This conference interrogates the nature of the economic by elucidating the workings of economy and imaginations of the economic in its strangeness and alterity. It invites participants to contemplate the strange in relation to economy in all its forms, shifting lines of sight to the margins and fractures in/of the economic. The following three intersecting aspects of the strange will be explored:
Globalization and migration increasingly pit different groups against each other: both internal strangers, and strangers in other lands we see as competing for our jobs. In the fractured landscape of social subjectivity, racialized and gendered bodies confront us as intimate strangers. How do we address the stranger in our midst? The stranger across ethno-national boundaries?
Marx analyzed capitalist exploitation by defamiliarizing it, highlighting the uncanny-ness of lived experience. At a moment when the mainstream imagination against neoliberal capitalism is a return to Keynesian verities, how can Marxian scholarship strain against more familiar ways of apprehending the economy or the economic?
If the theme of strangeness points to both the question of difference and the uncanny-ness of the economic, it also points to other, alternate strange places where the economic lurks. Where does the economic stop and culture begin? Where and how do we conceptualize the economic differently, and come to recognize spaces of community and solidarity in times of crisis and war?
This conference is sponsored by the journal Rethinking Marxism, the Simpson Center for the Humanities, and the School for Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell.