The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York


CFP : GC Social and Political Theory Student Association

Third Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Theory Workshop: FAILURE
April 8, 2016
Hosted by SPTSA: Social and Political Theory Student Association  |[]
Keynote: Serene J. Khader[], Philosophy, Brooklyn College


Full CFP including suggested topic areas and Submission Form available at:[]


About the Workshop

The Third Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Workshop on ‘Theory,’ sponsored by the Social and Political Theory Studen

t Association (SPTSA), will bring together CUNY students from different disciplines and perspectives to explore what it means to ‘do theory.’ Its objectives are threefold. First, we seek to provide an opportunity for students to practice presenting and receiving feedback on works in progress in a supportively critical environment. Second, we hope to generate unexpected connections between people, concepts, orientations, and modes of theorizing. Third, we seek to build community across disciplines for CUNY students doing theoretical work. The workshop thus serves as a space in which we can practice taking apart the boundaries that constrain and discipline different theoretical endeavors.


Submissions and Panels

Submissions of a 300-word abstract for in-progress papers, presentations, or performances are due by December, 7 2015 to Please use the Submission Form. Each panel will have three to four participants from different disciplines and a graduate student discussant.



Today, political and social movements, artistic and literary practices and genres, philosophical critiques, and more are seeking to find novel ways of self-expression and resistance which do not necessarily participate in the economies of the often oppressive systems that they aspire to alter. In this search to dismantle the master’s house with tools other than master’s own, giving up on “success” and “achievement” while opting to pursue failure(s) comes to the fore as an option. Given that the masters’ houses are apparently safe and sound, it seems to be imperative to reconsider our ways of “successful resistance,” question what “success” means, and perhaps be willing to embrace “failure” as a means to a novel kind of “success” that could catch the master off-guard. This Third Annual Interdisciplinary Theory Workshop seeks in-progress papers exploring the practices, discourses, aesthetics, theories, pragmatics, and semiotics of failure.


What happens, what is lost, and what becomes impossible or dangerous if aesthetics and/or politics of “failure” are embraced? Does failure risk reproducing the lived realities of oppression, exploitation, and domination? All these questions call for a need to interrogate the fields of failure as neoliberal subjects. We seek to discuss the potentialities – and potentially problematic aspects of – “failure” in this interdisciplinary workshop, which goes beyond the limits of our scholarly disciplines. We call for experimenting with failure and exploring what we can “achieve” if we choose to fail together.


Full CFP:[]



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