The London Conference in Critical Thought (LCCT) began as many ideas do – in conversation with friends. In this case it was with new friends made at another conference where we all felt that the most interesting panels and papers always seemed to appear at the margins of the event and the margins of disciplinary boundaries more generally. From this we were inspired to find a means of developing and sustaining the sense of community we found on these margins. Central to this vision was an interdisciplinary, non-hierarchical, and accessible event which made a particular effort to embrace emergent thought and the participation of emergent academics. While the original call for papers in the first year was developed by a small group of committed volunteers, the organising collective soon grew with an enthusiastic response from those who proposed thematic streams and panels. In this way, both the organising collective and the subjects discussed at the conference emerge in an organic process as academics identified with an event oriented toward a broad interpretation of critical thought.
In the spirit of accessibility and the facilitation of and emergent community of academics, we have kept the conference free and decided against the common practice of plenaries and invited speakers. Although the LCCT has no single institutional affiliation, it has been supported by the Birkbeck institute for the Humanities in its first year, and this year is supported and hosted by the Politics Department at Royal Holloway. We hope to keep the conference moving between London based institutions year to year.