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April 19, 2017

19727Call for Papers

Critical Theory and the Concept of Social Pathology

 A Two Day Conference: Presented by the Research Centre for Social and Political Thought, University of Sussex

September 13th-14th 2017

Attenborough Arts Centre, University of Sussex (Brighton)

Submission Deadline: 30th July 2017

We are soliciting submissions for the 2017 Conference in Social and Political Thought, hosted by the University of Sussex’s Research Centre for Social and Political Thought (SPT). This year, the Symposium will focus on Critical Theory and the Concept of Social Pathology. This is a topic of increasing importance to critical social theory, as a way of capturing what is wrong with a social system or association. But it is also controversial. In the light of what can one appropriately designate a social order as pathological? However the term, and its normative meaning, is also heavily contested. We want to invite people from both sides of this current debate. The topic of the conference builds on and broadens work already published in the Centre’s journal, Studies in Social and Political Thought, vol. 25 on Pathologies of Recognition. It broadens the topic out to embrace more general questions about the relation between critical social theory and the idea of social pathology.


The ancillary purpose of the meeting is to establish a network of senior and junior academics working on areas of social philosophy and critical theory that are germane to the current research themes of the Centre for Social and Political Thought. The network will be open, but will incorporate a hub of researchers and their graduate students working at the Universities of Essex, Amsterdam, University College Dublin and Sussex, and several Faculties in Finland and Germany.


The largely graduate run journal is specifically designed to offer a platform where junior and early career academic can publish alongside more senior academics. Where possible proceedings will be published in SSPT. We invite abstracts from those working in and around issues occurring at the intersection of Philosophy and Critical Social Theory, Sociology, Psychoanalysis, Social Anthropology, Political theory, Gender Studies and other related areas of research. Our intention is to foster fruitful discussions led by engaged presentations across intellectual traditions and disciplinary boundaries. As such we welcome relevant submissions from all areas linked to the Studies of Social and Political Thought.


Although this is not a ‘graduate conference’, we want to highlight that plenty of slots will be reserved for graduate speakers (PhD/ Dphil candidates etc.). The conference intends to provide graduate students an opportunity to present their work and receive extensive feedback from peers and specialists in the field. The conference aims to allow for extensive discussion time ensuring that every speaker/ panel has the opportunity to address all of the attendees.



All talks have to be on the primary theme: Critical theory and the idea of Social Pathology, although this theme will be broadly construed. It is up to the applicant to show how their presentation fits in with the theme.





Submissions should be ready for blind review and should consist of two separate documents containing the following:

  1. The title and the abstract (maximum 500 words) of your presentation/ paper. The abstract should state and explain the topic of the presentation and the way in which it contributes and relates to the themes of the conference. This document should not include your name or institutional affiliation.
  2. A separate cover letter that includes: the title of your presentation; your name; institutional affiliation; current academic status; and contact information.
  3. Submissions should be sent to Denis Chevrier Bosseau (email: ) no later than the 30thof July 2017. (subject/ headline of the email should include the name of the conference: ‘Critical Theory and the Concept of Social Pathology – abstract’)




Useful information:

Address: The conference will be held at the University of Sussex, in Brighton, UK. Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RH

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by the 8th of August 2017.

Allocated time: Accepted speakers will form part of a panel whose members will each be allocated 20 minutes for their respective presentations. The panel will then be able to engage with each other and the event attendees in an informal Q&A session of 1 hour.


For any further inquiries, please contact the organiser – Denis Chevrier Bosseau at




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