Time, Politics and Becoming


Event Date: 26 May 2011
Room S274/275
Stewart House
32 Russell Square
London, WC1B 5DN

Time, Politics and Becoming:

A One-Day Conference on William E. Connolly’s A World of Becoming


One of the leading voices in political theory today, for over three decades William E. Connolly has systematically brought the critical insights of Nietzsche and Foucault, Bergson and Deleuze, complexity theory, radical neuroscience, and more to bear on questions of individual and collective identity, the role of faith in public political life, the problematic nature of territorial sovereignty in a globalized age, the changing nature of transnational capitalism, and the micropolitics of affective experience. A World of Becoming (Duke University Press, 2011) is onnolly’s most recent contribution to the development of a pluralist politics and ethics appropriate to a world composed of open and complex systems, existing on different temporal egisters and interacting in ways that can engender profound but sometimes unpredictable changes. This conference will interrogate this book and Connolly’s thought more generally from the perspectives of geography, philosophy, critical legal studies, international relations, andpolitical theory.

William E. Connolly is Krieger-Eisenhower Professor in the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. His The Terms of Political Discourse (1974) received the biennial Lippincott Award in 1999 for the “best book in political theory still influential fifteen or more years after publication.” He is also author of IdentityDifference: Democratic Negotiations of Political Paradox (1991), The Augustinian Imperative: A Reflection on the Politics of Morality (1993), The Ethos ofPluralization (1995), Why I am not a Secularist (1999), Neuropolitics: Thinking, Culture, Speed (2002), Pluralism (2005), and Capitalism and Christianity: American Style (2008).

This event is organized by the Contemporary Political Theory Reading Group (CPTRG) at Royal Holloway, University of London and the Department of Politics, University of Exeter, with the support of Royal Holloway’s Humanities and Arts Research Centre (HARC) and Faculty of History and Social Sciences.



PANEL I: Agency and Master

Clayton Chin Connolly’s Questions: Ontology, Mastery, and Becoming.

Kimberly HutchingsAgainst Geist: Hegel, Feminism and Expressive Sovereignty

Rory RowanA Political Cosmology?: The world beyond the ‘long line of death

Chair: Jane Bennett

Panel 1 questions:


PANEL II: The Ethical Sensibility of William E. Connolly

Terrell CarverEvil Eye for the Nice Guy (AUDIO HERE)

Victoria RidlerThe Torsion of Meaning: exploring the forces impelling us to cultivate sensibility in the work of William Connolly (AUDIO HERE)

Chair: Dario Castiglione

Panel 2 questions:


PANEL III: Immanence, Transcendence, Becoming

Robin Dunford Immanence and Transcendence: A Matter of Faith?

Stuart EldenOf: Becoming-World (AUDIO HERE)

Craig Lundy – The Movement and Rest in William E. Connolly’s Conception of Becoming

Chair: Nathan Widder

Panel 3 questions:



William E. ConnollyTwo Images of Becoming: Whitehead, Nietzsche, and Cosmopolitics

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