CFP - Specters of Ethics – in the Trails of Globalization and Futurity

full name / name of organization: 
Susan Arndt / Mariam Popal/ Rinaldo Walcott University of Bayreuth, University of Toronto
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Ethics is a global endeavor bereft of any universal validity. Ethics is subjective, positioned and biased, commuting between subjectivity and collectivity/community. Ever since the birth of this concept, ethics was praised and betrayed, simultaneously, asking for resistance, empowerment and resituation.[...]
In a relatively new 'turn to ethics', this project seeks to work with an idea of the ethical that goes beyond colonial encountering and along the lines of cultural and economic surplus thinking as the fundament of the planet's present global amalgamation. Looking at the asymmetries and disjunctures of global (labour and mind) divisions and their value-coding, the project takes these questions as a starting point:
Where does the ethical begin? Do forms of resistance have a site of ethical desire? Do Postcolonial Theories tend to be ethical? What does ethics mean in the Postcolonial? Does such an ethics challenge European humanism? Do Postcolonial Theories shift humanism's meaning to the wider global spatiality? Do there exist alternative forms of ethics in Postcolonial Theories, Arts, Music? What do they imply? Are there parallel lines of ethical thinking in the different (Black, Hindu, Jewish, Latina/o, Muslim) (unessentializing) con-texts of color (for example in Yoruba religion) that go beyond 'Human Rights', to an other articulation of right-act-belonging-responsibility? Are there intertwined assemblages that challenge (strategic) identitarian, bio-political categorizations altogether into new articulations of value-setting? (How)Can the ethical interfere into the lust-production of capitalisms global structures in order to challenge its divisions and taxonomies? Can Postcolonial Theory be seen as the Ethical Turn of an anterior epistemology?
What are (and/or ought to be) 'our' understandings and search for ethics given the inadequacies of globalization? In which directions, in which ways do the spectralities of ethics radiate out of these flows? Toward which spectrals did/do thinkers like W.E.B. Du Bois, Malclom X, Kwame Nkrumah, Aimé Césaire, Franz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter, Audre Lorde, Gayatri Spivak strive, do we have to orient ourselves? What are the spectrals of ethics that emit silently out of bounded streams of which we are in different ways part of?
We would like to approach ethics against the backdrop of present his*herstories which are inseparable from different explicit and implicit forms of violence in a disjunctive and different global scale as what Jacques Derrida in Spectres of Marx (1993) has called a ghost, a spectre that is neither being nor not being but that because of its absence haunts us in the present for another future to come. A future to come that is often negotiated in afro-/retro-futuristic narrations and analysis in fiction as well as in other forms of writing (philosophy) and is invoked in texts of the past as the specters of ethics for the sake of a future to come. We in this way look for the hauntology (Derrida) (instead of ontology) of ethics in the economy of globalization.
You are cordially invited to submit your abstract (of maximum of 200 words) together with a short resumé (or a link to your CV).
Please contact us for the full proposal and the editors further bio-notes. We would like to ask for the submission of your full contribution by April 30th, 2015.

Deadline for abstracts is Dec 31st 2014 with the headword CfA-Ethics in the subject-line to:,,


Susan Arndt, Professor of English and Anglophone Literatures at Bayreuth University/Germany and the Second Director of the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies.

Mariam Popal, is Post-Doc at the Academy of Advanced African Studies & the Department of English and American Studies at Bayreuth University.

Rinaldo Walcott, Associate Professor and Director of Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto.