Neoliberalism + Biopolitics – Conference at Berkeley, 27-28 Feb 2015. Speakers include Étienne Balibar, Wendy Brown, Bernard Harcourt, and Achille Mbembe…
Over the past two decades neoliberalism and biopolitics have emerged as essential terms for critical theorists of all stripes attempting to analyze ongoing transformations in social and political life. As both objects of study and frames for analysis, neoliberalism and biopolitics have served as key ciphers for those attempting to appreciate the novelty of contemporary political rationalities, forms of social control, technological developments, and economic orders. This conference aims to produce a conversation among major thinkers currently working to develop and problematize these two concepts. Envisioned as a dialogue among diverse theorists, we hope to extend the discussion across disciplinary lines by bringing together scholars from both the humanities and social sciences.
Michel Foucault’s 1978-79 College de France lectures famously linked biopolitics and neoliberalism at both the historical and conceptual level; contemporary usage of both terms, however, extends well beyond Foucault’s original articulation. Part of the ambition of this conference is to interrogate the compatibility or incommensurability of different approaches seeking to deploy both concepts. Along these lines, we hope to probe the possibilities and limitations of neoliberalism and biopolitics as paradigms for critically analyzing how power operates in late capitalist modernity.
Thanks to Mark Ajita for the link.