The Minnesota Political Theory Colloquium meets Fridays at 1:30 pm in the Lippincott Room, 1314 Social Sciences Building, unless otherwise noted.
For nearly a decade, graduate students in the department of political science have put together a biweekly schedule of presentations relevant to political theory. Most commonly this is in the form of a paper presentation - the paper is posted online a few days beforehand, interested parties read it, the author presents the paper for 20-30 minutes, the audience asks questions, provides feedback, and offers suggestions. To offer some variety, roundtable discussions on a particular topic or forums around currents issues appear in the schedule as well. The colloquium meets roughly every other Friday at 1:30 pm, with discussion lasting typically until around 3:30pm. Snacks and beverages are provided. Presenters are grad students, department faculty, faculty from other cognate departments at the university, other local college faculty (Carleton, Macalester, St Olaf, Hamline, etc), and the occasional out-of-town guest. Past guests have included Ernesto Laclau, Amitai Etzioni, Wendy Brown, Bonnie Honig, and Nick Xenos.
Theme: Rethinking Relationality and Alterity
Call for Papers and Participation
Empire has largely been recognized as one of the essential problems of the day, a pressing issue demanding analysis from a host of academic perspectives. As scholars have come to see imperialism as one of the central forces shaping world history, renewed attention is required on the way that empire constructs identities, generates inequalities, and polices boundaries. Yet if empire constitutes difference, it is itself constituted by the very differences it seeks to delineate. Thus, through empire, complex reciprocal relations among persons, groups, and populations are at once forged and yet continually renegotiated. This negotiation process, however, is far from simplistic. On one hand, these power relationships are complex interpellations of race, gender, sexuality, class, settler and native identities, and a host of other factors all of which refuse settled binaries. On the other hand, there is also a danger of focusing too exclusively on the frontiers of empire, and neglecting how the imperial encounter reaches back into the metropole centripetally, to reinforce and modify relationships of power at home as well as at the spatial borders of empire. Beyond these complexities of imperial creation is the fact that empire never writes on a blank script; it is always working on existing cultures and other designs. The effect of this work is both to erase alternative global designs and to add yet another layer onto the complexity of imperial relations.
The aim of the 2012-2013 Minnesota Theory Colloquium is to generate an ongoing discussion seeking to trace and understand the complexity of the relations of empire broadly understood. We invite presentations from a variety of disciplines that broadly seek to grapple with the concept of empire, both historically and theoretically. In addition to questions of empire we ask after alternative models of global design, and how they might serve to help us break out of and resist the workings of empire.
For more information about either presenting at or attending the colloquium, please contact Chris Stone (firstname.lastname@example.org), Michelle Toppino (email@example.com), or Maria Jose Mendez (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Possible topics might include, though are not necessarily limited to: