Intellectual Inversions: Public Intellectuals and their Contemporary Doppelgängers

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Steven Gotzler / Carnegie Mellon University
contact email: 

This special session invites papers that explore the countervailing, and occasionally contradictory, double meanings obtaining in our notion of the “public intellectual” today. This session is especially interested in papers that comment on the figure of the public intellectual by thinking beyond the limits of the university and the academic profession, as traditionally “licensed” intellectual spaces and modes, and consider new networks and formations of intellectual affiliation, movement, and struggle that have emerged with the generalization of social media platforms and digital publishing venues (i.e. twitter, reddit, etc.), and especially  in the wake of the election of 2016.


How do we reconcile the social function of “intellectuals,” and their relationship to a “public” under these communicative arrangements, and how has this undermined the social authority of the “academic,” “scholar” or “expert” in society generally, while also giving rise to a new form of popular intellectualism, of both right and left?


Please submit a 250-word abstract with your paper title and a brief bio.