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The Proposition: Freedom after Neoliberalism

Monday 19 January 2015, 12.15PM to 2.15pm

Under the neoliberal regime, the Right has more or less annexed the language of freedom, making it synonymous with negative freedom in general and free markets in particular. Our project will aim to reclaim, reconstruct and reconsider models of freedom for a post-neoliberal age, particularly notions of positive freedom (Isaiah Berlin's famous distinction between positive and negative liberty is important here).

The "After" in our title is ambiguous, of course, as "we" are not "after neoliberalism" in lots of ways, but it can also be read as looking forward to the kinds of freedom(s) we can hope to enjoy when we do get there, and how rethinking freedom now might help to get us there.

In historical terms, we're planning to contribute to emerging narratives about the histories of the Left and Right in the US, Britain and elsewhere in the period since the 1960s. In methodological terms, we're hoping to use the concept of freedom to steer a course somewhere between an exhausted identity politics framework and the structuralist critique of neoliberalism that is now becoming ubiquitous.

It goes without saying that interdisciplinarity - politics, philosophy, sociology, literature, etc. - is at the heart of the vision for the project.

With contributions from:

  • Adam Kelly (English)
  • Alex Beaumont (English, York St John)
  • Ziad Elmarsafy (English)
  • Claire Westall (English)
  • Werner Bonefeld (Politics)
  • Mihaela Mihai (Politics)
  • Tony O'Shea (Politics)
  • Chris Renwick (History)

The Proposition is an interdisciplinary Humanities Research Centre seminar/workshop series that works across the arts and humanities, and often beyond. It is primarily designed to be a space in which researchers with interests either directly or indirectly in common can find each other and explore ways in which they might make common cause for future networks, projects, grants bids etc.  More

This term's programme:  The Proposition Spring Term 2015 (PDF , 3,723kb)


Location: The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building

Admission: All interested staff and postgraduates are welcome to attend