this debate, of trends, both conservative and postmodern, that give up all emancipatory projects altogether. Due to its simple trivialization, or in the name of a supposed pragmatism that, pretending to be liberating and transgressor, hides the hand of the master it serves. For these reasons, we believe that the update of the figures of emancipation as a topic for critical reflection is not only friendly to the view of philosophy as committed to the understanding of the present, but also to its also essential task of taking sides for every form of liberating, be it from ignorance, oppression or injustice.

Thus, we believe that reflection on a topic such as emancipation leaves room enough for contributions on social, feminist, ecological and cultural emancipation, each of them, in turn, in its own diverse aspects. These debates are embedded in the distinct views on nationalism and indigenism, in the struggles against new forms of colonialism, in the diverse forms to approach gender as part of politics, in the different environmentalism of the rich and the poor countries, and in the tension between freedom and social equality. In sum, a spectrum broad enough to include diverse approaches, but sufficiently accurate and oriented to make discussion possible. We believe that critical reflection on the figures of emancipation ought to be open to contributions not only from political philosophy but also from other related scientific fields. For that reason, we welcome contributions from both political philosophy and other germane fields such as law, sociology, politics, economics, history, geography or anthropology. Now, we solicit that, regardless of their field, the contributions be closely connected with the idea of emancipation, perhaps the most beautiful—and thus fuzzy—one in the philosophical repertoire.

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Practical information

The 7th Political Philosophy Conference, convened by the Political Philosophy Seminar at the University of Barcelona, will take place during November 15, 16, 17 and 18 at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Barcelona. The conference will include two kind of activities—round tables and plenary sessions.

Plenary sessions will take place during the afternoon. They will include plenary addresses of well-established scholars, followed by a commentary by a respondent and a Q&A period.

Concurrent sessions will take place during the morning. They will include presentations of papers by researchers who are willing to debate the findings of their research.

The deadline for the submission of papers is September 15 2010.

Submitted papers should be no longer than ten pages, Times New Roman 12 pt., 1’5 spaced. Since all papers will be blind-reviewed, they must be submitted without any reference to the author’s name. A cover page must be submitted separately, including the title of the paper, author’s name, academic affiliation, a brief academic resumé, an e-mail address and a telephone number. Both documents must be submitted to

Review process : all the submitted papers will be blind reviewed by two referees. A maximum of six papers per day will be accepted.

Acceptance of submitted papers will be communicated in October 1, 2010. Confirmation by the author entails the presentation of the paper in the conference. The organizers will provide accommodation—unfortunately, though, travel expenses will not be covered. In addition, accepted papers will be subsequently published—unless otherwise specified by the author—in the December issue of Astrolabio. International Philosophy Review, (ISSN 1699-7549).

Presentations will last 30 minutes, including the Q&A period. All the accepted papers will be distributed among the participants in advance.

The website of the conference will be regularly updated with further information :

Registration is on the webside and it’s free.

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"Figures of Emancipation"

Barcelona, November 15-18, 2010 (International Conference)

Department of Theoretical and Practical Philosophy Office 4013-4014. Faculty of Philosophy C/Montalegre 6. 08001 Barcelona

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