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Call For Papers – Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference on Biopolitics – Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo, ON)

Call For Papers

Interdisciplinary Graduate Student
Conference on Biopolitics

Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, ON
Friday April 13th. 2018

DEADLINE: March 8, 2018


Techne: Wilfrid Laurier University Biopolitical Research Group
Cultural Analysis and Social Theory MA Program


Biopolitics is a predominant paradigm in the social sciences and humanities, which begins from the premise that life is central to modern politics. In the early nineteenth century, biopolitics emerged alongside concerns with overpopulation, public hygiene, pseudo-scientific theories of ‘race,’ and into state institutions such as the socio-biological regime of the Nazis. More recently, contemporary issues such as combating climate change, prevention of the global spread of infectious diseases, as well as rethinking the meaning of being human (given biomedical advances in such areas as genetic engineering, reproductive technologies, and even prosthetics), life has become a central issue for politics.

In our “biopolitical” era governing means to manage, regulate, control, and protect life in all its forms. This line of thinking first gained prominence in the mid-1970s with Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish (1995), The History of Sexuality, Volume 1 (1990), and his famous lectures at the Collège de France (2003, 2007, 2008).

We are accepting proposals on any topics that relate to biopolitics from across the social sciences and humanities. Contributions from graduate students from all disciplines and critical perspectives are welcome.

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to:
• Disrupting biopolitical borders (immigration, (de)colonization, settlement, and globalization)
• Epidemics, eugenics, bioethics
• Humanism, anthropocene, or post-humanism
• Affirmative biopolitics, Negative biopolitics, the politics of death (thanatopolitics, necropolitics),
immunization, or vitalism
• Governmentality, debt, state of exception, crisis management, total institutions
• Bare life (zoē) versus political life (bíos)
• Immaterial labour, the precariat, or the biopolitical economy
• The extent the discourse of biopolitics possessing emancipatory educational practices
• The biopolitics of social inequalities (gender, race, sexuality, and etc.)
• Theories of biopolitical resistance and social justice

These events are taking place on the Haldimind Tract. Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario is located on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples. We welcome submissions from all graduate students at the Masters and PhD levels. Paper proposals of 200 to 250 words, accompanied by a short biography (including name of program/school), should be submitted to nasi4930@mylaurier.ca by no later than the March 8, 2018.

Notifications of acceptance will be given by March 15, 2018.

• Greg Bird (Coordinator, Techne: WLU Biopolitical Research Group): gbird@wlu.ca
• Mustafa Nasirzadeh (MA. Cultural Analysis and Social Theory): nasi4930@mylaurier.ca