Call for Papers

Chiasma #6 “Disenchantment”

Click here for PDF

Chiasma: A Site for Thought is pleased to invite submissions for its sixth issue, on the theory and philosophy of “disenchantment”. While the contemporary world roils from accelerated inequality across diverse sectors of the global population; technological advancement and complexification; proliferating ‘connectedness’; network, information, and media sinkholes within which the distinction between fact and value is increasingly void—and all this in the midst of great political absurdity—disenchantment, in all its Janus-faced nuance, is again critical to be thought today.

We in the 21st century must confront whether the problem of disenchantment is something that needs to be championed still further, opening unto frontiers still unthought of the ‘scientific image’ and the promise it holds, or whether it is our historical, material situation—and the knowledge that is its reflection—that have precipitated this disenchantment, its loss of world in the immediate and visceral experience of those who undergo it: the loss of the historically accumulated conditions favourable to human sociality in lieu of increasing technological mediation, the loss of the value-laden terms of the ‘manifest image’ by which humans had hitherto understood themselves…

On the one hand, there those like the Prometheans, the Left Accelerationists, Xenofeminists, the #AltWoke, and others who would offer a plea in favour of the practical and speculative gains which a neo-rationalism may offer up to philosophy, scientific discovery, political praxis, and everyday existence. In this case, the disenchantment of the world is not only a view of the true world, but a view of a world capable of radically emancipatory, utopian ends. On the other hand, we cannot forget—in light of Adorno, Foucault, Said, etc., and following the atrocities of the modern past—that disenchanted rationality, as it was historically constituted, is in no small way bound up with the emergence of mechanisms of exploitation endemic to capitalism, colonization, biopolitics, the emergence of fascism and totalitarianism, and that it has historically entertained, within itself, a catastrophic dialectic with that which it excludes from its own identity. In understanding the relation between these two positions, we ask whether an ultimatum is truly demanded, or whether a non-dialectical synthesis regarding disenchantment is possible today.

Some issues to be raised may be:

  • What is at stake in the manifest image? The scientific image?
    • What is the value of science?
    • What role does art play in the disenchanted world?
    • Where is normativity in relation to disenchantment?
    • What do Rationalism/Universalism mean today?
    • AGI, orthogonality, and instrumental/terminal ends
    • Ray Brassier, Left Accelerationism, etc.
    • Pete Wolfendale, Reza Negarestani, etc.
    • Fernando Zalamea and the ‘trans-modern’.
    • Wilfrid Sellars/ Post-Sellarsian thought
  • What is to be done with disenchantment in the face of political, community, and existential apathy?
    • How can the sense of the future be re-enchanted? Or, if it does not need re-enchantment, what is the meaning of value in a disenchanted world?
    • Badiou and truth.
    • Critical appraisals of anxiety and depression.
  • What does disenchantment represent to marginalized communities?
    • What does it mean for decolonial/settler-colonial struggles?
    • What relationship does it play in the understanding of one’s history, in relation to pre-colonial forms of life? How do colonialism and disenchantment mark that history, or cast a shadow upon the idea of origin and return?
  • What does disenchantment mean for anthropology as the study of culture or of forms of life?
    • What is the legacy of ‘disinterested’ or ‘objective’ appraisals of the cultures of the other?
    • What kinds of relationship should the future of anthropology orient itself toward?
    • Eduardo Viveiros de Castro.
  • What is the relation between feminism and disenchantment?
    • Disenchantment with the body: Xenofeminism and Cyberfeminism.
      • Laboria Cuboniks, Helen Hester, Patricia Reed, et al.
    • How can the feminine be re-coded in the wake of patriarchal structures? Is this a form of disenchantment or re-enchantment?
  • Disenchantment and authority
    • Revaluations of Max Weber on authority and charisma.
    • Psychoanalysis and disenchantment with the law of the father
    • Is all authority ultimately a product of a form of enchantment/illusionment? What, if anything, constitutes ‘rational authority’?
  • Precursors to disenchantment
    • Nietzsche and nihilism
      • The true world and fable; truth and lies in the extra-moral sense.
    • Schopenhauer and pessimism
      • The stakes of representation
    • Emil Cioran and anti-natalism
    • Revaluation of the classical Enlightenment thinkers and their project.
  • Disenchantment and extinction/ecology/cosmology
    • Brassier and others on the meaning of extinction.
    • Eugene Thacker and Cosmic Pessimism
    • Lyotard and the Inhuman
  • Marx/Marxism and disenchantment
    • What is Marx’s scientific legacy? His relation to the project of the Enlightenment?
    • Disenchantment in ideology and ideology critique.
    • Adorno/Frankfurt School on disenchantment today?
  • Literary criticism and disenchantment
    • Disenchantment and the Bildungsroman

Articles should be 5,000-10,000 words long, formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition, and cited with footnotes. Articles should include abstracts of ~150 words. Full Submission Guidelines can be found here. Please send anonymized articles with abstracts to chiasma.asiteforthought@gmail.com by February 1, 2019