June 18-22, 2018

Conference: The Critique of Violence Now

We are pleased to announce the fourth conference of the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs (ICCTP) to be held at Rijeka, Croatia on June 16-19, 2018 on the topic The Critique of Violence Now. The conference will take place at the Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe, University of Rijeka, and will be sponsored in conjunction with the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade, Serbia.

The Consortium is jointly housed at the University of California, Berkeley and Northwestern University with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The task of the Consortium is to establish an active network of programs, projects, centers and institutes that will expand the global reach and form of critical theory for our time. The Consortium seeks to document, connect, and further the new and varied forms that critical theory has assumed in light of contemporary global challenges, including economic and political challenges to the university as an institution charged with the task of safeguarding and promoting critical thought.

The Consortium is meant to open new institutional links, overcome forms of hemispheric disconnection, and to pursue collaborative forms of interdisciplinary knowledge, guided by questions such as these: What are the current historical and global conditions in which the value of critical thought is challenged? How do we best describe and evaluate the prevailing forms of global power in their regional specificity that shape and constrain our intellectual life as it crosses academic and popular spheres, and how can critical thought rise to the challenge of these new global challenges through effective and thoughtful political engagement? By now, three conferences have been held, in Bologna, São Paulo and Johannesburg, on the topics of the critical tasks of university, the ends of democracy and reflections on memory and political time.

The issue of violence will be the focus of the fourth ICCTP conference, framed by the question “what is a critique of violence for the present?” Can we have develop a global notion of “critique” without a “critique of violence”? Walter Benjamin asked this question in the early 1920s and he offered his own account of legal violence. Many of the traditional debates about violence and non-violence presumed a common understanding of both terms: we were assumed to know how best to identify violence and how to go about justifying or opposing its use. What challenge does the idea of “legal violence” pose to those traditional debates? And what forms does “legal violence” take now? What is the relation between spectacles of massacre, for instance, and those forms of legal violence, including administrative violence: how are they related, and how are they identified?  Does it matter how we understand regional violence (and how we designate regions) when we seek to answer this question. In addressing the topic “the critique of violence now,” we will be focusing in this meeting on the question of how we might re-appropriate Walter Benjamin’s influential and controversial essay “Critique of Violence” (Zur Kritik der Gewalt) in the context of our present political terrain.

The participants at the fourth conference The Critique of Violence Now of ICCTP are: Petar Bojanić (IFDT/CAS), Judith Butler (UC Berkeley), Marc Crepon (ENS), Astrid Deuber-Mankowsky (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Başak Ertür (Birkbeck College London), Peter Fenves (Northwestern University), Anne-Lise Francois (UC Berkeley), Dario Gentili (Roma Tre), Julia Ng (Goldsmiths), Pablo Oyarzun (Universidad de Chile), Massimo Palma (Suor Orsola Napoli) i Michelle Ty (UC Berkeley). Follow this link for biographies.

The ICCTP conference will take place in tandem with the Summer School Critique of Violence Now: From Thinking to Acting against Violence (June 18-22).

The conference is closed to the public.


Petar Bojanić
Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade
Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe, University of Rijeka

Sanja Milutinović Bojanić
Academy of Applied Arts
Center for Advanced Studies Southeast Europe, University of Rijeka

Gazela Pudar Draško
Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade

Adriana Zaharijević
Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade



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