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Herbert Marcuse

Herbert Marcuse

CRITICAL THEORY BEYOND NEGATIVITY: THE ETHICS, POLITICS AND AESTHETICS OF AFFIRMATION

Summer School Utrecht

Call for Applications

18.08.2014 – 22.08.2014

Course Director: Professor Rosi Braidotti

 

The intensive course “Critical Theory Beyond Negativity: the Ethics, Politics and Aesthetics of Affirmation” explores critical theory in the Continental philosophy tradition, with special reference to the work of Gilles Deleuze, Luce Irigaray, Henri Bergson and Rosi Braidotti. The course offers an introduction to contemporary critical debates on the function of ‘the negative’ in the construction of subjects and of their epistemic and ethical values. Starting from an assumption that we are in the midst a ‘posthuman turn,’ it explores different aspects of posthuman subjectivity and stresses the productive potential of the posthuman condition, advocating for the politics of affirmation.

This is an intensive course convened and taught by Prof. Rosi Braidotti and an interdisciplinary team of co-teachers including Dr. Iris v.d. Tuin and Maria Hlavajova. It consists of keynote lectures in the morning and three thematic tutorials for four afternoons (the class ends at noon on Friday). The theme of the course this year is: “Critical Theory Beyond Negativity: the Ethics, Politics and Aesthetics of Affirmation.” The course is about contemporary critical theory in the Continental philosophy tradition, with special reference to the work of Gilles Deleuze, Luce Irigaray, Henri Bergson and Rosi Braidotti. The course offers an introduction to contemporary critical debates on the function of ‘the negative’ in the construction of subjects and of their epistemic and ethical values.

The starting assumption is that we are in the midst a ‘posthuman turn’ which both calls for and paves the way for affirmative politics. Cultural diversity, global migration, digital ‘second life’, genetically modified food, advanced prosthetics, robotics and reproductive technologies are familiar facets of our global and technologically mediated societies. How do they affect the self-understanding, the cultural representations and the social and political participations of contemporary subjects? How does a neo-Spinozist approach based on vitalist materialism illuminate these issues? The emphasis on Deleuzian nomadic theory aims to outline a project of sustainable modern subjectivity and to offer an original and powerful alternative for scholars working in cultural and social criticism. Arranged thematically, the sessions of the course explore the different aspects of critical theory debates about contemporary subjectivity: the function of the negative and the need for more affirmative praxis; embodiment, gender and racial differences, multi-cultural and post-secular citizenship, issues linked to globalization, network societies, contemporary art and techno-science. The course stresses the productive potential of these features of our culture and it promotes the politics of affirmation, which emphasize the importance of affects and the imagination. It establishes a theoretical framework that combines critique and creation, granting a major role to the arts and new media. By inscribing affirmative posthuman subjects in the context of contemporary culture, the course also assesses the extent to which intense technological mediation and global networks have blurred the traditional distinction between the human and its others, both human and non-human others, thus exposing the non-naturalistic structure of the human subject.

The course analyzes the escalating effects of the posthuman condition, which encompass new relationships to animals and other species and ultimately questions the sustainability of our planet as a whole. After delving into the inhumane and structurally unjust aspects of our culture by looking at new wars and contemporary conflicts, the course concludes by outlining new forms of cosmopolitan nomadic citizenship and new art practices that explore this complexity. Rather than perceiving the posthuman situation as a loss of cognitive and moral self-mastery, this course argues that it helps us make sense of our flexible nomadic identities. The challenge for critical theory today consists in seizing the opportunities for new social bonding and community building, while pursuing sustainability and empowerment.

Adorno

Adorno

COURSE LEADER

Prof. Rosi Braidotti

 

LECTURERS

Rosi Braidotti (B.A. Hons. Australian National University, 1978; PhD Cum Laude, Université de Paris, Panthéon- Sorbonne, 1981; Senior Fulbright Scholar, 1994; Honorary Degree ‘Philosophiae Doctrix Honoris Causa’, University of Helsinki, 2007; Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, 2005; Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, 2009) is Distinguished University Professor and founding Director of the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University. Her books include Patterns of Dissonance, Polity Press, 1991; Nomadic Subjects, Columbia University Press, 1994 and 2011a (second ed.); Metamorphoses, Polity Press, 2002; Transpositions, Polity Press, 2006; La philosophie, lá où on ne l’attend pas, Larousse, 2009; Nomadic Theory. The Portable Rosi Braidotti, Columbia University Press, 2011b and The Posthuman, Polity Press, 2013. Since 2009 she is a board member of CHCI (Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes). For more information please check http://www.rosibraidotti.com

Iris van der Tuin is Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Philosophy of Science in the Graduate Gender Programme of Utrecht University, the Netherlands. A leading researcher in the next generation of feminist philosophers, she has edited Doing Gender in Media, Art and Culture (Routledge, 2009) with Rosemarie Buikema, and wrote New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies (Open Humanities Press, 2012) with Rick Dolphijn. Her work on new feminist materialism has appeared in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Australian Feminist Studies, European Journal of Women’s Studies, and Women’s Studies International Forum. She is currently holding the prestigious post-doctoral fellowship of The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and has spent a semester as a visiting fellow in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University in the US. For more information please check http://www.uu.nl/gw/medewerkers/IvanderTuin

Maria Hlavajova is founding artistic director of BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, the Netherlands since 2000. She is also currently leading the project FORMER WEST (2008–2014), which she initiated and developed as a research, education, publication, and exhibition undertaking, realized through an international collaborative effort involving a dense network of researchers and art institutions. In 2011 Hlavajova organized the project of the Roma Pavilion in the framework of the 54th Venice Biennale entitled Call the Witness, and in 2007 she curated the three-part project Citizens and Subjects, the Dutch contribution to the 52nd Venice Biennale, which included a new video installation by Aernout Mik in the Dutch Pavilion, a critical reader (Citizens and Subjects: The Netherlands, for example, co-edited with Rosi Braidotti and Charles Esche), and a series of lectures, workshops, residencies, and master classes (Citizens and Subjects: Practices and Debates). Hlavajova has organized numerous exhibitions and projects at BAK including: Lawrence Weiner: Dicht Bij, 2010; Sanja Iveković: Urgent Matters, 2009 (a two-part exhibition at BAK and the Van Abbemuseum); The Return of Religion and Other Myths, 2008–2009; and many others. Hlavajova lives and works in Amsterdam and Utrecht. For more information please check http://www.formerwest.org/Team/MariaHlavajova

Gilles Deleuze

Gilles Deleuze

 

TARGET GROUP

This interdisciplinary course is aimed at research-minded advanced master and PhD students with a critical and curious intellectual disposition. A strong background in at least one of the following disciplines is required: critical theory, Continental philosophy, gender studies, media and technology studies, social and political theory, postcolonial and race studies, cultural studies.

COURSE AIM

To provide an introduction to contemporary critical theory in the Continental philosophy tradition through the exploration of debates about contemporary subjectivity, globalization and power, and the politics of affirmation.

STUDY LOAD

Students will be required to prepare thoroughly before the course by studying the reading material and preparing discussion questions. The one-week course will consist of lectures in the mornings and tutorials in the afternoon, except for the last day of the course (the class on the last day will end at noon).

FEE

• € 500 – Course + course materials + housing

• € 300 – Course + course materials

REGISTRATION

http://www.utrechtsummerschool.nl/courses/culture/critical-theory-beyond-negativity-the-ethics-politics-and-aesthetics-of-affirmation

REGISTRATION DEADLINE

1 June 2014

MORE INFORMATION

Goda Klumbyte, Personal Assistant to Prof. Rosi Braidotti Achter de Dom 20, 3512 JP Utrecht, The Netherlands

E: BraidottiAssistant.gw@uu.nl P: +31 30 253 5537

http://www.rosibraidotti.com

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

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Critique

Critique

KRITIKOS – VOLUME 9 – JULY-DECEMBER 2012

Kritikos, V.9: July-December-2012

http://intertheory.org/work.htm

 

CONTENTS:

Philosophy, Theology and the Narrative of Hope…(g.dargan)

Barbie and the Power of Negative Thinking: Of Barbies, Eve-Barbies and I-Barbies…(t.botz-bornstein)


Beyond the Landscape, or Agamben and the Impotentiality of Art…(m.jecu and j.pinto)


Of Religion and Politics: Refusing the Space-Between…(g.finn)


Kritikos Reviewshttp://intertheory.org/reviews.htm

 

**END**

 

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Negation

PRODUCTIVE NEGATION

“Productive Negation”: the inaugural issue of the Journal of Peer Production is now published

JPP: http://peerproduction.net/issues/issue-1/

The Journal of Peer Production scrutinises the contradictions of peer (collaborative) production. It is thus situated in between grassroots initiatives and discussions driven by practitioners and activists and the debates taking place in academia. The inaugural issue’s theme, “Productive Negation”, aims to interrogate the role of peer production as a “work of the negative”, that is to say as a critical force. As the traditional left is struggling to come up with an adequate response to the mounting crisis of the capitalist system, contributors propose a range of interpretations about the relationship between the profit-oriented capitalist mode of production and the commons-based and oriented mode of peer production. The Journal of Peer Production also strives to make a small contribution to the reforming of scientific publishing. Taking a cue from Wikipedia, the journal publishes original article submissions, reviewers’ reports, and signals indicating how reviewers perceive the revised article. Our ambition
is to make the process of peer reviewing papers more transparent and more effective.

The inaugural issue is coordinated by Mathieu O’Neil. It includes three research papers, four invited comments and three debate papers:

George Dafermos, Authority in Peer Production: The Emergence of Governance in the FreeBSD Project

Stefano De Paoli, Vincenzo D’Andrea and Maurizio Teli, Why Free Software Is Not the Antonym of Commercial Software: Two Case Studies from Corporate and Volunteer Based Projects

Francesca Musiani, Caring About the Plumbing: On the Importance of Architectures in Social Studies of (Peer-to-Peer) Technology

Michel Bauwens, From the Theory of Peer Production to the Production of Peer Production Theory

Jakob Rigi, Peer to Peer Production as the Alternative to Capitalism: A New Communist Horizon

Christian Siefkes, Beyond Digital Plenty: Building Blocks for Physical Peer Production

Jean Zin, Changing the System of Production

Stefan Meretz, Peer Production and Societal Transformation: Ten Patterns Developed by the Oekonux Project

Maurizio Teli, Peer Production and Societal Transformation: A Practice-Based Perspective

Toni Prug, A Note on Evaluation Processes for Social Phenomena with Ambitious Claims

 

Originally published at: http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/productive-negation-the-inaugural-issue-of-the-journal-of-peer-production-now-available  

 

**END**

‘Human Herbs’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au-vyMtfDAs

‘Stagnant’ – a new remix and new video by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkP_Mi5ideo  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

 

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Karl Marx

MARXISM AND PHILOSOPHY REVIEW OF BOOKS – UPDATE 15th FEBRUARY 2011

New reviews just published online in the Marx and Philosophy Review of Books:
·        Morgon on Badiou
·        Melançon on Therborn
·        Weislogel on Kierkegaard
·        Bunyard on Negativity
·        Melrose on `scientific’ socialism

New comments and discussion
And a new list of books for review all at: http://www.marxandphilosophy.org.uk/reviewofbooks/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Professor Sean Sayers,
Editor, Marx and Philosophy Review of Books
School of European Culture and Languages
University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NF, UK
Tel +44 1227-827513; Fax +44 1227-823641
http://www.marxandphilosophy.org.uk/reviewofbooks/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Global Power

10th ESSEX CONFERENCE IN CRITICAL POLITICAL THEORY

THEORY IN THE FACE OF GLOBAL CHALLENGES: CAPITALISM & ECOLOGY, COMMUNITY & CITIZENSHIP

Call for Papers
Dates: 16-18 June 2010
Location: University of Essex, Colchester, UK
Call for Papers Deadline: 30 April 2010
Website: http://www.essex.ac.uk/idaworld/10th_Essex_Conference_in_Critical_Political_Theory.html
All Inquiries to: polcon@essex.ac.uk

Keynote Speakers
ROMAND Coles is Professor of Community, Culture & Environment at Northern Arizona University.
DIANA Coole is Professor of Political & Social Theory at Birkbeck, University of London.
STEPHEN K. White is James Hart Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia.

Other Confirmed Speakers Include:

JANE Bennett, The Johns Hopkins University (USA)
WILLIAM E. Connolly, The Johns Hopkins University (USA)
ERNESTO Laclau is Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Essex.
FRANCISO Panizza, London School of Economics and Political Science (UK)

Organizing Committee at the University of Essex
JASON Glynos, Department of Government, University of Essex
DAVID Howarth, Centre for Theoretical Studies, University of Essex
ALETTA J. Norval, Centre for Theoretical Studies, University of Essex
JONATHAN Dean, Department of Government, University of Essex
KHAIRIL Ahmad, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, University of Essex
GRAHAM Walker, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, University of Essex

Methodology Workshops Organizing Committee
GRAHAM Walker, PhD Candidate, Department of Government, University of Essex

The Conference Theme: Theory in the Face of Global Challenges: Capitalism & Ecology, Community & Citizenship

FEW doubt, today, that we face a series of connected global challenges: the dangers of climate change and environmental degradation; a crisis of international finance and global capitalism; an ever-increasing logic of minoritization, which threatens to fragment communities and societies; greater social and economic inequalities, both nationally and globally; the intensification of various forms of religious belief, including fundamentalism, alongside a growing secularization of communities and societies; and a palpable disillusionment with politics and politicians.

THEORISTS and scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and the natural sciences also face new challenges: insistent demands to show the ‘relevance’ of their research for the ‘real world’; diminishing resources and institutional support; a growing marginalization from mainstream and corporately subsidized research. Universities and colleges are being compelled to show that their research has a ‘direct impact’ on the economy, public policy, or society in order to secure funding and research grants.

‘THEORY in the Face of Global Challenges: Capitalism & Ecology, Community & Citizenship’ takes up the challenge of rethinking different aspects of global capitalism, religion, the place of minorities, and the environment. It will also problematize and explore the role of theory in the academy and in relation to the pressing issues we confront.

HOW do we problematize and critically explain these new phenomena? What are the limits and potentials of contemporary political and ethical theory in addressing these new issues? What is the relationship between community, citizenship, and democracy? What kind of ethos needs to be cultivated in the face of these new challenges, and how can it be brought about? Must ecology be sacrificed on the altar of rebuilding the global capitalist system, or is an eco-egalitarian alternative possible? In what ways can various fundamentalisms be challenged and engaged with in the name of a democratic politics that is not itself fundamentalist in character? What is the relationship between cultural theory, radical materialism and various sorts of naturalism? What are the prospects and limits of pluralizing pluralism? Ought we to restrict agency to humans, or does it extend to the material and non-human world more generally? What is the relationship between nature and culture? How can cultural theory respond to recent developments in science? How do these broad sets of issues and questions get addressed in specific contexts and policy arenas? And what theoretical languages and methods are best able to respond to these changes and trends?

THESE are just some of the tasks of critical political theory today. Our invited speakers shall deliver keynote addresses to the conference that will shape the discussions with their distinctive voices and perspectives. Each of the speakers will address one or more of the themes announced in the title.

ROMAND Coles is Professor and Director of the Programme in Community, Culture & Environment at Northern Arizona University. He works at the intersections between radical democratic theory, continental philosophy, and grassroots democratic activism. During his two decades at Duke University he co-founded and co-directed an interdisciplinary project called Dialogical Ethics and Critical Cosmopolitanism, as well as The Third Reconstruction Institute, which cultivated collaborations between scholars and grassroots organizers across the South-Eastern United States. He currently directs the Programme for Community, Culture, and Environment at Northern Arizona University where he writes, teaches and organizes politically on issues pertaining to building grassroots democracy in schools, developing a green economy, crafting public spaces, immigration rights, urban agriculture, and the engaged pedagogy movement in higher education. His writings include: Self/Power/Other: Political Theory and Dialogical Ethics; Rethinking Generosity: Critical Theory and the Politics of Caritas; Beyond Gated Politics: Reflections Toward the Possibility of Democracy; and (with Stanley Hauerwas) Christianity, Democracy, and the Radical Ordinary: Conversations Between a Radical Democrat and a Christian. Romand’s address will explore possibilities for radical democratic transformation toward a green political economy, focusing on vital micro-relational dynamics among humans and the nonhuman that nurture revolutionary enthusiasms, hopeful visions of possibility, and networks of political power necessary for constructing alternatives to ecocidal global capitalism. His discussion will make connections between grassroots community organizing initiatives in which he is involved, theories of mimesis and mirror neurons, and broadening experiments in alternative political economy.

DIANA Coole is Professor of Political and Social Theory at Birkbeck, University of London. Her many books and articles include Women in Political Theory: From Ancient Misogyny to Contemporary Feminism, 2nd Edition (Hemel Hempstead, Harvester-Wheatsheaf & Colorado, Lynne Rienner, 1993); Negativity and Politics: Dionysus and Dialectics from Kant to Poststructuralism (London & New York, Routledge, 2000); Merleau-Ponty and Modern Politics after Anti-Humanism (Rowman and Littlefield, 2007); Materialism and Subjectivity (Duke University Press, 2007). Her address will focus on the discursive and ethical framing of question the population question for developed countries. Her concerns thus engage the intersection between capitalism and the environment, whilst raising significant controversies about immigration, community and new forms of citizenship. Drawing on her extensive knowledge of modern political and social theory, and contemporary continental political philosophy, she will also explore the role of theory and theorists in addressing these issues and their policy implications.

STEPHEN K. White is James Hart Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. His books include The Recent Work of Jurgen Habermas (Cambridge University Press, 1988) and Political Theory and Postmodernism (Cambridge University Press, 1991); Edmund Burke: Modernity, Politics and Aesthetics (Sage, 1994). He has also edited volumes entitled Lifeworld and Politics: Between Modernity and Postmodernity (University of Notre Dame Press, 1989) and the Cambridge Companion to Habermas (Cambridge University Press, 1995). His contribution to the forthcoming conference arises from his most recent book – The Ethos of a Late-Modern Citizen – where he contends that the global challenges facing Western democracies require a systematic re-examination and re-articulation of the role of citizens and citizenship. His approach does not deny, in the name of tradition, the force of what is new, nor does he imagine that we can adequately confront change by simply rejecting the traditions of modern Western political thought. Instead, he offers an incisive interpretation of our late-modern ethical-political condition and explains how a distinctive “ethos” or spirit of citizenship might constitute part of an exemplary response. This ethos requires reworking basic figures of the modern political imagination, including our conception of the self, citizenship, and democratic politics.

***

THE TENTH CONFERENCE IN CRITICAL POLITICAL THEORY at the University of Essex provides a space to address and engage with these issues. The conference has achieved a renowned reputation for the quality of the papers presented and the large number of international participants. Previous guest speakers have included Bill Connolly, Michael Hardt, Wendy Brown, Judith Squires, Quentin Skinner, Joan Copjec, James Tully, Jane Bennett, Fred Dallmayr, Bonnie Honig, David Owen, David Campbell, Simon Critchley, Ernesto Laclau, and Chantal Mouffe, amongst others. This year the conference will be hosted by the IDAWorld, Centre for Theoretical Studies, and the Department of Government at the University of Essex.

THE conference provides an important opportunity to engage with the contemporary challenges and possibilities of social and political theory and to exchange views on ongoing research. We welcome papers from all scholars, including postdoctoral researchers, postgraduates and early career scholars from a wide variety of backgrounds in the field of social and political theory. But as is customary with the Essex conference, the themes are in part shaped by the thought and writings of our invited guests, and this year is no exception. We are delighted to host Professors Romand Coles, Diana Coole, Ernesto Laclau & Stephen White.

Broad Themes Include
* Rethinking Community and Citizenship
* Critical Political Economy
* Discourse & the Media
* Politics of Immanence and Transcendence
* Ecology and Capitalism
* Politics and Technology
* Latin American Politics
* Universalism and Particularism
* Democracy and Representation
* Capitalism, Multiculturalism, Globalization
* Identity Politics and Mobilization
* Subjectivity and Psychoanalysis
* Religion, Faith and Pluralism
* Discourse and Affect
* Fundamentalisms
* New Ecologies
* Philosophies of Nature
* Discourse, Governance & Public Policy
* Culture and Political Economy
* The Politics of Space, Time and Territoriality
* Reworking Identity/Difference

Proposals for Papers, Panels and Roundtables
The conference organizers welcome proposals for individual papers; full panels (with papers); and roundtables (focused on discussion of a common theme rather than the formal presentation of papers). Paper, panel, and roundtable proposals (short abstracts) should be sent to polcon@essex.ac.uk no later than 30th April, 2010. Inquiries may also be sent to that address. Decisions on proposals will be made on a rolling basis. Inquiries may also be sent to that address. Final papers will be posted on the conference website.
Methodology Workshops

Some of the sessions will be devoted to methodological workshops. The 90-minute workshop sessions feature specialists in different aspects of critical and poststructuralist political analysis. The workshop sessions take the form of a “master-class”, with senior researchers meeting a small number of early career researchers using a particular methodological strategy or technique. The focus will be on questions raised by researchers, and their research will be treated as case studies to generate and engage a set of methodological questions.
The workshops aim at creating a setting where early career researchers can benefit from interaction with experts in their field. The sessions will be facilitated by fellow early career researchers, and the discussants will be established and renowned names in the field of interpretative political analysis, such as Jason Glynos, David Howarth and Aletta Norval. The sessions are fully incorporated into the regular conference program, and the sessions are open to all conference participants.

In order to take part in a workshop session, early career researchers invited to present their work in one of these will be asked to introduce their research project in a 2-3 page summary, pointing to the particular difficulties or methodological questions that arise from their research that they would like to explore in the workshop. Please note it clearly in your inquiry if you wish to be considered for inclusion in a Methodology Workshop. The deadline for inquiries is 30 April 2010. For additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact the chair of the Methodology Workshop Advisory Board (polcon@essex.ac.uk) marking your inquiry clearly for attention: Graham Walker.

Conference Fees*
Conference fees for Staff: £140
Conference fees for Early Career Researchers: £80
*Conference fees include coffee/tea, 3 lunch vouchers and the conference dinner (excluding wine) on Thursday night.
Note: Those not wishing to attend the conference dinner may subtract £30 from the conference fee.

Conference Site
The University of Essex is located in the ancient market town of Colchester and near the picturesque village of Wivenhoe in Northeast Essex. It is about 45 minutes from London by rail, 30 minutes from London’s Stansted Airport by cab or about an hour by bus. The conference programme will offer opportunities to enjoy the traditional villages and countryside in this scenic part of England. More information about accommodation, costs, and venue is available on the website.

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