Event Date: 4 May 2018
John Galsworthy building
Penrhyn Road campus
Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE
Exemplarity, Authority, Universalizability: How is a Geopolitics of Philosophy to be conceptualised?
This conference will interrogate the critique of philosophy after the move of race, colonialism and imperialism to the forefront of political thought. How does the nexus of racial and postcolonial capitalism transform our practice of philosophy and our way of reading the history of philosophy? What becomes of philosophy as critical practice when its ‘geopolitical’ underpinning is laid bare? In other terms, how should we conceptualise a ‘geopolitics of philosophy’ and what is its particular urgency?
When working with the overwhelming legacy of Western thought, the most difficult challenge is to enact Spivak’s reiterated invitation neither to accuse nor to excuse by upholding a resolute critique of philosophical reason whilst continuing to operate within the parameters of conceptual thought. Our working hypothesis will be that philosophical discourse fundamentally rests on procedures that reproduce philosophy’s centrifugal dynamics and set the parameters of its universalizability. Rather than calling for a greater inclusiveness on the part of philosophy, we will focus on two such dynamics, exemplarity and authority. Whilst the notion of ‘exemplarity’ refers to the rapport between the historical-specific case and conceptual generalisation, the concept of ‘authority’ denotes the constitutive and legitimising effect of the philosophical tradition and the strategies through which the latter may be transformed, or interrupted. Exploring the subjective standpoints that have emerged at this critical juncture, the ‘geopolitical’ conflict over universality will constitute our red thread across the three panels. The conference will close on a roundtable followed by a drinks reception open to all.
Mohamed Amer-Meziane (Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Etienne Balibar (Kingston University and Columbia University)
Jamila Mascat (Utrecht University and Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Hager Weslati (Kingston University)
Lucie Mercier – Introduction – Exemplarity, authority, universalizability
Panel 1. Geopolitics of philosophy: Concept/Narrative
Hager Weslati – The Aesopian Challenge
Panel 2. Double-Consciousness, Race, Dialectics (Chair: Brenna Bhandar)
Mohamed Amer-Meziane – The Idea of African Liberation: History-Makings of the Dialectical Subject
Panel 3. The Quarrel of Universals Revisited (Chair: Stella Sandford)
Jamila Mascat – The Quarrel of Universals revisited: on Politics and Partisanship
Etienne Balibar – To Speak the universal in a universal context: why is it problematic?
Closing Roundtable with Etienne Balibar, Mohamed Amer-Meziane, Jamila Mascat and Hager Weslati (Chair: Lucie Mercier)