Apocalyptic Politics: Framing the Present
Villanova University, Friday April 12-Saturday April 13, 2013
Confirmed Speakers: Mladen Dolar | Slavoj Žižek | Alenka Zupančič
The present is often characterized as a critical moment that totters between possibilities of irresolvable catastrophe and redemptive restoration. Such claims involve prophecies of an end. Whether consisting in theological predictions of a messianic end, political predictions of a revolutionary end, or historical predictions of an epochal end, claims on the future charge the present with immediate signiﬁcance through the ethical and political demands they place on it. This is to say, an anticipated end, which in a way is not-yet, is also always enacted in the present. Apocalyptic futures clearly enter into the structure of contemporary subjects – of their desires and drives, on the planes of fantasy and of theory – but these relations call for clariﬁcation. The multiplicity of ways in which prophecy can be received, for instance – whether the foretold end is interpreted as already-accomplished, imminent, or in the indeterminate future, whether the end is met with a spirit of fear or hopeful anticipation, or whether it is understood as necessary and irrevocable or as contingent and preventable, etc. – invites fundamental inquiry into the conscious and unconscious relations of the subject to history and its ruptures.
Possible topics may include but are not limited to the following: the end/temporality of history (Hegel, Marx, Kojeve); political theology and the Messianic: the legacy of Paul in political theology, kariological temporality and klesis (Agamben, Derrida, Benjamin, Bloch); early modern political philosophy: the role of prophecy in shaping societal affects (Hobbes, Machiavelli, Spinoza); phenomenological relationality to the future; revolutionary politics; apocalyptic cinema, science ﬁction, and art.
The Philosophy Graduate Student Union at Villanova University welcomes high quality submissions from graduate students and faculty. Abstracts and papers are welcome for review; papers should not exceed 3500 words.
Submission Deadline: February 1st, 2013
Please send submissions formatted for blind review to
Rachel Aumiller and Chris Drain at firstname.lastname@example.org
We strongly encourage submissions from women and other under-represented groups.