CfP: Biopolitics of the Commons

Institute for Humanities and Faculty of Social Science and History Diego Portales University Santiago-Chile Thursday, October 27th 2011, 15.00 – 20.30 hrs.

The commons has emerged as one of the key concepts around which social, political and cultural demands are being articulated and theorized today. Harkening back to the displacement of people from shared communal spaces and their transformation from public into private property – a central act in the development of European capitalism in the 18th and 19th centuries—the commons insists on the fundamentally shared character of social life: that everything from language to education, from nature to our genetic inheritance, belongs irreducibly to all of us; to a living which is, in that sense, always ours.

Moreover, in a national and global conjuncture, where the private seems to appropriate everything that is collective, this symposium will explore which are the possible answers given by the contemporary political theory to the so called “accumulation by dispossession”, based on the approaches of Antonio Negri, Giorgio Agamben, Roberto Esposito, Jean-Luc Nancy and Étienne Balibar, among others.

To this end, we invite scholars who would be interested in participate in this event, to submit an abstract of 300 words (in Spanish or English) by the August 30th, 2011to the professors Ricardo Camargo ( and Miguel Vatter ( There will be a selection of the submitted proposals. The accepted applicants should send the complete paper at least two weeks before of the symposium’s date.

This symposium will count with the presence and participation of Antonio Negri, one of the most prominent political thinkers of our time. Professor Negri has been involved in developing a theoretical approach not only to the notion of the commons, but also to the notions of Empire, Multitude, Intellectual Labor, among others theoretical categories, all of which are embodied in his recent trilogy, co-authored with Michael Hardt: Empire, Multitude and Commonwealth.

The symposium will be closed with an open lecture given by Professor Negri.