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CfP: Graphic Justice 2017, London 4–5 July 2017

The intersections of comics and legality represent a burgeoning area of concern within, without, and between legal, cultural, and comics communities. But what directions or distractions do comics bring to the project of justice? Are comics a valuable and important resource, or are they mere entertainment and intellectual amusement? Are comics for fun, rather than…

Seminar: The Moral Rights of Authors in the Age of Cognitive Capitalism, London 14–15 June

True collaboration in philosophy then is a common movement toward a beloved world – whereby we relieve each other in the most advanced outpost, a movement that demands the greatest effort against the resisting element within which we are flying. —Novalis This public seminar will examine moral rights (droit moraux) in terms of the editioning, dissemination, exhibition, and…

Torture Works? Beccaria’s Forgotten Lesson

Power structures and governments will resort to euphemistic labelling in order to sanitize morally reprehensible or illegal behaviour — this is neither new nor surprising.  A textbook example is the G. W. Bush Jr. Administration who tried to immunize inter alia waterboarding against criticism by calling it an ‘enhanced interrogation technique’. The roots of this…

The Control Room: War, Exception, Threat

If the machinery of intelligence-gathering and war is never switched off, then we have truly entered the permanent state of emergency. This 10-minute video essay looks at control rooms in film and television since the 1970s, and identifies an array of technological apparatuses that both manifest and make possible an increasingly distributed kind of sovereignty.…

The American Terrible

Someone recently asked me: if you don’t think Trump is a fascist, what do you think is going to happen? I answered her as truthfully as I could: I don’t know. The fact is: none of us knows. Not even, I suspect, Trump or Steve Bannon. In the course of several argumens and conversations over the…

Spatial Justice and Diaspora: Foreword by Parvathi Raman

Spatial Justice and Diaspora, edited by Emma Patchett and Sarah Keenan, has just been published by Counterpress. We are pleased to republish the following foreword by Parvathi Raman, Chair of the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, SOAS. When Emma Patchett and Sarah Keenan asked if I would write a foreword for their new edited volume, Spatial…

CfP: Fascism and the International: The Global Order Yesterday and Tomorrow, 18–20 June 2017

Paper proposals for this workshop on the international dimensions of fascism are warmly invited from scholars, artists and activists working in and across the fields of international law, history, history of art, international relations, postcolonial studies, sociology, anthropology, political theory, geography, feminist studies, queer theory and critical race theory. In light of the recent and…

Boycott the National Student Survey

We are facing a truly pivotal moment in higher education. This government is set to usher in the full marketisation of the sector, with a wave of reforms which represent the most drastic shake-up in decades. Under the new proposals, market-oriented metrics will be used to raise tuition fees even further beyond the current £9000…

Announcement: International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism, Cork 31 March – 2 April 2017

It is with excitement that we are announcing the launch of the conference “International Law & the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism” that will be held between the 31stof March and the 2nd of April 2017 at University College Cork, a constituent university of the National University of Ireland. This conference will be the…

We are the enemy: on scholarly resistance to the conservative crush

Like many of my friends in academia, when Trump was elected I went online, just as I had done after Brexit, and Turnbull, and Abbott, and every other major election and political ‘event’ in the last decade or so. Facebook—the Facebook I inhabit—was on auto-pilot. First came the shock, outrage and despair, then the think-pieces.…

Going Rogue

Though I do like breaking femurs You can count me with the dreamers Like everybody else, I got a dream… (I’ve got a dream, Tangled) The jig is finally up, politics isn’t running as normal anymore (although ‘the oppressed’ always knew that the ‘state of emergency’ was normal, reminding us that our ‘amazement’ revealed the…

Work in the Era of Anarcho-Capitalism

This interdisciplinary colloquium, hosted by the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research, starts from the proposition that neo-liberalism has intensified the capital/labour division producing a phenomenon of ‘anarcho-capitalism’, in which the flexibility of work in the “post-industrial” era disguises its impact on working lives. The colloquium is an engagement between law, politics and social theory. Its…

Judith Butler: Performativity

Key Concept Butler’s notion of ‘performativity’ is most famously associated with her views on gender and is important for critical legal thinkers because performativity is deeply entangled with politics and legality. Her focus on performance has been widely influential because performance and performativity enable discussants to move beyond analyses of legal definition or status to…

Trump, Mair and the Gods that Failed

 The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, much like the Brexit vote in the UK earlier this year, has been greeted by mainstream commentators with a mixture of vapid incomprehension and shrill, moralistic denouncement. The emptiness of these responses reflect a central problem for liberals, centrists, so-called ‘leftists’ and others in…

The US election & the systematic failure of modern politics

Should we be surprised by Donald Trump’s new position as President Elect?  According to exit polls, and the weight of media and expert opinion, we should be.  Yet the highly unlikely, if not absolutely impossible, has happened, and with Hillary Clinton’s phone call to the Trump campaign conceding the election, Trump has secured the Presidency…