Identity and Community: Metaphysics, Politics, Aesthetics
27th-29th June 2018
Keynote presentation: Prof. Alison Stone (Lancaster)
Panel Discussion with Miguel de Beistegui on his recently released book The Government of Desire: A Genealogy of the Liberal Subject alongside Daniele Lorenzini (Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles/Columbia University) and Federico Testa (Warwick/Monash).
“It is not because the Indo-Chinese discovered a culture of their own that they revolted. Quite simply this was because it became impossible to breathe, in more than one sense of the word.” (Frantz Fanon, Black Skin White Masks)
The history of the concept of identity is marked by a fundamental tension: between the individual as subject, and the example of the group; between identity as an inherent or essential nature or specified as a ratified connection. The relation between identity and community, the relational qualities of each, and the content which they encompass has been subject to repeated reformulation throughout history. On the one hand, it has been argued that the subject itself has been constituted in a new way by concrete changes in the way in which we live: by modernism, capitalism, or new technologies. On the other, new examinations of history have drawn into question narratives regarding different nations, classes, genders and cultures.The identity of individuals, and the aspects of their lives which are to be considered constitutive of that identity, is an issue which is central to a host of complex political and ethical issues. What does it mean to have an identity: to belong to a nation or a continent, to a race, gender or religion? And what is the connection of this belonging and our individual existence and consciousness? During an ongoing refugee crisis, rising nationalism and within an increasingly globalised world, how have the metaphysical and political boundaries of identity shifted?
Art and aesthetics share this tension. The place of the work of art and the individual artist within a genre or movement remains an open question – whether the author is dead, the work a manifestation of the group; whether the ideas behind the artwork are more important than the socio-economic foundation from which it arises. Corollary to this, discussions of art and the political have opened questions concerning the relation of aesthetics to community, and the possible connection of new identities and new forms of, or values within, aesthetics. Does art play a mediating role in the formation of the new community, allow for the expression of a communal voice, or reveal the individual identity then imitated by the mass?
It is in light of these questions that the Warwick Continental Philosophy Conference (WCPC) is pleased to announce its inaugural conference, Identity and Community: Metaphysics, Politics, and Aesthetics, to be held from the 27th until the 29th of June 2018 on the main campus of Warwick University. We believe Continental Philosophy offers unique insight into questions of subjectivity, with the possibility of critically engaging both identity and community in their own terms, without privileging one or the other; of opening new avenues for connections to be drawn between art and politics.
We are pleased to announce that Professor Alison Stone of Lancaster University will be giving a keynote presentation on the topic of Hegel and colonialism. She will also be participating in a roundtable discussion on a closely related topic on the 27th, open to the public. Professor Stone has published widely on Hegel’s philosophy of nature and the philosophies of nature of other German Idealist and Romantic thinkers, such as Schelling, Schlegel, Novalis and Hölderlin.We are also pleased to announce that Professor Miguel de Beistegui of Warwick University will be leading a panel discussion on his new book The Government of Desire: A Genealogy of the Liberal Subject (Chicago University Press, http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/G/bo28082499.html). Professor Beistegui has published widely on the thought of Martin Heidegger, phenomenology, ontology and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze.
We invite abstracts for talks lasting approximately twenty minutes on any area of Continental Philosophy that intersects with these questions. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- The ontology of identity and community
- Differences, diversity, oppositions and contradictions in identity
- Philosophy of the subject and subjectivation
- The history of the concept of identity
- Aesthetics and the expression of communal and individual identity
- Art, genre, and community
- Political movements and their relation to identity
- Outsider art and the wider art world
The deadline for submissions is the 30th April 2018. Please send your submissions, along with any inquiries regarding the conference, to WCPC@warwick.ac.uk. A certain number of bursaries will be available to cover transportation within Europe. If you would like to be considered for such a bursary, please make this clear in your submission email.This conference will take place in the Oculus Building of Warwick University, which has full disability access.
This conference is made possible with the assistance of the Humanities Research Centre (HRC) and Warwick Philosophy Department.