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Strategies of Critique
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Graduate Programme in Social & Political Thought
York University, Toronto
May 8-9, 2009
At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by great
feelings of love.
-Ernesto "Che" Guevara
What do we talk about when we talk about love? With family and with friends, with lovers and with
strangers, love is something we constantly pursue, practice, invoke and ignore. As elemental as
oxygen, love animates our existence, but slips through our fingers the moment we try to pin it to
the display-case of intellectual scrutiny. In the academy, we are quick to critique the dubious
forms of love drummed up in the service of market and nation, but reluctant to reflect on the
love that we live with every day. What could we mean by love? How to approach love's
multiplicity, its objects, agents, bodies, acts, histories, dreams, philosophies, politics? Is it
possible (or even desirable) to come to grips with love in the cold confines of an academic
At the risk of seeming ridiculous - or schmaltzy, perhaps - Strategies of Critique XXIII hopes to
trace love's matter and materials, its shapes and practices, its relations and revelations. Love is
nothing if not ambiguous. Love moves us to action and to thought, but love also acts upon us in
bewildering ways. Love binds and unbinds, hoards and gives, claims and renounces. Words and
images of love surround us, seeping out of screens and headphones, but love itself can
persistently be nowhere - or can unexpectedly return. Love intertwines and merges with desire,
with sex, with longing, with need, with hate, with care, with loss, with domination and
exploitation; it skirts along the ragged edges of gender, race, religion and class. Love is queer,
excessive, uncanny, playful, fabulous, fecund, seriously fucked up. Faced with these ambiguities
and antinomies, love nevertheless acts; we act against, through and with love; we make love, love
makes us, shapes us, enacts us as we enact it. Love may elude our grasp, but still it holds us
Strategies of Critique is an annual interdisciplinary graduate conference hosted by the Graduate
Programme in Social & Political Thought at York University, Toronto, Canada.
We welcome a broad range of submissions including, but not limited to, the following themes:
The Power of Love and the Love of Power
More Than Skin Deep - love and race
The Bonds of Love - intimacy, jealousy, masters and slaves
Gendered Love, Queering Love and Simply Vanilla
Love Bites - bestiality and animality
Only Love Can Break Your Heart
In the Name of Love - war, nation, poetry
Forbidden Loves
The Things We Love - commodities, fetishes, passionate attachments
What's Love Got to Do With It? - desire, fantasy, jouissance
Divine Love
Love for Sale - sex work and the business of love
The Ability to Love and be Loved - bodies, limitations and desire
Philo-sophy - eros, agape, philia, caritas
Love Stories, Histories of Love
The Aesthetics and Ethics of Love - beautiful, ugly, invisible
Com-passion, Community, Autonomy, Solidarity
Tough Love - family and neoliberalism
Love and Death - necro-philia, mourning, thanatos
Labours of Love - class, transactions and exchange
Free Love
The Angel of History

Abstracts for papers (max 250 words) and all queries should be sent to The
deadline for submissions is February 20, 2009.

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Received on Wed Jan 21 2009 - 15:00:59 EST