CFP: Libidinal economies of contemporary capitalism

Libidinal economies of contemporary capitalism.
City, University of London, 16 April 2021.


We are pleased to announce that FSN will be running a one-day workshop next year with CITYPERC on the libidinal economies of contemporary capitalism. The organisers, Amin Samman and Earl Gammon, are encouraging submissions on a broad range of themes and topics:

‘Every political economy is libidinal.’ With this provocation, Jean-François Lyotard expressed the idea that all political economies, in their different historical and theoretical guises, are fleeting efforts to foreclose the libidinal sphere. Various scholars in the humanities and on the fringes of the social sciences have since taken up and fleshed out this idea, imagining the concepts and institutions of modern capitalism as a means of expressing and organising an underlying economy of desire. Building on these efforts, this workshop puts the minor tradition of ‘libidinal political economy’ into dialogue with the calling cards of contemporary capitalism and its associated discourses, critical or otherwise. Previous research in this vein has focused on neoclassical theory, neoliberal politics, financial crisis, trauma, and waste. The workshop aims to open libidinal economy perspectives out onto a broader set of economic categories and themes, and more specifically those that seem to be emerging as the leitmotifs of twenty-first-century capitalism. Whether we envisage contemporary capitalism as indebted, infected, technologised, or imperilled, whether we think it in terms of assets, data, materials, or energy, ‘the economy’ as we know it today appears as above all and more than ever an elaborate, recursive exercise in psychological capture and release.

The workshop is planned for 16 April 2021 at City, University of London, although it will be moved online if circumstances require this. The deadline for submissions is 29 January 2021. For more details and the full call for papers, see the event page here.