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Message posted on 18/07/2019

After Progress: Decolonial Alternatives | 12th September 2019 | 2-6.30pm

Dear colleagues,

I am delighted to invite you to the second symposium of the After Progress symposium series at the Unit of Play.

The event is free, but registration is required due to limited capacity. To register please click here. A small number of BURSARIES for unfunded PhD students/ECRs are available (places will be reserved for these, even if the registration list fills up). Deadline for applications is AUGUST 19TH 2019. For further details on the eligibility criteria and the application process please go here.

After Progress: Decolonial Alternatives


Wed 12th September 2019 | 2-6.30pm
Richard Hoggart Building (RHB) 274
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross, London, SE14 6NW

Can we reimagine human and more-than-human arts of living and flourishing from the ruins of the modern idea of progress? Continuing our collective experimentation with this question, in the second session of the After Progress symposium series we’re keen to discuss experiments, practices, experiences, concepts, challenges and cosmo-visions of collective arts of living and flourishing with others in and out of Europe. Indeed, just as decolonisation movements were instrumental in the critique of the deleterious global consequences of the modern imagery of progress, it is also on the margins and in the interstices of the modern world-system that, today, divergent alternatives to progress are being collectively invented and experimented with. Some (like “Buen vivir", “Swaraj”, “Degrowth”, or “Permaculture”) are now fairly well-known and much discussed, but there is still a profusion of other, plural and concrete experiences and experiments which may be yet to be named but whose practices upend the colonial, developmental, and extractivist consequences of the modern dream of progress, making it present that other ways of living and flourishing with others –humans and more– are not only possible but underway. Exploring practices and possibilities for living and flourishing otherwise, this session will engage in the ongoing and unfinished experiment of decolonizing progress and composing other worlds in its wake.
Speakers include:
Marisol de la Cadena (UC Davis)
Barbara Glowczewski (EHESS)
Henrietta L. Moore (UCL)
Krithika Srinivasan (University of Edinburgh)

After Progress Symposium Series
In this symposium series we propose to experiment, from an interdisciplinary and global perspective, with a pressing question for our troubled times: can we reimagine human and more-than-human arts of living and flourishing from the ruins of the modern idea of progress? The notion of “progress” is arguably the defining idea of modernity: a civilisational imagery of a boundless, linear, and upwards trajectory towards a future that, guided by reason and technology, will be “better” than the present. It was this notion that placed techno-science at the heart of the modern political culture, and it was the global unevenness of “progress” that imagined European imperialism as a civilising mission inflicted upon “backward” others for their own sake. Thanks to the relentless work carried out by decolonisation movements, as well as by scholars and intellectuals across the social sciences and humanities, the modern idea of progress and its deleterious consequences on a global scale have deservingly been the object of fierce criticism throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Denouncing its Eurocentric colonialism, its impoverished historicism, its rationalistic hubris, and its ecocidal extractivism, such criticisms decried the implications of the modern idea of “progress”, but they did not stop it from commanding global political imaginations, discourse, and policy to this day. Thus, rather than simply rehearsing such critiques, we propose a collective, speculative experimentation on plural arts of living and flourishing with others in the ruins of “progress”. For even at this time of socioecological devastation and perilous political repatternings, there are practical and conceptual propositions, emerging from a range of locations and experiences, that proffer generative contributions to the questions of how we might understand and effect change, learn to live and die well with others, and make other worlds possible, if we no longer rely on the modern coordinates of progress as our compass.
The After Progress symposium series co-organised by Dr Martin Savransky (Goldsmiths, University of London) and Dr Craig Lundy (Nottingham Trent University). It is part of the Sociological Review Seminar Series and it is generously funded by The Sociological Review Foundation.

Dr. Martin Savransky
Lecturer | Department of Sociology
Director, Unit of Play (UoP)
Convenor, MA Critical & Creative Analysis
Goldsmiths, University of London
London SE14 6NW
Goldsmiths Staff Website Website

Unit of Play

The Adventure of Relevance | Speculative Research: The Lure of Possible Futures | Isabelle Stengers and The Dramatization of Philosophy
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