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Feminism

DIMINISHING RETURNS? FEMINIST ENGAGEMENTS WITH THE RETURN TO ‘THE COMMONS’

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An international workshop hosted by the Kent Centre for Law, Gender, and Sexuality and Kent Law School

Wednesday 23 March 2011
Kent Law School
Canterbury, UK*
12-6pm

With presentations by:

Rosemary Coombe (York University, Canada)
Radhika Desai (University of Manitoba, Canada)
Denise Ferreira da Silva (Queen Mary, UK)
Nina Power (Roehampton, UK)

Discussed by:

Donatella Alessandrini (Kent, UK)
Brenna Bhandar (Kent, UK)

The day will consist of two sessions, broken up with a light lunch (provided) and followed by dinner (not provided). Please join us for part or all of the day. More information about the theme of the workshop can be found below.

The event is free but spaces are limited. To book a spot please register by emailing Stacy Douglas at: S.M.Douglas@kent.ac.uk before 1 March 2011.

*There are some funds available for postgraduate students who wish to travel to Kent for the workshop. If you are interested please email Stacy Douglas at S.M.Douglas@kent.ac.uk with a brief case for support as well as an estimated cost for your train travel. Information about traveling to Kent can be found here.

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Background:

Garrett Hardin’s now infamous essay “Tragedy of the Commons” (1968) stands as a Hobbesian analogy for what he claims are the inherent destructive capacities of human beings that perpetually stand in the way of realizing a free community of individuals with shared resources. Hardin’s essay suggests that, when faced with the responsibility of sharing the commons, individual human self-interest – or fear of it – will win out over practices of collectivity, sharing, and mutual aid.

More recently, there has been a resurgence in political theory and political philosophy in addressing the concept of “the commons”. Some of the most popularly cited references to the idea can be found in the work of Slavoj Žižek (2009) and Hardt and Negri (2009). This work has further been expounded upon in international conferences devoted to the “Idea of Communism” in London (2009) and Berlin (2010).  Steeped in the philosophy of Spinoza, Hardt and Negri use a notion of the common that “…does not position humanity separate from nature, as either its exploiter or its custodian, but focuses rather on the practices of interaction, care, and cohabitation in a common world, promoting the beneficial and limiting and detrimental forms of the common” (2009). For Žižek, the commons is comprised of culture (“primarily language, our means of communication and education, but also shared infrastructure such as public transport, electricity, post, etc…”), external nature (“from oil to forests and the natural habitat itself”), and internal nature (“the biogenetic inheritance of humanity”), and are all increasingly enclosed by the forces of global capital. It is the process of our exclusion from these commons (“our own substance”) that Žižek argues should effectively proletarianize us into fighting for something more than capitalist liberal democracy – a system whose laissez-faire violence is justified through the empty gesture of “universal inclusion” without any material bite. Žižek’s answer to this political conundrum is a call for communism.

And yet, the past century has seen vast and varied critical feminist engagements with historically changing concepts of communism and “the commons”. Struggles for universal suffrage, critiques of universality, denouncements of the hollowing out of the welfare state as a result of neoliberalisation, and challenges to the concept of the human, are all examples of a rich and diverse feminist tradition of engagement with the concept of “the commons”. Given the popular return to the idea of the commons, what more does feminist analysis have to give to this conversation? Does the concept still have potential for future feminist projects? If so, what is this potential and what do these projects look like? How do they resonate – or not – with those of the past? Further, given the broader theme of the workshop series, what role – if any – does the “the state” play in these imaginings?

The Kent Centre for Law, Gender, and Sexuality (KCLGS) and Kent Law School invite you to participate in a workshop exploring the contemporary feminist work of Rosemary CoombeRadhika DesaiDenise Ferreira da Silva, and Nina Power as it resonates or clashes with these questions. For more information or to register, email S.M.Douglas@kent.ac.uk or visit www.kent.ac.uk/law/kentclgs/

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Boris Groys

A POST-COMMUNIST MANIFESTO

Boris Groys talks at the ICA

Wednesday 21st July, 6.45pm

Institute of Contemporary Art
12 Carlton House Terrace
London
SW1Y 5AH

Tickets £12

With the collapse of neoliberalism, the idea of communism has made a surprise return to the table.  Thinkers such as Slavoj Zizek, Toni Negri and Alain Badiou, have argued that communism, a society based on equality, is now proved to be the only alternative to the chaos of capitalism. Building on this discussion, the renowned art critic and thinker Boris Groys argues that the strength of the communist vision comes from the fact that it represents the subordination of the economy to politics.

For more information on the event or to buy tickets go to:
http://ica.org.uk/24948/Talks/Boris-Groys-A-PostCommunist-Manifesto.html

Or call the ICA box office on +44 (0)20 7930 3647

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COMRADES OF TIME

Boris Groys’s lecture at the TATE MODERN

Thursday 22nd July, 6.30-8pm
Tate Modern
Starr Auditorium
53 Bankside
London
SE1 9TG

Tickets £10

In this special lecture Boris Groys, will respond to the FRANCIS ALYS’ exhibition at Tate Modern with the provocative and counter-intuitive insight that has made him one of the most important thinkers and art critics today.

For more information on the event or to buy tickets go to:
http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eventseducation/talksdiscussions/22015.htm

Or call the TATE box office on +44 (0)20 7887 8888

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Boris Groys is Professor of Aesthetics, Art History, and Media Theory at the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, and since 2005, the Global Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Science, NYU. He has published numerous books including Art Power and The Total Art of Stalinism.

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Since Plato, philosophers have dreamed of establishing a rational state rules through the power of language. In this radical and disturbing account of Soviet philosophy, Boris Groys argues that communism shares that dream and is best understood as an attempt to replace financial with linguistic bonds as the cement uniting society. The transformative power of language, the medium of equality, is the key to any new communist revolution.

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For more information visit: http://www.versobooks.com/books/ghij/g-titles/groys_boris_the_communist_postscript.shtml

To buy this book in the UK: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781844674305/The-Communist-Postscript

or: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Communist-Postscript-Boris-Groys/dp/1844674304/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265807841&sr=8-1-spell

To buy the book in the US: http://www.amazon.com/Communist-Postscript-Boris-Groys/dp/1844674304/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265807799&sr=1-1-spell

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Autonomia

Autonomia

AUTONMIA, OPERAISMO AND CLASS COMPOSITION

 

Call for Papers

Autonomism, Class Composition, and Cultural Studies

2010 Cultural Studies Association Conference – Berkeley, CA – March 18th – 20th, 2010

Coordinators: Stevphen Shukaitis (Autonomedia / University of Essex) & Jack Z. Bratich (Rutgers University)

The publication of Hardt and Negri’s Empire (2000) brought new attention to a previously ignored current of revolutionary theory and practice, namely that of autonomist Marxism, or more broadly, autonomism. While the work of Hardt and Negri have receive quite a deal of attention within cultural studies research and writing since then, this have tended to neglect the vast wealth of engaged theoretical reflection contained within the history of autonomist thought and organizing, reducing it to the work of a few recent works by particular authors. For instance, the concept of class composition, or the ways in which class formations emerge from contestation and the primacy and determining role of social resistance, shares much in common with various strains of thought in cultural studies. Similarly, workers’ inquiry as a method of inquiring into the conditions of working class life to rethinking its ongoing subversive political potentiality, functions in similar ways to how early cultural studies shifted to an analysis of the everyday based on renewing and deepening radical politics.

Autonomist political analysis involves something very much like a form of cultural studies, exploring how the grounds for radical politics are constantly shifting in response to how capital and the state utilize social insurgencies and movements against themselves. How do cultural studies and autonomism converge and diverge over matters of power, the state, and subjectivity? The panel will explore the future behind our backs, focusing on how autonomist politics and analysis can inform cultural analysis and vice versa. Possible topics for consideration could include:

– Autonomy through and against enclosures

– Class composition and the creative class

– Immaterial labor and cultural production

– Libidinal parasites and desiring production

– Escape and the imperceptible politics of the undercommons

– The multitude and its dark side

– Affective labor and social reproduction

– Work drawing from/on particular autonomist theorists (Tronti, Virno, Fortunati, etc.)

– Precarity and the autonomy of migration

– Post-hegemonic & post-dialectical interventions

– Schizoanalysis & class formation

– Autonomism and the political

 

Send proposals of 500 words to Stevphen Shukaitis (stevphen@autonomedia.org).

The deadline for submissions is September 7th, 2009.

Stevphen Shukaitis is an editor at Autonomedia and lecturer at the University of Essex. He is the editor (with Erika Biddle and David Graeber) of Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations // Collective Theorization (AK Press, 2007). His research focuses on the emergence of collective imagination in social movements and the changing compositions of cultural and artistic labor. For more on his work and writing, see http://stevphen.mahost.org.

Jack Z. Bratich is assistant professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University. He is the author of Conspiracy Panics: Political Rationality and Popular Culture (2008) and co-editor of Foucault, Cultural Studies and Governmentality (2003), and has written articles that apply autonomist thought to such topics as audience studies, reality TV, secession, and popular secrecy.

Stevphen Shukaitis: Autonomedia Editorial Collective, http://www.autonomedia.org, http://info.interactivist.net

“Autonomy is not a fixed, essential state. Like gender, autonomy is created through its performance, by doing/becoming; it is a political practice. To become autonomous is to refuse authoritarian and compulsory cultures of separation and hierarchy through embodied practices of welcoming difference… Becoming autonomous is a political position for it thwarts the exclusions of proprietary knowledge and jealous hoarding of resources, and replaces the social and economic hierarchies on which these depend with a politics of skill exchange, welcome, and collaboration. Freely sharing these with others creates a common wealth of knowledge and power that subverts the domination and hegemony of the master’s rule.”  – subRosa Collective

 aut-op-sy mailing list: aut-op-sy@lists.resist.ca

https://lists.resist.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/aut-op-sy

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Nihilism

Nihilism

THE ITALIAN DIFFERENCE: BETWEEN NIHILISM AND BIOPOLITICS

 

The Italian Difference: Between Nihilism and Biopolitics

Lorenzo Chiesa and Alberto Toscano (eds.)

Price: $35.00 AUD; $25.00 USD; £16.00 GBP

ISBN-13: 978-0-9805440-7-7

ISBN-ebook: 978-0-9806665-4-0

Publication date: July 2009

Pages: 180

Format: 216×140 mm (5.5×8.5 in) Paperback

Series: ‘Transmission’

Download book as PDF (Open Access): http://www.re-press.org/content/view/66/38/

Description

This volume brings together essays by different generations of Italian thinkers which address, whether in affirmative, problematizing or genealogical registers, the entanglement of philosophical speculation and political proposition within recent Italian thought. Nihilism and biopolitics, two concepts that have played a very prominent role in theoretical discussions in Italy, serve as the thematic foci around which the collection orbits, as it seeks to define the historical and geographical particularity of these notions as well their continuing impact on an international debate. The volume also covers the debate around ‘weak thought’ (pensiero debole), the feminist thinking of sexual difference, the re-emergence of political anthropology and the question of communism. The contributors provide contrasting narratives of the development of post-war Italian thought and trace paths out of the theoretical and political impasses of the present—against what Negri, in the text from which the volume takes its name, calls ‘the Italian desert’.

Contents

Antonio Negri, ‘The Italian Difference’

Pier Aldo Rovatti, ‘Foucault Docet’

Gianni Vattimo, ‘Nihilism as Emancipation’

Roberto Esposito, ‘Community and Nihilism’

Matteo Mandarini, ‘Beyond Nihilism: Notes towards a Critique of Left-Heideggerianism in Italian Philosophy of the 1970s’

Luisa Muraro, ‘The Symbolic Independence from Power’

Mario Tronti, ‘Towards a Critique of Political Democracy’

Alberto Toscano, ‘Chronicles of Insurrection: Tronti, Negri and the Subject of Antagonism’

Paolo Virno, ‘Natural-Historical Diagrams: The ‘New Global’ Movement and the Biological Invariant’

Lorenzo Chiesa, ‘Giorgio Agamben’s Franciscan Ontology’

Authors, editors and contributors: Lorenzo Chiesa and Alberto Toscano

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On the Idea of Communism – Conference Programme

 

Conference: 13-15 March 2009

“It’s just the simple thing that’s hard, so hard to do” (B. Brecht)

 

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bih/news/communism

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
ON THE IDEA OF COMMUNISM
13th/14th/15th March 2009
Logan Hall, Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL

 

PROGRAMME:

 

 

Friday March 13

2pm    Costas Douzinas – Welcome

Alain Badiou: Introductory remarks

Michael Hardt: “The Production of the Common”

Bruno Bosteels: “The Leftist Hypothesis: Communism in the Age of Terror”

Peter Hallward: “Communism of the Intellect, Communism of the Will”

Alberto Toscano:    “Communist Power / Communist Knowledge”


Jean-Luc Nancy will be present throughout the conference and will intervene in the discussions.

6 pm    End


Saturday March 14

10am    Alessandro Russo: “Did the Cultural Revolution End Communism?”

Wang Hui:    “Transition towards Socialism”

Toni Negri: “Communisme: reflexions sur le concept et la pratique”

1pm    Lunch

Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

3pm    Terry Eagleton: “Communism: Lear or Gonzalo?”

Jacques Ranciere:    “Communists without Communism?”

Alain Badiou: “Communism: a generic name”

6pm    End

 

Sunday March 15

10am    Slavoj Zizek: “To begin from the beginning over and over again”

Gianni Vattimo:    “Weak Communism?”

Judith Balso: “Communism: a hypothesis for philosophy, an impossible name for politics?”

Concluding Debate

2pm    End

 

For the previous post on this item, which provides a rationale for the Conference, see: https://rikowski.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/on-the-idea-of-communism/

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

Cognitive Capitalism and Spaces of Mobility

 

 

 

Final Program for Cognitive Capital and Spaces of Mobility, an International Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden

November 1 & 2 2008

 

Keynotes: 

Toni Negri

Yann Boutang

Cyrus Bina

 

 

8 sessions and two panels plus Interventions, an Artistic Manifestation

 

 

Organized by University of Gothenburg and the Art and Culture Association Kurrents

 

 

The final conference program can now be consulted at: http://www.kurrents.org/conf

(This works if you copy and paste into your search box – Glenn) 

 

Please use the contact information on the main page if you have inquiries about the conference or participation in the conference.

 

 

For the artistic section, “Intervention”, which during two days will occupy the space of the university Campus, see

http://www.kurrents.org/conf/interventions

(This works if you copy and paste into your search box – Glenn) 

 

The Organizing committee for the Cognitive Capital and Spaces of Mobility

Gothenburg

Sweden

Email: info@kurren ts.org

Head of Organizing Committee: Dariush Moaven Doust

 

 

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