CFP: #OccupyCriticalTheory: Theory, Resistance and Revolution in the 21st Century
One of the main achievements of the Occupy movement has been the
opening up of new spaces of transformation, resistance and revolution,
breaking the claustrophobic confines of the geography of global
capital. The movement itself breaks the boundaries of accepted
political terminology, opting to trouble the reigning order by
speaking from a position outside of the official political discourse.
From the perspective of the ruling ideology, the Occupy movement
appears to lack focus and organization since it does not propose any
set of ‘demands’ – that is, in the language adopted by the everyday.
The point, though, is not to speak in the language of the existing
order, but to change the co-ordinates of the existing order so that
what appears as irrational and traumatic from its own perspective
becomes, itself, the structuring principle upon which the conditions
of possibility for a new politics may be given form. The emerging
political-emancipatory subject of the Occupy movement — the so-called
99% — has itself been created out of the internal limits of the
dynamics of capitalist expansion.
The Occupy movement, as well as the wave of resistance movements in
North Africa and the Middle East, dubbed the ‘Arab Spring’, has
coincided with changing conditions of mediated communication, the
advancement of social media, the development of new mobile media
technologies, and the significance of ‘whistle blowing’ websites, such
as Wikileaks. These conditions are also met by an increase of
‘hacktivism’ by groups such as Anonymous. The year 2011 was also
marked as one of significant political resistance and upheaval by the
announcement of Time Magazine that its person of the year is non-other
that the (anonymous) ‘protestor’.
But what kind of changes are we witnessing, exactly? Is it really
global capitalism collapsing under its own weight? Is it true that
it’s a battle of the 99% and the 1% of the world’s population are we
witnessing the long-awaited global revolution of the people that
Leftists have been dreaming about for almost two centuries? What will
come out of all these revolutions: will it be appropriated by existing
politics or will a completely new body of political thought and action
come out of it? Naomi Klein dubbed the Occupy movement as the most
important thing happening in the world right now. But what are the
potentials we need to realize and the threats we need to make
ourselves aware of regarding this most important thing?
We seek papers that deal with, but are not limited to, the following issues:
– What kind of change are we witnessing with these new exercises of
people power? Could it be an ontological change that would redefine
the way we perceive the existence of power itself, its structures, and
our own roles in global politics?
– What connections are evident between the rise of the occupy
movement, new media technologies, and emerging forms of emancipatory
– What kinds of space are created in the occupations? How do
occupations and their self-sustained camps structure and change
ideological definitions of public vs. private spaces? Why does it
bother authorities so much?
– What role does space play in the relationship between political
subjectivity and the visual quality of the movement?
– What potential new bodies of politics will emerge stronger after
this? Will newfound bodies of technologically-enabled politics such as
dynamic P2P democracy to the hacktivists=92 potent adhocracy play a more
significant role in future societies? Will alternative currencies
(bitcoin, etc) and banking systems begin to replace the old ones?
Cyborg Subjects (www.cyborgsubjects.org) takes great pleasure and
active interest in placing these issues at the core of its next
project. We invite all interested authors to send full-length articles
(3500 words maximum), short commentaries (500-800 words), interviews
or book reviews (1000-1500 words) tosubmissions.
Artworks, videos, performances, etc. related to the topic are also
Please send in your work by April 23, 2012. Contributors are free to
use any reference style systems (e.g., APA, Harvard etc), as long as
they are consistent in how they cite their sources throughout the
article, and use endnotes, rather than footnotes, for citations.
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