Student Conference

The Liberal Subject: Decay Demise, & Deliverance

Speaker: Bruno Bosteels
Columbia University

When: May 17, 2019 - 09:30am - 06:00pm

Where: Lobo Student Union Building: Santa Ana Room


History has yet to conclusively decide whether the autonomous and unified liberal subject has finally come to gasp its very last breaths.  What is, nevertheless, abundantly clear is that cracks and fissures are beginning to appear within the ideological edifice of its corresponding image, the free individual with inviolable rights, which is internally exhausted and now eroding from within.  In undermining the wider framework that intertwines liberal subjectivity with its associated modes of truth, nature, governance, and economy, there is a subtle irony to be registered in the way that a regressive shift in political affairs has come closer to realizing what both philosophy and critical theory have, for over a century, been attempting to prefigure in thought. 

The outmoding of the liberal subject into historical extinction grants us with the prospect of thinking new and revolutionary forms of life and potentialities.  Thus, the key project of this conference is to examine the crisis and collapse of liberalism in reference to contemporary problems in both theory and concrete practice, while bringing to light the renewed promises that are only beginning to emerge in its wake.