Call for Thematic Articles



David Cayley has done more than anyone else to draw public attention to the thought and life of Ivan Illich. His two peerless book-length interviews of Illich were published, with his substantial introductions, as Ivan Illich in Conversation, Anansi Press, 1998 and Rivers North of the Future, Anansi Press, 2005). 


With his just published Ivan Illich: an intellectual journey (Penn State Press, 2021), David has broken new ground. His is the first interpretative effort that discusses all of Illich’s writings; provides insightful commentary on their socio-historical context; and proposes a comprehensive understanding of Illich as a philosopher of complementarity. 


The theme of the forthcoming issue of Conspiratio is “Responses to Ivan Illich: an intellectual Journey.” There is much to agree with in this book. Yet, there remain open questions, alternative interpretations, contestable conclusions, and underdeveloped ideas or analyses. As George Steiner once remarked, no idea or work can influence, much less endure, without the work of commentary. In that spirit, all those interested in thinking after Ivan Illich are invited to submit articles that critically engage with this important book. 


To give David a chance to read and reply to your articles, the deadline for submissions is March 30, 2022. Both the accepted articles and David’s reply to them will be featured in the Spring 2022 issue of Conspiratio (June, 2nd). To submit your article, click here.





The theme of the third issue of Conspiratio is The Need for a Common Roof. It springs from the title and argument of an unpublished paper co-authored in 1971 by Valentina Borremans and Ivan Illich, a translation of which has appeared in Conspiratio (no.1 Fall 2021). They argued for communally decided limits on certain dimensions of technologies and professional services. More than fifty years ago, they thought self-imposed limits on technology and services were crucial to avoid both ecological disaster and individual impotence. Sadly, what they foresaw has come to pass — we live in the time of climate change and political theater. For precisely these reasons, their argument should be critically evaluated today.


After the passage of half a century, is the argument for communal self-limitation still comprehensible and coherent? How practical is the concept of limits in the age of private flights to space and trillion-dollar corporations? While Illich’s Energy and Equity answered one of the questions they posed in this paper — that of speed limit, others still remain unanswered: What is the maximum amplitude of the electronic spectrum used for communication; the expenditures permissible to keep some people alive; the quanta of pedagogical techniques that leaves room for learning? Are there other technologies or services that call for communal self-limitation? There are still more questions: Are there examples of groups who have invented ways to avoid the seductions of what Borremans & Illich call the ‘technological imperative’? Is ‘society’ the proper subject of self-limiting action? 


The deadline to submit thematic articles that critically address The need for a common roof is September 30th, 2022. To submit your article, click here.