Andrew Milner Andrew.Milner at arts.monash.edu.au
Fri Oct 17 08:51:14 CST 2008


First Graduate Conference in Frankfurt am Main, 19.-21
March 2009

Call for Papers
Whether or not “critical theory” constitutes a
well-defined, easily identifiable and selfcontained
school of thought has been a matter of debate. For the
organizers of this conference, given the plurality of
theoretical projects that consider themselves in the
tradition of the “Frankfurt School,” critical thinking
cannot be reduced to one academic ‘camp’ in any meaningful
way. Rather than representing one coherent philosophical
paradigm, ‘critical theory’ embodies a diverse set of
practices of radical questioning exercised in various
discourses including that of arts, social and political
sciences as well as radical political debate. Moreover
critical theory is a highly selfreflexive process. Thus,
rather than being a sign of crisis or lack of orientation,
the increasing number of publications about the meaning
and significance of “critique” and “critical theory” in
recent years point to a vibrant and diverse intellectual
community constituted around similar theoretical and
political commitments. The existence of different
theoretical positions and disagreements within that
community can be best interpreted as an invitation to
reconsider one’s own stance in relation to other ways of
critical thinking and to reflect on common grounds.
“The Future(s) of Critical Theory” Graduate Conference in
Frankfurt aims to serve as a forum for this ongoing
debate. We invite PhD students and postdocs from the
humanities and the social sciences to discuss their work
in relation to the challenges posed by the current debates
on the status of critical theory today. Critical theory
proves itself only in relation to its concrete object of
investigation. We are therefore equally looking forward to
the presentation of empirical research as to theoretical

Contributions may include – but need not be limited to –
the following themes:

- What is Critique? What makes critical theories critical?
How critical is Critical Theory?

- C/critical Theory(ies): 1,2,3…many Generations of
critical theory(ies); Critical Theory and
Post/structuralism; Critique, Genealogy, Deconstruction;
Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche; Postcolonial Studies, Feminism,

- Methodologies of critique: Theory and Practice;
Philosophy and Sociology; Knowledge and Human Interest;
Militant Investigation, Collective Theorization.

- Critique and the Good Life: Desire, Love, Intimacy,
Affect, ‘The Private’ and of course Friendship.

- Critical Theory, The Political and Politics:
Democracies, Socialisms, Liberalisms; Power and/or
Domination; Law, State, Police and Sovereignty.

- Theorizing Capitalism: (Ir)rationality, Alienation and
Reification; Old and New Spirit of Capitalism;
Redistribution or Expropriation; Reform or Revolution.

- Cultures of Critique: Sub-, Pop- and Mainstream- Culture
(industries); Media and Cultural Studies; Hegemony and
Discourse; Narratology, Semiotics and Rhetoric.

Submission Information

Please submit abstracts of a maximum of 300 words to the
following e-mail address:
info at graduateconferencefrankfurt.de. We accept proposals
until the 31. November 2008. Languages of the conference
will be German and English, abstracts can be submitted in
either language. Papers presented at the conference should
not exceed the duration of twenty minutes and will be
followed by a brief discussion. Papers will be selected
through a blind review process therefore please do not
mark your name or other indications of the author on abstracts
and make sure to clearly state the title of your proposal
in the email. Candidates will be informed by January 1st
whether their paper has been accepted for

The publication of a selection of conference papers is

Keynote speakers

Keynote speakers are Bonnie Honig (Chicago), Axel Honneth
(Frankfurt) and
Emmanuel Renault (Paris/Lyon).

For further information see

Professor Andrew Milner
Centre for Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
Monash University
Victoria 3800

Phone: (61) (3) 9905 2979
Fax: (61) (3) 9905 5593
Email: Andrew.Milner at arts.monash.edu.au
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