Skip to main content

Winter Theory Institute

The Society for Critical Exchange will be hosting its tenth Winter Theory Institute February 7-10, 2019 at Florida State University

The topic of this year's WTI will be

Control

“Control is not discipline,” famously argued Gilles Deleuze. The future of neoliberal society for him was not about “confining people” but rather “multiplying the means of control” over them.

Today, as we grapple with the destructive legacies of neoliberal society, Deleuze’s prognostications about “control” seem even more prescient. Neoliberal society as a control society seems to be “never finished with anything–the corporation, the educational system, the armed services being metastable states coexisting in one and the same modulation, like a universal system of deformation”—even if we are finished with it and want to move beyond its destruction and violence.

At the present, control modulates conditions of permanent crisis, endless environmental degradation, and creative destruction making every aspect of society less habitable and more insufferable. From the increasing financialization of everyday life to the growing administration and automation of social processes, control has come to take on an expanding and expansive role in the contemporary world—one that is neither ontologized nor automated but rather engineered for polarization and the increasing transfer of wealth upwards.

Still, whether the present cultural and political moment calls for a move beyond the conceits of Deleuze and other twentieth-century speculation on control is open for debate.

Ninth SCE Winter Theory Institute: Biotheory February 8-11, 2018

Eighth SCE Winter Theory Institute: Antitheory February 9-12, 2017

Seventh SCE Winter Theory Institute: American World Literature February 4-7, 2016

Sixth SCE Winter Theory Institute: Debt February 5-8, 2015

Fifth SCE Winter Theory Institute: Dead Theory February 6-9, 2014

Fourth SCE Winter Theory Institute: The New Public Intellectual February 7-10, 2013

Third SCE Winter Theory Institute: Criticism after Critique February 9-12, 2012 abstracts, agenda

Second SCE Winter Theory Institute: Neoliberalism's Cultural Work February 2011 abstracts, agenda

First SCE Winter Theory Institute: terror.edu February 2010 (abstracts)

The Society for Critical Exchange, Inc. Founded 1975; Incorporated 1976