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10 Years of Theory

February 25-26, 2016

Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

On the occasion of 3CT’s 10th anniversary, we reflect once more on the contemporary as an imaginative projection and a site of struggle, where the question of what can be shared matters to so many.  How do we create concrete and conceptual infrastructures of the present that are at once vital and textured, given different foci and disciplinary divides?  Exploring histories, gesturing toward virtual and actual political and economic frameworks, this conference aims to prompt comparison and theoretical innovation.

This event is co-sponsored by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society


4:30pm — Introductory Remarks
Lisa Wedeen, University of Chicago

Roundtable: Theorizing the Contemporary, 2005-2015
Moishe Postone, University of Chicago
Bill Sewell, University of Chicago
Jean Comaroff, Harvard University
John Comaroff, Harvard University

Cathy Cohen, University of Chicago
Linda Zerilli, University of Chicago
Jim Chandler, University of Chicago


6:30pm — Reception



9:00am — Breakfast

9:30am — Introductory Remarks
Lisa Wedeen, University of Chicago

Panel One: Environmental Subjectivities and Ethnographic/Literary Imaginaries

Kaushik Sunder Rajan, University of Chicago
“Constitutions of Biomedical Subjectivity: Pharmocratic Structures and Sensibilities in ‘Bhopal’/‘India’/‘the Global South’”

Gabriele Schwab, University of California, Irvine
“The Nuclear Imaginary: Precarious Subjectivities in Chernobyl’s Aftermath”

Mike Fischer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Fukushima, SARS, and Avian Flu: Global Theory from the East”


11:00am — Coffee break

11:15am — Panel Two: Logics of Imminent Danger

Joe Masco, University of Chicago,
“The Crisis in Crisis”

Victoria Bernal, University of California, Irvine
“The Spectre of Cyberwar, Constructions of Cybersecurity and the Disappearing Citizen”

Lisa Wedeen, University of Chicago
“On Uncertainty in Syria”

Patchen Markell, University of Chicago
Bill Brown, University of Chicago


1:00pm — Lunch

2:00pm — Panel Three: Immanence and Transcendence

Andreas Glaeser, University of Chicago
“The Political Transcendent”

William Mazzarella, University of Chicago
“Ecstatic Life and Social Form”

Respondent: Manu Goswami, New York University


3:10pm — Coffee break

3:20pm — Closing Keynote: Worlds and Now

Lauren Berlant, University of Chicago
“Affectivity | Receptivity”

Katie Stewart, University of Texas, Austin
“Matter Poems”


5:00pm — Reception with Ian Kiaer Endnote, Ledoux exhibition