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Control: Stockholm, June 14-17, 2016

Control, in its most general definition, refers to a set of mechanisms used to influence, direct, or restrict people, organisms, processes, systems, motions, and behaviors. It can also refer to tools employed to enforce such mechanisms. On a fundamental level, this general definition is already political as it pertains to ways in which power informs modes of functioning in accordance with what are inevitably social, cultural, and economic conditions and norms. A first starting point of the SLSAeu conference in Stockholm in 2016 is the underlining of this inevitably political dimension of control.

While control in its most general sense is an inevitable part of group mechanics, and while the birth of biopolitics at the “threshold of modernity” made politics itself a matter of controlling and modifying life processes, it seems evident that a whole string of developments over the last few decades have given birth to new modes of control. For example, ways of influencing, directing, and restricting human and nonhuman animals, organisms, processes, systems, motions, and behaviors change alongside developments in technology and science, in modes of production, in the globalization of neoliberal capitalism, and in geopolitical and postcolonial processes. A second starting point of this conference is an interest in these changing modes of political control.

Since contemporary modes of control make it possible to influence all levels and forms of life, the spectrum under discussion reaches from laboratories experimenting with stem cells and live tissue, to media representations of war and climate change, to enactments and discourses of security, to the policing of borders and migration, to mention a very few. A third starting point of the conference is, therefore, a concern with the necessity of exploring political control across a wide range of instantiations.

Literature, science, and the arts offer many different perspectives on control. Their representations, experimentations, and expressions constitute examples of as well as challenges to various mechanisms of control. A fourth starting point of the conference, then, is the intimate relation between culture and control and the eagerness to explore the role of various modes of expression in what some now call control society.

In short, then, SLSAeu in Stockholm in 2016 explores developments in political control from a number of different perspectives by investigating the role of literature, science, and the arts in control society. Papers will be organised in accordance with a select number of streams.  


*** Control-Life - Stream Organizer: Jami Weinstein ***

If the recent turn to life has taught us anything, it is that the concept life is precisely that which exposes the limits of control, in all its forms. Life itself (if such a thing can be even uttered) is uncontrollable, uncontainable, excessive, recalcitrant, insistent, and certainly is not easily demarcated. Rather, life is a problematic, an intensification, and an opening to questions about the boundaries of what is and what is not. In our current historical moment—where we stand in the shadow of the anthropocene and face the real and impending likelihood of human extinction—the human has been charged with thinking life anew. This thinking, however, must be undertaken critically and in a manner that avoids falling into the trap of an exclusive disjunction that argues that either the human (and life) are part of a larger interdependent whole or that the human (and life) is somehow exceptional and set apart from its milieu. This stream will take up that critical challenge in order to go beyond life and the misdirected practices of control often associated with it.

For more info click link here.



1. Affective Tendencies: Bodies, Pleasures, Sexualities

Rutgers University (NJ, USA: October 7-9, 2010), co-sponsored by SKOK University of Bergen

This conference addresses the question of how sexuality, pleasure and bodies constitute, at least in part, affective life. Affective tendencies, orientations, trajectories have regulated how we understand and experience bodies, pleasures, sexualities. How are we to understand affective life? How are our conceptions of the body altered and complicated through understanding affective forces? Joy and sadness, as much as passion and desire, expand or contract our worlds, while they link bodies in particular styles of living in the world. How are relations of power - those that constitute relations of oppression, whether in terms of gender, race, class, nationality, religion or sexuality - to be understood following the 'affective turn'? How is sexuality to be understood affectively? How is affect to be understood sexually? Are pleasures sexual? Are they
always forms of joy? Keynotes by: Lauren Berlant, Leo Bersani, David Eng, and Jasbir Puar.

Jami Weinstein "Posthuman Affect"

2. Evolution and Extinction: Reconsidering Race, Sex/Gender, and Ethics

Society of Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (Montreal, CA: November 4-6, 2010)

Problem: we’re stuck in a stalemate. Feminist and queer theorists have been spinning their cognitive wheels for a long time over the role, value, meaning, and implications of the notions of sex and gender but, to date, have not arrived at any sort of definitive theoretical stance toward either of them individually or both taken together. Even those thinkers who carefully engage with evolutionary theory in insightful and original ways seem to end up falling short of undermining the basic principles that would need to be repudiated in order to make feminism obsolete, i.e. annihilate sexism. We will argue here that the underlying reason for this has to do not with the fact that we have to better understand sex and gender or sexual difference, nor does it have to do with ranking various differences according to a hierarchy of ontology and epistemology, or of constitutive and contingent, rather we need to look through evolution differently. We need to exercise caution in our research about sex and gender so as not to create or reinforce other hierarchies of difference such as white non-white and human-nonhuman. We need to see the infinite multiplicity of sex. We need to use it to get beyond humanism and its pernicious binary logics, those that reinforce the logics of sexism, racism, speciesism and the like. And we need to see that the debunking of humanism will put us face to face with the concept of our extinction. Once we arrive there, we might come to understand that in the face of the reality of our extinction, the human species might, finally, be presented with a genuine ethics, with a sense of what it owes to place (ethos) and to those beyond its own organic life (the future). If it is not presupposed that the only life worthy of consideration is ethico-political – or, having to do with a sense of ethos, polity, abode or dwelling – then one might consider those modes of life that are not defined by milieu. In relation to the human one might ask whether modes of living and modes of relation could exist without the assumption of a ‘we’, and without the assumption that ‘we’ are worthy of living on; one might ask whether the future should not be saved for another mode of life altogether. Such a question might force a consideration of what is worthy of survival, even if such survival appears, today, to be less than certain.

Myra J. Hird "Becoming Sex and Race: A Conversation with Darwin and Grosz"
Jami Weinstein "The Move to Genre: Evolution and Imperceptibility"

3. Between Bodies: Emotion - Sense - Affect

Uppsala University Body/Embodiment Symposium (Uppsala, SWE: November 18-19, 2010)

The symposium takes its point of departure from the role of the body as a centre for emotions, sensations and affectivity. It enquires into the relation between inner emotions and their expression in outer forms of behavior. It asks questions concerning the role of emotion and affectivity as foundational for intellectual life, for thinking, rationality and communication. It highlights the vast milieu of meetings between human and animal, nature and technology, self and other which constitute and are constituted by bodies. By examining the idea of bodies and embodiment as transgressive in a number of different ways, we put focus on bodily boundaries, points of meeting/melting/tension, kinship and skinship between bodies of different kind and different singular experiences; making manifest the interrelationality of drawing boundaries and constituting singularities, differences and commonalities.

Jami Weinstein "Posthuman Affects: The Ontology, Methodologies, and Promise of Affective Theorizing"
Ulrika Dahl "Femmebodiment: Notes on Queer Feminine Shapes of Vulnerability"

4. Against Life

American Comparative Literature Association Conference (Vancouver, CA: April 1-3, 2011)

Seminar Organizers: Stephanie Youngblood (U of Wisconsin Madison); Alastair Hunt (Portland State U)

     At a moment when everyone seems to be asking, again, what can the humanities do for life? This seminar asks a new question: What is the place of life in the humanities? Our premise is that the humanities have of late encountered two limits of “life” as an enabling trope. The first is biopolitics, in which life becomes the ground upon which political decisions are made concerning lives which do and do not deserve to live. The second limit is found in various accounts of ethics that, even on the far side of deconstruction, take life as that which, however refigured and resignified, must ultimately be defended.
     In response to this turn to life, and drawing on the emphasis on vitality evoked in the conference theme itself, this seminar interrogates “life” as a figure for the ends of critique in the humanities. In what ways is this emphasis on life, and on a life that deserves to live, detrimental to a shared ethico-political project? How does the rendering and deployment of life foster conditions antithetical to its ostensible aims? What would an ethics and a politics insubordinate to life look like? Can the humanities productively declare itself to be against life? Some possible areas of interest, alongside ethics and biopolitics, include: vitalism and vitality, reproductive rights, ecology, queer life, the body, end-of-life debates, affect and social responsiveness, animal life, and testimony.  Participants included: Alastair Hunt, Stephanie Youngblood, Matthias Rudolf, Annie Moore, Lee Edelman, Branka Arsic, James Penney, Anne-Lise François, Penelope Deutscher, and Donna V. Jones.

Jami Weinstein "The Blasphemy of Life"

5. Tema Genus Higher Seminar • Myra Hird & Jami Weinstein

May 31st, 14:15-17:00 
Location: Room Delfi, Tema Building, Linköping University Language: English

Myra J. Hird  “Volatile Bodies, Volatile Earth: Towards an Ethic of Vulnerability”
Several decades of intensive scholarship around the interchange between the human and nonhuman focuses on the extent to which humankind is impacting upon the biophysical world and the ways in which other-than-human entities react back. In many ways, this concern has reinforced the assumption that the most significant juncture is that which lies between humans and everything else. This talk introduces a larger project which aims to interrogate this premise by redirecting attention to what is, arguably, a much more important juncture on the planet we happen to inhabit: that which divides and connects the living and non living, life and matter, the organic and inorganic, the biosphere and geosphere. Many contemporary issues – from climate change to energy crises, pathogen emergence to extinction – demand not only that we explore the inter-zone between the human and the nonhuman, but that we push on into regions where constitutive processes involve entities, forces and encounters that are overwhelmingly other-than-human. This has implications beyond simply affirming that the social is assembled out of heterogeneous materials or co-enacted with nonhuman others. In this talk, I trace the evolution of my research microontologies. Microontologies speaks to the deep time origins of sexual difference, sex entangled within and through bodies as ongoing productions, sex's remark-able yet largely unrecognized diversity within and between biophysical, biocultural and biodigital strata, and the radical asymmetry challenging post-Kantian humanism. Thinking through this radical asymmetry in terms of metabolism leads to my current research aimed at developing of an ethics of vulnerability.

Jami Weinstein “Posthumous Life: Toward an Inhuman Ethico-politics”
I aim to investigate the ways in which “life” might be counterintuitive to ethico-politics. Insofar as the concept “life” is a defining trope in the humanities, it becomes the ‘that which cannot but be maintained as sacred,’ an irreducible given, and signals an adherence to a basic form of humanism. In thinking beyond the human and humanism, we must also relinquish a certain claim to life as thus sacred. For, how can we account for the immaterial forces, the pre-accelerated motor of self-overcoming, and the ultimate inevitability of human extinction in the face of this sanctity of life? In this culture of life, which includes the politics of right to life, quality of life campaigns, considerations about whose lives matter, and even algorithms to attach a financial value to a person’s life for the purposes of insuring it, it seems possible that a less euphemistic and more genuine ethico-political stance might be found by subverting the claims to life as a foundation for analysis. Perhaps turning to questions of genocide and extinction, to the inhuman, might provide more productive and interesting analytical tools for developing normative and political theories. This paper will interrogate that possibility. 

6. Conflict Zones: Genocide, Extinction, and the Inhuman

Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy conference (Philadelphia, USA: Oct. 19-22)

Claire Colebrook: "Ethics of Extinction"
Sarah Clark Miller: "Corporeally Inscribed Conflict: Moral Harm and Genocidal Rape"
Jami Weinstein: "Posthumous Life: Toward an Inhuman Ethico-politics" 

7. Theory Sex Matters

Jami Weinstein and Myra Hird
Public Lecture and Doctoral Workshop (2 op/credits)
University of Helsinki (November 3-4, 2011)

Sexual difference theory has become one of the cornerstones of continental feminist philosophy over the past couple of decades. While its historical relevance remains clear, we want to investigate ways in which we might move the discussion to another level. Thinking about how we might retain the import of sexual difference by employing the concept as a theoretical and methodological tool instead of seeing it as a fundamental ontological fact might be one avenue to explore. In turn, this might help us realign our focus by moving away from the notion of sexual difference and its inextricable humanistic bent and toward notions of sex and reproduction reinterpreted from a microontological perspective. This seminar will attend to those methodological and ontological reinterpretations toward the aim of "thinking differently."

Thursday 3.11.2011 -- Kl. 16.15-18.00
Jami Weinstein "Theory Sex"
Myra Hird "Sex Matters on a Sociable Planet"
Friday 4.11.2011 -- Kl. 10:15-12:30
Workshop for selected doctoral students

The workshop is organized by the The Finnish Research School in Women’s and Gender Studies but also other PhD students working on the thematic field of gender studies within different disciplines may apply. The number of students will be limited to 10. 

Applications specifying interest as well as the stage of doctoral studies and dissertation work should be sent by e-mail to: spt-tohtoriohjelma@helsinki.fi by Friday 21.10.2011. 

Please follow the Research School website for a reading list and further instructions on the workshop session: http://www.naistutkimuksentohtorikoulu.fi/english

8. Higher Seminar - Transgenres: Zoopolitics and The Dandy

Södertörns Högskola, Stockholm (November 22, 2011)
Ett samarrangemang mellan genusvetenskap och filosofi.
Seminariet hålls på engelska.15.00-17.00

9. Zoopolitics panel

Modern Language Association conference (Seattle: Jan. 5-8, 2012)

Seminar Organizer: Alastair Hunt (Portland State U)
Participants: Mario Ortiz-Robles (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Ron Broglio (Arizona State University), Nicole Shukin (University of Victoria in British Columbia)
Respondant: Jami Weinstein (Linköping University)

     For two thousand years theories of politics have offered variations on Aristotle’s claim that the human being is an animal whose extra-added capacity for language raised it above mere animal life to a properly political existence. Recently, however, Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben have suggested that the modern human being is an animal whose politics places his existence as a living being in question. For Foucault, biopolitics is a “bestialization of man achieved through the most sophisticated political techniques.” For Agamben, “the decisive political conflict, which governs every other conflict, is that between the animality and humanity of man.” At the same time as they bring into clear focus the understanding that what is at stake in contemporary politics is the life we share with animals, however, they exclude the living in general from its empirical effects. As a result, contemporary biopolitical theory somewhat paradoxically takes for granted that we can decisively read the distinction between those who are really animals and those who are animals only by virtue of a figure of biopolitical speech. 
     The contributors to the proposed panel—all exciting new voices in animal studies—suggest that biopolitics works by managing this distinction between literal and figurative animals in a more complex manner. We take seriously the illegibility of the human/animal difference implied in the description of biopolitics as a “bestialization of man” or a conflict between “the animality and humanity of man.” In doing so, we see several important questions emerge. How are we to separate the political animality of the human being from the supposedly apolitical animality of the animal? If we admit that biopolitics indiscriminately targets all forms of animal life, how is the appearance of the human species within the biological continuum a primary biopolitical effect? In what way is the act of deciding between humanity and animality a predicament of language and literature? Is politics possible because human beings alone out of all living beings have language or because language is a mark of animality as much as humanity? In short, how might rethinking biopolitics as zoopolitics help us understand the figure of the “political animal”?

10. INTERGENDER Doctoral Course - Life Matters: Microlife, Species, and Extinction

Linköping University (May 2-4, 2012)
Claire Colebrook - "Framing the End of Species"
Myra Hird - "Microlife: Waste, FLow, Care, and an Ethic of Vulnerability"
Jami Weinstein - "Wild Life: Outside the Bounds of Species"

No question could seem simultaneously more trite and more important that the question "what is life?" However unoriginal, if we are going to understand the way the concept of life implies a humanistic conception that becomes a defining almost sacred trope in the humanities (thus locating it squarely within humanism), we are going to have to first understand what we mean by life. This doctoral course will, thus, aim to address life matters--both the matter of life and which lives matter--and the ethics and politics that unfold from various analyses. From microlife all the way down, to the boundaries of species classification and what counts as life, we will investigate the ways in which life as we currently and hegemonically conceptualize it implies an ethics and politics that are detrimental to life as we know it. Concepts like vulnerability and extinction, sustainability and protection, contamination, asymmetrical care, and materiality and imperceptibility will all play a role in framing these issues and defining both the stakeholders and what is at stake in matters pertaining to life.

More info at: www.intergender.net/

11. Feminist Epistemology, Methodologies, Metaphysics, and Science Studies Conference

Pennsylvania State University, USA (May 9-13, 2012)
Jami Weinstein - "Theory Sex as a Feminist Method"

12. Entanglements of New Materialisms

Linköping University (May 25-26, 2012)
Jami Weinstein - Keynote response to Astrida Neimanis

13. Joint Seminar in Philosophy and Ethics 

Center for Applied Ethics
Linköping University (Sept. 20, 2012 13:15-16:15)
KVA conference room, top floor, Key building, Campus Valla
Jami Weinstein: "Regarding a Posthumous In/Difference Ethics" 

14. Mattering: Feminism, Science & Materialism

CUNY Grad Center (NY, USA: February 14-15, 2013)
Jami Weinstein: "Wild Life: Toward a Posthumous In/Difference Ethics"

15. The Posthuman: Differences, Embodiments, Performativity

Roma III (Rome, Italy: September 11-14, 2013)

Jami Weinstein: “Wild Life: The Prospect of a Posthumous In/difference Ethics,” 

16.  Pervot Perinteet – Queer Traditions 

University of Turku (Turku, Finland: September 26–27, 2014)

Jami Weinstein, Keynote: “Cruising Dystopia: Queerfeminist Futurities and the Anthropocene”

17. Critical Environments Lecture Series (Centre for Cultural Studies)

Goldsmith’s University (London, UK: January 15, 2015)

Jami Weinstein: “Anthropocene Hipsters and the Critical Theory Apocalypse”

18. Death and Corpses - Tema Genus Higher Seminar

(February 23, 2015) CHAIR: Jami Weinstein

Nina Lykke (Linköping University): “Vibrant Death”

Marietta Radomska: ”Entanglements of the Victimless Leather Jacket: Waste, Death, and the Uncontainability of the Living” 

Marta Zarzycka (Utrecht University): Showing Corpses: Images of the Dead in War Reporting 

Line Henriksen: Smile Guide. Ethics of the ghostly smile

19. The Origin of Life: History and Philosophy of Astrobiology (COST Action)

(Höör, Sweden: May 8-10, 2015)

Jami Weinstein: “The New Wild West: Vital Ontologies, Contagion”

20. Affect Theory: Worldings, Tensions, Futures

Millersville University (Lancaster, PA: October 14-17, 2015)

Jami Weinstein: "Vital Affects: A Theory of Indifference for Posthumous Lives"




TSQ cover

Tranimalities (a special issue of TSQ: The Transgender Studies Quarterly - Vol.2, No. 2, May 2015)
Eva Hayward and Jami Weinstein, editors. 


          It has long been argued that Humanism has reached its breaking point and no longer possesses critical purchase (if ever it did); it would seem that it has not advanced our understanding of what it means to be “human,” especially if the humans we are theorizing do not fit neatly into well-known binary categories sanctioned by Humanism. Further, Humanism delineates a normative standard of legibility by which all others are read, measured, controlled, disciplined, and assigned to fixed and hierarchical social statuses. This administration of norms is the justificatory linchpin of (often violent) practices of exclusion, discrimination, and oppression.
          Since so many among us have been excluded from the elite status of being considered fully human in the restricted and universal sense that Humanism has articulated, researchers across a multitude of disciplines continue to unpack the underlying frameworks that provide for the standardizing force privileging the anthro-ontological Humanist human over all others. And this is one area in which transgender/trans theory, too, can make a significant intervention.
          However, Tranimalities does not strive to provide yet another critique of Humanism simply by adding trans insights into the mix, or as yet another vector in intersectional critique. The abundance of theoretical interventions against Humanism’s investment in regulating and controlling sex/gender/sexuality has already made considerable headway on this front. Instead, Tranimalities wishes to focus on trans-infused apprehensions and engagements with the expansive world of possibility opened up by nonanthropocentric and posthumanist perspectives. In this way, Tranimalities aims to entangle and enmesh trans and the nonhuman in a generative tension leading to alternate ways of envisioning futures of embodiment, aesthetics, bio-politics, climates, and ethics.
          As such, at the enfoldment of transgender/trans theory, critical animal studies, and posthuman theory lies a rich field of research that has to date been largely unconsidered. Tranimalities thus seeks to attend to the trans-dimensions of recent critical moves beyond the human. With works like Queering the Non/Human (Nora Giffney and Myra Hird, eds., 2008), Animal Others (special issue of Hypatia, 2012; Lori Gruen and Kari Weil, eds.), the Queer Inhumanisms (special issue of GLQ, forthcoming, Mel Y. Chen and Dana Luciano, eds.), and Tranimacies: Intimate Links Between Affect, Animals, and Trans* Studies; forthcoming, Eliza Steinbock, Marianna Szczygielska, and Anthony Wagner, eds.) providing some of the groundwork, TSQ’s special issue Tranimalities aims to contribute a specifically trans intervention into the discussion of the anti-, non-, in-, and posthuman.

philosophia coverAnthropocene Feminisms (a special issue of philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism)
Claire Colebrook and Jami Weinstein, editors. 

     philoSOPHIA invites essays that address the concept of the Anthropocene. We invite contributions on the following questions and topics: Does the 'anthropos' of the anthropocene have a sex, race or gender? How do the 'deep' temporalities and stratifications of geological frameworks open or preclude new modes of feminist research? Does the new universal of the human species (now united by impact) destroy decades of work on diversifying the concept of 'woman' in terms of race, sexuality, class and disability?  What are the race, gender and class politics or sexual ethics of geo-engineering? In addition to these questions we also welcome work that focuses on problems of climate change, debts and obligations to future generations and non-humans, the sexual imaginary of 'man' at the centre of the anthropocene, the distribution of responsibility for planetary destruction and sustainability, and new ways of thinking about production and reproduction in light of the growing sense of the impact of the human species. 
     philoSOPHIA: A Journal of Continental Feminism is an international, peer-reviewed journal for scholarship that engages the rich traditions of feminist theory and continental philosophy, both broadly construed. The journal aims to broaden the discipline of philosophy and enrich the practices of feminist theory, bringing the conceptual resources of these fields together to address pressing socio-political issues. We encourage a wide range of theoretical approaches, particularly those exploring feminist philosophical questions through the lenses of queer, critical race, disability, and transnational perspectives.
Deadline for submission is March 1, 2014.
Send a 500-word abstract to philosophiajcf@gmail.com by March 1, 2014.
Direct any questions to philosophiajcf@gmail.com

For more info, see - https://www.facebook.com/events/709338402432502/

Life posterLife Matters: Affect, Sex, and Control Conference - May 26-28 Linköping University
Jami Weinstein and Frida Beckman, conveners

“There is a sense in which the major problem concerning life has to do not with its definition, and whether such a definition is possible, but with the very plasticity of life, a shape shifting quality exhibited in all the different ways in which we use the concept to correlate to the different phenomena that are deemed to be living – the plasticity of all the different ways in which life is thought and shaped, all the myriad ways in which life reflects upon itself and shapes itself, all the forms of existence, resistance, and insistence that life is.”
(Eugene Thacker Afterlife, 4)
     This conference aims to delve into exactly that shape-shifting plasticity of life by intersecting it with the phenomena of sex, sexuality, affect, and control. We want to pose the question both of how conceptions of life are nuanced or altered through various understandings of those phenomena, and how they themselves are clarified or mutated by interpretations of life. Enmeshing these concepts should create productive tensions, which may have the effect of destabilizing the supremacy of the incommensurable notion of life itself as a non-negotiable starting point. This entanglement and tension is of great significance, as it affects our most basic insights about what it means to be human and helps us to expose the ways in which the concept of life is politicized. 
     We aim to leave the interpretations and interrogations as boundless as possible in order to be open to seeing some of the surprising ‘forms of existence, resistance, and insistence that life is.’ To this end, we invite papers from any relevant area of enquiry that engage with or unsettle the notion of life. These include, but are not limited to:
critical studies of life; the question of life itself revisited
the boundaries between living/nonliving, inorganic/organic, human/nonhuman 
evolution, extinction, the anthropocene, vital politics, necropolitics, politics of fear and risk
life and humanism, posthuman and posthumous life, critical re-evaluations of the human, corporeality, matter, materiality 
weird life, extreme life, alternative theories of life, carbon chauvinism and organicism, biotechnology, bacteria, viruses, parasites, contagion, immunity, microlife, and toxic life
posthumous ethico-political theories
queer, feminist, or racialized futurities; feminist/racialized/queer theories of life
cross-cultural, comparative, or historical theories of life
anthrozoontology, critical animal studies
sex/gender/race/class/animality in contemporary capitalist societies 
biopolitics vs. societies of control
the role of affect and/or sex in control societies and/or under biopolitical regimes
vulnerability ethics, bare life, precarious life
The role of life in the humanities and the future of humanities and theory




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