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Frontiers of Accumulation – University of Copenhagen

Emerging Worlds > News > Frontiers of Accumulation

26 November 2018

Frontiers of Accumulation

International Conference| 13-14 May 2019 | University of Copenhagen

Convened by Dr. Ravinder Kaur (University of Copenhagen) and Dr. Eli Cook (Haifa University).

Call for Papers

For decades, scholars studying global capitalism often chose “the market” as their central organizing principle and theoretical framework. In the past few years, however, a growing cadre of historians, sociologists, anthropologists and geographers have begun to shift their attention away from “the market” and back towards capital and the social processes through which it is accumulated. In this conference we would like to continue this conversation in an interdisciplinary and global setting. Rather than focus on exchange, we will take a closer look at investment. Rather than emphasize the circulation of money or trade, we will explore the formation of capital and the amassing of wealth. Rather than seek to unpack processes of commodification, we will try to better understand processes of capitalization and financialization in which various elements of life – be they slaves, nature, culture, nation-states or scientific developments - are transformed not only into exchangeable goods but income-generating assets. We hope to examine these issues through detailed empirically grounded studies with strong theoretical focus to examine the concrete and the abstract, the material and the ideological edifice of the global frontiers of accumulation. What is more, we are interested in revealing the contingent and contested nature of such processes of capitalization and investment, the role of the state in their development, and the various forms of resistance and unintended consequences that emerge in its wake. Finally, the conference will try and place a special emphasis on the spatial or territorial aspects of capital investment.

We invite empirically grounded theoretical contributions on the global histories of capitalism together with its contradictions, contingencies, and even subversions across disciplines and world regions to understand:

  • New modes and sites of accumulation emerging in the 21st century global economies
  • Processes of capitalization of life, past and present, and the attendant material and ideological infrastructures that support capitalist transformations.
  • Politics of investment and wealth creation and its contestations
  • Labor regimes, genealogies and new forms 

Social movements and forms of resistance against capitalization of life

The suggested themes are broadly framed to open up for a range of inter-disciplinary interventions including comparisons and entanglements across temporal and spatial zones. 

Early Career Scholars Funding: While the call for papers is open to all we especially invite graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to contribute. The selected participants will be offered travel funding. Senior scholars and intellectual leaders at the forefront of their field will also be present. This is an interdisciplinary conference and we welcome scholars of all disciplines who study global capitalism in the past or present.

How to Apply: Please send paper abstracts (300 words) addressing one or more themes outlined above. The abstracts should be sent to Sofie Rosen Mønster.

Deadline  21 January 2019

The conference is part of the Emerging Worlds research programme funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research – Humanities. It is located at the University of Copenhagen.