Call for Papers: ‘The Anomie of the Earth’ – UNC Chapel Hill 3-5 May 2012

Call for Papers: ‘The Anomie of the Earth’ – UNC Chapel Hill 3-5 May 2012
@ The Institute for the Arts and Humanities/Global Education Center
in collaboration with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and NWO

The conference The Anomie of the Earth is a follow-up to the Post/autonomy conference held in Amsterdam in May 2011.

While the Post/autonomy meeting focused on the European dissemination of autonomist thought, the second conference will build on its American location and explore a plurality of notions and practices of cultural-political autonomy. Though privileging the context of North and South America, the conference will also address European, African and Asian perspectives.

A presupposition of the conference is that what Carl Schmitt has defined as the Western “nomos of the Earth” – i.e. the political, legal, and spatial configuration of a Euro-Atlantic modern global order – is currently being shaken by intense endogenous and exogenous forces. By discussing the potentials and limits of autonomy/autonomia within our actual conjuncture, the conference will address the emerging nomos and its new constellations of life and knowledge.

More specifically, the conference will thematize the intersections of autonomy/autonomia with four lines of research that have reframed current debates in the humanities and social sciences:

* radical conceptualizations of life, labor, sovereignty, borders, precarity, migrations, communities and commons, multitude;

* spatial, affective, ethical and ecological forms of resistance to neoliberal capitalism;

* critical trends taking place at the edges of contemporary epistemologies; such as vitalisms, geo-philosophies, biopolitics, political anthropologies, new materialisms, political ontologies and ecologies, subaltern studies, embodiment and emergence theories;

* decolonial studies and new theorizations of post-capitalist, non-liberal and non-statist modes of knowledge and political practice; decolonial feminisms.

These broad themes should be focalized through a specific engagement with autonomy/autonomia.

We welcome the submission of papers in English. Accepted papers will be posted online on the conference website. For the panels, speakers will be asked to make short (10-15 minutes) presentations addressing the main topics of their papers.

Please send your paper, together with a short abstract, by March 1 to Given the limited size of the conference, only a small number of papers will be accepted. Conference organizers will send acceptance notifications by March 21.

For further information, please contact

This conference is the second of a series within the project Precarity and Post-autonomia: the Global Heritage funded by NWO (Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research).

Confirmed participants

Giuseppe Bianco (University of Warwick/CIEPFC)

Jodi A. Byrd (University of Illinois)

Gustavo Esteva (Universidad de la Tierra)

Silvia Federici (Hofstra University)

Michael Hardt (Duke University)

Timothy S. Murphy (University of Oklahoma)

Benjamin Noys (University of Chichester)

Catherine Walsh (Universidad Simon Bolivar)

Gareth Williams (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

and the planning committee:

Federico Luisetti, John Pickles, Wilson Kaiser (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill),Vincenzo Binetti (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

in collaboration with, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: Samuel Amago, Yusuf Al-Bulushi, Emilio del Valle Escalante, Arturo Escobar, Diana Marcela Gomez Correal, Lawrence Grossberg, Michal Osterweil, Michael Palm, Alvaro Reyes

and the NWO partners: Frans-Willem Korsten (Leiden University/Erasmus University Rotterdam), Joost de Bloois (University of Amsterdam), Silvia Contarini (Université Paris Ouest, Nanterre La Défense), Monica Jansen (Utrecht University)


NWO, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), and the Center for Global Initiatives, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Center for European Studies, The Institute for the Arts and Humanities, The Institute for the Study of the Americas, Department of Geography, Program in Comparative Literature, Department of Anthropology, Department of Communication Studies, Cultural Studies@UNC (UNC-Chapel Hill), Department of Romance Studies (Duke University)