Biopolitics and the Humanities: States of Subjectivity

full name / name of organization: 
Rice University
contact email: 
rice.symposium@gmail.com

Biopolitics and the Humanities: States of Subjectivity

2010 Rice University Graduate Symposium

Rice University in Houston, Texas

September 17th – 18th, 2010

Submission deadline: June 15th, 2010.

Biopower, according to Michel Foucault, is the application and impact of sovereign power and governmentality on all aspects of political and biological life. Biopolitics fosters interdisciplinary connections between various theoretical approaches and disciplines among the humanities. Since Machiavelli, the role of the sovereign and its ability to control and manage populations has led to conflicting understandings of biological matter’s relationship to political subjectivities. Looking at the ways in which biological bodies navigate, interrupt or are complicit in the sovereign power’s machinations of control can complicate both theoretical constructions of the body and also practical debates regarding the impact of authority.

We invite submissions that examine and play with connections between sovereign power, politics, biological and institutional subjectivities and identities from a variety of disciplines and approaches including: feminism, sexuality, gender, literature, history, anthropology, philosophy, architecture, performance, political science, linguistics, physics and mathematics.

Possible paper topics might include:

• Overlapping or competing claims of sovereignty and governmentality vis-à-vis biopower,
• Sexual identity roles and their institutional and political management,
• Enslavement and histories of subjectivity,
• Economic imperialism and the 3rd world,
• Literature as a laboratory for deconstructing ideology.
• Neoliberalism and the economy of biological bodies,
• Medicine and health care as a means of subject to government interaction,
• History of mental health,
• Graphic representations of populations to signifying biological relations to power,
• Global tourism and 1st, 2nd and 3rd world perspectives,
• The configuring of space to manage the biological body’s relation to power.

We are now accepting abstracts of 250 words or less abstracts to rice.symposium@gmail.com.

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