Locating Politics across the disciplinary spectrum
An Interdisciplinary Roundtable series
Politics is increasingly recognized as a site of contestation over broad questions about the legitimacy of the social order: namely, ‘what’ and/or ‘who’ counts as important and how we can defend such decisions. The aim of this interdisciplinary research series is to draw out the multifaceted nature of such a conception of politics. Although it brings together work inspired by critical theory broadly defined, this series’ aim is to provide a platform for the cacophony of voices presenting alternative approaches to how we might answer the question as to ‘who’ and ‘what’ counts. Its focus is on the ongoing process through which politics is rethought and contested – the way in which it is constantly being (re)written through many different voices – their particular concerns, topics or questions. These voices are often contradictory and conflicting but it is precisely the conflicting nature of such voices, and the move away from anodyne consensual politics which this series aims to explore, tease out and to celebrate.
This series will focus on the contested nature of politics within the upheaval of recent years. Over the past few years the socio-political sphere was forced into an encounter with a major political ‘shift’ embodied in the idea of ‘crisis’, which seems to have imprisoned political discourse. This interdisciplinary seminar however aims to engage with the impact the crisis has had on the subjects of humanities and the field of politics in particular and demonstrate how it is being contested – how many voices are articulating various understandings of politics. It asks how politics is being ‘re-claimed’ from the discourse of emergency and urgency the crisis introduced; how is space is being opened for many different ways of thinking about humanities and socio-political phenomena? The discourse of emergency indicates continued attempts to master and maintain status quo through the idea of ‘crisis’. As against this, we will ask how is politics being imagined otherwise? How and where is resistance possible? And how are people thinking about living together as a society and a world otherwise? The seminar series will deal with this by focusing on three themes of upheaval: austerity, anxiety and alterity.