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Daily Archives: December 17th, 2010

Richard Wagner

FIVE LESSONS ON WAGNER

By ALAIN BADIOU

Published 8th November 2010

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Featuring an extensive afterword by SLAVOJ ZIZEK

Translated by SUSAN SPITZER

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PRAISE FOR ALAIN BADIOU:

“A figure like Plato or Hegel walks here among us!” Slavoj Zizek

“An heir to Jean-Paul Sartre and Louis Althusser” NEW STATESMAN http://www.newstatesman.com/books/2009/02/sarkozy-france-badiou-french

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For over a century, Richard Wagner’s music has been the subject of intense debate among philosophers, many of whom have attacked its ideological—some say racist and reactionary—underpinnings. In this major new work, Alain Badiou, radical philosopher and keen Wagner enthusiast, offers a detailed reading of the critical responses to the composer’s work, which include Adorno’s writings on the composer and Wagner’s recuperation by Nazism as well as more recent readings by Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and others. Slavoj Zizek provides an afterword, and both philosophers make a passionate case for re-examining the relevance of Wagner to the contemporary world.

As the first example of a “mass art”, Wagner’s operas are portrayed as a forerunner to David Bowie and gangster rap, promoting a “terrorist function” of music that breaks down the boundaries between high and low culture.

Wagner’s crucial role in the thinking of Nietzsche, Adorno and Heidegger leads Badiou to posit the composer as the “litmus test” for the role of music in philosophy. Whilst these philosophers tended to criticize Wagner’s attempt to marry nationalism and art as “proto-fascist”, Badiou vigorously defends the positive energy of Wagner’s “enthralling, alluring, deceptive, hysterical, shimmering, seductive, sexual musical edifice.”

Badiou argues that “musicolatry” has replaced idolatry in contemporary society as music plays an increasingly important role in how we define ourselves. Youth culture identifies with music more than any other art form, festivals have created a new type of sociability, and the music industry is a billion dollar enterprise.

In a surprising conclusion, Badiou responds to the criticisms of Wagner by suggesting that the composer represents the possibility for a coming resurrection of high art. This new artistic “greatness” will embrace multiplicity, revel in possibility, tolerate subjective differences, dispense with resolutions and allow endless formal transformations. Badiou forecasts a high art which embraces postmodernism, rather then being destroyed by it and which, instead of focusing on nationalist nostalgia, sees Wagner as preparing the way for future artistic celebrations.

In Slavoj Žižek’s comprehensive 60 page afterword, “the most dangerous philosopher in the West” applies his usual brand of acute anecdotal evidence and astounding critical insight to turn perceived notions of Wagner’s Christianity on their head, comparing Parsifal to the pagan triumph of Lord of the Rings as opposed to the “failure” of C.S. Lewis’ Narnia.

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ALAIN BADIOU teaches philosophy at the Ecole normale superieure and the College international de philosophie in Paris . In addition to several novels, plays and political essays, he has published a number of major philosophical works, including THEORY OF THE SUBJECT, BEING AND EVENT, MANIFESTO FOR PHILOSOPHY, and GILLES DELEUZE. His five recent books THE COMMUNIST HYPOTHESIS, THE MEANING OF SARKOZY, ETHICS, METAPOLITICS and POLEMICS are available from Verso.

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PRAISE FOR THE MEANING OF SARKOZY:

“An enjoyably bilious essay” THE GUARDIAN http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/feb/06/alain-badiou-meaning-of-sarkozy

“As the recession worsens and social unrest increases apace, there is every likelihood that the ‘communist hypothesis’ will re-emerge to capture the political imagination.” Michael Cronin, IRISH TIMES http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2009/0225/1224241762583.html

“Compared to Guy Debord’s prophetic 1967 masterpiece, THE SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE… a thundering, rallying tirade.” Lucy Wadham, NEW STATESMAN http://www.newstatesman.com/books/2009/02/sarkozy-france-badiou-french

 “Strangely compelling.” THE OBSERVER http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/01/nicolas-sarkozy-politics

 “Badiou’s concluding, rousing call for an emboldened left to rediscover and reassert ‘the communist hypothesis’ through new kinds of thought and collective action can’t be dismissed as the pipe dreams of an old militant any more.” Mark Fisher, FRIEZE — http://www.frieze.com/issue/article/the_meaning_of_sarkozy/

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 ISBN: 978 1 84467 481 7 / US$26.95 / £16.99 / CAN$33.50/ 256 pages

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 For more information and to buy the book visit http://www.versobooks.com/books/530-530-five-lessons-on-wagner

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Anarchism

OPPORTUNITY FOR PhD FUNDING IN ANARCHISM

From: David Berry: D.G.Berry@lboro.ac.uk

Opportunity for PhD funding in anarchist history, politics or theory

Please circulate.

The Department of Politics, History & International Relations at Loughborough University (UK) is inviting applications for studentships (£13,290 per annum stipend for three years, plus tuition fees) to undertake doctoral research from October 2011 in any area related to the Department’s research interests.

Applications should be received by Monday, 7 March 2011. Priority will normally be given to UK/EU applicants. Where appropriate, you will also normally be expected to apply for Research Council studentships.

Dr Dave Berry, Dr. Alexandre Christoyannopoulos and Dr Ruth Kinna would like to hear from anyone interested in studying for a PhD in any area related to anarchist history, politics or theory.

Dave Berry is a Senior Lecturer in Contemporary European History. He has published primarily on the French anarchist movement, the contemporary alternative left in France and on Daniel Guérin. He is the author of A History of the French Anarchist Movement, 1917-1945 (Greenwood Press, 2002; AK edition 2009) and co-editor of New Perspectives on Anarchism, Labour and Syndicalism (CSP, 2010); he is an associate editor and reviews editor of ‘Anarchist Studies’ and a founder member of the Anarchist Studies Network (Specialist Group for the Study of Anarchism within the Political Studies Association – http://anarchist-studies-network.org.uk/).

Alexandre Christoyannopoulos is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations. He has published on Tolstoy, non-violence and Christian anarchism, and is the author of ‘Christian Anarchism: A Political Interpretation of the Bible’ (Imprint, 2010), and editor of ‘Religious Anarchism: New Perspectives’ (Cambridge Scholars, 2009). He is the treasurer of the Anarchist Studies Network, an executive member of the Religion and Politics research committee of the International Political Science Association, and a member of a number of related academic associations.

Ruth Kinna is a Senior Lecturer in Politics. She has published on William Morris and Peter Kropotkin, and is the author of ‘Anarchism: A Beginner’s Guide’ (Oneworld, 2005; 2nd edn. 2009) and co-editor, with Laurence Davis of ‘Anarchism and Utopianism’ (Manchester UP, 2009). She is the editor of the journal ‘Anarchist Studies’ and is also a founder member and co-convenor of the Anarchist Studies Network.

The Department is home to an Anarchism Research Group (http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/eu/research/ResearchGroups/AnarchismRG/index.html), and there are currently five PhD students in the Department working on aspects of anarchism: Cris Illiopoulos, working on Nietzsche and anarchism; Saku Pinta, who is completing a dissertation on convergences and divergences between anarchism and Marxism; Sureyyya Turkeli working on the historiography of anarchism; Matt Wilson working on anarchist ethics; and Gwen Windpassinger, working on queer feminist anarchism in Buenos Aires. Dr. Alex Prichard’s research on the political thought of P-J Proudhon was also completed at the Department and his thesis successfully defended in 2008.

If you would like to discuss a possible research project informally, please e-mail Alex (a.christoyannopoulos@lboro.ac.uk), Ruth (r.e.kinna@lboro.ac.uk) or Dave (d.g.berry@lboro.ac.uk).

For further information about the Department see: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/eu/about/index.html

For more specific information about postgraduate research in the Department, how to apply, etc, see:
http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/eu/studying/research/programmes.html

Dr David Berry,
Senior Lecturer,
Department of Politics, History & International Relations,
Loughborough University,
LE113TU GB
+44(0)1509-222988

University & College Union, Loughborough University Branch: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/orgs/laut/index.html

Anarchism Research Group: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/eu/research/ResearchGroups/AnarchismRG/index.html

Association des Amis de Daniel Guérin: http://danielguerin.info/tiki-index.php

Anarchist Studies Network: http://anarchist-studies-network.org.uk/

Reviews Editor, Anarchist Studies: http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/journals/anarchiststudies/contents.html

Dissidences (Bulletin de Liaison des Etudes sur les Mouvements Révolutionnaires): http://www.dissidences.net/

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The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

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Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Archive

THE POLITICAL LIFE OF THINGS – SOUND ARCHIVE

On 3rd December, BISA poststructural politics working group and the BISA/PSA Art and politics working group organised a one-day conference entitled ‘The Political Life of Things’ at the Imperial War Museum.

This event sought to explore questions of materiality, politics and artistic practice within the context of the Imperial War museum.

The Keynote was given by Jane Bennett (Johns Hopkins University).

Sound recordings of the presentations at the event are now on-line.

You can access them here: http://backdoorbroadcasting.net/2010/12/the-political-life-of-things/

Many thanks to backdoorbroadcasting for recording and posting this archive.

The event was funded by BISA, PSA, Queens University Belfast, Durham University and Newcastle University.

Best
Martin

Dr Martin Coward
Senior Lecturer in International Politics
Director of Postgraduate Research, Politics
Newcastle University
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 222 8824
email: martin.coward@ncl.ac.uk
web site: http://www.martincoward.net/
twitter: http://www.twitter.com/martincoward

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Mediation

JOURNEYS ACROSS MEDIA 2011

Friday 6th May 2011

SPACE IN OUR TIME: EXPLORING THE FRONTIERS OF SCREEN AND LIVE PERFORMANCE SPACE

Journeys Across Media (JAM) 2011 is the 9th annual international conference for postgraduate students, organized by postgraduates working in the Department of Film, Theatre & Television at the University of Reading. It provides a discussion forum for current and developing research in film, theatre, television and new media. Previous delegates have welcomed the opportunity to gain experience of presenting their work at different stages of development in the active, friendly and supportive research environment of Film, Theatre & Television at the University of Reading. This year JAM will be guest-editing the Autumn issue of Intellect’s Journal of Media Practice and in 2012 an associated journal to the conference will be launched, providing further opportunities for new researchers to publish their work and interact with established scholars.

Non-presenting delegates are also very welcome.

The 9th JAM conference seeks to address issues of space in performance, media and wider society and instigate discussions about space across disciplines, practices and fields of research.

Space in performance and media is constantly shifting. Emerging technologies and new models of physical spaces have radically shaped our conceptions and experiences of performing, the world and our performing within that world. Artistic experimentation in live performance tests and contests space as a neutral/political/liminal/active zone.

Through innovative spatial delineations and/or site specific work, contemporary theatre and performance challenge conventions of text and space, performance and institution and performance and audience. Issues of space are increasingly central to performance studies and the experience of live performance. The growing popularity of companies such as Secret Cinema reflect the importance of the exhibition site for cinema and possibilities for cross-media events. The organisation and handling of space on screen can reveal the conceptual reality of a time, rather than just function as background. Studies of the cinematic screen continue to focus on ideological articulations through oppositions, such as on-screen/off-screen space, interior/exterior, centre/periphery, inclusion/exclusion in space. Meanwhile, televisual spaces continue to change both in terms of on-screen representation and how the television as an object inhabits space, particularly in relation to its online dissemination and the proliferation of products which facilitate its access.

This is a call for postgraduates engaging in contemporary discourses around space to submit papers for the JAM 2011 conference; topics may include, but are not restricted to:
Cross-disciplinary/inter-disciplinary spaces
National/International space; Globalisation
Centrality – Marginality of/in space
Gendered spaces
Space and memory
Critical masses (people in space)
Space as a character
Absence/non-place
Time and Space in performance
Architecture and performance
Immersion and illusion in contemporary performance spaces
Space in Contemporary art
Ownership and accountability
Ontology of space

CALL FOR PAPERS deadline: Friday 30th January 2011

Please send a 250-word abstract and a 50-word biographical note for a fifteen-minute paper to Amanda Beauchamp, Becki Hillman, Tonia Kazakopoulou, Martin O’Brien and James Rattee, at jam2011@reading.ac.uk. Proposals for practice-as-research presentations/performances are warmly invited; these have to conform to the 15-minute format.

We would appreciate the distribution of this call for papers and wider promotion of this conference through your networks. Journeys Across Media is supported by the Standing Committee of University Drama Departments (SCUDD) and the Graduate School in Arts and Humanities, University of Reading.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

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Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

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Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Every Child Scatters

POLICY FUTURES IN EDUCATION: VOLUME 8 NUMBER 6 (2010)

POLICY FUTURES IN EDUCATION
Volume 8 Number 6 2010, ISSN 1478-2103

Now available at: http://www.wwwords.co.uk/pfie/content/pdfs/8/issue8_6.asp

CONTENTS:

Hyun-jun Joo, Beom-ho Oh & Chung-il Yun. An Analysis of the Relationship Between the Quantity and Quality of Education: focusing on Korea and OECD countries

Ariful Haq Kabir. Neoliberal Policy in the Higher Education Sector in Bangladesh: autonomy of public universities and the role of the state

Zane Ma Rhea. Transmorphosis: negotiating discontinuities in academic work

Paul Miller & Gertrude Shotte. Franchising Education: challenges and opportunities for coping with the economic recession and the provision of higher education in the United Kingdom

Doug Morris. Present Nightmares and Realizable Futures

Matteo Pasquinelli. The Ideology of Free Culture and the Grammar of Sabotage

Helena Pedersen. Education Policymaking for Social Change: a post-humanist intervention

Gabriela Walker. Building ‘Special Capital’ for Entrepreneurial Development: special populations as human capital in the context of global development

OCCASIONAL THOUGHTS:

Henry A. Giroux. In Defense of Public School Teachers in a Time of Crisis

Henry A. Giroux. Rethinking Education as the Practice of Freedom: Paulo Freire and the promise of critical pedagogy

BOOK REVIEW:

Why Foucault? New Directions in Educational Research (Michael A. Peters & Tina [A.C.] Besley, Eds), reviewed by Namrata

Access to the full texts of current articles is restricted to those who have a Personal subscription, or those whose institution has a Library subscription. However, all articles become free-to-view 18 months after publication.

PERSONAL SUBSCRIPTION (single user access). Subscription to the 2011 issues (this includes full access to ALL BACK NUMBERS including those of Volume 8, Numbers 1-6, 2010) is available to individuals at a cost of US$54.00.  If you wish to subscribe you may do so immediately at www.wwwords.co.uk/subscribePFIE.asp

LIBRARY SUBSCRIPTION (institution-wide access). If you are working within an institution that maintains a Library, please urge them to purchase a Library subscription so access is provided throughout your institution; full details for libraries can be found at www.symposium-journals.co.uk/prices.html

For all editorial matters, including articles offered for publication, please contact Professor Michael A. Peters (mpet001@illinois.edu).

In the event of problems concerning a subscription, or difficulty in gaining access to the journal articles, please contact the publishers at support@symposium-journals.co.uk

Glenn Rikowski and Ruth Rikowski have a number of articles in Policy Futures in Education. These are:

Rikowski, Ruth (2003) Value – the Life Blood of Capitalism: knowledge is the current key, Policy Futures in Education, Vol.1 No.1, pp.160-178: http://www.wwwords.co.uk/pdf/viewpdf.asp?j=pfie&vol=1&issue=1&year=2003&article=9_Rikowski_PFIE_1_1&id=195.93.21.68

Rikowski, Glenn (2004) Marx and the Education of the Future, Policy Futures in Education, Vol.2 Nos. 3 & 4, pp.565-577, online at: http://www.wwwords.co.uk/pdf/viewpdf.asp?j=pfie&vol=2&issue=3&year=2004&article=10_Rikowski_PFEO_2_3-4_web&id=195.93.21.71

Rikowski, Ruth (2006) A Marxist Analysis of the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, Policy Futures in Education, Vol.4 No.4: http://www.wwwords.co.uk/pdf/viewpdf.asp?j=pfie&vol=4&issue=4&year=2006&article=7_Rikowski_PFIE_4_4_web&id=205.188.117.66

 Rikowski, Ruth (2008) Review Essay: ‘On Marx: An introduction to the revolutionary intellect of Karl Marx’, by Paula Allman, Policy Futures in Education, Vol.6 No.5, pp.653-661: http://www.wwwords.co.uk/pdf/validate.asp?j=pfie&vol=6&issue=5&year=2008&article=11_Rikowski_PFIE_6_5_web

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Olympic Games

SOCIAL SCIENCES AND THE OLYMPIC GAMES

A joint Event Series hosted by the BSA Sociology of Sport and the BSA Leisure & Recreation Study Groups

The first event will take place on Tuesday 11th January 2011. Further information and online booking is available now at: www.britsoc.co.uk/events/olympics

Event 1: Beyond the Leisure Dome

The British Library Conference Centre London

Tuesday 11th January 2011, 10.00am–4.30pm

Confirmed speakers include:

Maurice Roche, University of Sheffield – ‘The Olympic Games, Mega-events and Modernity’

Martin Polley, University of Southampton – ‘‘Olympick, Olympian and Olympic’: Alternative British Histories’

Garry Whannel, University of Bedfordshire – ‘Are the Olympics popular, really?’

Alan Tomlinson, University of Brighton – ‘Olympic Sport and Modern European Identity’

Plus:

Olympic Futures 1: The Olympics and the Athlete – A Roundtable Discussion including: Barrie Houlihan (Loughborough University); Elizabeth Pike (University of Chichester); Dominic Malcolm (Loughborough University)

Book your place online now: www.britsoc.co.uk/events/olympics

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

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Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Ben Linus

TAKING CONTROL

SOAS, University of London, 12th March 2011

This conference is concerned with control.  On what it means today – under globalised late capitalism – to take or be in control of institutions, whether political, economic, or academic.  We are concerned with theorising how to take control, and on what to do when we take it.  We want to focus not on the dangers of control – since the corrupting effects of power have been amply theorized – but rather on what it means to take responsibility and effect change, and what this change could be.

That is, how can a vision for society be enacted in practical terms? What is the role of democratic participation in this process of mastering social change?  And how do we remain accountable as we take control.  Does taking control mean working against, within or beside the existing institutional structure?

This question remains under-theorised in contemporary critical political theory – which often remains limited to the critique of the status quo. Without the impulse to take responsibility and take control, this critique becomes meaningless – it results in a de facto acceptance.  Where projects like the ‘Idea of Communism’ stop, this conference seeks to take the next step.  It must be situated along work such as the Turbulence Collective’s ‘What it means to win’ volume and Erik Olin-Wright’s ‘Envisioning Utopias’.

We are clear that the idea of communism remains important and a project to be fought for.  However in the strategic question we are at an impasse, how to take control and implement a new communism? The vanguard model seems discredited, but the model of the multitude seems non-committal, a mere waiting for things to gradually come together, resulting in a de facto withdrawal from the social. Even more than this impasse, in times of late capitalism the very meaning of what being in control entails is no longer clear.  We want to move from thinking about the idea of communism to implementing it.

We invite 300 word abstracts for 20-minute papers dealing with these and other issues concerning control. 

Please send abstracts, along with your name and institutional affiliation, to BOTH Alexej Ulbricht (a.ulbricht@soas.ac.uk) and Luke Evans (cu701le@gold.ac.uk) by 23rd December 2010.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

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Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com