Biopolitical Matters

The Authority & Political Technologies (APT) network at the University of Warwick aims to foster and support work in the critical social sciences that is informed by Foucauldian, Deleuzian and cultural-theory perspectives. In particular, it is interested in work that carries forwards these traditions, but which takes seriously the arguments concerning their failure to speak to the ethical and political demands of the present; that is to say work that is striving to refigure and reinvent the ethical and political dimension of these perspectives for contemporary problematics. In its second biannual symposium, on 13-14 June 2016, it will address transformations in what constitutes ‘biopolitical matters’ – including changing practices of how forms of life are understood, measured, hierarchized, produced and controlled – and their relevance in contemporary theoretical and political debate. Papers at the symposium will explore plural and divergent accounts of biopolitics, from its original treatment by Michel Foucault, through its expanded use in an array of settings to address the merging of life and politics, to contemporary approaches that question the ‘bio’ as the frame of politics. This includes new regimes of police and security; environmental catastrophe in the Anthropocene, and new questions about ‘big data’ and its increasingly powerful behaviouralism.