HomeThe sites of the body: politics and emancipation

HomeThe sites of the body: politics and emancipation

The sites of the body: politics and emancipation

Les lieux du corps : politique et émancipation

First conference for postgraduates in political criticism

Premier colloque des jeunes chercheurs en études critiques du politique

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Published on Monday, October 29, 2012


Un corps hors de la place qui lui était assignée, reconfigurant les données d’un lieu, cela a été et reste une action politique forte : Rosa Parks donnant un lieu à son corps noir là où il n’avait aucun droit de cité ; le « peuple égyptien » reconfigurant la place Tahrir, espace de circulation quotidienne, par une multitude de pratiques de corps pour y installer une communauté polémique ; les sans-papiers occupant leurs nombreux lieux de travail à Paris, sortant des ombres administratives, donnant une visibilité polémique à leurs corps dans ces espaces publics et travailleurs où ils sont censés mener une existence invisible et silencieuse ; les féministes s’émancipant d’une corporalité dominante en agençant différemment les coordonnés et pratiques du corps, brisant la logique du pouvoir en multipliant les corps possibles. Comment penser les lieux politiques du corps, leurs spatialités et temporalités, les pratiques et dynamiques qui y prennent place, les possibles qu'ils suscitent ?



A body outside of the coordinates to which it was assigned, reconfiguring the givens of a place, this has been and continues to be a strong political action: Rosa Parks giving a place to her body where it had no right to be; the “Egyptian people” reconfiguring Tahrir Square, a space of everyday circulation, by a multitude of bodily practices in order to construct a polemical community; the French sans-papiers occupying their numerous workplaces in Paris, giving a polemical visibility to their bodies in these public and professional spaces where they were supposed to pursue an invisible and silent existence; feminists emancipating themselves from a dominated corporeality by changing the coordinates, possibilities and practices of the body, fracturing the strategies of domination by multiplying these possible bodies. How to think these political places of the body, the spatialities and temporalities of these places, the practices and dynamics of these places, the possibles of these places? We seek to surpass the idea of the body as simply the place for work, for reproduction, for suffering and for exploitation as well as the idea of emancipation as the process by which one elevates oneself above a corporeal domination. We seek to examine how bodies are inserted, configured or subjectivated in political situations and in processes of emancipation. By focusing on reconfigurations of normalized and controlled bodies and on constructions of polemical communities, we would like to question the way in which the connections, disjunctions and dynamics between body, politics, domination and emancipation are and could be configured.

The participants are encouraged to elaborate their paper around one or more of the following axes:

1. Bodily practices and processes of emancipation

The papers addressing this axis will examine the possibility of thinking the body as the place of a practice of emancipation. For instance, could we see in the practices of political struggle or in the corporeal engagement of the militant a source of emancipation? Is it necessary to understand resistances to and reappropriations of work by workers simply as the consequence of an unbearable corporeal domination, or is it possible to see here forces creating new possibles? With this axis, we seek to think the possibility of a bodily emancipation through practices of resistance that reconfigure social relations and spaces. Worker bodies, militant bodies, sexuated bodies, racialised bodies and others could constitute a starting point in relation to these questions.

2. Bodies, violence, politics

Violence is a question of bodies: bodies that confront and destroy each other, that subjugate and dominate each other. Is violence nothing but a means of domination, or worse a trajectory of corruption, or is its force capable of breaking open crushing social systems and of relating itself to emancipatory movements? How to think and situate the violences appearing in a political situation composed of a web of subjective investments and different positions and dynamics? We seek to surpass two hypotheses that have determined these questions: on the one hand the liberal idea that politics begin where violence ceases, that the State holds the monopoly of legitimate violence; on the other the orthodox Marxist idea that violence is a simple means of struggle deconstructing systems of domination in order to achieve universal freedom. Is it possible to conceive of these relations between bodies, politics and violence differently? Could one

conceptualize violences that would be neither simply the negation of politics nor simply a means in service of politics, but problematic and problematizing, situated in a constellation of political forces and torn between emancipation and domination?

3. Utopian bodies

Is it possible for a body, branded in the tradition as the prison of the soul, to be utopian, to be both a no place and a good place? Is it not a space to invest, to revisit and to (re)invent? In opposition to systems of normalization and naturalization of individuals, we seek to examine the ways in which the body is remobilized in political imaginaries, theories and practices (feminism, transhumanism, artistic performativity), and to think a body open to possibles. These utopian bodies, transfigured bodies, “body without body” and “body without organs”, cyborg bodies, minoritarian bodies, are they not in some sense the primordial place of political action?

Submission guidelines

This colloquium is organized by CSPRP (Centre de Sociologie des Pratiques et des Représentations Politiques, Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7), GTM-CRESPPA (Genre Travail Mobilités – Centre de Recherches Sociologiques et Politiques de Paris, Université Paris 8), LLCP (Laboratoire d’études et de recherches sur les Logiques Contemporaines de la Philosophie, Université Paris 8), and la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (with reservation). Its objective is to create a space of exchange between postgraduate students and young researchers interested in political questions in a critical manner. We intend for it to become an annual event.

We will apply for funds to cover travel expenses and costs for accommodation for the participants, however we encourage them to look also to their own institutions for funding. We plan to publish the contributions in a special issue of Encyclo dedicated to the colloquium.

Please submit an abstract of 2000-3000 signs  in .doc-format to the following address: colloque.critiques.politique@gmail.com

before the 3rd of December 2012.

The abstracts should include the name and institutional attachment of the participant, and the title and resume of the proposed talk.

We will announce the results the 16th of December 2012.

The Conference will take place on the 25 and 26th of January 2013.


Scientific committee

  • Marc Bessin, Sociologist in charge of research at CNRS, Iris, EHESS
  • Jules Falquet, Assistant professor of Sociology, CSPRP, Cedref, Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7
  • Claudia Girola, Assistant professor of Sociology, CSPRP, Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7
  • Jean-François Laé, Professor of Sociology, GTM-Cresppa, Université Paris 8
  • Martine Leibovici, Assistant professor of Political Philosophy, CSPRP, Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7
  • Denis Merklen, Professor of Sociology, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3
  • Numa Murard, Professor of Sociology, CSPRP, Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7
  • Bertrand Ogilvie, Professor of Political Philosophy, LLCP, Université Paris 8
  • Etienne Tassin, Professor of Political Philosophy, CSPRP, Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7



  • Paris, France (75)


  • Monday, December 03, 2012


  • corps, politique, domination, émancipation

Information source

  • Olga Nadeznha Vanegas
    courriel : nadezvanto [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« The sites of the body: politics and emancipation », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, October 29, 2012, https://calenda.org/226040

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