Call for Papers: Theorizing the Now: Issues of Contempraneity

January 25, 2015 all-day

Strategies of Critique XXIX
Conference of the Graduate Program in Social & Political Thought
York University, Toronto
April 24th and 25th, 2015

Call for Papers: Theorizing the Now: Issues of Contemporaneity

“Why now?”

This question, whether rendered explicit or left implicit, constitutes a necessary step in speculation towards thinking the present. In his Philosophy of Right, Hegel problematizes philosophy’s relation to the present in the now famous statement, “The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.” What can we do with thought that always arrives too late to the scene? When in Freud’s Drive, feminist film theorist Teresa de Lauretis assigns theory the task of generating possible “figure[s] of the history of the present,”—a present characterised by the “enigma of the now”—she not only emphasizes the role of history in our comprehension of the present, but also acknowledges the challenge of rendering the present legible through anything but figures that resist the clarity of absolute intelligibility. How do we speak of the present with only the tools supplied by our past?

The Graduate Programme in Social and Political Thought invites the submission of abstracts for papers and panels pertaining to the topic of the present and contemporaneity in the critical social sciences and humanities. In this, the 29th year of the Strategies of Critique conference—the year before a milestone which will doubtless bring with it retrospection and reflection upon the history and future of social and political thinking—we ask: what is it about the present that makes it distinct (or perhaps not so dissimilar as we might like) from any other time in history? Applicants are asked to submit statements that situate their research within the context of its relation to and position in the present moment, and are urged to use this conference as an opportunity to theorise about their research (thesis, dissertation, or otherwise) and/or creative projects “in real time,” in and amongst their peers and contemporaries.

Since the theme for this conference is relatively open to interpretation, suggested topics should be treated as catalyst for thought rather than prescriptive categories. Such topics for papers and/or panels may include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • The Proliferation of Post-presents (the ostensibly postmodern, posthuman, postcolonial, post-feminist, post-ideological, postracial now)
  • Immediacy and Methodology
  • Emerging Identities
  • Contemporary Popular Culture
  • The State of Social and Political Theory or Philosophy
  • The Role of Theory in Curatorial and Creative Works
  • Affect, Mediate and Immediate
  • Novel Technologies and Techniques
  • Violence and the Cutting Edge
  • New Neoliberalisms
  • The State of Organized Labour
  • Contemporary Art and the Aesthetics of the Present
  • Governance by the Numbers
  • New Media
  • New Religious Movements
  • “In today’s society…” – The State of Pedagogy
  • Beyond Logos: Drug Culture and New Conceptions of Transcendence
  • Terror in the Now: Modern Terrorism and State Responses
  • New Conceptualizations of the Animal and Animalisms
  • New Self(ie)

Submission Guidelines:

Please submit your abstracts to by January 25th, 2015.

Paper presentations should be 15 minutes in length. Please submit a 250-word abstract (.doc or .pdf) along with a short bio including:

  • your name
  • your program and institutional affiliation
  • the title of your paper
  • your research interests

Panel proposals should include three presenters. Please submit a 300-word panel proposal including:

  • the title of the panel
  • presenters’ names and the title of their papers

(Please note that individual members of the proposed panel are still required to submit separate 250-word abstracts and bios.)

Applicants will be notified of the decisions of the review committee by the end of February.

For more information, please contact the conference committee at