The Philosophy Department at Villanova’s will be holding its 18th Annual Philosophy Conference this Spring (April 12-13). This year’s conference is entitled “Apocalyptic Politics: Framing the Present.” Confirmed speakers include Mladen Dolar, Slavoj Žižek, and Alenka Zupančič. From the announcement:
The present is often characterized as a critical moment that totters between possibilities of irresolvable catastrophe and redemptive restoration. Such claims involve prophecies of an end. Whether consisting in theological predictions of a messianic end, political predictions of a revolutionary end, or historical predictions of an epochal end, claims on the future charge the present with immediate signiﬁcance through the ethical and political demands they place on it. This is to say, an anticipated end, which in a way is not-yet, is also always enacted in the present. Apocalyptic futures clearly enter into the structure of contemporary subjects – of their desires and drives, on the planes of fantasy and of theory – but these relations call for clariﬁcation. The multiplicity of ways in which prophecy can be received, for instance – whether the foretold end is interpreted as already-accomplished, imminent, or in the indeterminate future, whether the end is met with a spirit of fear or hopeful anticipation, or whether it is understood as necessary and irrevocable or as contingent and preventable, etc. – invites fundamental inquiry into the conscious and unconscious relations of the subject to history and its ruptures.