"Politics and Ontology"
Organizer: Matthew Scully (Emerson College)
Politics, as that which relates to the organization of public life, and ontology, as the study of being, have long been intertwined. Left/right identity politics, for example, often ground themselves on an ontologized, or essentialized, identity. In contrast, many theorists view politics as the construction of identity. Jacques Rancière, for instance, insists that politics determines the ontological status of its subjects, rather than the reverse; no “human being” preexists the political act.