The Neoliberal Imagination Symposium

The Neoliberal Imagination Symposium

21st February 2018

1:00 – 6:00pm

University of Birmingham

Register for free here!



Dr Phoebe Moore (Middlesex University)

Dr Xanthe Whittaker (University of Leeds)

Dr John Narayan (Birmingham City University)

Paula Schwevers (University of Birmingham)

Dr Ross Abbinnett (University of Birmingham)

The concept of neoliberalism has, for a long time now, formed part of the conceptual apparatus of critical theory. The increasingly close relationship between economy and society that conservatives have understood as the evolution of the ‘free market economy’ has been characterized on the left as the strategic organization of human beings, common resources and technology into a dehumanized regime of capitalization. The central themes of this critique are now familiar and include the hyper-rationalisation of social relations, the abstraction of labour power, and the increasingly functionalized relationship between capital, economic growth and technological innovation. In recent years however it has become clear that the connection between capitalism and technology has exceeded the ‘natural’ limits that are implicit in the discourse of critical theory. Part of this process has been the evolution of ‘neoliberalism’ into a multiply determined ideology of expanded performance that encompasses not just politics, economics and technology, but also science, philosophy, art and literature. The central theme of the conference therefore is the emergence and development of this neoliberal ‘imagination’, that is, the set of tropes through which the future is presented, in plurality of different spheres, as the constant and unlimited perfection of human performativity. All welcome!


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