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CLCWeb Call for Papers: After Neoliberalism

Everyone hates neoliberalism. This was not always the case: not too long ago, the hegemonic consensus demanded that we recognize economic neoliberalism and the political form of liberal democracy as the happy end of history, despite counter-hegemonic analyses from Marxist critics such as Giovanni Arrighi or David Harvey. Now, their critiques may be more relevant than ever; but the surrounding cultural and political force field has changed in the last decade: even the old proponents of liberal democracy now admit that our economic system has gone awry.

One could therefore ask whether the critique of our neoliberal present still opens up the way to a radically different future. The widespread dissatisfaction could perhaps be taken as an indication that Western neoliberalism is already on the wane. This special issue seeks contributions that explore the relation between capital, time, and culture, by tracing the ruptures and gaps in the neoliberal “eternal present,” and through exploring the multiple temporalities that emerge in its cracks. Contributions may focus on privileged sites of capitalist activity, including non-Western variants of contemporary capitalism, such as those of China and Turkey. Equally welcome are contributions addressing geographical and social spaces that capitalism has left behind or rendered futureless (as related to themes such as surplus population, precarity, uneven development, indebtedness and credit, and others).

Taking into account neoliberalism’s crises, what kind of possible futures are already visible in the cracks of the crumbling neoliberal order? How do specific cultural objects stage antagonisms between different temporalities, and how are these related to their social context? What historical imaginaries have become thinkable (or unthinkable) through the flourishing of the critique of neoliberalism? How do novels, films, art, and other cultural forms participate, consciously or unconsciously, in imagining new social forms, be these utopian, socialist, or other ones? How are the crises of contemporary capitalism and its future registered in cultures other than those of Western Europe and North America? What new ways of imagining time are emerging on the brink of capitalism’s collapse, or its reconstitution? And finally, how is conscious resistance related to artistic effort that seeks to articulate a non-capitalist social horizon? To what prescriptions should artistic activism adhere, if any?

We seek contributions that engage theoretical, philosophical, and artistic work from all parts of the world, from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Those interested in contributing to this special issue, please submit a 200-300 word abstract and a short bio to clcweb@purdue.edu, with the subject line “After Neoliberalism” by February 20, 2019. Authors with selected abstracts will be invited to submit full manuscripts for consideration for inclusion in the special issue.