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Call for Papers ASCA International Workshop 5-7 June 2024 | Organizers: Hannah Poon, Oscar Talbot, Safae El Khannoussi El Bouidrin | Deadline for submissions: 15 March 2024.

Asymmetries of power continue to be felt, lived in, and subverted. Where there is power there is resistance, but the forms of these counteractions are myriad and various (e.g. Foucault; Fraser; Scott; Feldman; Bargu). Understanding these struggles, whether they come from the resurgent decolonial movements, the embattled struggles that have emerged as we face the Anthropocene, or the re-composition of our media-landscape through the whims of the billionaire class, is one of the most pressing tasks of our time. This workshop will bring together theorists, historians, practitioners, and media researchers to understand the multiplicities contained within contemporary resistance.

At the same time, the fugitive, a figure of the subaltern is making their presence known (M'Charek; Harney and Moten; Spivak). Networks of actors whose very life is made illegal are forced to seek refuge outside of systems of control and surveillance. In response, large-scale civil society organising, from migration to abortion networks, have made significant impact on Dutch, European, and global society through strategies of resistance, refusal, and fugitivity (Emejulu; Lewis). The aesthetics of these defiant and subversive practices colour our cultural and media landscapes like never before. Authors, artists, content creators, and cultural institutions continue to reconstitute gender, sexuality, adulthood, nationality, coloniality, and capitalism in response to the constraints of the past.

This workshop aims to provide an interdisciplinary platform for a pressing and multifaceted investigation of resistance, refusal and fugitivity, including but not limited to:

  • Historical perspectives: analysing resistance movements and fugitive acts throughout history, from enslaved individuals escaping captivity to contemporary political and civil society struggles.
  • Theoretical frameworks: examining the rich tapestry of academic theories that underpin the concepts of resistance, refusal and fugitivity, encompassing fields such as sociology, history, political science, anthropology, and critical race studies, as well as media analysis, ethnography, and auto-theory.
  • Contemporary applications: investigating the relevance of resistance and fugitivity in the contemporary context, including discussions of social movements, grassroots activism, and their impact on policy and social change.
  • Object analysis: specific sites of resistance have formed the nodes of these conflicts and tensions, from housing estates, 5G network towers, forests, prisons, message boards, advert display panels, to films, literature, artworks and popular culture.

Possible themes or lines of enquiry might include:

  • Ecological breakdown – Managing, resisting, and survival in the climate collapse. We particularly welcome contributions that consider ecology and land back struggles.
  • Digital Activism – How do online spaces and cultures act as nodes of resistance?
  • (Counter/Anti) Violence – What are the scopes and possibilities of counter-conduct amid state-sanctioned violence, ever expanding abandonment, and racial necropolitics?
  • Undercommoning – What strategies are employed to challenge dominant systems of power and knowledge, and create alternative spaces and ways of existence?
  • Anarchives (Brozgal) – What are the possibilities of archives beyond sterile and fixed conceptions of historical narratives? How should we approach the lacunas in knowledge, the hidden and invisible knowledge that has been lost to colonial violence?
  • Hidden transcripts (Scott) – How do critiques of power take place ‘offstage’, beyond the direct control of the powerholders, particularly in repressive settings?
  • Aesthetics and politics – How do cultural objects and artistic practices disrupt dominant discourses?
  • Gentrification – How are the gentrification of places of refuge and domiciles resisted?
  • Affect and subjectivity – How can resistance be understood in terms of affects and as a mode of subjectivity?
  • Activist-scholarship – How do activism and scholarship intersect? What does it mean to be an activist-scholar?
  • How can we see these acts of resistance and moments of refusal as parts of decolonial struggle?

Confirmed keynotes

  • Jia TAN (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • Nicholas Thoburn (University of Manchester)

General information

ASCA Workshop 2023 is a three-day in-person event taking place in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Please note that we cannot accommodate virtual presentations.

How to apply?

We welcome individual applications in the form of academic and artistic research. Please submit a 300-word abstract and a 100-word bio. Presentations should be up to 15 minutes in length. If you are considering a different presentation format, please get in touch with us and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Events such as workshops, roundtables or seminars are also welcome. Please submit a proposal that includes a title, a short description (300 words) and a list of participants.

Applications should be submitted by March 15, 2024 to Specify if you are a rMA student or PhD candidate and to which university/program you are affiliated. We will notify the applicants about the selection by April 14, 2024.


There are no registration fees. Conference attendance is free of charge for presenters and for the public. We cannot offer reimbursement for travel and accommodation for the participants; however, if your circumstances prevent you from joining the conference, please write us an e-mail explaining your situation.