Colleges Host Conference to Discuss the Contemporary Context of ‘Revolution’ – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Colleges Host Conference to Discuss the Contemporary Context of ‘Revolution’

Noted scholars will lead a series of discussions throughout the weekend

(March 25, 2004) Hobart and William Smith Colleges will host “Remaking Revolution,” a conference in which scholars will discuss the fate of political revolution and radical democratic politics in America, the advanced industrial West, and the world, on April 16 and 17 on its Geneva campus. All events are free and open to the public

Participants will reflect on the related concepts of revolution and resistance in contemporary context. The conference will include several panel discussions. Panel topics include: A Society Without Opposition: Marcuse's One Dimensional Man Forty Years Later; Beyond Millennial Expectations: Rethinking Utopia and Revolution; Empire, New Political Subjectivities and Revolution and more.

Guest speakers include Adolph Reed, Jr., political scientist from New School University; Drazen Pantic from Location One in New York; and Zillah Eisenstein, political scientist from Ithaca College; and a keynote address titled “Confessions of a Leninist” by Slavoj Zizek, from the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities .

Zizek uses popular culture to explain the theory of Jacques Lacan and the theory of Jacques Lacan to explain politics and popular culture. He was politically active in Slovenia during the 1980s and a candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Slovenia in 1990. A vital and original voice in “cultural studies,” Zizek has considerable energy and charisma and is renowned for his encyclopedic grasp of political, philosophical, literary, artistic, cinematic, and pop cultural currents — and his ability to combine them all in a bouillabaisse of original theoretical insights.

Reed has earned a national reputation for his controversial evaluations of American politics. His recent book, Class Notes, is a collection of essays that examine the decline of the American left. It champions a revival of class-based political interpretation and action as the indispensable foundation for any progressive movement in the U.S. Reed writes with rare force on the subject of race, discussing the morass of writing about the so-called underclass and poverty, and critically examining the meaning of “race” itself.

Pantic is a native of Belgrade who has established numerous public Internet access centers, including the cultural center CyberRex. He is also the co-founder and Program Director of the Center for Advanced Media in Prague (C@MP), established in 1998 by the Open Society Institute. He has taught, lectured and published widely on use of the Internet to support independent media and free expression.

Eisenstein is a scholar and anti-racist, feminist activist whose recent political work has taken her to Bosnia, Cuba, Ghana, India, and Egypt to assist in building a transnational feminist response critical of global capitalism. A prolific scholar, her work includes Feminisms Against Empire (forthcoming, Zed Press, 2004), ManMade Breast, Global Obscenities: Patriarchy, Capitalism, and the Lure of Cyberfantasy, HATREDS: Racialized and Sexualized Conflicts in the 21st Century, The Color of Gender: Reimaging Democracy, The Female Body and the Law, and more.

Conference organizers point out that while many were quick to claim the “end of history” as the Cold War came to a close, alter-globalization protests showed that radical desires were alive and well in the post-modern new world order. Throughout the 1990s, emerging transnational activist networks facilitated waves of opposition to militarism and corporate globalization. From the Chiapas Uprising and the Battle of Seattle to the recent breakdown in the Cancun WTO talks, the alter-globalization movement has evolved into an increasingly formidable, expansive presence. Yet, the concept of resistance and the word “revolution” itself have become more problematic than ever before.

They believe that this robust panel of scholars and experts in the field will provide insight into the many questions and concerns they share. “There are many facets to these issues and we are delighted to have some of the best minds in the region and the world engaged in this discussion,” said Professor of Political Science Cedric Johnson, one of the conference organizers. “I anticipate a lively and thought-provoking conversation that will both answer questions and pose new ones.”

For more details about session locations and times, visit http://www.hws.edu/academics/community/revolution.asp

Also check out another conference being held on April 8 and 9, titled “Francophonie and Globalization: http://www.hws.edu/academics/community/francophonie.asp.

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