CFP: Revolutions: Concepts, Discourses, Practices of Revolutionary Action of Our Time (Germany) (4/15/06; 7/7/06-7/9/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Johannes Angermueller


4th Transdisciplinary Forum Magdeburg, Germany

Revolutions: Concepts, Discourses, Practices of Revolutionary Action of
Our Time

July 07-09, 2006

Revolution: Few terms have been as characteristic of the the social,
political and intellectual history of the 19th and 20th century as this
one. After the "French" and "Industrial Revolution" as well as the
"academic and scientific" revolutions and the artistic avantgardes from
the end of the 19th century onwards, social conflicts have been deeply
informed by the idea of revolution. On the one hand, "revolution" was
regarded in terms of a radical break with the old order swept away in an
explosive act of emancipatory practice. On the other hand, social
revolution has often been rejected as a senseless dissolution of all
order and as a symptom of social decline.

According to neo-conservative and neo-liberal, and even some
left-liberal circles, the era of political and social revolutions in
world history has ended with the 1989 "revolutionary" collapse of
state-socialist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. Yet while these
conservative critics claim that revolutionary action has more or less
ceased to inform the political imaginary both in the "third world" and
in the industrialized and democratic societies of the West, these same
critics hold that the sphere of scientific and technological revolutions
must be exempted from the diagnosis of the waning of revolutionary
ideology, as these continue to transform our "natural" and social
worlds. A "left" and probably less dominant variant of this discourse
has deconstructed the classical idea of political and social revolution,
and situates revolutionary action solely in the "realm of signs".

Yet recently these diagnoses have been increasingly called into
question, both in theory and in practice. "Revolution" has been set on
the agenda again as a result of popular and revolutionary movements in
Latin America, Asia and Africa, the critique of neoliberalim (Attac,
World Social Forum, anti-Hartz movement in Germany etc.), the violent
clashes of the young with the state in Western European metropolises,
but also the new intellectual debates about strategies of the Left in a
globalized capitalism.

It is the goal of to engage in an academic and political debate about
the contradictions, breaks and challenges of social, political and
cultural revolutions in the 21st century. Among the questions to be
discussed at this conference are:

Conference contributions could focus on one of the following areas:

# How do revolutionary acts differ from other forms of practice?
# What can be the conditions, subjects, agents and (unintended) results of
revolutionary practice or of the revolutionization of entire societies?
# What are the main possible sites of revolutionary action in the 21st
# In what discursive formations are revolutions embedded?
# How can their traditions, vocabularies, and lines of thought be
accounted for?

We are looking forward to contributions that discuss theoretical,
reflexive, political, practical, ideological and aesthetic aspects of
revolutionary action in the 21st century. We welcome proposals dealing
with approaches of (un-)intended social transformation (revolution,
evolution, reform etc.) The conference will bring together manifold
perspectives (e.g. poststructuralist, Marxist, feminist, postcolonial,
constructivist, system-theoretical perspectives) from various
disciplines (sociology, cultural studies, international ralations,
history, philosophy, literature etc.).

Transforma intends to facilitate the intraction and exchange among young
academics. Therefore, again, a special students' forum will be offered
with the aim of giving students the opportunity to present their own
work in a convivial setting. The students' forum will comprise students'
papers only but will be open to all transforma participants. It will
address the general conference topic but may have its own focal points.

Conference languages: English and German. For your registration,
the submission of proposals, and for general information, please visit,
contact: (Anke Bartels).

Deadline for submission of proposals (250 words): as soon as possible,
but no later than April 15th, 2006. Competitive, refereed selection.
Accepted paper presenters are expected to provide a short version
(3 - 5 pages) of their papers as a web contribution up to June 15th, 2006.
We are planning to publish a selection of contributions in the conference

Please submit your registration and your paper proposal through our web

Organizers: Johannes Angermüller (Department of Sociology), Dietmar
Fricke (Department of Political Science), Britta Krause (Department of
Political Science), Michael Schultze (Department of Political
Science), Jörg Meyer (Department of Political Science), Agata
Stopinska (European Studies), Dirk Wiemann (Department of Foreign
Languages), Raj Kollmorgen (Department of Sociology), Anke Bartels
(Department of Foreign

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Received on Sat Feb 18 2006 - 10:18:00 EST