To download, click here – SSS Call for Papers 2013 (Word document)
The Society for Socialist Studies is calling for paper proposal submissions for its annual conference as part of the 2013 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The deadline for paper proposals is January 30, 2013.
The sessions listed below are accepting paper proposals. Abstracts (maximum of 100 words) for paper proposals should be submitted to the organizer(s) of the specific session by January 30.
Or you can submit a proposal for an individual paper. The Programme Committee will try to find a place for it. Please send individual paper proposals (with abstract) to: Ingo Schmidt, Programme Committee Chair, email@example.com by January 30. Papers also need to be sent to session organisers (email addresses below).
Sessions currently accepting paper proposals:
Title/Topic: Subverting the Corporatization of Canada’s Universities
Organizers: Janice Newson, Department of Sociology, York University. firstname.lastname@example.org, Herbert Pimlott, Communication Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University. email@example.com, and Claire Polster, Department of Sociology and Social Studies, University of Regina, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Marxist sociologist, Erik Olin Wright, has called on progressives to envision “real utopias” which are “clear-headed, rigorous, and viable alternatives to existing social institutions that both embody our deepest aspirations for human flourishing and take seriously the problem of practical design” (in Contexts 10(2): 37). At the same time, the Marxist cultural theorist, Slavoj Zizek, has argued that the conditions of the 21st century call for nuanced, accessible interpretations of changes taking place in our social, cultural and political institutions that reveal how these changes intensify our present subjugation to global capitalism. This session calls for papers that do one or both of these things in the context of the Canadian university. That is, papers will offer accounts, real or potential, of imaginative social experiments or ongoing struggles within/around our universities that could transform the social relations of academic work toward progressive social purposes. Additionally or alternatively, they offer thoughtful and nuanced interpretations of how current conceptions that circulate within the corporatized university, such as those regarding the value of various kinds of academic work or the social purpose of the university more generally, align with the needs of capitalism. The overarching aim of this session is to encourage faculty and others to think critically and creatively about both our ideas and approaches to transforming the university, so that we don’t merely reproduce ongoing problems, but find conceptual or practical ways out of them. Thus, short papers that offer opportunities for discussion and interaction among presenters and audience are particularly welcome.
Title/Topic: Breaking out of our Shell: Socialist Strategy and Mass Politics
Summary: The economic crisis lingers on. Economic insecurity is rampant. Popular discontent simmers. Yet, neoliberalism, and more so capitalism itself, remains secure. Socialist politics are far removed from the day-to-day realities of the broad working class.
How can socialists reach beyond our usual networks to engage a wider constituency? How can socialists approach electoral politics, trade union organizing and social movement activism in a way that defends past gains and works for further reforms while also building toward radical transformation? How can direct democracy and equity be reconciled as we build mass movements?
There are no easy answers. What are the most fruitful lines of discussion and action?
Title/Topic: Pan-Canadian Campus Struggles after the Quebec Student Strike: Prospects and Challenges (co-sponsored with Nouveaux Cahiers du Socialisme)
Organizer: Alan Sears, Sociology, Ryerson University, email@example.com
Summary: The Quebec student strike of 2012 was a massive mobilization that won a rare victory against the austerity agenda. The strike was built through methods of democratic, activist unionism that offer a model for campus struggles in Quebec and elsewhere. The austerity agenda will pose many challenges for activists over the next few years, as user-pay, cutbacks and neo-liberal restructuring set the frame for a post-secondary system organized along managerialist corporate lines, aligned ever more closely to capital. This session will explore the state agenda in post-secondary and the possibilities for effective mobilization to resist the austerity agenda.
Title/Topic: Creative Soviet Marxism
Organizer: Alex Levant, Political Science, York University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: Soviet Marxism has often served as the other of Western Marxism, which emerged in the wake of the defeat of ‘Classical Marxism’ (Anderson 1976) and which sought ‘to rescue Marxism from positivism and crude materialism’ (Jacoby 1983). Alongside official Soviet Marxism (the state-sanctioned doctrine of Diamat), existed subterranean intellectual currents that were likewise marked by their departure from positivist conceptions of subjectivity (Vygotsky, Voloshinov, Bakhtin, Rubin, Pashukanis, Ilyenkov, arguably Lukacs, among many others). This session invites papers in the broad field of creative Soviet Marxist theory, as part of a renewed effort to bring this body of thought to bear on current problems in contemporary theory.
Title/Topic: Marxisms and Feminisms at the Edge: Ancient Questions, New Approaches
Organizers: Elaine Coburn, American University-Paris and Abigail Bakan, Queen’s University, email@example.com
Summary: This panel considers socialist experiences of the past, and visions of and strategies for 21st century socialism, from the perspective of Marxist, feminist and Marxist-feminist, contributions. Issues of empire, imperialism, and colonialism will be considered from the perspective of feminist contributions, and intersections of these contributions with Marxist understandings and misunderstandings, of power. Informed by historic debates but resisting sterile reiterations, the focus will be on questions posed by 21st century international political economy, broadly conceived, addressing both theoretical and empirical challenges. Papers for this panel will attempt to advance new contributions generated by Marxist feminist critiques of empire.
Title/Topic: Capitalist Crisis & Ideological Struggle (joint session with Canadian Sociological Association)
Organizer: Dave Broad, Sociology & Social Studies, University of Regina, firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: In 1959, Daniel Bell pronounced the end of ideology. With the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1989, Western pundits pronounced the triumph of capitalism and the end of history. But capitalism continues to produce bubbles, busts, and deepening recessions, culminating the Great Recession of 2008, and counting. People have responded with protests and alternatives in some countries. But throughout the Western world we seem to confront an ideological impasse to getting beyond capitalism. What is to be done to break this impasse? Papers on ideas for anti-ideology actions are invited.
Title/Topic: Counter or Parallel Narratives to Twenty-First-Century Commemoration of Genocide and Atrocity
Organizers: Dr. Karin Doerr, Simone de Beauvoir Institute and Montreal Institute of Genocide Studies, Concordia University, email@example.com and Dr. Sima Aprahamian, Simone de Beauvoir Institute, Concordia University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: This panel calls for papers from multi-disciplinary, feminist, and socialist perspectives that highlight obstructions to the efforts of individual and official remembrance after genocide and atrocity, ranging from national denial, to political opposition, to personal rejection. We also welcome work that draws on insights and frameworks gleaned from previous genocidal crimes to construct effective tools to investigate and commemorate other instances of extreme harm inflicted on a group.
Title/Topic: Environmental Movements and the Left
Summary: Theoretically, the Left should actively take part in environmental movements. However, it is rarely seen that Left has played the role of vanguard in an environmental movement or even been significant part of it. In most cases, they keep a safe distance or sometimes they are a small part of it, or sometimes, they even criticize. This session is inviting papers on the issues of left’s theoretical position on environmental crisis as well as Left’s participation in environmental movements in developed and developing countries, and the contexts of its participation and non-participation.
Title/Topic: Indigenous Resurgence (joint session between Indigenous Governance, University of Victoria, and Socialist Studies/Etudes Socialistes)
Organizers: Taiaiake Alfred and Jeff Corntassel, Indigenous Governance, University of Victoria, email@example.com and Elaine Coburn, editor, Socialist Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: Contemporary colonialism is the political, economic, legal and general context for Indigenous communities, clans, nations and tribes. This means that colonialism, in its shape-shifting forms, requires clear-sighted analysis in order to be resisted by Indigenous peoples whose lands and lives it threatens in ways that are at once familiar and new. Yet colonialism cannot remain the horizon for Indigenous peoples. Instead, Indigenous resurgence means transcending colonial politics, economics, legal frameworks and ways of being, at all levels: the global, state, community and individual level. This means rootedness in land, language, spirit, and in all aspects of everyday living, so that Indigenous peoples act individually and together as Indigenous peoples: using Indigenous languages, ethics and philosophies, laws and institutions to govern ourselves.
Title/Topic: From Passive Revolution to New Socialist Transformism? Public Policy and the Building of a Popular-Democratic Historical Bloc in Latin America
Summary: Within a democratic polity in which subordinate groups and classes are becoming increasingly mobilized, there is always the danger that favourable public policy will work ultimately for the consolidation of bourgeois hegemony. When this happens, the result is a deepening of “passive revolution” as observed by Antonio Gramsci: the process by which demands from those groups are partially accommodated and neutralized. A crucial requirement for the transition to a “new socialist transformism”, in which popular-democratic forces begin to solidify their new hegemonic project is wining state power democratically. This is in part what we are seeing in some Latin American countries. The problem is that each historical situation is a diverse combination of social forces. In some, like Argentina and Brazil, significant bourgeois sectors are still represented in the winning “left” parties, with a strong bureaucratic-class component. In Bolivia and Ecuador, however, the popular-democratic movements are stronger. They could thus play an important role in steering the construction of a new popular-democratic, socialist historical bloc. For its part, Venezuela represents a situation in which too much rides on the charismatic leader—Hugo Chavez—and subordinate groups and classes are being organized from the top, although also allowing for autonomous bottom-up self-organization. The prime goal of the Chavez regime is not necessarily the self-determination of subordinate classes but to insure their support of the leader. This is a particularly dangerous situation as it can easily degenerate into a bureaucratic-class-controlled state. The question to be addressed in this session is: what are the necessary conditions for subordinate groups and classes to advance in their self organization, promoting a new socialist transformism toward a popular-democratic historical bloc, while wining and supporting democratically-elected leaders? We would like to get papers on the individual countries mentioned here (or others), or comparative analysis of two or more countries in which left political forces have an important presence in civil society, electoral politics and the state in Latin America. We hope to publish a guest-edited issue of Socialist Studies or Latin American Perspectives with a selection of the best papers.
Title/Topic: Nationalism in Theory (joint session with Canadian Sociological Association)
Organizer: Elke Winter, email@example.com
Discussant: Karen Stanbridge
Summary: Organizers of this session invite presentations discussing current developments in theories of nationalism, not least of all those aiming to point out weaknesses or oversights in the past endeavours in the field, and ways in which those may be addressed or overcome. Theoretical contributions concerning ethnogeneses, ethnic conflicts, nation-making, separatism, secession, ethno-national diversity, multiculturalism and other related themes are all welcome.
Title/Topic: Nationalism in Practice (joint session with Canadian Sociological Association)
Organizer: Philipe Couton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Discussant: Ivanka Knezevik
Summary: Organizers of this session invite presentations dedicated to case studies of ethnogeneses, ethnic conflicts, nation-making, separatism, secession, ethno-national diversity, multiculturalism and other related themes, and particularly critical and/or theory-oriented ones. Comparative, historical, demographic, qualitative, quantitative and any other contributions are all welcome.
Title/Topic: Social Movements in Theory (joint session with Canadian Sociological Association)
Organizer: Jonathan Simmons, email@example.com
Discussant: Trevor Harrison
Summary: The session invites papers concerned with broadening our conceptualization of social movements beyond contentious politics approaches. Macro and micro perspectives are welcomed, as are comments on recent debates in the field, including those surrounding the intersection of lifestyle and social movements, emotion and social movements, consumerism, cultural approaches, and transnational action.
Title/Topic: Social Movements Case Studies (joint session with Canadian Sociological Association)
Organizer: Mark Stoddard, firstname.lastname@example.org
Discussant: Patrice LeClerc
Summary: Case studies form the core of social movements scholarship. The session welcomes papers that focus on particular instances of collective action as bases for discussion of social movement approaches and concepts. Investigations of recent examples of collective action are welcome, as are historical and/or comparative works.
Title/Topic: Is there post-neoliberalism? Economy, politics and public policy in a globalized world (joint session with Canadian Sociological Association)
Organizer: Ivanka Knezevic, email@example.com
Summary: Despite claims that free market fundamentalism had been found wanting and the subsequent announcements of the era of post-neoliberalism, which followed the onset of the economic crisis in 2008, neo-liberalism seems to continue as the dominant model of capitalism. Austerity agendas compete for public support with conclusions that economy cannot be jump-started without more comprehensive state intervention in the economy. The revived idea of state intervention has shifted away from its classic Keynesian forms into hybrid forms of recommodification.
The crisis of neoliberalism seems to coincide with the crisis of its opposition. The power of labour in a globalized economy built on a neo-liberal model remains low. Political upsurges remain short-lived or fragmented, as in Greece or Spain, or contribute – as in the case of Arab Spring – to the inclusion of new areas into the global political and economic system.
This session invites both theoretical and research papers that contribute to the understanding of the current state and perspectives of the neo-liberal project. Topics of interest may include economy, politics, social policies and their political origins, and forms of resistance to the neo-liberal project.