Graduate Programme in Social & Political Thought's Annual Symposium

Strategies of Critique XI:
End of Knowledge or the Knowledge of Ends

April 18-19, 1997

York University


Friday 18 April

Introduction, M. Michael Schiff, (Social & Political Thought, York University): "Inchoate Endings"

Session One 10:00 - 12:00noon."Once upon a time..."

Moderator: Lori Bremner

What is the status of stories as we ponder whether narrative is unified, polyvocal, authentic or even existent? These papers trace their way from binary distinctions through double entendres to polysemic resonances, all embedded within understandings of both narratives and their ends themselves.

Barbara Rose (English, Memorial University): "The End of Ideology, the End of History, the End of Metanarrative: Teleology, Apocalypse, and American Postmodernism"

Shanna Braden (Sociology, York University): "The Antimony of Experience in Arendt and Bakhtin"

Gregory Cameron (Social & Political Thought, York University): "From One End to the Other"

Lunch 12:00 - 1:15pm.

Session Two 1:15 - 3:15pm. "There's no place like home."

Moderator: Gerald Butts

With the denaturalization of the nation, national identities have become "imagined communities." This panel considers the politics of these imaginations, and the negotiations across spaces, places and times which constitute "the nation."

Anthony Spanakos (International Relations/Comparative Politics, University of Massachussetts -- Amherst): "Sovereignty, Territory, and Identity: Diaspora Nations and Hegemonic States"

Nadia Habib (Social & Political Thought, York University): "Exquisite Grief: When the Subject's Referent is Lost, the Loss of Umm Kulthum and Egypt's Turn to Islam"

Break 3:15 - 3:30pm.

Session Three 3:30 - 5:30pm. "Beam me up, Scotty; there's no intelligent life down here."

Moderator: Theresa Kiefer

Since our fall from scholastic monasticism, the "intellect" can no longer be considered apart from its context, a process exacerbated by our newest electro-technical obsessions. These papers consider the implications of this socialization of knowledge.

Derek Hrynyshyn (Political Science, York University): "New Information Technologies and Intellectual Production"

Michael Pollex (Anthropology & Sociology, University of British Columbia): "The End of Metaphysics or the Death of Minds? A Social Critique of the Connectionist Theory of Artificial Intelligence"

Pierre Ouellet (Social & Political Thought, York University): "Knowledge in Jeopardy, or "What's epistemology, Alex?""

Reception 5:30 - 8:00pm

Saturday 19 April

Session Four 10:00 - 12:00noon. "Names, battle slogans, and costumes."

Moderator: Mike Palamarek

The "end of knowledge" does not necesarily imply an end, but rather, a transfiguration and/or mutation of old epistemologies and ideologies. This panel discusses the political dynamics and historical configurations which govern the naming of ends and the identifying of responsible actors.

Janice Schroder (English, University of Alberta): "Beginning at the End: Victorian Women and the Use-Value of Cultural Education"

Rob Heynen (Social & Political Thought, York University): "Fixing the World: Marx, Lenin, Stalin and the Problem of Knowledge"

Thaddeus Murawski (Rockefeller College, SUNY -- Albany): "Foucault and the Construction of Political Identity: Writing Theory as Identity"

Lunch 12:00 - 1:15pm.

Session Five 1:15 - 3:30pm. "Better a new daemon than an old god"

Moderator: Sarah Clift

"God is dead, but it has not yet reached the ears of men." Well, the word is finally out; the papers in this panel consider the ramifications, reactions and retrenchments which follow the decline of hegemonic epistemologies.

Jason Scott Robert (Philosophy, McMaster): "Cellular Cells and Secular Souls"

Patrick Phillips (Philosophy, York University): ""Primitive Societies": Imperializing Interpretations and the Spectre of Relativism"

Richard Day (Sociology & Anthropology, Simon Fraser University) & Guy Letts (Sociology & Anthropology, Simon Fraser University): "Chaos, Catastrophe, Complexity, Theory"

Robert Richardson (Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University): "Desiring Production and Deterritorialization: Deleuze and Guattari on the form of critique"

Break 3:30 - 3:45pm.

Session Six 3:45- 4:30pm. "I don't know about art but I know what I like."

Moderator: Catherine Adams

The artifact, as object and subject, often falls under particular forms of analysis, critique and judgement. This panel assesses the tension between the exhibit as a space of introspection and retrospection, and the social agenda which may haunt the purity of this space.

Michael Davidge: (English, Concordia University): "A la recherche de Lost Paradise"

Break 4:30 - 4:45

Open Round Table 4:45 - 6:30. Terminal Knowledge

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