Keynote Speakers

Lorenzo Bernini is Associate Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Verona, Italy. He is co-founder and director of the Research Center PoliTeSse (Politics and Theories of Sexuality). His interests range from classical political philosophy and French thought of the 20th century to contemporary theories of radical democracy, critical race and queer theories.

Luciana Cadahia is Professor of Political Theory and Problems of Modern and Contemporary Philosophy at FLASCO, Ecuador. Her research focuses on the connections between modern and contemporary political thought. She is the editor of Indignation and Rebellion. Critique of a critical time (with Felix Duque, 2013) and Normality of the crisis / crisis of the normality (with Gonzalo Velasco, 2013). Most recently, Fondo de Cultura Económica published her book Mediaciones de los sensibles (2017). Her work has been central to the recent British Academy funded project on Theorizing Transnational Populist Politics.

Jean Comaroff is Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology at Harvard University. She was educated at the University of Cape Town and the London School of Economics. Her research, primarily conducted in southern Africa, centres on processes of social and cultural transformation—the making and unmaking of colonial society, the nature of the postcolony, and the late modern world viewed from the Global South.

Kelly Gillespie is a political and legal anthropologist focusing on how criminal justice in South Africa has become a vector for the continuation of Apartheid relations. She writes and teaches about law and justice, urbanism, sexualities, race and the praxis of social justice. In 2008, she cofounded the Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism (JWTC), an experimental project tasked with recrafting the work of critical theory beyond the global north. She has been involved in work on the decolonisation of the university in South Africa, supporting student movement activism and disciplinary/curriculum reconstruction. Gillespie also works beyond the university in popular education projects supporting a broad range of social justice formations.

Saygun Gokariksel is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boğaziçi University, Turkey. He researches the communist past in Poland and Eastern Europe, with a focus on law, state and class formation, right wing populism, and neoliberal globalization. He was a co-editor of an online forum on social movements at the Council for European Studies, Columbia University. Gokariksel has been involved in collectives engaging in themes of equality, justice, and emancipation.

Donna Jones is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, where she serves as core faculty for the Program in Critical Theory and the Science, Technology and Society Center. Jones researches Caribbean, African American, and American literature. Her book The Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy: Négritude, Vitalism and Modernity won the MLA’s Jeanne and Aldo Scaglione Prize in Comparative Literary Studies in 2010. She is currently working on two projects: The Ambiguous Promise of European Decline: Race and Historical Pessimism in the Era of the Great War and The Tribunal of Life: Reflections on Vitalism, Race and Biopolitics.

Maurizio Lazzarato is an Italian sociologist and philosopher. In the 1970s, he was in activist in the workers’ movement (Autonomia Operaia) in Italy. He was a founding member of the editorial board of the journal Multitudes. Lazzarato is a researcher at Matisse/CNRS, Pantheon-Sorbonne University (University Paris I), and a member of the International College of Philosophy in Paris.

Christoph Menke is Professor of Philosophy at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. A German philosopher, Menke is a key representative of the so called “third generation” of the Frankfurt School. Among other topics, he has written about democracy and equality, the history and concept of rights, theories of subjectivity, and the aesthetics of modernity.

Leigh-Ann Naidoo lectures in the School of Education at the University of Cape Town. Her research interests include education and social justice, social movements as sites of knowledge production, the roles of education in resistance movements, radical education and student resistance, and rethinking the figure of the intellectual and the teacher. She has been an activist in the #RhodesMustFall, #FeesMustFall and #EndOutsourcing movements that took place across South African campuses in 2015 and 2016 and has insisted on the urgent need to decolonise education.

Suvendrini Perera is John Curtin Distinguished Professor and Research Professor of Cultural Studies in the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry at Curtin University, Australia. She has published widely on issues of social justice, including decolonization, race, ethnicity and multiculturalism, refugee topics, critical whiteness studies and Asian-Australian studies. She has combined her academic career with participation in policymaking, public life and activism. She is a founding member of “Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites” which aims to expose government practices of offshore detention of asylum seekers and refugees seeking protection in Australia.

Enzo Traverso is Susan and Barton Winokur Professor of the Humanities at Cornell University. A historian of modern and contemporary Europe, his research focuses on the political ideas of the 21st century, in particular the impact of violence and fascism in European culture. He developed the notion of post-Fascism in his book Les Nouveaux Visages du Fascisme to describe the rise of xenophobic, right wing parties across Europe.