Special Issue: Neoliberalism and Social Reproduction

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Polygraph: An International Journal of Culture and Politics
contact email: 

Polygraph 27—Call for Papers 
Special Issue: Neoliberalism and Social Reproduction

Social reproduction, as both the material reproduction of the workforce and ideological interpellation of individuals into normative culture, remains crucial to contemporary Marxist and feminist critical thought. Whether it be Althusser's ideological state apparatuses, Foucault's theories of discipline and biopower, or Federici's analysis of invisible and unwaged domestic labor, critical theory has long attempted to name the mechanisms through which capitalist societies reproduce themselves. This issue of Polygraph interrogates how these processes of social reproduction have been altered by the emergence of neoliberalism, the common descriptor for the vast reordering of capitalist society over the past forty years. Under neoliberalism, the burden of reproduction is displaced from the state to the population itself, a transition that is marked by the decline of the welfare state, and the increase in precarious, informal and unwaged labor. As a result, it is imperative that contemporary cultural and political theory conceptualize models of social reproduction to meet the challenges of neoliberalism.

This issue sets out to rethink social reproduction as well as the role and efficacy of critique itself. Critique has been historically tasked with the demystification of the processes of subjectification that allow social and political life to reproduce itself. Today, the effectiveness of critique's "suspicious" disposition is being put into question. While no single definition of 'neoliberalism' has prevailed, its critics share the sense that it operates according to a different logic of social reproduction. The intellectual left is divided on the question of whether contemporary theory, with its various turns to surfaces, affects, and networks, can effectively diagnose the hegemonic operations of neoliberalism, or whether such attempts to theorize this moment of capital in fact collude with its prerogatives. How should literary and cultural studies approach the contemporary landscape of cultural production? Does neoliberalism have a "structure of feeling" that can be found in cultural texts today, or can we locate its emergence in previous cultural moments? We invite papers that interrogate the status of social reproduction under neoliberalism across disciplinary contexts, including cultural, literary and gender studies, as well as sociology and history.

Possible topics may include: 
* Critical theory / political theory / ideology critique as method 
* Marxist/Feminist critique and social reproduction 
* Globalization and neoliberalism 
* Transformations in democracy, citizenship, nationalism 
* Cultural forms and/as resistance 
* Migration and the mobility of labor under neoliberalism 
* Counter-narratives to neoliberalism 
* The "feminization" of work 
* Domestic labor, the family and the home under neoliberalism 
* The politics of post-work 
* Narratives of "Crisis" 
* The "affective" and "descriptive" turns in cultural theory 
* The academy as social reproduction, critical university studies 
* The nation and the transnational under neoliberal governance

If you are interested in submission, please send an abstract of no more than 500 words by January 31, 2017. Please include your name, affiliation and contact information. All faculties and disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Please send abstracts and any further inquiries to the editors via the following email address: polygraphduke@gmail.com