From June 20-24 2023, the Interdisciplinary Center for the Studies of Philosophy, Arts, and Humanities (University of Chile) hosted the CHCI Annual Meeting.

Conmociones: Critical Distance and Construction of the Common

Recent decades have been marked by civil uprisings and revolts in various regions of the world. From Sri Lanka to Chile, from the Arab world and Europe to Latin America, we have witnessed events of upheaval with an intense sense of the present, where a future orientation based on strategy, organization and leadership is often lacking. If the disruptive effect of these phenomena with respect to the institutional order has been unequivocal, so has been a violence that is not only a consequence of the upheaval, but an inherent condition of the order it challenges.

This conference will question how and what to think about these phenomena, articulating the diagnosis of the “Commotions” as an index of the times with the “Critical Distancing” activated by the methodologies and epistemologies of the humanities and the “Construction of the Common” as their urgent and permanent task.

How do the events of the revolts relate to the programs of the revolutions? Are they, according to their non-programmatic and relatively spontaneous character, mere cathartic outbursts without major consequences? Are they real challenges to the prevailing hegemonic social, political, and economic system or are they only part of its symptoms? What is their temporality, their way of articulating or annulling the traditional tripartition between past, present and future, or of questioning and redefining teleological and empathic projections? What kind of individual or collective subjectivities compose them or are configured by them? What relation do they have with the exasperation in the face of the forms of individual and collective debt that define contemporary inhabiting and colonialism?

What are the methodological and epistemological approaches of the humanities to think and intervene in the public sphere in the face of these commotions? Is “critical distancing,” which implies a discernment capable of recognizing articulating differences, a viable response in the midst of these contemporary urgencies that seem to demand immediate action and intervention?

Under what conditions of possibility does the construction of the common occur today? How does what in Spanish we call “comunidad,” which is usually constituted on descriptive and excluding bases—associated with traditions, practices, beliefs, ways of relating among its members—and “lo común,” which appears as a demand for gathering around a disputed configuration, relate to each other? How to respond to the very challenge of building “community” without the appropriation of “the common”? How do we determine and articulate a series of instances that appear delimited by the prefix of the common, of being-together: commotion, cooperation, confidence, confluence, consensus, conspiracy, coercion, consumption, confusion, communication, cognition, conference, consortium?

These are some of the questions that the CHCI annual meeting intends to address.