Call for Papers : The Conditions of Praxis: Theory and Practice in Activism and Academia

Is there a tension between academia and activism, often conflated with a supposed divide between theory and practice, the abstract and the material, the scientific and the political? How do the relations of activism and academia belie this chain of binary oppositions? With the burgeoning focus on human rights, animal studies, green studies, queer theory, crip/ disability theory, critical whiteness/"race" studies, feminism/women's/ gender studies, and more generally anti-oppression and activist-based research in academia, the need to explore how and why these junctures are shifting emerges along the lines of activist practices.

Inspired by the debates opened up by the 8th European Feminist Research Conference: The Politics of Location Revisited, this special edition seeks to explore the nuanced interactions and intersections of theory and practice, political engagement and knowledge production. If the ostensible separation of theory and praxis is a tool of domination, how can the tension among activism and academia be critically approached without privileging either side or conflating their differences? In an effort to explore ways of practising theory, we strive to broaden the scope of these inquiries, asking about diverse forms of social justice work and political movements, and therefore invite submissions from activists and academics working in various fields.

We welcome materials on topics including, but not limited to:

  • How have radical theoretics/structural ideologies been adapted by institutions and groups and what have been the results so far? What are the emerging questions?
  • How identity categories and socio-positionings get considered, enacted, utilized and marginalized in models of activism, academics, organizing, events and models? The successful, the complicated, and the unsuccessful.
  • How do we imagine practice/theory changing hegemonies?
  • How do emerging theoretical models help to assess current/past activism?
  • Problematising the assumed divisions of academics/activism, theory/practice, abstract/material.
  • Taking into account the Foucauldian notion of disciplinarity as a modern mode of academic governance what is the role of universities in controlling knowledge production and guarding the standards of scientificity?
  • The influence of neoliberalism on the academic life.
  • Beyond the philosophical notions of praxis. Between sophia and phronesis. Between trans-formation and inter-pretation.
  • The ethics and politics of the academic conference industry. Activist methodologies and its appropriations.
  • Resistance as an alternative form of knowledge production. What is the role of activist strategies in contemporary social movements and how do they change the social order?
  • Zines, affinity groups, consensus based decision making - alternative forms of knowledge or representations of activist culture?
  • History of the activist praxis and its interrelations with theory. Anarchism, racial justice movements, trans activism, antifa, feminism, queer activism, identity politics, animal right, etc.

Envisaged Publication Date

July 2013