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Sussex International Theory Prize
The Centre for Advanced International Theory invites nominations for the 2013 Sussex International Theory Prize for the best piece of research in International Relations published in book or article form in 2012. The recipient will be invited to present their research in a Public Lecture at the University of Sussex and will also receive £150 worth of books from Cambridge University Press and a two-year print and online subscription to International Theory.
In 2011, the Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT) was established by the Department of International Relations within the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex. The core mission of the Centre is to support and disseminate innovative fundamental research in international theory.
To this end, the Sussex International Theory Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of innovative theoretical research in International Relations. Last year’s Prize was awarded to Helen M. Kinsella (University of Madison-Wisconsin) for her book, The Image Before the Weapon: a Critical History of the Distinction between Combatant and Civilian (Cornell University Press, 2011).
In the autumn of 2013, the prize will be awarded for the best piece of research published in book or article form in 2012.
- The work should be in International Relations, broadly conceived – including sub-fields
- The work must have been published in 2012: judged by copyright date
- The award is made annually on the basis of nominations by individuals, publishers and peers.
- Nominations should take the form of a statement of less than 200 words on why the work could be considered the best piece of innovative theoretical research in International Relations, from the previous year.
- Nominators (including publishers) are limited to one submission.
- If the nomination is for an article, the published version should be attached as a PDF document to the email nomination
- If the nomination is for a book, it is the nominator’s responsibility to contact the publisher and request that five copies of the title be sent by the nomination deadline to Centre for Advanced International Theory, Department of International Relations, University of Sussex, Falmer, East Sussex, BN1 9SJ, UK.
- Nominations can be made by email submission through to 2nd April 2013 to the CAIT Administrator, Joanna Wood (email@example.com). Nominated books must also arrive by this date.
- The recipient will be notified in June 2013.
- The recipient will be invited to present his/her research in the public Prize Lecture at the University of Sussex.
- The winner receives £150 worth of books from Cambridge University Press and a two-year print and online subscription to International Theory.
Posted without comment; thanks James Sadri.
<rant> What I used to dislike about the Iranian elections is what I dislike about all national elections today: they’re all fake. There is a choice but it’s not a meaningful one. With the Iranian elections the argument would be: Ahmadinejad or Karroubi/Mousavi, it doesn’t matter, the real power is with Khamenei the Supreme Leader. So you can elect the Iranian President but you can’t elect the Supreme Leader. Well that’s the situation we’ve all got today, even in the US. There is a Supreme Leader casting a long shadow over every national ‘democratic’ process. You can vote for Obama/Romney, Cameron/Brown/Clegg – whoever – but those are all fake choices, where you’re always choosing between the lesser of two evils, never for the world you really want. You can’t vote to stop 20,000 kids dying today because of lack of access to clean water. You can’t vote to stop all war. You can’t vote for people to have the same freedom of movement regardless of where they’re born. You can’t vote to stop extreme disparities of wealth. You can’t vote to stop climate change. That’s because if you do any of these things at the national level you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Increase labour protection or environmental regulation and the factories and cash will go to our enemies. Increase foreign ‘aid’ and it means less for our struggling people. Try to cap carbon emissions and you’re killing business competitiveness. Our Supreme Leader is national competition. We sacrifice the societies we really want to build – peaceful, harmonious, more equal ones – for violent dysfunctional ones that are hopefully slightly richer than those across the map lines. Nobody seems to question the race to the bottom – we seem only to be focused on being the fastest zombies. The world has globalised yet our politics remains pitifully – pathetically – parochial. So while I’ll be hoping that Romney doesn’t win tomorrow, I’m going to remember that there’s a Supreme Leader out there who’s pissing on all your national elections. And he doesn’t have a beard. </rant>
Normal blogging service soon to be resumed. In the meantime, two gender and world politics events of note. First, on Friday 2 November, a roundtable on gender, militarisation and violence at LSE, featuring Cynthia Enloe, Aaron Belkin, Kim Hutchings,and others. It will be excellent. Second, the call for papers for the 2nd International Feminist Journal of Politics is out. The conference is a way away (17-19 May 2013 at the University of Sussex), but early paper/panel submissions are encouraged. Details below the model military aesthetic.
(Im)possibly Queer International Feminisms
Feminists taught us that the personal is political. International Relations feminists taught us that the personal is international. And contemporary Queer Scholars are teaching us that the international is queer. While sometimes considered in isolation, these insights are connected in complex and sometimes contradictory ways. This conference seeks to bring together scholars and practitioners to critically consider the limits and possibilities of thinking, doing, and being in relation to various assemblages composed of queer(s), international(s), and feminism(s).
Questions we hope to consider include: Who or what is/are (im)possibly queer, (im)possibly international, (im)possibly feminist, separately and in combination? What makes assemblages of queer(s), international(s) and feminism(s) possible or impossible? Are such assemblages desirable – for whom and for what reasons? What might these assemblages make possible or impossible, especially for the theory and practice of global politics?
We are interested in papers and panels that explore these questions through theoretical and/or practical perspectives, be they interdisciplinary or located within the discipline of International Relations. Sub-themes include (Im)Possibly Queer/International/Feminist:
- States/Sovereignties/Subjectivities — Crossings/Migrations/Trans(gressions)
We invite submissions for individual papers or pre-constituted panels on any topic pertaining to the conference theme and sub-themes. We also welcome papers and panels that consider any other feminist IR-related questions. Send abstracts (250 words) to: Joanna Wood (j.c.wood [at] sussex.ac.uk)
Deadline for submissions: 31 January 2013
Todd Akin (R-MO) says that doctors told him that women can’t get pregnant from rape. The doctor in question was presumably Onesipherous W. Bartley, whose 1815 A Treaties on Forensic Medicine or Medical Jurisprudence explained that conception:
must depend on the exciting passion that predominates; to this effect the oestrum/veneris must be excited to such a degree as to produce that mutual orgasm which is essentially necessary to impregnation; if any desponding or depressing passion presides, this will not be accomplished. (via)
At least we know how up to date a certain kind of Republican is on the medical literature. Aaron ‘zunguzungu’ Bady offers a less generous, but surely more astute, diagnosis:
The thing about a chucklehead like Rep. Akins is that he doesn’t actually care whether or not women have a magical anti-rape secretion in their body that makes conception less likely. That’s the whole point: his right not to have to worry about it. If you look at his entire statement, for example, you’ll notice that his foray into weird science was tangential to his main point, which was, simply, punish the criminal not the child. And this is more or less orthodox GOP doctrine, which has the hammer of law enforcement and looks for nails: solve the problem of rape by hammering the criminal, and make abortion into a crime, so you can hammer that too. But this simple-minded approach stumbles when it runs into the problem of the rape-victim: how to have empathy for the victim (because “victim’s rights” is a central pillar of the law and order approach) while also criminalizing her if she gets an abortion? How to insulate her choice to get an abortion from the contingency she did not control, and could not have chosen?
As many have pointed out, then, the first imperative is to make it her choice, and therefore her fault. But there’s still he cognitive dissonance of a rape victim forced to have the child of a rapist, something that doesn’t sit at all easily in the mind of a right wing family-and-police; she’s still a problem, and a thorny one. And so, a simple answer, for a simple mind: she does not exist. He argues that the rape victim who is impregnated is a fantasy of people who want to make the whole thing complicated and difficult, with their “ethics” and “problems,” and so he invents a “doctors told me” story to make it make sense, to explain how what seems complicated is actually simple. But the fact that he’s just making shit up, that women’s body’s aren’t Nature’s Own Anti-Rape Kit, is irrelevant; when you believe in the super-sufficiency of simple laws (and in The Law), problem-cases just become nails to be hammered down or ignored, while “facts” are nothing more that the warrant for doing so.
We’re on a roll now. On Friday, Omar became the fourth of us to ascend the greased pole of academic accreditation since we began cultivating this little corner of the internet. Forever more to be known as Dr El-Khairy, his burgeoning cultural insurgency notwithstanding. The work in question? American Statecraft for a Global Digital Age: Warfare, Diplomacy and Culture in a Segregated World. And who said it was good enough? Faisal Devji and Eyal Weizman, actually. So there. And I have promises in writing that he will be telling us more about it all real soon.
By including what violates women under civil and human rights law, the meaning of “citizen” and “human” begins to have a woman’s face. As women’s actual conditions are recognized as inhuman, those conditions are being changed by requiring that they meet a standard of citizenship and humanity that previously did not apply because they were women. In other words, women both change the standard as we come under it and change the reality it governs by having it applied to us. This democratic process describes not only the common law when it works but also a cardinal tenet of feminist analysis: women are entitled to access to things as they are and also to change them into something worth our having.
Thus women are transforming the definition of equality not by making ourselves the same as men, entitled to violate and silence, or by reifying women’s so-called differences, but by insisting that equal citizenship must encompass what women need to be human, including a right not be sexually violated and silenced. This was done in the Bosnian case by recognizing ethnic particularity, not by denying it. Adapting the words of the philosopher Richard Rorty, we are making the word “woman” a “name of a way of being human.” We are challenging and changing the process of knowing and the practice of power at the same time.
-Catharine MacKinnon, “Postmodernism and Human Rights,” Are Women Human?
Imagination is the chief instrument of the good. It is more or less a commonplace to say that a person’s ideas and treatment of his fellows are dependent upon his power to put himself imaginatively in their place. But the primacy of the imagination extends far beyond the scope of direct personal relationships. Except where “ideal” is used in conventional deference or as a name for a sentimental reverie, the ideal factors in every moral outlook and human loyalty are imaginative. The historic alliance of religion and art has its roots in this common quality. Hence it is that art is more moral than moralities. For the latter either are, or tend to become, consecrations of the established order. The moral prophets of humanity have always been poets even though they spoke in free verse or by parable. Uniformly, however, their vision of possibilities has soon been converted into a proclamation of facts that already exist and hardened into semi-political institutions. Their imaginative presentation of ideals that should command thought and desire have been treated as rules of policy. Art has been the means of keeping alive the sense of purposes that outrun evidence and of meanings that transcend indurated habit.
-John Dewey, Art as Experience
Jonathan Meades‘ incisive, irreverent, sweeping, often hilarious and somehow majestic account of the forms of Nazism (architectural, political, libidinal), criminally unavailable on DVD. Presented here in full lo-fi glory. One of the best docu-arguments ever committed to celluloid. You’re very welcome.
Early yesterday morning some women succeeded in burning a valuable house near Trowbridge. In the night of Monday to Tuesday ROUGH’S boathouse on the river at Oxford, near the Long Bridges, was seen to be on fire. It was impossible to save the building or the boats which it contained. Nailed to the bridge near was found a card with the words “Votes for women. No peace till we get the vote.” The presumption is that the boathouse was set on fire, the KING’S horse was stopped, and the Trowbridge mansion was destroyed by some of the females who are discontented with the structure of society. Whether that be the case or not – it is quite possible that the truth may not be ascertained – the action is typical of much that has happened lately and deserves thinking about. Indeed, if we are to believe the leaders of the “movement”, the purpose with which these things are done is to make men think. The question is, What are we to think? The planned and deliberate destruction of property is intelligible as an expression of anger against the owner. But as the wellbeing of society depends upon the security of persons and property against wilful attacks, such attacks are regarded as crimes, and one of the principal purpose for which society is organised is to prevent such acts and to punish those who commit them. But in the class or cases which we are considering there is not motive or animosity against the particular person whose property is destroyed. Those who do them have not the personal hatred which usually explains such doings. If this were an isolated case, if it were found that a house had been wilfully set on fire by a young lady well brought up and accustomed in other respects to behave herself well, a jury would probably come to the conclusion that she was not in her right mind, and the Court order that she should be taken care of until she was restored to complete sanity. But the present case is not isolated. There is an epidemic of the state of mind which produced it; it is but one of a large number of similar cases. This frame of mind cannot possibly be considered healthy. The acts which it produces constitute a war, not only upon society as at present constituted but upon any conceivable state of society because it is impossible to imagine any community of human beings not based upon laws for preserving the security of property as well as of life and society, the propounds of the most astounding schemes for the reconstruction of the community, have ever propounded a plan which would not guarantee the work of and man’s hands against wanton and wilful destruction. The women who go about setting fire to houses seem, therefore to have their thoughts out of gear. In most respects apparently their minds work as other people’s do, but the epidemic of arson appears to be a form of monomania. This quality of the minds concerned noes not disappear under an examination of the alleged motive. These ladies say that women ought to have the same political rights as men, and in particular the Parliamentary franchise, and they assert that women are qualified to be members of the body polite. But it is unthinkable that a person who refuses to recognise the fundamental condition upon which every society is founded can be qualified for membership in that society. The person whose mind works in that way is inaccessible to reasonable arguments.
Mahatma Gandhi – on violence:
I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence… I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.