Challenging collectivities

Emerging forms of sociality (2010)

Second International Graduate Conference in Frankfurt/Main, 30 September – 2 October, 2010

Call for Papers
At present, diagnoses about the erosion of the foundations of sociality are booming. They culminate in the assumption that we are faced with a fundamental crisis of social institutions. Evidence for this crisis can be found in phenomena such as an increasing individualization, economization and naturalization of life and ways of life; the fragmentation of statehood; the dissemination of cyber and reproductive technologies; the decay of the heterosexual nuclear family; the blurring of traditional gender roles; and the questioning of cultural self-conceptions as a result of migration. However, it seems that it is precisely when Eurocentric, patriarchal and heteronormative, and bourgeois-capitalistic epistemologies and social orders are challenged that new forms of subjectivity, community, and society emerge. In order to make these coming forms of sociality visible and perceptible, new paradigms of social research are called for. The graduate conference “Emerging Forms of Sociality” will seek to explore understandings of what sociality is, what it was and what it could be in the future. Sociality will be examined from a diverse range of disciplinary approaches and critical perspectives. The analysis and reconstruction of emerging social forms not only contains possibilities for actualizing the basic ideas of critical theory – this undertaking also opens new paths of emancipatory practice and an alternative understanding of justice and solidarity through a novel take on the politics of difference and inequality. Pivotal to this project are both normative perspectives and various methods of social research.

Contributions may include – but need not be limited to – the following themes:
__What is sociality? Social ontology or historical ontology of the social, society and community, equality and difference
__Ways of life: how can ways of life, social contexts, cultural milieus, political associations be evaluated, criticized, created and initiated, represented or transformed? Socratic maieutics, Aristotelian virtue, Humeian sentiments, Foucauldian aesthetics of existence
__Part of – aside from – against it: scenes, milieus, subcultures, religions, queer, polyamory, feminisms, fundamentalisms, autonomy of migration, diasporas, hybridity, new social movements, dandies and bohemians, dadaists and situationists, punks and hippies
__Theories of life, nature and technology: bare life, human-animal, naturalization of the social, and socialization of nature, cyborgs/virtuality/simulation, contagion, biocapitalism, global epidemics, ecology
__Perspectives and diagnoses: network society, society of control, society of risk, death of the social, imagined communities, social imaginaries, actor-network-theory, assemblage theory, theory of recognition
__Acclamation, reclamation and accumulation of capital: neoliberalism in the aftermath of the financial crisis, casualization of precarious labour, feminization of work, global market, immaterial and affective work, sex work, project based polis, new commons, real emerging socialisms
__Forms of relationships: elective affinities, relationships, friendships, narcissism, self-culture, affective liaisons, intimacy, privacy, sex-love-gender, contract-gift-exchange, relationship building, care, body, psyche, feelings, emotions, economy of desire, crisis of masculinity, web 2.0
__Transformation of the political: fragmentation of state sovereignty, biopolitics, state of emergency, camps, end of nation state, transnational agencies, transnational juridification, transnational publics, legal pluralism, cosmopolitanism beyond male, white, bourgeois hegemony
__Dis/orientation – times and spaces of sociality: genealogies, spectres of the past and generations of the future, post-imperialist geographies, urban/rural, North/South, postcolony, transversality, globality, social space and spatialization of the social

Submission Information
This call for papers addresses graduate students, postdocs and junior faculty members. Please submit abstracts of a maximum of 300 words to the following e-mail address: We explicitly invite you to also submit work-in-progress or cooperative works. The deadline for submission is 15 April 2010. Candidates
will be informed by 31 May 2010 whether their paper has been accepted for presentation. For groups of graduates that apply from countries out of West Europe or North America we can make a request for travel compensation. Papers will be selected through a blind review process. Therefore, please do not include your name or other references to the author on abstracts and make sure to clearly state the title of your proposal in the email. Attention will be paid that at least 50% of the presentations will be assigned to women. Conference languages will be German and English, abstracts can be submitted in either language. Presentations at the conference should not be longer than twenty minutes and will be followed by discussion.

Keynote Speakers
Keynote speakers are Rahel Jaeggi (Humboldt-University, Berlin) and Sasha Roseneil (Birkbeck College London) and Nelson Maldonado-Torres (University of California, Berkeley).

For further information see: