Jean Baudrillard and politics

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International Journal of Baudrillard Studies

Jean Baudrillard and politics

A number of conflicting political epithets have been attached to the name Jean Baudrillard: Maoist, neo-conservative, neo-Marxist, post-Marxist, anarcho-primitivist, postmodernist, ultra-leftist, nouveaux philosophe, situationist, aristocrat, 68er, nihilist, Gnostic, relativist, reactionary romantic, anti-feminst, and so on. This is perhaps symptom of our transpolitical age. However, what might be the relation of Baudrillard's thought to the political? Is there a Baudrillardian politics? Can his ideas illuminate key cultural and theoretical questions in new and politically productive ways? How might his work question the very assumptions, sanctions, and foundation of emancipatory and progressive politics? The International Journal of Baudrillard Studies invites papers for a special edition that explore, demonstrate, and question, the efficacy of Baudrillard's ideas for addressing key questions of the political.

The dominant cliché of the day is that we are living in extraordinary political times: how can Baudrillard's work help us consider the contemporary economic, global, existential, and cultural crises? What should we make of Baudrillard's ambiguous relationship to Marxism? If 'the point is to change it', why, asks Baudrillard, does Marxism seem to resemble, simply mirror, and naturalise aspects of the very political economy it opposes? More radical in the long term, Baudrillard proposes, are phenomena associated with his conception of the symbolic: seduction, radical alterity, sacrifice, antagonisms of the gift and duel, and so on. Can only a singularity save us now?

Baudrillard's oeuvre was diverse, yet in a certain sense everything he wrote was political, from the early consideration of consumption through to the musings on the machinations of the global. Themes may range from Abu Ghraib to the Zapatistas, and explorations of the intersections with theorists ranging from Agamben to Zizek.

Enquires and proposals to Jon Baldwin before July 1st 2011. Papers due January 31st 2012. Expected publication Summer 2012.

The International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, founded in 2004, is a peer-reviewed, open access, non-profit, transdisciplinary publication. It has published work by Giorgio Agamben, Jean Baudrillard, Roland Barthes, Julia Kristeva, Peter Singer, Slavoj Žižek and others. In 2008 the Times Higher Education Supplement applauded the IJBS for producing a high quality open access academic journal on the Internet.