CFP: [Theory] ACLA: Operation Sedition Is a Go: Democracy and its Discontents

full name / name of organization: 
Zlatan Filipovic
contact email: 

Call for Papers for the seminar at the American Comparative
Literature Association Annual Meeting: "Arrivals and Departures"
April 24-27, 2008
Long Beach, CA

Operation Sedition Is a Go!
Democracy and its Discontents

Seminar Organizer: Zlatan Filipovic, Goldsmiths, University of London

“Democracy has always been suicidal, and if there is a to-come for it, it is only on the condition
of thinking life otherwise, life and the force of life.”

â€" Jacques Derrida

Is not democracy that which assures me the right to act and speak against it? And is not this
precisely what constitutes its to-come, its inability ever to be done? Sedition then is constitutive
of democracy; it is its very historicity.

Democracy then is always magnetized toward its limit, toward that which will terrorize it to keep
its à venir open. It is not stability or rest but a continuous call for unrest that prevents its

Yet today the very possibility of this call is in question. Democracy put in the service of global
capital has come to claim its transnational validity. It has become its own alibi used as a warrant
for measures taken against the voices that put the authority of its law that is monopolized by the
West in question. But to protect or immunize democracy against its others is to limit it, to
suspend it. One assassinates it in order to prevent its suicide, so to speak.

The seminar will open the questions on democracy and sedition, democracy as precisely what
keeps open the coming of the other that interrupts the course of its history by making it. Are the
voices of sedition â€" sedition is always in plural â€" possible today? Is the need for political
violence inherent in democracy? Questions of responsibility, of violence, the exigency of writing
and cultural practice as counter-practice are all invited.

Democracy true to its name will never master the specters of alterity that threaten its dissolution.
And does not our responsibility, in the very name of democracy, reside in cultivating the ethos of
alterity â€" that is, of a certain irresponsibility?

Abstracts (250 words maximum) are submitted directly through the
ACLA website:

Deadline for abstract submission is November 15, 2007.

The ACLA conference is organized into streams of 9-12 presentations each meeting for 2 hours/
day consistently over the course of the conference. Presented papers should be 15-20 minutes
long in order to allow adequate time for questions and discussion.

For further information about the ACLA annual meeting and the seminar structure please refer

Additional queries, if any, contact Zlatan Filipovic at

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Received on Wed Oct 17 2007 - 21:07:27 EDT