[csaa-forum] Articulating Movement workshop, 21 November 2008, University of Melbourne

Aren Z. Aizura alchemic at optusnet.com.au
Fri Oct 17 17:04:45 CST 2008

Articulating movement: negotiating a politics of migratory knowledge


An interdisciplinary seminar and workshop featuring Dr Sandro Mezzadra 
(University of Bologna), Angela Mitropoulos (Queen Mary College, 
University of London), Dr Brett Neilson (University of Western Sydney).

November 21 2008
Multifunction Room, Graduate Centre
University of Melbourne

Despite apocalyptic warnings about oil prices, the end of globalisation 
and the curtailing of migration, both documented and undocumented global 
migratory movement continues to accelerate into the twenty-first 
century. With this movement, national and transnational border controls, 
surveillance technologies, racial profiling and war continue to mark 
differentiations between ?cherished life? and ?bare life?, bodies to be 
protected and bodies to be extinguished, bodies that can move and that 
must be contained.

Following years of ?No Borders? interventions and the revival of 
interest in migration, borders and rights in the academy, debates 
continue on how to produce knowledges and write about, migration. These 
debates raise questions that are vital to any research processes around 
human mobility. How can we theorise migration without reifying migratory 
movement as emblematic of a generalised ?exodus? or ?resistance?? What 
histories intersecting migration, labour, gender, sexuality and 
colonialism have been forgotten in the desire to enshrine rights and 
border talk as the new cultural capital of philosophy departments 
world-wide? Where is the faultline between deploying the so-called 
?authenticity? of singular experience and the vulgarity of an entirely 
structural analysis? How can we negotiate a space between theorising the 
movement of bodies as already determined by war, injustice, ecological 
disaster, and a naive conception of movement as an autonomous and 
individual choice, thus reinstalling the sovereign subject of 
liberalism? Who constitutes the ?we? that performs these negotiations, 
and what are our investments?

To examine these questions, to share tactics and strategies, to find 
passageways of negotiation, and to consider our own role in the 
composition and distribution of knowledge, we invite thinkers and 
practitioners in Melbourne to participate in a moment of ?militant 
research? into the knowledge production of migration. Following the 
Colectivo Situationes, we define militant research as a process of 
defining practical knowledges of subaltern counter-power, renouncing the 
institutional spaces of management of these knowledges, and beginning 
with what we do not know rather than what we assume.

We invite postgraduate students, researchers and interested members of 
the public to submit expressions of interest in participating in the 
workshop by November 5 2008. To RSVP for the workshop and obtain a 
reading list, please submit up to 250 words outlining your research 
interests and the contribution you might make to the discussion. Submit 
expressions of interest and RSVPs to: a.aizura at pgrad.unimelb.edu.au

11am-1pm. Seminar featuring Sandro Mezzadra, Angela Mitropoulos and 
Brett Neilson.
1-2.30pm: Light lunch.
2.30-4.30pm. A roundtable discussion for graduate students, independent 
scholars and researchers.

This event is free of charge.


Sandro Mezzadra is an Associate Professor in History of Political 
Thought at the Department of Politics, Institutions, History of the 
University of Bologna. He is currently ?eminent research fellow? at the 
Centre for Cultural Research of the University of Western Sydney, 
Australia (2006-2008). His research work has focused on the classical 
modern European political philosophy (especially on Hobbes, Spinoza and 
Marx), on the history of political, social, and legal sciences in 
Germany between the Nineteenth and the Twentieth centuries (especially 
on the constitutional debates in the years of the Weimar Republic) and 
on several issues at stake in the development of contemporary political 

Angela Mitropoulos (Queen Mary, University of London) has written on the 
intersections of labour, migration and geopolitics, eg, "Precari-us?" 
(Mute, 2005), "The Materialisation of Race in Multiculture" (DarkMatter, 
2008), "Borders 2.0: Future, Tense" (Mute, 2008).

Brett Neilson is Associate Professor of Cultural and Social Analysis at 
the University of Western Sydney, where he is also a member of the 
Centre for Cultural Research. He is interested in the intersections of 
cultural criticism and political practice. Apart from academic 
publications, his writings have appeared in venues such as Variant, 
Mute, Posse, DeriveApprodi, Vacarme, Subtropen, Conflitti globali, 
makeworlds, Overland, Carta and Framework. He is a contributor to the 
Italian newspaper Il Manifesto and author of Free Trade in the Bermuda 
Triangle ?and Other Tales of Counterglobalization (University of 
Minnesota Press, 2004).

Convenors: Anja Kanngieser and Aren Z. Aizura. This event has been 
convened with the support of the School of Culture and Communications, 
the Melbourne School of Graduate Research Academic Activity Grants 
program and the Arts Faculty?s Postgradaute Conference Assistance Scheme.

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