Neoliberalism in the Anglophone world
Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3
Friday, March 10th and Saturday, March 11th, 2017
References to neoliberalism in Anglophone scholarly research are commonplace, and have increased exponentially over the past couple of decades. While the first handful of citations to articles featuring the term ‘neoliberalism’ or ‘neo-liberalism’ in their title occurred in only 1992, there were over a 200 a year by the end of the 1990s, almost a 1000 by 2005, over 4000 in 2010, and almost 10,000 in 2015 (Web of Science, 2016). Such interest seems unlikely to subside in the foreseeable future. Prompted by the dramatic onset of the global financial crisis (2008-ongoing), which was purportedly the result of neoliberal logic, and the subsequent intensification of the familiar policies of ‘regulatory restraint, privatisation, rolling tax cuts, and public-sector austerity’ through an even more relentless focus on ‘growth restoration, deficit reduction and budgetary restraint’ (Peck, 2013: 3-5), there has also recently been an abundance of public debate on the efficacy, validity and legitimacy of neoliberal policies.
According to a recent survey of British social attitudes, for example, the years of neoliberal austerity since the financial crash of 2008 have entrenched class divisions, and hardened attitudes towards both immigrants and the political establishment. While the consequences of neoliberal policies on British society were, it seems, a likely factor in the recent referendum result in favour of the UK leaving the European Union, it is noteworthy that both the Leave and Remain campaigns held remarkably similar views on neoliberal policies such as free markets and austerity, as well as the desirability of immigration controls (Freedman, 2016). Consensus on these wider issues can also be seen in the policy proposals of the leading Republican and Democratic candidates in the US.
Despite (or perhaps because of) such promiscuity, however, the term itself has been prone to inflation (Peck, 2013: 17), and for some it has become an ‘overblown’ concept (Collier, 2012) that tends to be applied (in an invariably disapproving way) to pretty much anything today (Allison & Piot, 2011: 5).
This conference aims at presenting a critical overview of issues related to neoliberalism in the Anglophone world. It will be broad in scope by covering British, American and the other English-speaking areas, as well as the fields of civilisation, literature and linguistics, while maintaining a thematic focus on the concept of neoliberalism from international and interdisciplinary perspectives.
We are particularly interested in receiving abstracts on one or more of the following themes:
· the theoretical and methodological approaches and theorists drawn on when critiquing neoliberalism, either in Anglophone academic literature generally or in specific disciplines or contexts. For example, whether neoliberalism is understood as an ideological and hegemonic project (David Harvey, Stuart Hall), governmentality (Michel Foucault) or discourse (Ernest Laclau and Chantal Mouffe), and whether it is analysed using methodological approaches informed by one or another of these theoretical perspectives.
· the neoliberalisation of politics, parties and politicians in the Anglophone world, as well as public policy in a number of areas (culture, education, health, housing etc.).
· the effects of neoliberalism on identity and society (the emergence of the neoliberal/entrepreneurial self; intersections with gender, sexuality and “race”; neoliberalism as embodiment or affect; the experience of individuals reconfigured as consumers in various domains).
· the exploration and representation of neoliberalism in literature, art and culture more widely.
· the effect of neoliberalism on language; for example, the ubiquity of occurrences of ‘demand’, ‘competition’, ‘efficiency’, ‘cost-effectiveness’, ‘best practice’ in a range of documents.
Abstracts in English should be submitted to the organisers (below) by October 15th, 2016.
The papers given at the conference may be submitted for a special issue of Angles (http://angles.saesfrance.org/), to be published in late 2017 – early 2018. We will also be keen to include submissions that are not necessarily scholarly articles: multimedia artworks, photo-essays, political manifestos; as well as reviews of key texts (academic or otherwise) or interviews with key figures on neoliberalism in the Anglophone world. This may be taken into consideration when submitting abstracts for the conference, where diverse formats will be welcome.
Organisers: Simon Dawes, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, CHCSC: simondawes0 [a] gmail.com
Marc Lenormand, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, EMMA: Marc.Lenormand [a] univ-montp.3.fr
Advisory committee: Phil Carr, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, EMMA
Vincent Dussol, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, EMMA
Des Freedman, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Nicolas Gachon, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, EMMA
Nicholas Gane, University of Warwick
Rosalind Gill, City University, University of London
Johnna Montgomerie, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Anne-Marie Motard, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, EMMA
Srila Roy, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg