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Mundane Governance Conference 'Exploring the hardwiring, disappearance & po...

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Sir Roland Wilson Building

120 McCoy Circuit

Acton, ACT 2601

Australia

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Confirmed speakers include

• Professor Steve Woolgar, University of Oxford
• Professor Andrew Dawson, University of Melbourne
• Professor Deborah Lupton, University of Canberra
• Professor Pat O’Malley, Australian National University
• Dr Gavin J.D. Smith, Australian National University
• Associate Professor Simone Dennis, Australian National University
• Associate Professor David Bissell, University of Melbourne
Conference organisers:
• Simone Dennis and Gavin J.D. Smith


Conference thematic

In November this year, the Australian National University will host the inaugural conference on Mundane Governance. The concept of mundane governance permits scholars to explore the subtleties and intimacies of governance, as is beautifully demonstrated in Woolgar and Neyland’s foundational work, Mundane Governance (2013). In this conference, we offer delegates the opportunity to expand and extend the concept past its case specificity, to critically engage the concept itself, from various disciplinary and analytic perspectives. In attending to the micro-dimensions of the concept itself, the conference offers the opportunity to think with and through some of the most pressing of contemporary concerns about how the everyday, the nation and the world is governed, and how mundanity both inflects and prosecutes the largest of political agendas – including the governance and regulation of migration and movement, the administration of healthcare and education, infrastructural design and delivery, the management of environments and risks, and the protection of personal and public security.
With these ideas in mind, we invite papers that engage the core and dynamic of the concept in ways including, but not limited to:

• The study of its sensory basis that can, for instance, permit governance of the air itself in smokefree legislation – something both prompted by and made manifest in the tell-tale odour of cigarette smoke;
• The study of its effects on the ‘background’ atmospherics and elements of life, such as air, water, natural resources, built environs, and the consequences lived and political that their ‘foregrounding’ might have;
• The study of the theoretical assumptions about governmentality that the concept of mundane governance questions, discards and retains, and their consequences for understandings of frameworks of government;
• The study of the material, technological and environmental infrastructures in and through which mundane governance flows and operates and bears its effects on human actors and non-human agents, and how those infrastructures consequently come to matter as remade political sites;
• The study of responses to sites of mundane governance and examples where techniques of mundane governance fail or create opposition, subversion and decay;
• The study of relations between governments, objects and beings which may be interrogated in and through attention to mundane governance, including those pertaining to life in the contemporary labour force, especially including analyses of the unseen regulatory frameworks, structures or devices that govern existence in subtle ways but that often evade public consciousness;
• The study of the dynamic nature of the everyday habits of governing and being governed, including the transformative and normative dimensions of practices/flows.

It is envisaged the strongest papers will feature in a special issue journal collection. We also see this inaugural event being the inception of a global and interdisciplinary network of scholars with interests and expertise in the creative and critical analysis of mundane governance programs, processes, practices and politics. We anticipate the creation of a virtual platform for exchanging ideas and information about research and events, as well as a regularised annual Mundane Governance convention in different regions of the world.


This event is proudly supported by the ANU Research School of Humanities & the Arts, the ANU School of Sociology and the ANU School of Archaeology & Anthropology.

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Sir Roland Wilson Building

120 McCoy Circuit

Acton, ACT 2601

Australia

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