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(Friday July 12, 2024 @ 5:49 am)

Biennial Themed Graduate Conference

Every two years the program hosts a national/international graduate student conference in social and political thought. Students gain useful experience by being responsible for its successful organization and execution.  Moreover, students also get the opportunity to meet other theory students (often not in SPT programs) and share their work. This builds meaningful opportunities for future collaboration and research dissemination.  All students are expected to present their work at the conference. 

2021 Conference link here:


2021 SPT Conference info

On the Brink of Something, Anything, Everything?
Acadia University’s Social and Political Thought graduate program invites you to attend a student
run and organized conference called On the Brink of Something, Anything, Everything? (May 5th-7th).
This conference theme will allow attendees to discuss interdisciplinary topics that have a
theoretical dimension. Because of Social and Political Thought’s vast and ever evolving field, the
possibilities for participation are wide open. Historically this biennial conference has created a
space for graduate students from all over the world to critically engage in open dialogue with
other graduate students’ work. The conference design aims to be supportive and intellectually

We are On the Brink of Something. What this something is, however, we do not yet know. But we feel
like something is happening. This conference is designed to critically explore this feeling. What
is this something? Haven’t we been on the brink before? What is this feeling of expectation,
excitement, dread?

Throughout history, situations seem to occur that create a flash point that places all of society
at a crossroads. In these moments of crisis or wholesale change, society appears to be “on the
brink”. During these moments or within these situations, in which some type of change can be seen
on the horizon we ask, “what is next”? Each of these moments or situations represent an invitation
to explore scholarship conducted in order to determine the parameters of the brink to grant some
semblance of understanding of these moments in time, to offer solutions on how to move forward, to
glean insights from previous events, to explore methods sufficient to these points in time, to
dream of alternative ways of acting, and to understand our own current experience of crises. We
hope you will join us in this adventure.

We invite presentations of graduate student papers from any theoretical and/or methodological
affiliation in order to explore historical or contemporary interdisciplinary topics that constitute
the field of research in Social and Political Thought. These might include areas of research in
• Political Ecology
• The Body
• Climate Change/Crisis
• Human Migration
• Anti-Racism
• Security
• National and/or International Political Economy
• Critical Social Movements
• Feminism
• Democratic futures
• Colonialism/Postcolonialism /Decolonization
• Neoliberalism and/or Biopolitics
• (Un)Employment
• Critical Health Studies
• Animal Politics

Note that these topics are just examples listed in order to show that we think that your work will
fit within the conference theme. All abstracts will be considered on an equal basis.
Instructions for submission are appended below, direct all submissions to:

Abstracts are due by March 31st, 2021. Completed manuscripts for journal submission are due by May
14th, 2021, one week after the conference ends.

Submission Guidelines:

• At the top of the email please state: your name, email address and university
affiliation if applicable.
• Please also indicate if during your presentation you will need to share your screen
to display a video, image, chart, and/or Powerpoint presentation.
• All submissions should be in a .doc, .docx, or .pdf format.
• For the intention of presenting at the conference, submit: A 200-300 word abstract
detailing your proposed paper. If you would like to propose a panel, please submit all abstracts
together with each presenter included in the email thread.
• If you wish to publish your work in To Be Decided (Acadia SPT’s graduate student
journal), we ask that you indicate your intention in your submission.
• For submission guidelines to TBD visit:

For more information, please visit the conference website:




Graduate Student Conference in Social and Political Thought


Passing Through Catastrophe?  Aesthetics, Alienation and Apocalypse

May 15-18, 2015

Acadia University, Wolfville, NS

Keynote Address: Dr. Michael Dillon


This conference offers graduate students from across North America the opportunity to come together to discuss social and political thought.  This year's theme connects the concepts of aesthetics, alienation, apocalypse and catastrophe.  The Social and Political Thought program at Acadia University focuses on an engagement with theoretical questions that affect our everyday lives and exploring ways to turn everyday life into theoretical and aesthetic projects.  We welcome all applications on the conference theme or on these areas: critical theory; cultural theory; environmental theory; feminist theory; media and communications theory; general theory.

The conference is very excited to present Dr. Michael Dillon as this year's keynote speaker.  His keynote lecture is titled “The Catastrophe of Thought: Political Spirituality contra Political Theology”.  Dr. Dillon comes to us from the University of Lancaster's Department of Politics and International Relations where he currently holds the position of Professor Emeritus (Politics).  Dr. Dillon is widely regarded as a key figure in re-orienting critical political theory during the late 1980's/early 90's and continues to publish on issues like security, violence, ethics, biopolitics, continental political philosophy, political theology and sovereignty.  His most recent book is Biopolitics of Security: A Political Analytic of Finitude (Routledge, 2015). 

Students presenting at the conference will receive feedback on their research from a scholarly audience; networking opportunities to build key contacts and further their own professional development are also scheduled.  There will also be a chance to publish in a peer-reviewed journal in contemporary social, cultural and critical thought.  PhD, MA, and advanced honours students are all invited.  The registration fee for conference presenters includes all academic sessions, meals, and a welcome package.

Acadia University is nestled away in the beautiful rural Maritime community of Wolfville, Nova Scotia.  Surrounded by apple orchards and vineyards, Wolfville is a gorgeous place to visit during the apple blossom season.  Home to a growing Social and Political Thought graduate program, Acadia University in Wolfville is the perfect venue to experience Canadian east-coast culture while presenting your theoretical research.

Proposals must include:

1. First, last name and field of study;

2. Academic institution email address;

3. Academic affiliation (including current status in graduate or undergraduate program);

4. Name and email address of supervisor;

5. Title of proposed paper;

6. Abstract of 200 words max.


Please submit full paper/presentation to the following email:

by Tuesday, May 12, 2015