CFP: Power and Resistance: Theory and Imaginative Activism

1 – 2 May 2014
Queen Mary, University of London

The idea for this conference came out of thinking about alleged divisions between
political ‘thought’ and ‘action’. If academics and students sit in ivory towers while
activists are caught in strategic battles with the police and other enemies, how can
political thought and action best learn from each other? This conference has a strong
inter-disciplinary and open character, inviting thinking and acting minds from both
the academic sphere and its ‘surroundings’. One of its main aims is to think about the
oppositional binary that we usually put conceptually between theory and practice,
and how theorizing can aid us in understanding the changing world, consequently
even affecting the way we ‘normally’ conduct ourselves.

The following three theme clusters will be the focus of the conference:
Panel 1 (Thursday, May 1st): ‘Disobedient Theory: Interventions into Normality’.
What are the boundaries of fruitful and compelling intervention? Can political
intervention be something that takes place in academic offices? How do we know
what makes ‘good’ or ‘useful’ intervention?
Panel 2 (Thursday, May 1st): ‘The Agony of Power: Politics and Resistance’. Is
hegemonic power all-consuming, rendering all attempts at intervening/disobeying
ultimately hopeless, or can certain resistant practices go beyond the reach of
hegemonic power?
Panel 3 (Friday, May 2nd): ‘Technopolitics: Activism and Subversion in the Digital
Age’. How is digitization affecting the way politics is done, and how can it be used in
favour of resistance? How do we make the digital realm a common space, radically
democratic and inclusive?

The three panels invite papers, presentations, image and video projections, as well
as performative pieces. We invite any contributions that reflect critically on the
panels’ themes and aims, whether a piece of academic writing or an intellectual
contribution outside the usual academic conventions.

The conference welcomes especially those contributions that will offer some new
insights, alternative and new ways of thinking about concepts and how they relate to
one another.

Deadline for the submission of abstracts of up to 500 words, describing the idea you
want to present, talk about or perform, is March 31st
. Please send contributions and
any questions to You can find more information on
our website:

Sofa Gradin, Matheus Lock and Alen Toplišek


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