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Neoliberalism and the (Dis)integration of the Political

Year of Funding: 

Microseminar, October 21-29

Keynote Panel, October 24, 4-6 pm, CMU 120

Since at least the turn of the 21st century, an enormous amount of scholarly inquiry ranging across the fields of Political Science, Geography, Anthropology, History, Political Philosophy, American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, Media Studies, and others has sought to reckon with the present political moment. “Neoliberalism” has functioned as a sometimes useful, sometimes reductive shorthand for signaling the defining conditions of this present, including the ascendance of market forces as a now pervasive social rationality (human subjects reimagined as entrepreneurs of ourselves); the transformation of the state into a service provider for corporate capital; relatedly, the dismantling of the social safety net and the outsourcing of the (erstwhile) public good to private providers; a new, ever-accelerated round of the privatization of the remaining commons; the proliferation of instruments (ranging from private prisons to what Ananya Roy calls “poverty capital”) for transforming mass debt, destitution, and despair into new avenues of profit and accumulation; and a steep decline in the hegemonic political principles of liberal democracy. Championed by its promoters as the full expression of market “freedoms,” neoliberalism has also produced the conditions for the growth and entrenchment of the militarized, surveillance state.

Primary Contacts

Eva Cherniavsky (Assistant Professor, English, University of Washington)

Leerom Medovoi (Professor, English, University of Arizona)