Beyond the Academy Conference June 9-10

Check out the call for abstracts for an upcoming conference that I am helping organize,

Beyond the Academy: Engaging Public Life
Call for Abstracts
June 9-10, 2008
George Mason University Arlington CampusMeeting just outside the nation’s capital in the midst of a presidential campaign year, public scholars from across the country will discuss the ways in which their work is more than “academic,” how it helps strengthen democratic institutions and public life and can bring about civic change. To be considered for the program, send a 450-550 word abstract by April 28 to with the subject line “public scholars.” Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Reclaiming the civic mission of the university
  • The incentive structure of university scholarship
  • The self-understanding of scholars and their relationship to the public
  • How to be the public’s allies in democratic work
  • What kind of research does a democratic public need?
  • Organic vs. traditional scholarship: How does Milton matter?
  • Assessing the engaged campus movement
  • Independent scholars, the academy, and the public
  • the multiple ways communities, individuals and non-academic institutions contribute to public knowledge (e.g., film festivals, literary festivals, literacy initiatives)
  • Advocacy versus Engagement
  • Book sessions

The conference will begin late in the day on June 9 and continue all day June 10. For more information visit the conference site.

By Noelle McAfee

I am professor of philosophy at Emory University and editor of the Kettering Review. My latest book, Fear of Breakdown: Politics and Psychoanalysis, explores what is behind the upsurge of virulent nationalism and intransigent politics across the world today. My other writings include Democracy and the Political Unconscious; Habermas, Kristeva, and Citizenship; Julia Kristeva; and numerous articles and book chapters. Edited volumes include Standing with the Public: the Humanities and Democratic Practice and a special issue of the philosophy journal Hypatia on feminist engagements in democratic theory. I am also the author of the entry on feminist political philosophy in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and well into my next book project on democratic public life.

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