CfP: Materiality / Immateriality, Philosophy and the Outside — Conference, Kingston University 4 June 2013

by | 28 May 2013


In keeping with our exploration of philosophy’s outsides, this year’s CRMEP graduate conference will focus on the coupling ‘Materiality’ and ‘Immateriality’. Historically, philosophy has often been characterised as a distancing from the material domain of sensible reality and practices, seeking refuge in the immaterial domain of thought, ideas and forms. Increasingly, however, the problematic nature of this relationship has come to the fore through a number of highly debated and intertwined issues concerning philosophy’s connections across science, nature, art and politics. Different approaches to subjectivation, for instance, have explored the question of embodiment, the materiality of thought, and the notion of affects. New philosophies of art have reopened the problem of materiality through the conceptualisation of sound, matter, practice and nature. And in its relation to politics, philosophy has recovered the notion of materiality, placing it at the core of a number of concepts, such as labour, emancipation, and resistance. As a result, the materiality/immateriality distinction is increasingly coming to lend itself to possible reconfigurations of the mutual relations and interplay between these three topics: subjectivation, aesthetics, and politics.

From this standpoint, our conference seeks to address the materiality/immateriality distinction in modern and contemporary philosophy. In which ways can philosophy problematize materiality and immateriality to reconfigure and transform its fundamental questions? Beyond the dualism of the materiality/immateriality distinction, how can we think the intricacies of their conjunctions? What are the privileged and possible standpoints from which to thematise or critique their relation? In which ways can we conceptualise the passage from immateriality to materiality as the crossing of a threshold? Does this crossing open up new theoretical spaces?

We welcome abstracts of around 300 words, for 20-minute presentations.

Suggestions for topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • immaterial thought and material conditions
  • materiality / immateriality and the subject
  • materiality and immateriality in art and art theory
  • new materialisms
  • materialist feminism (including post-Marxist feminism) and feminist materialism (e.g. Irigaray, Grosz, Braidotti)
  • materiality and immateriality in resistance, emancipation, political experiences, practices of the self (e.g. Rancière, Foucault)
  • between idealism and materialism
  • theories of habit and the organism
  • new perspectives on materiality / immateriality of language (enunciation, linguistics, performativity, discourse theory)
  • Materiality or immateriality of the signifier (e.g. structural linguistics, Lévi-Strauss, Meillassoux)

Deadline for abstracts 30th April 2013

Please send abstracts to:

Date:04 June 2013, 10:00am to
04 June 2013, 6:00pm
Location:Kingston University, Penrhyn Road Campus, Kingston upon Thames,


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