Provisional Programme. More details to follow.
Provisional Programme. More details to follow.
I am delighted to announce that a collection of papers edited by myself and Prof. Helena Flam on the theme of emotions and power is just out today. This collection originally appeared as a special issue of the Journal of Political Power in 2013, but was chosen by Routledge to be reissued as part of their ‘special issue as book‘ series. It is available for purchase from Amazon (UK now, US in October), Routledge, the Book Depository and elsewhere, but would make an excellent addition to your institutional library (recommendation form here).
The book includes some very high quality chapters that deploy and interrogate the concepts of emotion and power across a wide array of topics and issues, from some of the leading international researchers on these topics. The quality and diversity on show recommend this publication to a variety scholars, but especially those interested in the sociology of emotions, questions of social and political power, political sociology, organization studies, media studies, education, and political and social theory more generally.
The list of chapters and authors is:
Heaney, J.G. ‘Emotions and power: a bifocal prescription to cure theoretical myopia’.
Flam, H. ‘The transnational movement for Truth, Justice and Reconciliation as an emotional (rule) regime?’.
Simpson, A.V., Clegg, S.R., Freeder, D. ‘Compassion, power and organization’.
Barbalet, J., Qi, X. ‘The paradox of power: conceptions of power and the relations of reason and emotion in European and Chinese culture’.
Wettergren, Å., Jansson, A.‘Emotions, power and space in the discourse of “People of the Real World”’.
Baker, S.A., Rowe, D. ‘The power of popular publicity: new social media and the affective dynamics of the sport racism scandal’.
Martin, J.‘A feeling for democracy? Rhetoric, power and the emotions’.
Zembylas, M.‘Memorial ceremonies in schools: analyzing the entanglement of emotions and power’.
Procter, L. ‘Emotions, power and schooling: the socialisation of “angry boys”.
The blurb reads:
This collection is concerned with two fundamental concepts of social science– power and emotion. Power permeates all human relationships and is constitutive of social, economic, and political life. It stands at the centre of social and political theorizing, and its study has enriched scholarship within a wide range of disciplines, including sociology, political science, philosophy, and anthropology. The conceptual cluster of emotion, by contrast, had a more troubled time within these same disciplines. However, since the 1970’s and the advent of the ‘emotional turn’, there has been a widespread re-evaluation of emotion in and for our shared social existence and, today, emotions research is at forefront of contemporary social science. Yet, although both concepts are now widely seen as fundamental, research on these two phenomena has tended to run in parallel.
This collection, featuring leading international scholars, seeks to unite and deploy both concepts, emotion and power, in a variety of ways, and on a diverse array of topics such as: education, organizations, social movements, politics, ‘old’ and ‘new’ media, rhetoric and in comparative intellectual history. The results are at the bleeding edge of scholarship on these concepts, and will make important reading for practitioners and students working in the sociology of emotions, social and political power, political sociology, organization studies, and for sociological and political theory more generally.
This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Political Power.
Please share widely!
Distinguished Irish philosopher Prof. Philip Pettit of Princeton University will give a public lecture on ‘A Brief History of Liberty — and its Lessons’ in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway at 4pm on Tuesday, 17th June 2014. This talk is being presented as part of the President of Ireland’s ‘Ethics Initiative’, and organised by the Power, Conflict & Ideologies Research Cluster of the School of Political Science & Sociology. The President of Ireland, His Excellency Michael D. Higgins, will be in attendance at the lecture. All are welcome and the event is free, but we would appreciate if you could register your attendance here.
Philip Pettit, originally from Ballygar Co. Galway, is L.S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton University, where he teaches philosophy and political theory. He is particularly renowned for his revival and development of republicanism within political philosophy, and for his work on group agency. Among his books are The Common Mind (1996); Republicanism (1997); The Economy of Esteem (2004), with G. Brennan; A Political Philosophy in Public Life: Civic Republicanism in Zapatero’s Spain, with J.L. Marti (2010); and Group Agency (2011), with C. List. Professor Pettit is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of academies in his two countries of citizenship: Ireland and Australia. His recent book On the People’s Terms (2012) is published with Cambridge University Press. It is based on the 2009 Albertus Magnus Lectures in Cologne, and the 2010 Seeley lectures in Cambridge. Also forthcoming is a book with W.W.Norton for a general audience, entitled Just Freedom: A Moral Compass for a Complex World. He is giving the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Berkeley in 2014-15.
While in Ireland, Prof. Pettit will also be involved in a number of workshops, based on his work, in UCD, and will give the opening keynote address, on the infrastructure of democracy, to the third annual Garrett Fitzgerald Summer School in Dublin later in June.
Abstract for the lecture is below the fold.
We are delighted to announce the second guest speaker of the Power, Conﬂict & Ideologies Cluster (School of Political Science & Sociology) this year is Prof Diana Coole of Birkbeck University of London. The talk, based on the ‘Population Question’ (speciﬁcs below), will take place at 3pm on 20th May in the SAC Room/CA110, Cairnes Building (St. Anthony’s, ground ﬂoor) NUI Galway. All are welcome.
The title of the paper will be ‘From Population Control to Behaviour Modification: Liberty, Coercion and Behaviour Modification in Pursuit of Sustainable Wellbeing’. The abstract is below, but a useful introduction to these issues and Coole’s perspective on the population question in general may be found in her 2013 paper ‘Too Many Bodies? The Return and Disavowal of the Population Question’, which is currently open access (as one of Routledge’s ‘most popular’ politics papers of 2013).
The abstract for the Galway talk, and the speaker’s bio, are below the fold.
Prof.Philip Pettit of Princeton University will give a public lecture on the theme of justice and democracy in NUI Galway at 4pm on 17 June. The venue is the SAC Room in the Cairnes Building. The talk is organised by the Power, Conflict & Ideologies Research Cluster of the School of Political Science & Sociology. A reading group run by the cluster will meet to discuss Prof Pettit’s work in the approach to his visit. Interested colleagues from other Schools (and other institutions) are welcome to join the group, but ask that they contact either myself (jonathangheaneyATgmail.com), Dr. Jenny Dagg (jennydaggATgmail.com) or Dr.Niall Ó Dochartaigh (niall.odochartaighATnuigalway.ie) so we can keep track of numbers/room size etc.
We have initially scheduled two meetings:
1. Thursday 13 March, 2pm
Venue: Room 306, , Aras Moyola, NUI Galway
2. Monday 7 April, 1pm
Venue: Room 306, Aras Moyola, NUI Galway
The reading for the first meeting is Freedom as Anti-Power’ (1996 pdf), which offers a general overview and introduction to his influential approach to normative, neo-republican political theory, and his conception of freedom as non-domination in particular. In the second meeting we will discuss his new book On the People’s Terms: A Republican Theory and Model of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2012), in which this framework is reasserted and refined, and turned to questions of political legitimacy, social justice and democracy. If you are interested in getting a flavour of the arguments and style of this later work there are videos of lectures that he did in Frankfurt in 2012 available here. There is also an excellent audio interview about the new book (and his life in general) available on the New Books in Philosophy website.
If you would like to join the meetings of the reading group or would like further information please email either myself or Niall.
Philipp Pettit, originally from Ballygar Co. Galway, is L.S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton University, where he teaches philosophy and political theory. Among his books are The Common Mind (1996), Republicanism (1997), The Economy of Esteem (2004), with G. Brennan; Made with Words (2008); A Political Philosophy in Public Life, with JL Marti (2010); and Group Agency (2011) with C. List. Common Minds: Themes from the Philosophy of Philip Pettit, ed G.Brennan et al, appeared from OUP in 2007. Professor Pettit is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as of academies in his two countries of citizenship: Ireland and Australia. His most recent book On the People’s Terms (2012) is published with Cambridge University Press. It is based on the 2009 Albertus Magnus Lectures in Cologne, and the 2010 Seeley lectures in Cambridge.
Just a quick note to announce that a special issue of the Journal of Political Power, edited by myself and Prof. Helena Flam, is now available online. The theme of the special issue is emotions and power, and the issue contains some new and exciting social science research addressing these two concepts from a variety of perspectives. We have chosen eight papers that address both concepts, emotion and power in a variety of settings, including education, work organizations, social movements, politics, ‘old’ and ‘new’ media, rhetoric and in comparisons in the conceptualization of some core concepts between ‘the West’ and ‘the East’. The diversity of subjects and approaches in evidence in the papers testifies both to the ubiquity of power and emotions in all areas of social life in general, and the importance and illumination gained from exploring these concepts together. The list of contributions, with links, is below. There are a handful of free access eprints to my introduction still available, but the rest of the articles are behind a paywall for now. If anyone wants me to email one or other of the papers just PM or leave a comment.
This new and exciting journal has issued a call for papers. First issue will be out in 2014.
Call for Papers
The European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology
Official Journal of the European Sociological Association
The study of culture is the fastest growing area in both European and North American sociology. After years of mild neglect, political sociology is also re-establishing itself as a central plank of the discipline. The European Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology aims to be a forum not so much for these fields of study considered separately, as for any work that explores the relationship between culture and politics through a sound sociological lens. The journal takes an ecumenical view of ‘culture’: it welcomes articles that address the political setting, resonance or use of any of the arts (literature, art, music etc.), but it is also open to work that construes political phenomena in terms of a more philosophical or anthropological understanding of culture, where culture refers to the most general problem of meaning-formation. As for work that lies between these poles, it might address the relationship between politics and religion in all its forms, political symbolism past and present, styles of political leadership, political communication, the culture of political parties and movements, cultural policy, artists as political agents, and many other related areas. The journal is not committed to any particular methodological approach, nor will it restrict itself to European authors or material with a European focus. It will carry articles with an historical as well as a topical flavour. The journal aims to have a robust book reviews section, and while the language of reviews will be English, we wish to promote reviews of and review articles about significant new work written in other languages. The journal’s most general aim is to foster and perhaps rekindle the sort of intellectual sensibility that was once a staple of the sociological tradition.
Editor in Chief:
Charles Turner (University of Warwick; UK, D.C.S.Turner@warwick.ac.uk )
Ricca Edmondson (National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Paul du Gay (University of Copenhagen, Denmark; email@example.com)
Eeva Luhtakallio (University of Helsinki, Finland; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Beatriz Padilla (University of Minho, Portugal; email@example.com)
Erle Rikmann (University of Tallinn, Estonia; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Zeynep Talay (email@example.com)
Bruno Latour’s recent (Feb,2013) Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh deserve to be more widely viewed than they have been. Indeed, if history is any guide, they probably will be, eventually. Already I have heard about an upcoming workshop organized around the lecture series, and a book based on the series is forthcoming. Past luminaries of these lectures, which were established to ‘promote and diffuse the study of natural theology in the widest sense of the term’ have included some of the most influential thinkers (and books) of the last century, including William James (1900-1902, The Varieties of Religious Experience), Henri Bergson (1913-14, The Problem of Personality), Hannah Arendt (1976, Life of the Mind), and, with particular significance for Latour, Alfred North Whitehead (1927-28, Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology).
This last work, still notoriously troublesome despite its various revisions since Whitehead delivered it in Edinburgh almost a century ago, echoes throughout Latour’s six lectures. Latour speaks; Whitehead stands at his shoulder. It is clear that Professor Latour enjoyed following in ‘his philosopher’s’ footsteps. The key themes of the lectures circle around the implications of living in a new epoch in which humans are significantly affecting the earth’s ecosystem: the anthropocene. The abstract for the series as a whole reads:
Facing Gaia. A New Inquiry into Natural Religion.
There could be no better theme for a lecture series on natural religion than that of Gaia, this puzzling figure that has emerged recently in public discourse from Earth science as well as from many activist and spiritual movements. The problem is that the expression of ”natural religion” is somewhat of a pleonasm, since Western definitions of nature borrow so much from theology. The set of lectures attempts to decipher the face of Gaia in order to redistribute the notions that have been packed too tightly into the composite notion of ”natural religion”.
Politics, science and religion are brought into dialogue, via a sustained contemplation of Gaia, rather than nature. What this shift calls for above all is a (political) shift from matters of fact to matters of concern, which is, in itself, a Whiteheadian shift. The draft text of the lectures is available here (pdf), but the published book is on the way. The remaining five lectures are below the fold. I have only recently finished viewing them all and I am not ready to offer a critique just yet. I may have to read (and re-read) the notes or the book that emerges to fully grasp what Latour is saying. His project is vast, and requires, demands, serious attention. These lectures are a good place to begin.
The abstract for the first lecture is:
The set of questions around the two words “natural religion” implies that only the second word is a coded and thus a disputed category, the first one being taken for granted and uncoded. But if it can be shown that the very notion of nature is a theological construct, we might be able to shift the problem somewhat: the question becomes not to save or resurrect “natural religion”, but to dispose of it by offering at last a ”secular” version of nature and of the natural sciences.
They get better as they go on. Persevere. And enjoy!
I am affiliated with the wonderfully named ‘power cluster’ in the School of Political Science & Sociology at NUI Galway. This occasionally makes me feel like a superhero. This intrepid group, somewhere on a scale between the Justice League and the Legion of Doom, meets once a month to discuss work related to our own research interests that has some relation to the notion of power, broadly defined. This month we are reading the first chapter from Prof. Wendy Brown‘s recent book Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (2010). The lecture posted here basically covers the same ground. Her argument is that the proliferation of walls and walling that we are witnessing worldwide, such as ‘The Wall’ separating Israel and Palestine or the one on the US-Mexico Border, is a feature of contemporary globalization and (paradoxically, despite the theatrical show of physical dominance that such walls might symbolize) signals the waning of sovereignty for the nation-state. These walls are not built to defend states from other national actors but rather to target nonstate, transnational actors, such as migrants and ‘terrorist’ groups etc. For Brown, who wishes to differentiate her argument from Agamben (Homo Sacer) and Hardt and Negri (Empire), key to the loss of this national sovereignty are the domination of free-floating global capital and ‘God-sanctioned political violence’. Rather than being a sign of nation-state dominance, these walls actually represent a deep-seated national anxiety about increasing sovereign impotence and an aspect of the ‘theater state’ (though she does not mention Geertz here). What is perhaps most interesting is her discussion of the ‘state of emergency’/’state of exception’, always provisional and temporary, yet a perpetual and seemingly permanent feature of the contemporary world. This, of course, is well-trodden ground, particularly by (again) Agamben, following Schmitt. But this is perhaps where I also part company with Brown and her analysis of the waning of the nation-state, which may be a little over-stated. Is it not the case that, for Schmitt, this discourse of the state of exception, or more specifically, the capacity or power to declare a state of exception is central to the notion of state sovereignty. Far from being a sign of a weakened nation-state, is this capacity not a sure sign of the state’s enduring power? And one which is exercised, when it is exercised (power is a capacity and should not be confused with it’s exercise), often in the face of vocal international opposition, such as in the case of Israel.
In any case, I enjoyed the chapter and hope to finish the book. Enjoy the talk.
Sixth International Political Anthropology Workshop in Ireland on Poesis: The ambivalent creation of the truth.
Deadline for abstracts is Friday 13th of January 2013.
Feel free to contact the convenors earlier for consultation and information
Waterford Institute of Technology
Organised by the Department of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology, the Journal International Political Anthropology, and the School of Sociology & Philosophy, University College Cork
Conveners: Tom Boland (Sociology, WIT, firstname.lastname@example.org,) and John O’ Brien, (Sociology, WIT, email@example.com,)
There is nothing more poetic than the sense, or even the sensation, of moving beyond fiction towards the truth. As Nietzsche pointed out, all of our truths are fictions which we have ceased to recognise as creative poesis: the foundational concepts of philosophy, theology and all the modern disciplines emerge from stories. Inevitably – whatever our scientific or critical impulses – we live culturally within one fictional world or another or even in many worlds that overlap in complex ways. And, of course, we are ambivalent about this poesis: Whose fiction is it? Does fictional mean false, ideological and erroneous? And what might happen if the fiction starts to wear thin – will there be disenchantment, alienation or renewal?
The intersections of culture and society are no narrow specialism, but increasingly a concern common to many disciplines. Cultural anthropology, at least since Geertz, has taken the meaning making practices of human societies as a central area of inquiry. Cultural sociology has grown from a minor field to a central paradigm. Literary and performance theory, musicology and cognate disciplines have become increasingly concerned with culture and context, from new historicism to reader response theories. This conference will bring together papers concerned with poesis and culture from all of these areas which engage with the ambivalent status of truth after the cultural turn, the historical turn and the performative turn. How can we turn to the question of meaning and truth again? And how could we not?
Complicating the ‘ancient quarrel’ of poetry and philosophy, Socrates does not simply denigrate poetry, but seeks to purify it into contemplation of the true, then famously launches into the ‘cave myth’. This passage from the cave of illusions into the real world of the forms, with the sun posited as the good, is mediated through metaphor. Why doesn’t he just explain it theoretically? One may as well ask; why can’t we just stare into the sun? The arduous task of leaving the cave is akin to the difficult work of interpretation. The works of theory and of poesis are equally liminal trials, to find meaning, to find truth.
By no means can the question of poesis and truth be confined to the sepulchral realms of high art or the distracting froth of popular culture. Despite the dominance of technocratic discourse, the political world is animated by fictions, from universalising utopian visions to images of the nation. Ultimately politics is a contest over meaning. Similarly that thing which we sometimes call ‘economic reality’ is also a storied world, with confidence, booms and busts the material of our contemporary morality tale. The tale of technological world domination, the bildungsroman of entrepreneurial success, the Faustian pact of progress and the carnival world of the market are all fictions. And of course, culture is now an industry, so that tourism, advertising and education are sites of the production and consumption of poesis and truth.
However, this brings us to problems of distinction: Are all societies alike in creating meaning? Modernity is associated with a dearth of meaning, a decline of poesis and truth becoming singular and univocal – but is this our near-sighted parochialism? Are all elements of society meaning-making? Every human action exists in a nexus of meaning, but it is hardly an undifferentiated continuum, and surely there are particular sources of meaning which deserve academic attention, from poetry, to religion, to authority, to ritual and beyond.
We invite plenary and session papers on:
– Poetry and truth, theory and meaning.
– Society as a fictional world: in modernity and beyond.
– Politics as the contested field of meaning.
– Poesis and everyday life.
– The marketplace for meaning and productive poesis.
Deadline for abstracts is Friday 13th of January 2013.
Feel free to contact the convenors earlier for consultation and information