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Feminists Theorize the Post-Liberalization State

Friday, October 24, 2014
12:00 AM
2239 Lane Hall

In recent years, a great deal of academic research has focused on the negative effects of neo-liberalism and neo-liberal economic policies. Such scholarship often presumes the retreat or decline of the state. "Neo-liberalism" in this context often takes on a deterministic and ghostly character -- acting as a primary agent that reshapes socio-economic and cultural practices and permeates all forms of political life. However, research in comparative and historical contexts provides a more complex picture of the nature and causes of inequality. States, while restructured in varying ways, continue to play a central role in shaping the causes and responses to inequality. The nature of state formation affects processes of economic restructuring. Social movements that respond to various forms of inequality are immersed in complicated political dynamics with both the state and transnational and national capitalist actors. The objective of this symposium is to move beyond surface invocations of "neoliberalism" and provide an in-depth working group on the nature and practices of the post-liberalization state from historical, comparative and transnational perspectives.

Cosponsors: Department of Political Science, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, Department of Women's Studies, Latina/o Studies, Center for South Asian Studies, Department of Anthropology, Department of Sociology

Lunch will be provided to attendees. Registration requested. More details to follow.

Symposium Schedule
9:00-9:15AM Welcome, greetings and coffee in 2239 Lane Hall

9:15-9:30AM Introductory Remarks

“Myths of the Vanishing Neoliberal State”
Leela Fernandes, Women’s Studies and Political Science, University of Michigan

9:30-11:30AM Panel 1: Restructuring the State, Civil Society and Public Life

“Unsilenced State, Silenced NGOs: The State and the Grameen Bank in Neoliberal Bangladesh”
Lamia Karim, Anthropology, University of Oregon

“The Politics of Choice: Race, Class, Gender and the Structuring of Citizenship Post-Brown Vs. Board of Education”
Ujju Aggarwal, Institute for Urban Policy and Research Analysis, University of Texas, Austin

“What’s in a Word?: Austerity, Precarity, Neoliberalism and Traveling Theory”
Nancy Naples, Sociology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Connecticut

Moderator: Victor Mendoza, Women's Studies and English, University of Michigan

2:00-4:00PM  Panel 2:  State Interventions      
"Improvising Governance During Economic Restructuring: Development and State Transformation in India"
Dolly Daftary, School of Social Work, Western Michigan University

“When Your Only Tool is a Hammer, Every Problem Looks Like a Nail: Neoliberal Problem Solving From Ferguson and Beyond”
Christina Heatherton, American Studies, Trinity College

“After Neoliberalism?:  Resignifying Economy, Nation and Family in Ecuador’s Citizen Revolution”
Amy Lind,  Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Cincinnati

Moderator: Suzanne Bergeron, Women’s and Gender Studies and Social Sciences, University of Michigan, Dearborn

4:30-6:00PM Keynote Address in Rackham Assembly Hall
“The State in the Struggle, the Struggle in the State: Institutional Contradictions Versus Neoliberal Displacements”  

Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences, and American Studies and Director of The Center for Place, Culture and Politics,” Graduate Center, City University of New York