CLC 2011 – The power of life’s excess (contesting sovereignty from sites that do not exist)

by | 23 Jun 2011

The stream proposes to engage with the contemporary possibilities of resistance to everything that is or that can be associated with sovereignty, power or domination (sovereign power, sovereign practices, sovereign language, sovereign thought and the law of the sovereign) from the places, states and sites of what cannot be represented, known, seen, or governed. In other words, we attempt to think the excess, the beyond, the Real, the virtual, jouissance, the other of sovereign power: instances that cannot be thought within what offers itself to be known and recognized as ‘politics’, ‘law’, ‘language’ or ‘science’.

The forms of resistance this stream aims to discuss are not only material or an active stand against the power of the law and the power of politics; equally, the stream aims to identify and explore how these sovereign practices shape the way we think of the world, of the self and of politics as such. It not only wishes to challenge the materiality of sovereign power, but also its implicit ways of working – the thought, the thought process and the cognition of who ‘we’ as ‘humans’ are, how ‘we’ relate to one another, to other forms of life and how ‘we’ create meaning/ful/less communities. We look for sites of resistance that may not only counter sovereign practices but encounter them in alternative ways, perhaps through transgression, transformation but maybe also through affirmation, co-sensation or love.

The stream invites contributions that inquire into the life and powers of sites, places, objects, emotions, and practices that do not exist in the eyes of sovereignty, or that pay no attention to sovereignty and its material and discursive workings. It calls for contributions that either challenge or excavate the workings of sovereign power, or propose an alternative from whatever place, in whichever form. Central – but not exclusive – to the stream are the following themes: post-human politics of the body, desire or the excess; the life of texts after the death of the author; the critique of the irrelevant contemporary; the thresholds of the visual and the articulable; or the powers of the unclassifiable who cannot be governed; forms of political existence that escape domination; ideas and possibilities of the world and community transgressing contemporary ethico-normative narratives and limits, as well as the becoming and emergence of such communities as sights of struggle and political activism.

From whatever place, whatever space or whichever theoretical-philosophical inclination, the papers at this stream address the possibility of the becoming of a new world – as a collage of political, legal, ethical, poetical and artistic practices.


Deadline : 15 July 2011

Please send your abstracts to:

Andreja Zevnik, Aberystwyth University (anz[at]

Erzsebet Strausz, Aberystwyth University (ees08[at]

Critical Legal Conference 2011



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