November 21, 2012, by Gianlluca Simi

Welcome to the Vital Theory Blog

Welcome to our Vital Theory Blog. After the success of last year, we’re busy ferreting away to put on this year’s Vital Theory symposium: The Politics of Hope. At this stage our interests include: locating hope within the Marxist tradition; exploring the (mis)appropriation of hope and “hope politics” in mainstream political discourse, and, perhaps most ambitiously, looking for a critical conception of hope, which can bring positive political action in current contexts such as Palestine.

This year the symposium will run as a series of workshops, which,  commemorating the release of Roland Barthes seminal work Mythologies, will focus on a series of objects as a way of exploring the politics of hope in its various contexts. As is fast becoming a Vital Theory tradition this year will also feature the Christmas Anti-Market of Theory, promising once again to be a one-stop shop for all your theoretical needs. We hope that you will join us, and of course please feel free to bring your own objects.

As for why this writing has appeared on this page, we’re pleased to announce that this year we’ve decided to produce a blog as a companion to the symposium. Vital Theory is a student led symposium organised every year by The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Critical Theory’sPhD and MA Students. After last year’s inaugural event, we realised that, for students at least, putting on symposia or conferences can be a tricky business. With only a minimal amount of information available to students to prepare them for all the things that might happen, the prospect of putting on an event such as this can be overwhelming. Certainly, we thought so.

So, as a small contribution to addressing this problem, or perhaps just as a way of comparing notes with some of you, our fellow students, we wanted to start this blog to chronicle our progress – our triumphs and mishaps – in the delivery of this year’s symposium. We hope that you might find it useful as you look to put on your own events, or at least comforting, as we outline some of the trials and tribulations that many of you might experience. Importantly, the blog will also aim to document as much of the material which comes out of the symposium as possible, artifacts which we hope will remain relevant and useful to you long after it has finished. As we plan, and deliver, this year’s symposium, we can’t claim to perform the impossible task of giving you every detail, but we will give you as much as we can.

And so here it is, our blog, Vital Theory’s dysmorphic reflection, documenting the happenings of this year’s symposium with the all of the unavoidable textual violence such a selective task entails. Nonetheless here it is, our blog, ready… an attempt to describe in excruciating detail, everything that happens to make this symposium, well, happen…



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