CFP: Interdisciplinary Resistance to Nationalist Borders

A CFP for radical pomo resistance! #NeverTrump! #MeToo! #OtherRandomHashtags!

deadline for submissions:
March 1, 2018
full name / name of organization:
Contention: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest
contact email:

Contention Special Edition Proposal

Editors: Jeffrey Butcher and Michael Noschka

Title of Special Edition:

Continental Divides: Interdisciplinary Resistance to Nationalist Borders


The rise of the alt-right—the potential for fascism to claim the mantle of “populism”—is changing, or repeating, the political landscape of the West. From Trumpism in America to French and German elections to the Catalonia secession, the alt-right is flexing its muscles in important national debates, and extending its nationalism beyond respective national borders. From a philosophical perspective, this upsurge of alt-right nationalism brings with it an array of mind-body problems. There are problems of the body: black bodies, ethnic bodies, religious bodies, female bodies, transgender bodies. Likewise, there are problems of the mind: the nationalist logic of exclusion of “non-native” or non-normative bodies from its ontologically “pure” dominion. As these domains intersect within national borders this mind-body problem exposes itself as a problem of the body politic. This crisis repeats itself daily across the world (or at least the Western) stage. This ‘return of history’ heralds the call for this special issue.

What some have called a repeat of the rise of fascism during the early-twentieth-century threatens to bring “inter-nationalist” imperialist warfare and economic terror across the West and to those nations already subject to global Capitalism. While the rise of the alt-right shocks and horrifies left-wing parties, anti-fascist organizations, and even moderate populations, the editors of this special issue turn to philosophy broadly and Continental philosophy specifically to explore the potential of resistance to the rise of nationalism across the West. Our aim is thus to explain the phenomenon of nationalism, its attentive border construction (and how and why we allow this to occur), and to determine what social action is necessary to combat the new dominance of the alt-right before contemporary global fascism finishes its shape.

This call for papers welcomes any generative mode of intervention to the rise of the alt-right. These papers may come from multiple disciplines (i.e., the humanities, social sciences, hard sciences, and non-academic spheres); but because Contention addresses an interdisciplinary audience, contributions should be written in language that is accessible to a general academic audience. It is our hope that the interdisciplinary nature of Contention, and this special issue more specifically, will offer a variety of perspectives to approach this topic. To this end, we ask writers to consider interdisciplinary approaches to, but not to be limited by, the following topics of discussion and debate:

  • alt-right nationalism and mind-body problems
  • the biopower of protest / protest as biopower
  • political theology as resistance to alt-right religious radicalism
  • war as protest / protesting war
  • populism and/as protest
  • protesting populism
  • resistive politics and/or activism/protest as “middle spaces” in the sphere of global politics
  • what might “becoming a protester” and/or “becoming an activist” look like?
  • how internal conflicts of left-wing groups might create (or have created) favorable conditions for the rise of fascism
  • how nationalism might utilize the properties of (inter)national Capitalism to create an alt-right internationalism
  • how economic repression and power structures might determine the desire of self-repression
  • local, national, and international protest efforts and their successes and failures
  • the impact of Antifa and whether or not it is revolutionary or reactionary
  • forces of protest and the pathologies of failure—or why movements fail
  • support of the nation-state vs. nationalism—is there a difference?
  • are sovereignty and democracy nationalist fantasies?
  • (self)representation and/of/in the alt-right
  • national and international consequences of alt-right control
  • whether the new rise of the alt-right is a repetition of historical fascism and how it may be interrupted

While these categories invite myriad responses, all of which will be considered for publication in Contention, the editors of this special issue particularly invite submissions which draw upon or engage with a specific cohort of Continental philosophers whose works transcend and tear down the walls erected to enforce national and inter-national borders: Giorgio Agamben, for his archeology of Western biopolitics; Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, for their exposure of the West’s schizophrenic thinking (particularly as nationalism and Capitalism cohere); Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, for their analyses of the intersections among local and global economic forces as they pertain to the limits and potentialities of political bodies. Each of these philosophers propose modes of political thinking; such thinking is most timely now.

Deadline for Submission: March 1st, 2018

The submission process should use Contention’s submission system follow all of Contention’sguidelines currently detailed on the journal’s website:

When submitting, please specify in the cover page that the submission is for this special issue.

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