Strategies of Critique 2023 - Care and Cure

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Strategies of Critique Organizing Committee of the Social and Political Thought Programme at York University

Strategies of Critique 2023:

Care and Cure


Call For Papers


17th - 19th May 2023, York University, Toronto, Canada


With Keynotes Speakers:

 Patrice Douglass and Sara-Maria Sorentino


This year's Strategies of Critique reflects on the relationship between care and cure, and the collective violence ordained in the name of both. Who is cared for, and by whom? What political purpose does care serve? What alternatives to care are possible? How is care deployed as a cure for violence – and in what ways does care reproduce it? These questions retain an even greater urgency within these now precedented times, wherein the politics of care and the standards for cure have been thrown into further crisis by a pandemic, epidemics, and racial and gendered reckonings worldwide.

In a variety of fields, care and cure are posed as the salves for paradigmatic violence, a kind of intramural politics discrete from domination. These positions take for granted a shared idea that care and cure are positive in orientation, thus divorced from the psychic forces of destruction and desire. More broadly, these assumptions neglect the question of libidinal economy and its centrality to the mechanisms of social reproduction. And so, rather than assuming all care is the antidote for violence, we offer this call and conference as a site to think critically about both care and cure in the hope that we might begin to unsettle the taken-for-granted ways these concepts circulate.

This conference is inspired by scholars who unsettle dominant discourses of care and cure. In “Antidoting,” Jared Sexton points to a direct linkage between the politics of care and the drive to cure, where this drive, the furor sanandi, stands in for the caregiver’s unconscious mental life. Through a political economic critique, Emma Dowling has argued that care is at the centre of the problem of social reproduction and in his psychoanalytic work, Stijn Vanheule has interrogated the inter-relation between caregiving and violence. Elsewhere, Jasbir Puar illustrates the potential debilitation of the caregiver in the endeavour to care/cure. Both concepts have long registered together within trans and disability studies, speaking to a confluence of medicalization, communal praxis, and violence (Clare, Malatino, Piepzna-Samarasinha). All of these scholars register care as a contested political space, “a problem for thought” (Sharpe). Thus, we are interested in papers that illuminate how care/cure circulates, how care/cure is thought, and how forms of care are obfuscated within the main.



We are interested in papers engaging:

⁃                Afropessimism

⁃                Black feminisms

⁃                Feminist and autonomist Marxisms

⁃                Psychoanalysis

⁃                Theories of the state

⁃                Social Reproduction

⁃                Disability Studies

⁃                Queer and Trans Theory

We are seeking workshops on:

-       Public health and harm reduction

-       Support for youth in care and houseless people

-       Caregiving

-       Mutual Aid

-       Performance, dance and ability

-       Anti-carceral responses to violence (e.g. intimate partner violence)


For individual proposals, please email a 300-word abstract and a 100-word biography. For panels, workshops, and seminar proposals, please submit a description of the event (up to 250 words per panelist or facilitator) and 100-word biographies. Both in-person and virtual submissions will be considered. Following the conference, individual papers will be solicited for a Special Issue.

Deadline Extension: March 1st, 2023       Submit to: