CfP Power and Resistance: Theory and Imaginative Activism


Call for contributions

Power and Resistance: Theory and Imaginative Activism 

1 – 2 May 2014

Queen Mary, University of London

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 conference 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 following three theme clusters will be the focus of the conference:

Panel 1 (Thursday, May 1st): ‘Disobedient Theory: Interventions into Normality’. What are the boundaries of fruitful and compelling intervention? Can political intervention be something that takes place in academic offices? How do we know what makes ‘good’ or ‘useful’ intervention?

Panel 2 (Thursday, May 1st): ‘The Agony of Power: Politics and Resistance’. Is hegemonic power all-consuming, rendering all attempts at intervening/disobeying ultimately hopeless, or can certain resistant practices go beyond the reach of hegemonic power?

Panel 3 (Friday, May 2nd): ‘Technopolitics: Activism and Subversion in the Digital Age’. How is digitization affecting the way politics is done, and how can it be used in favour of resistance? How do we make the digital realm a common space, radically democratic and inclusive?

The three panels invite papers, presentations, image and video projections, as well as performative pieces. We invite any contributions that reflect critically on the panels’ themes and aims, whether a piece of academic writing or an intellectual contribution outside the usual academic conventions.

The conference welcomes especially those contributions that will offer some new insights, alternative and new ways of thinking about concepts and how they relate to one another.

Deadline for the submission of abstracts of up to 500 words, describing the idea you want to present, talk about or perform, is March 31st. Please send contributions and any questions to You can find more information on our website:

Sofa Gradin, Matheus Lock and Alen Toplišek

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