- School/Institute/Department: Politics and International Relations
- Subjects: Politics, Activism, Sociology
- Audience: Academic and non-academic audiences
Theory and Imaginative Activism Conference
The event is a two-day conference to be held on Thursday May 1st and Friday May 2nd 2014 at Queen Mary University of London under the auspices of the School of Politics and International Relations. The conference theme will be the double binary opposition between theory and practice, and power and resistance/intervention in a world dominated by capitalism. There will be three panels and one film viewing, followed by a debate and various projections of art-activism, during which we intend to discuss:
- new opportunities and possibilities for political interventions and resistance;
- the relationship between theory and practice in the spheres of political struggles;
- new forms of activism on new digital platforms of communication capable of generating radical resistance against hegemonic powers.
The idea for this conference came out of thinking about alleged divisions between political ‘thought’ and ‘action’. If academics and students sit in ivory towers while activists are caught in strategic battles with the police and other enemies, how can political thought and action best learn from each other? This workshop has a strong inter-disciplinary and open character, inviting thinking and acting minds from both the academic sphere and its ‘surroundings’. One of its main aims is to think about the oppositional binary that we usually put conceptually between theory and practice, and how theorizing can aid us in understanding the changing world, consequently even affecting the way we ‘normally’ conduct ourselves.
The whole idea behind the conference is geared towards asking and thinking about questions that arise when we want our research to have an important/significant social impact. The conference will be asking what (theoretical) interventions are effective in today’s society, if any, and whether they can contribute to the changing of the landscape of status quo. In this way, we will encourage the participants to think about their own projects or/an research and how it is situated within the complex network of social and power relations. The conference will be tapping into both theoretical/methodological questions as well as more practical/experiential insights of engaging in society.