Ten public lectures on philosophy, politics and the arts
Dates: 31 January 2013 until 30 May 2013
Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy and The London Graduate School in collaboration with Art and Philosophy at Central Saint Martins:
The lectures are free: arrive in good time to ensure a seat.
Central Saint Martins University of the Arts London
Lecture Theatre E002
1 Granary Square
London N1C 4AA (Kings Cross tube)
Philosophy and the Black Panthers
31 January 2013
Howard Caygill (CRMEP)
The talk will reflect on the role played by philosophy in forming and articulating the political tactics and strategies of the Black Panthers (originally, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense), the revolutionary African-Amercian organization formed in California in 1966. It will suggest that philosophy provided a position from which the Black Panthers developed a radical politics of race in the USA beyond the religious orientations of the Civil Rights movement and the Nation of Islam. Focusing on the work of Huey Newton, the talk will emphasise the role played by Plato, Nietzsche and Speech Act Theory in the formulation of a politics of visibility and a performative concept of cultural and political intervention. It will also critically consider the reflections of the French writer Jean Genet on the Black Panthers practice of resistance.
The Singularity of Literary Cognition
7 February 2013
Sam Weber (LGS)
Whatever cognition is produced by the reading of literary – and probably more generally artistic – texts is sharply different from that produced by other disciplines. Most, if not all, critics will agree that a literary or artistic interpretation does not provide a universally valid meaning of the work or text being read, but rather something far more singular, more situationally bound, that arises from an encounter. Literary interpretations that matter are those that open the possibility of future encounters by sensitising one to the significance of hitherto neglected details or aspects, focusing as much on the “how” as the “what”. In this respect, literary encounters produce not so much knowledge as acknowledgement of the radical heterogeneity of texts. To that extent they can claim to provide an exemplary experience of singularity that is not without affinities to certain developments in contemporary science.
A Thought of/from the Outside
21 February 2013
Étienne Balibar (CRMEP)
A well-known essay published by Foucault in 1966 on the work of Maurice Blanchot, La pensée du dehors, was translated into English in two different ways: ‘The thought of the outside’, and ‘The thought from outside’. This indicates a deep ambiguity concerning its possible interpretations. Together with the earlier essay on Bataille (‘Preface to Transgression’), the essay forms the metaphysical counterpart to the early ‘archeological’ work, beginning with History of Madness and ending with The Order of Things, centered on the ‘anti-humanist’ doctrine of the elimination of the subject. It is widely supposed that, in his later work, when studying apparatuses of power-knowledge, and when outlining a history of regimes of subjectivation and truth, Foucault had entirely reversed this orientation. The lecture will discuss the enigmatic notion of the ‘outside’ and its relationship to transcendental philosophy, assess the importance of a dialogue with Blanchot in the formation of Foucault’s philosophy, and argue that, contrary to established wisdom, it never ceased to frame the critique of subjectivity in Foucault’s work.
7 March 2013
Simon Morgan Wortham (LGS)
To what extent does sleep constitute a limit for the philosophical imagination? Why does it recur throughout the text of philosophy as a constant complication for Western thought, despite attempts to downplay its importance as purely physiological, or secondary to the question of dreams and dreaming? How does it change the question of dreams, for instance? This lecture asks such questions by turning to the work of Hegel, Bergson and Freud.
A Critical Theory of Sex
21 March 2013
Stella Sandford (CRMEP)
The sex/gender distinction has been fundamental to Anglophone feminist theory since the 1970s, in various different ways. Many feminists, seeing a direct political advantage in a vocabulary that allowed them to distinguish between what they saw as the biological reality of sex and normative masculinity and femininity, embraced ‘gender’ as a category of analysis. What is the relation of the sex/gender distinction and its theoretical vicissitudes to the social reality of everyday gendered lives? Has the sex/gender distinction ever made waves outside of feminist theory? In this lecture I will argue that the tendency of the popular cultural uses of the words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ gives a false impression. The popular concept of sex is not the biological concept but its ideological deployment and as such the social reality of the idea of ‘sex’ is more important than its biological reality. Feminist theory requires a theoretically satisfying account of sex that is adequate to this social reality in order to oppose it. This is the role of a critical theory of sex.
The Postconceptual Condition
18 April 2013
Peter Osborne (CRMEP)
2 May 2013
Catherine Malabou (CRMEP)
Duchamp à Calcutta
16 May 2013
Éric Alliez (CRMEP)
Spider Universe: Lars von Trier
23 May 2013
Scott Wilson (LGS)
Vitalism or Voluntarism?
30 May 2013
Peter Hallward (CRMEP)
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