Critical Studies Research Group International Conference 2014
Faculty of Arts, University of Brighton
In recent times there has been a renewed interest in extending the understanding of conflict in both its scope and its effects; this has brought to the fore questions surrounding the relationship between conflict and ontologies. Conflict can now be understood as encompassing a broad range of phenomena, from its traditional preserve of violent confrontation, to structural or systemic violences, to the 'private' as well as the 'public', and to cultural and social antagonisms. Rather than simply a negative notion, positive valences of conflict have been embraced, whether from the neoliberal logic of competition or from the post-structural valorisation of 'dissensus'. At the same time conflict's traditional setting - war - has undergone a transformation, the forces of globalisation prioritising time over space, catalysing rapid technological change, and resulting in a shift in the strategies of war and in the relationship between the embodied human and the new technologies of injuring.
As our understanding of conflict broadens and deepens, and the new forms of war we wage (or are exposed to) alter dominant understanding of violence and bodily destruction, what effect does this have on the nature of selfhood and the worlds in which we live? In what ways has ontology itself become a target and site of violence, state or otherwise? Can conflict be universalised, or can it only be understood in its particular relationships to gender, race, class, sexuality and disability? In what ways are our understandings of conflict framed by underpinning ontologies? When we conceptualise a world mired in violence, what ontologies do we presuppose? What ethics can we draw from an analysis of conflict? Who is the privileged 'we' capable of explaining the topic of 'conflict', one of whose effects, it could be argued, is the very interruption and deconstruction of explanatory frameworks?
Keynote lecture: Vlasta Jalusic | Peace Institute, Ljubljana
Understanding violence (and power) in contemporary conflicts
Lars Cornelissen | Radbound University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
'Like a Dog': The Human Condition in a Neoliberal World
Regimantas Juras | Vilnius University, Lithuania
The problem of suffering in the structure-agency debate: three conceptions of agency
Paddy Tobias | University of New England, Australia
A Cycle of Conflict: the loss of identity when global contradicts local
Matthew Crowley | University of Brighton, UK
Amicable Young Men? Or, The Absence of Change: The (Re)Construction of Masculine Identities in Monica Dickens' The Happy Prisoner (1946) and J.B Priestley's Three Men in New Suits (1945)
Kevin Buton | University of Lyon III, France
Time and Tactics: A Forgotten French Argument
Mark Devenney | University of Brighton, UK
The violence of ontological arguments
Liesbeth Schoonheim | Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
The Impotence of the New: Claude Lefort on Political Change in an Age of 'Invisible Ideology'
German Primera, University of Brighton, UK
The Signature of Life: From Butler's social ontology to Agamben's politicization of ontology
Tim Huzar | University of Brighton, UK
An 'Insurrection' of Ontology? Judith Butler's Poetics of Politics
Heather McKnight | University of Brighton, UK
Towards Violent Utopias? Butler and Agamben in the 'darkness of the lived moment'
Mike Diboll | University of Brighton, UK
Primordialists Faultline or Political Society Struggle? Huntington, Chatterjee and Ontologies of Violence in Bahrain
Elizabeth Johnson | North-West University Mafikeng, South Africa
Interface of Global War and Domestic Insurgencies: Taming Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria
Adriana Roque Romero | University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Normativities of Violence: Colombia on the Verge of Reconciliation
Jeremy Evans | University of Brighton, UK
The epistemology of inshore fishing: socio-ecological resilience beyond marine conservation zone
The Critical Studies Research Group (CSRG) was founded in 2011 by postgraduate students in the School of Humanities, University of Brighton, with the aim of providing an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of critical ideas and practices in light of the socio-political struggles we face today. The challenges that interdisciplinary might pose are counteracted by our shared interest in the role and scope of critical thought and practice in the context of contemporary capitalism. For more information on the CSRG, please visit the blogsite.