11 – 13 September 2019

Thirty years after the end of the Cold War, this conference looks both backwards and forwards to explore the legacies of 1989. Francis Fukuyama famously claimed that this moment marked the “End of History”: an end to ideological struggle which would open the way for the inexorable spread of liberal democracy across the globe. How do we understand 1989 and its legacies today?

Arguably, the current conjuncture remains marked by the revolutions of ‘89 and their consequences: the global spread of neoliberal capitalism; the numerous devastating wars that have followed the end of the Cold War; growing inequality within states and across the globe; the mass movement of people; the rise of various brands of right-wing populism and fascism across the globe; and much more besides. The cultural and political impasse that once wore the name of postmodernism is today commonly read as a confluence of catastrophes: environmental, political, social, and economic. This apocalyptic malaise is all too often accompanied by a sense that “there is no alternative”. The idea that the future is there to be made, that it could be better than the present, is likewise lacking. Simultaneously, this political impasse is being seized upon by a resurgent far-right.

This interdisciplinary conference invites papers which reflect on the multiple impacts and legacies of ’89: cultural, political, historical and philosophical. Where are where we are now; where we are heading; and where we should be heading? How are philosophers, historians, analysts, activists and artists responding to these challenges? How ought they to respond?

  • Politics after “The End of History”
  • Philosophy after “The End of History”?
  • Political and historical agency
  • Political subjectivity
  • Past, Present and Future: the question of historical temporalities• History after “The End of History”
  • The revolutions of 1989 and their legacies
  • Global perspectives on 1989
  • The rise of the far-right after the end of the Cold War
  • What has philosophy to say to fascism and how should it say it?
  • Culture after “The End of History”
  • Aesthetics after “The End of History”
  • Does Populism threaten democracy? Does it threaten capitalism?• The politics of austerity
  • Ethics after Stalin
  • The aestheticisation of politics
  • Radical and reactionary cultural interventions

Wednesday 11th September

Session 1: 11.30am – 1.00pm

Panel 1 | Room: M2 | Chair: Ian Clark Parcon

Christos Boukalas | Northumbria University Law School, UK, No Future. Security, Economy, and Hegemonic Implosion

Min Ji Choi | Harvard University, USA, We’re Just Recreating The Past: Hauntology and Postmemory of the Dirty War

Panel 2 | Room: G4 | Chair: Lucy Benjamin

Michele Diana da Luz | Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil, The Path of the Right-Wing Discourse in Brazilian Politics – From the Military dictatorship to Bolsonaro

Eliane Glaser | Bath Spa University, UK, Post-Ideology and Populism

Session 2: 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Panel 1 | Room: M2 | Chair: Michele Luz

Peter Ehret | University of Granada, Spain, 1989: End of national history?

Ionut Isac | Romanian Academy Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 30 Years Since The “End Of History”: Romania Between The Mythology of Modernisation and the Modernisation of Mythology

Panel 2 | Room: G4 | Chair: Paul Reynolds

Spiros Makris | University of Macedonia, Greece, ‘The End of History’ as a Radical Political Ontotheology”: The case of Walter Benjamin’s messianic eschatology

Matteo Toffolutti | University College Cork, Ireland, The End of Destiny and a History That Goes On

Keynote | 4.00pm – 5.30pm | M2 Boardroom

Esther Leslie | Birkbeck College, University of London, UK Dust of History, Sands of Time, Fog of War

Thursday 12th September

Session 3: 9.30am – 11.00am

Panel 1 | Room: M2 | Chair: Michele Luz

Codruta Cuceu | Romanian Academy Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Disruptions of the Public Sphere in Early Postcommunist Romania

Horatiu Crisan | Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Reparations After the Fall of Romanian Communism. A Normative Critique

Panel 2 | Room: G4 | Chair: Ross Sparkes

Tom Bunyard | University of Brighton, UK

Demagogy and Social Pathology: Wendy Brown and Robert Pippin on the Pathologies of Neoliberal Subjectivity

Nikos Folinas | University of Crete, Greece

Aspects of Marxist Philosophy After the “End of History” and Commodity Fetishism

Session 4: 11.30pm – 1.00pm

Panel 1 | Room: M2 | Chair: Tom Bunyard

Lucy Benjamin | Royal Holloway, UK, Thinking through Analogy: The Resonance of the Third Reich

Luke Edmeads | University of Brighton, UK, Precarity and Materialism: Rethinking Political Subjectivity

Panel 2 | Room: G4 | Chair: Nikos Folinas

Abdallah Houadef | University of Msila, Algeria, Soraya Charif | University of Setif 2, Algeria, Is Democracy In Decline?

Jessica Alejandra González Camacho | Pontifical Xavierian University, Colombia, Latin America After the Cold War: A Discourse Analysis of The Right-Wing Perspective in Colombia

Session 5: 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Panel 1 | Room: M2 | Chair: Ian Sinclair

Annika Kulovesi | University of Helsinki, Finland, Identity Politics During the Information Age – The Modern Lures of Tribalism and How to Overcome Them

Irina Simonova | Ural State Pedagogical University, Russia, Between Institutions and D.I.Y.: Political Strategies of Russian Youth “After the End of History”

Panel 2 | Room: G4 | Chair: Bob Brecher

Jeremy Spencer | Camberwell College, University of Arts London, UK, Living Historically After The End Of History

Pieter Vanhove | University of Lancaster, UK, Competing Universalities in Les Magiciens de la Terre and China/Avant-Garde (1989)

4.00pm | Roundtable | Room M2 Boardroom

Friday 14th September

Session 6: 10.30am – 12.00

Panel 1 | Room: G4 | Chair: Ian Sinclair

Stephen O’Kane | Independent Scholar, UK, Continuities and Nationalism

Paul Reynolds | Independent Scholar, UK, History as Truth-Telling, History as Rhetoric, History as Storytelling: 1989 and All That

Panel 2 | Room: 204 | Chair: Tom Bunyard

Rebecca Davnall | University of Liverpool, UK, What Is A Future? Prediction, Imagination, and Thinking About What To Do Next

Ross Sparkes | Independent Scholar, UK, Theory and Politics After ‘The End of History’ at the Start of the End of the World

Session 7: 1.00pm – 2.30pm

Panel 1 | Room: G4 | Chair: Bob Brecher

Ian Clark Parcon | Ateneo de Davao University, Philippines, Understanding Dutertismo: A Syncretic Reading of Populism and Democratic Politics in the Philippines

Jorge Varela | Tallinn University, Estonia, Reframing the political after the End of History

Closing Remarks 2.30pm | Room: G4

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