December 06, 2012

Call For Papers! Fifth Annual Conference in Critical Social Research!

It's official! The CSRC has announced its call for papers for its Fifth Annual Conference in Critical Social Research:


Eulogies for the Public:
Capitalism, Warfare and the Conservative Turn
The Fifth Annual Conference in Critical Social Research/
The 2013 Great Lakes Graduate Conference in Political Economy
Thursday, May 2nd,* 2013 [*NOTE new date]
Carleton University
Ottawa, ON

pub-lic: \ˈpə-blik\
      of, relating to, or affecting all the people or the whole area of a nation or state;
      devoted to the general or national welfare;
      “A special kind of virtual social object, enabling a special mode of address” (Michael Warner. Publics and Counterpublics. New York: Zone Books, 2002).

Like ‘social justice’, the notion of the ‘public’ has long held an esteemed position in progressive politics. Yet given the many crises of contemporary capitalism, the proliferation of wars between and within nation-states, and the rise of conservative movements and moods, there is a strong case to be made for asking critical questions about how the ‘public’ - in its many shapes and forms - is being transformed:
On capitalism and the ‘public’: How have social formations of capitalism, such as recent austerity policies, the shift from welfare states to private philanthropy, or the rise of consumer responsibility modified the ‘public’?
On warfare and the public: Just over a decade old, the 21st century has already known constant warfare, between states and within them. How can we understand the impact and role of media, movements, patriarchy, indigenous struggles, and technologization in conflict waged for, against and between publics?

On the conservative turn and the public: The rise of popular neo-conservative movements (and their convergence with neo-liberal ideologies) has manifested in the coming to power of right-leaning governments, while so-called left-leaning governments drift towards the centre. Are processes of privatization and conservative rule changing how we come to know, express, constitute, or act, as publics?

Using the three broad themes of capitalism, warfare, and the conservative turn, the Critical Social Research Collaborative is seeking papers and/or creative submissions which address how the ‘public’ (broadly defined) is constituted, contested and enforced in contemporary society, for its 5th Annual Conference in Critical Social Research. The conference is being held in conjunction with The 2013 Great Lakes Graduate Conference in Political Economy, hosted by the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University. We expect to showcase high quality, compelling analytical works backed up by robust research on topics relating to the transformation of the ‘public’. The following list of topics is non-exhaustive and merely suggestive of the many dimensions through which we believe the public could be eulogized:
      Riot, Occupy, Strike: The Public Response to Austerity
      Corporate Social Responsibullshit: The ‘Ethically Consuming’ Public
      Philanthropy and Great Citizenry as the New Welfare State
      ‘Excluding Everyone Equally!’: Sexism, Racism, and Classism in the New Public
      Pitting Public Against Public: The Avarice of Modern Warfare
      The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Using the Public as a Shield
      The Trope of Public Private Partnerships: The Privatization of Public Spaces
      Tragedies of the 21st Century Commons: Neoliberalizing (Public) Nature
      Drifting Right: Conservative Movements and the Co-optation of the Public
      Labour’s Unending Challenge: Gutting the Public Service

Academics, researchers, students and activists are invited to submit proposals for panels or individual paper presentations, or artistic projects, from diverse theoretical and methodological orientations in historical and/or contemporary contexts. Please send your proposal, including an abstract of no more than 300 words, a presentation title, your name, and a brief biography (of no more than 100 words) to the conference organizing committee at by February 28th, 2013. Decisions on proposals will be communicated by mid-March. Accepted submissions may be solicited for publication. Some (limited) funds are available to help cover student travel expenses – please inquire by email.

The Critical Social Research Collaborative ( is an interdisciplinary research collective consisting of students, faculty, trade union and community activists based at Carleton University. We aim to promote, support and create a platform for the sharing and dissemination of critical perspectives and research conducted on the defining social issues of our time.