Call for Papers: ‘Simone Weil for our Times’ (September 2023, London)

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The UK Simone Weil Research Network invites abstracts for the conference taking place in London across the 21st-22nd September 2023.

Call for Papers
‘Simone Weil for our Times’
September 21st–22nd 2023
Senate House, London

The UK Simone Weil Research Network invites abstracts for the conference: ‘Simone Weil for our Times’ taking place in London across the 21st-22nd September 2023.

The life and work of Simone Weil – philosopher, mystic, activist, and enigma – has defied easy description and categorization. Although Albert Camus categorised her as ‘the only great spirit of our times’, in recent years attention has been given to her metaphysics, her political philosophy, and the radicality and subversiveness of her ideas. Beyond that, the range and depth of her interests and analysis has proved salient and of continued interest in relation to social and political problems.

As per André Gide’s identification of Weil as the ‘patron saint of all outsiders’, Weil stood, and still stands in contrast to the predominant trends in philosophy, political theory, and theology. Her thought provides a productive, innovative, and interdisciplinary lens from which to approach and address the 21st century’s most pressing problems as they relate to the three key disciplines of politics, philosophy, and theology. This conference aims to explore Weil’s work in relation to these concerns.

Abstracts are to be submitted for 20-30 minute papers that address any aspect of Weil’s work as it sits in our current epoch. We are especially interested in the interdisciplinary uses of Weil’s thought, but also retain a strong interest in detailed analysis of Weil’s ideas from the perspectives of her three main disciplinary interests: Philosophy, Theology and Religion, and Politics.

Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Weil’s concept of attention and recent work on the attention economy
  • Oppression, affliction, and the analysis of contemporary capitalism
  • The conflict between the individual, the collective, and the social
  • The concept of ‘roots’ in the 21st century
  • Weil on colonialism
  • Weil between religion and politics in the 21st Century
  • Weil and the Anthropocene
  • Weil on love and the 21st century
  • Absence and the divine
  • The bodily politics of decreation
  • Metaphysics and morality

Confirmed Keynotes: Dr Sophie Bourgault (University of Ottawa) and Prof. Emmanuel Gabellieri (Lyon Catholic University)

Abstracts of between 250-500 words should be submitted to Christopher Thomas [email protected] and Deborah Casewell [email protected] by 16th June 2023.