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Alexander Bogdanov

Alexander Bogdanov

THE PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING EXPERIENCE

Alexander Bogdanov

Translated, edited and introduced by David G. Rowley, University of Wisconsin – Platteville

The Philosophy of Living Experience is the single best introduction to the thought of Alexander Bogdanov (1873–1928), a Russian polymath who was co-founder, with Lenin, of the Bolshevik Party. His landmark achievements are Empiriomonism (1904–6), a philosophy of radical empiricism that he developed to replace what he considered to be the crude materialism of contemporary Marxists, and Tektology: Universal Organisational Science (1912–17), a precursor of cybernetics and systems theory.

The Philosophy of Living Experience (1913) was written at a transitional point between the two; it is a final summing up of empiriomonism, an illustration of his theory of the social genesis of ideas, and an anticipation of Tektology.

See: http://www.brill.com/products/book/philosophy-living-experience

First Published in http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/new-from-brills-historical-materialism-book-series-the-philosophy-of-living-experience-popular-outlines

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Things Aint Wot They Used T'be

Things Aint Wot They Used T’be

THING THEORY, MATERIAL CULTURE, AND OBJECT-ORIENTED ONTOLOGY

Call For Papers: Issue 27, Transformations

Thing Theory, Material Culture, and Object-Oriented Ontology

Transformations is calling for submissions for Issue 27, which is dedicated to the topic of Things.

The investigation of things is an important subject across many disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. In The Social Life of Things (1988), Arjun Appadurai provided an innovative exploration of how things, as commodities, shaped their human agents, rather than the other way around — an idea that would have important repercussions for a new scholarly interest in material culture. In attempting to illuminate the problematic notion of a “Thing Theory” (2001), Bill Brown has pointed to the complex relationship between objects and things, arguing that things lie outside a simple subject-object framework, leading a multifaceted “life” that humans only glimpse rather than truly see. More recently, in Vibrant Matter (2010), Jane Bennett has investigated the political ecology of things and scholars such as Gay Hawkins (2009) and Gillian Whitlock (2010) have taken up this rich field of enquiry in their explorations of topics as diverse as cultural detritus, the posthuman, the consumption of water and plastic, and the production, dissemination and reception of testimony and artifacts concerned with asylum seekers’ life narratives.

We welcome expressions of interest in submitting articles addressing, but not restricted to, the following research themes:

How can we understand “things” in relation to shifting technological and social contexts, to works of art or literature, or in relation to the cultural biographies or “lives” of things themselves?

Where are the lines that divide the sentient from the non-sentient, the human from the non-human, and what are their consequences?

Transformations invites proposals for academic journal articles on any aspect of the theme of “Things.”

Articles should be between 3,500 and 5,000 words and should conform to the style guide and submission guidelines on the Transformations website.

Please submit an abstract (200 words) as well as a succinct author biography (two sentences) and contact details via email to Associate Professor Jane Stadler at the University of Queensland (j.stadler@uq.edu.au) by 13 March 2015. Complete articles will be due by Monday 15 June 2015.

Stuff

Stuff

 

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Philosophy

Philosophy

FORMALISM AND THE REAL: ONTOLOGY AND THE SUBJECT

Pittsburgh Summer Symposium in Contemporary Philosophy

Duquesne University

Department of Philosophy

Pittsburgh, PA

 

Call for Applications

We are pleased to announce the 2014 Pittsburgh Summer Symposium in Contemporary Philosophy, held at Duquesne University. Details for the program are as follows:

 

Formalism and the Real: Ontology, Politics, and the Subject

August 4–8, 2014

 

(Optional Participants’ Conference, August 2-3)

 

“The real can only be inscribed on the basis of an impasse of formalization.”  — Jacques Lacan, Seminar XX 

 

“We need a theory of the pass of the real, in the breach opened up by formalization. Here, the real is no longeronly what can be lacking from its place, but what passes through by force.” — Alain Badiou, Theory of the Subject 

 

Seminar Leaders:

Prof. Bruno Bosteels (Cornell University)Prof. Tom Eyers (Duquesne University)

Prof. Paul Livingston (University of New Mexico)

 

Course Description:

Philosophy in the twenty-first century has seen an extensive reconsideration of formalistic methodologies and theoretical structures. This is heavily influenced by the formalism developed by a number of mid-twentieth century French thinkers who rejected humanist philosophies of experience or consciousness typified by dominant forms of existentialism and phenomenology. Insights derived from Marxism, Freudianism, and philosophy of science were argued to undermine central tenets of the latter, including the priority of description and the emphasis on first-person experiences. Rather, stress was placed on the priority of construction, an emphasis on the concept, and a rethinking of the nature of knowledge and the object of science. The recent history of formalist approaches is framed in important ways by Louis Althusser and Jacques Lacan. As is well known, Althusser rejected historicist and humanist readings of Marx in favor of a structuralist approach, which was amenable to the conception of science developed bythinkers like Jean Cavaillès, Gaston Bachelard, and Georges Canguilhem. Simultaneously, Lacan rejected ego-psychological readings of Freud, forming interpretive, theoretical, and clinical bases for psychoanalysis that drew on Ferdinand de Saussure’s structuralist linguistics and Claude Levi-Strauss’s structuralist anthropology. This led him to a methodological formalism, particularly when addressing the Real and the psycho-dynamics in which it is involved. The presence of Althusser and Lacan at the École Normale Supériere during this time formed the intellectual milieu in which students such as Alain Badiou, Jacques-Alain Miller, Étienne Balibar, and Jacques Rancière would begin to develop their own thought. An important forum for this was the journal the Cahiers pour l’Analyse (1966-69). The current project to translate itinto English has prompted a surge in research related to these themes. In the Cahiers, efforts were made to reconcile Marxist politics with a Lacanian account of the subject. Lacan’s notion of the Real was essential to this and, along with the other elements of his thought, came to be developed by Badiou to address political and ontological domains.

More recently, formalism in philosophy has expanded to address issues beyond these origins. For instance, formalistic reconstructions of Heideggerian and Husserlian thought have proved intensely productive and have problematized the opposition of philosophies of the concept to phenomenological philosophies. Moreover, recent efforts to address questions in aesthetics and politics with formal approaches has further expanded the boundaries of formalism’s theoretical scope. Paul Livingston’s book, The Politics of Logic: Badiou, Wittgenstein, and the Consequences of Formalism, examines the landscape of political criticism and change given the results and paradoxes of 20th century projects of formalization in mathematics and logic. Following this, his current project focuses on Heidegger’s philosophy, and will re-examine our inherited notions of sense and truth. After writing a book on Lacan’s concept of the Real, Tom

Eyers has analyzed the intellectual foundations of structuralism in 1930s and 1940s French epistemology and philosophy of science. He is presently writing a book entitled Speculative Formalism: The Poetics of Form in Literature, Science, and Philosophy which will bring that work to bear on poetics and literary theory. In addition to translating Badiou’s Theory of the Subject and Wittgenstein’s Antiphilosophy, Bruno Bosteels has devoted numerous books to Badiou and issues in political thought. In his recentMarx and Freud in Latin America: Politics, Psychoanalysis, and Religion in Times of Terror, Bosteels investigates ways art and literature provide insight into processes of subjectification at the core of Marxist and psychoanalytic concerns. This summer symposium will bring together interested graduate students, postdoctoral students, and junior faculty for a week of discussion, lecture, and close textual study. Together, we will pursue questions regarding formalism and its relation to the Real in contemporary ontology, politics, and theories of the subject and their consequences for understanding knowledge, history, state, language, art, and literature. Lacanian and Badiouian thought will form a key theoretical backdrop. Yet, we expect our studies will include work by a number of other figures, including Plato, Marx, Nietzsche, Frege, Freud, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Lautman, Bachelard,Canguilhem, Althusser, Deleuze, Derrida, Macherey, Milller, Butler, Jameson, Žižek, Hägglund, and Malabou.

All texts and discussion will be in English.

Application:

We invite current graduate students, postdoctoral students, and junior faculty in philosophy orrelated disciplines to submit an application composed of a C.V. and a short letter of intent (500words maximum) to pghsummersymposium2014@gmail.com.

The deadline for applications is Friday, April 25th, 2014.

We expect to respond with notifications regarding acceptance to the symposium by Thursday, May 1st, 2014 to help facilitate summer plans. The seminar will be limited to 30-40 participants. For more information as it becomes available, we have created a website for the symposium: http://pghsummersymposium6.wix.com/pghsummersymp2014

Participants’ Conference (August 2–3):

In order to facilitate a further exchange of ideas and research, a participants’ conference will be held the weekend before the seminar begins. Applicants who receive notice of acceptance as participants will be asked – if interested – to submit an abstract of up to 500 words on any theme related to the topic of the seminar. The participants’ conference will take place on Saturday and Sunday, August 2-3, 2014.

Financial Information:

There will be a $200 registration fee for each participant of the seminar. This money will be used for event expenses like a conference dinner, celebration, daily coffee, etc. Please note that participants will be responsible for arranging their own housing as well as financing most of theirown meals for the duration of the symposium. However, with respect to lodging, we expect alimited number of arrangements with graduate students will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

Organizers:

James Bahoh, Dept. of Philosophy, Duquesne University, bahohj@duq.edu

Martin Krahn, Dept. of Philosophy, Duquesne University, krahnm@duq.edu

Jacob Greenstine, Dept. of Philosophy, Duquesne University, greenstinea@duq.edu

Dave Mesing, Dept. of Philosophy, Villanova University, dmesing@villanova.edu

 

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Work

THE MEANINGS OF WORK

Now Out!

The Meanings of Work: Essay on the Affirmation and Negation of Work
Ricardo Antunes

The Meanings of Work aims to explore some dimensions of the changes taking place in the labour-world, as well as looking at the consequences, theoretical and empirical, entailed by these transformations, such as the relevance and pertinence of the category of labour in the contemporary world. Billions of men and women depend exclusively on their labour to survive and encounter increasingly unstable, precarious or casual workers and the unemployed. As the contingent of workers has grown, there have been a vast reduction in jobs, rights have been corroded and the gains of the past have been eroded. The Meanings of Work starts with a wider conception of work and seeks to understand this new condition of labour today. 

Biographical note
Ricardo Antunes is Professor of Sociology at University of Campinas (UNICAMP/Brazil). He was Visiting Research Fellow at Sussex University and his books and articles has been published in France, Italy, England, Swiss, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, among other countries.

Readership
It will be of interest to sociologists, economists, social workers, psychologists and for all those interested in recent changes in the global configuration of work.

Table of Contents

Foreword by István Mészáros
Preface to the English edition
Preface to the second edition
Preface to the first edition

Introduction

1. Capital’s Social-Metabolic Order and its System of Mediations
The system of first-order mediations
The emergence of the system of second-order mediations

2. Dimensions of the Structural Crisis of Capital
The crisis of Fordism and Taylorism as the phenomenal expression of the structural crisis

3. The Responses of Capital to its Structural Crisis: Productive Restructuring and its Repercussions in the Labour-Process
The limits of Taylorism/Fordism and of the social-democratic compromise
The emergence of mass worker-revolts and the crisis of the welfare-state

4. Toyotism and the New Forms of Capital-Accumulation
The fallacy of ‘total quality’ under the diminishing utility-rate of the use-value of commodities
The ‘lyophilisation’ of organisation and labour in the Toyotist factory: new forms of labour-intensification

5. From Thatcher’s Neoliberalism to Tony Blair’s ‘Third Way’: the Recent British Experience
Neoliberalism, the world of work and the crisis of unionism in England
Elements of productive restructuring in Britain: ideas and practice
British strikes in the 1990s: forms of confrontation with neoliberalism and the casualisation of work
New Labour and Tony Blair’s ‘Third Way’

6. The Class-that-Lives-from-Labour: the Working Class Today
Towards a broader notion of the working class
Dimensions of the diversity, heterogeneity and complexity of the working class
The sexual division of labour: transversalities between the dimensions of class and gender
Wage-earners in the service-sector, the ‘third sector’ and new forms of domestic labour
Transnationalisation of capital and the world of work

7. The World of Labour and Value-Theory: Forms of Material and Immaterial Labour
The growing interaction between labour and scientific knowledge: a critique of the thesis of ‘science as primary productive force’
The interaction between material and immaterial labour
Contemporary forms of estrangement

8. Excursus on the Centrality of Labour: the Debate between Lukács and Habermas
1. The centrality of labour in Lukács’s Ontology of Social Being
Labour and teleology
Labour as the model of social practice
Labour and freedom

2. Habermas’s critique of the ‘paradigm of labour’
The paradigm of communicative action and the sphere of intersubjectivity
The uncoupling of system and lifeworld
The colonisation of the lifeworld and Habermas’s critique of the theory of value

3. A critical sketch of Habermas’s critique
Authentic and inauthentic subjectivity

9. Elements towards an Ontology of Everyday Life

10. Working Time and Free Time: towards a Meaningful Life Inside and Outside of Work

11. Foundations of a New Social-Metabolic Order

Appendices

Appendices to the second edition
1. Ten Theses and a Hypothesis on the Present (and Future) of Work
2. Labour and Value: Critical Notes 

Appendices to the first edition
1. The Crisis of the Labour-Movement and the Centrality of Labour Today
2. The New Proletarians at the Turn of the Century
3. The Metamorphoses and Centrality of Labour Today
4. Social Struggles and Socialist Societal Design in Contemporary Brazil

References

See: http://www.brill.com/meanings-work

 

First published at: http://www.historicalmaterialism.org/news/distributed/now-out-the-meanings-of-work.-essay-on-the-affirmation-and-negation-of-work-ricardo-antunes

 

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Glenn Rikowski’s paper, Critical Pedagogy and the Constitution of Capitalist Society has been published at Heathwood Press as a Monthly Guest Article for September 2012, online at:

http://www.heathwoodpress.com/monthly-guest-article-august-critical-pedagogy-and-the-constitution-of-capitalist-society-by-glenn-rikowski/

 

Heathwood Press: http://www.heathwoodpress.com 

 

Critique

CRITICAL INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY

Dear All

Claes Belfrage and Owen Worth have the pleasure of announcing the publication of a special issue on “Critical International Political Economy: Renewing Critique and Ontologies” in International Politics as volume 49, Issue 2 (March 2012). 

The special issue contains contributions by Owen Worth, Claes Belfrage, Ian Bruff, Jill Steans & Daniela Tepe, Phoebe Moore, Nana Rodaki, Kyle Murray and David M. Berry. It endeavours to renew critique in IPE by engaging with the work of Rosa Luxemburg (Worth) and the notion of aesthetics andFrankfurtSchool theory (Belfrage).

It seeks to highlight the relevance of Nicos Poulantzas for contemporary debates on ‘the international’ (Bruff), the significance of the global and gendered dimensions of citizenship, community and ‘cohesion’ (Steans & Tepe), and the absence of “work” in critical IPE (Moore).

It attempts to renew the tradition by considering “the city” (Rodaki), the role of Christian ‘renewalism’ in the production of global free market hegemony (Murray) and the relevance of understanding code to international political economy (Berry).

Link: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/ip/journal/v49/n2/index.html

We hope you engage with the special issue and that it will serve the purpose of renewing critique and ontologies in Critical IPE in particular and IPE as a whole more generally.

All the best
Claes and Owen

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Karl Marx in Film

HISTORICAL MATERIALISM – VOLUME 19 ISSUE 2 (2011)

http://www.brill.nl/hm

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/brill/hm

Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory
Volume 19 Issue 2, 2011
 

CONTENTS

Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial-Prize Lecture

Ben Fine and Dimitris Milonakis: ‘Useless but True’: Economic Crisis and the Peculiarities of Economic Science

Articles

Panagiotis Sotiris: Beyond Simple Fidelity to the Event: The Limits of Alain Badiou’s Ontology

Vivek Chibber: What Is Living and What Is Dead in the Marxist Theory of History

Stefano G. Azzarà: Settling Accounts with Liberalism: On the Work of Domenico Losurdo

Intervention

Bill Bowring: Marx, Lenin and Pashukanis on Self-Determination: Response to Robert Knox

Review Articles

Michael Löwy on Walter Benjamin’s Archive. Images, Texts, Signs, edited by Ursula Marx, Gudrun Schwarz, Michael Schwarz, and Erdmut Wizisla, translated by Esther Leslie; and Esther Leslie’s Walter Benjamin, and Benjamin Handbuch’s Leben-Werk-Wirkung, edited by Burkhardt Lindner

Andrew Lawson on Richard Godden’s William Faulkner: An Economy of Complex Words

Bue Rübner Hansen on Jonathan Nitzan’s and Shimshon Bichler’s Capital as Power: A Study 
of Order and Creorder

Widukind De Ridder on Douglas Moggach’s The Philosophy and Politics of Bruno Bauer and Massimiliano Tomba’s Krise und Kritik bei Bruno Bauer: Kategorien des Politischen im nachhegelschen Denken

Historical-Critical Dictionary of Marxism

Trickle Down Theory

William W. Hansen
Fanonism

 

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The Island

ONTOLOGY AND POLITICS

 

MANCHESTER WORKSHOPS IN POLITICAL THEORY 2011: August 31st – September 2nd 2011

Call for Papers: Ontology and Politics Workshop

Convenors: Paul Rekret (Queen Mary), Simon Choat (Kingston), Clayton Chin (Queen Mary)

Despite its pervasiveness, the question of the relation between ontology and politics continues to be a crucial one for Continental philosophy.  While the place and status of the question of being in the realm of the political has occupied much of social theory in the past twenty or thirty years, we remain no closer to drawing any common ground on these themes.

Post-structuralist or post-foundational political thought has insisted on the inherent contingency of any political ontology and has, from this notion, sought to draw out a framework for an emancipatory politics grounded in the concepts of difference and otherness. However, such a stance finds itself increasingly challenged today. On the one hand, thinkers such as Alain Badiou and Jacques Ranciere call for the need to think a politics grounded in a conception of universality rather than alterity, while on the other hand, so-called speculative realism more fundamentally challenges the very notion of ontology as it has been conceived by the majority of Continental thinkers in recent decades.  This panel aims to explore the intersections of politics and ontology and the resulting implications for thinking both the political and the philosophical.

We invite papers addressing the following and any other related themes:
-Is there a place for reflection on ontology in the theorisation and study of politics?
-Is there a necessary transitivity between the ontological and the political?  How should this relation be conceived?
-Is there a necessarily leftist or emancipatory ontology?
-Should the politics which has generally been thought to follow from post-foundational or post-structuralist ontologies be re-evaluated in light of recent critiques?
-Does a new and different relation between ontology and politics follow from recent speculative materialist ontologies?

If you would like to present a paper at this workshop, please submit an abstract of 300-500 words (or a full paper) to p.rekret@qmul.ac.uk or S.Choat@kingston.ac.uk by 15 June 2011.

For more information on the conference see: http://manceptworkshops.wordpress.com/

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Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde

FIFTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AND FESTIVAL ON GLOBAL CULT FILM TRADITIONS

Call for Papers
The 5th International Conference and Festival on Global Cult Film Traditions Presents:

Cine-Excess V: Subverting the Senses: The Politics and Aesthetics of Excess

The Cine-Excess Cult Film Conference and Festival brings together leading international scholars and critics with global cult filmmakers. Cine-Excess comprises of a 3 day conference alongside plenary talks, filmmaker interviews and 5-7 UK theatrical premieres of up and coming cult releases.  The event also features its own dedicated DVD label, with recent releases including the official UK Blu-ray release of Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977).  A new director’s cut of Cannibal Holocaust (1979) is currently being completed in conjunction with Shameless Films for release in Summer 2011.

Previous guests of honour to the annual Cine-Excess event have included John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, The Blues Brothers, Trading Places), Roger Corman (The Masque of the Red Death, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Intruder, The Wild Angels, Bloody Mama), Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, King of the Ants, Stuck) and Brian Yuzna (Society, Beyond Re-Animator, The Dentist), Dario Argento (Deep Red, Suspiria, Inferno) and Joe Dante (The Howling, Gremlins, The Hole.) Our keynotes have included Sir Christopher Frayling (Head of the Arts Council), Professor Mark Jancovich (University of East Anglia), Professor Martin Barker (University of Wales, Aberystwyth), Matt Hills (University of Cardiff), Professor Jeffrey Sconce (Northwestern University), Professor Chris Jenks (Brunel University) and Professor Richard Dyer (Kings College, London.)

Papers from Cine-Excess III are currently being developed into the book Screening the Undead to be published by I.B. Tauris.  A Cine-Excess Journal is also under development and will publish further papers from the forthcoming conference.

Cine-Excess V focuses on the theme of the controversial cult image in its political, historical and aesthetic contexts. With the resurgence of critical interest in the 1980s ‘video nasties’, as well as whole new generation of films being subject to official state control, the cult image is now becoming a crucial index between the censor and the censored. In order to investigate this further, Cine-Excess V will consider global case-studies of the controversial cult image, looking at both their political and aesthetic particularities. The event will consider the cult image in a broad remit, focusing on a range of cult media and technologies, including film, television, games, comics, and digital media. Proposals are welcomed on, but not limited to, the following topics and areas:

* Rediscovering the Horrific Real: The Resurgence of ‘Realist’ horror cinema

* Red, White and Grue-some: New Generations of US Splatter

* Realm of the Censored: Case-Studies of the Censored Image

* Trans-European Excess: Cult Controversies from the New Europe

* Censored Communities: Cult Audiences and the Subcultural

* I Split on Your Grave Again and Again and Again: Neo-Nasties and Retro Remakes

* Euotrashed! Extreme Auteurs From Ruggero Deodato, Umberto Lenzi, Joe D’Amato and Beyond

* The Ontology of Obscenity: The Politics and Aesthetics of the Erotic Image

* Degraded Genres, Debated Tastes: Cannibal Movies, Zombie Flicks, Torture Porn and Beyond

* Chrome, Metal and Controversy:  Cult Biker, Cop and Gang Flicks

* ‘Extreme’ television: From Masters of Horror to Dead Set and Beyond

* Perverse Pedagogies: Teaching the Controversial Image

* Extreme Icons: Cult Performers, Performative Excess.

* National and transnational traditions and stylistic practices

* Four-colour, fumetti and graphic novels – cult, comics and graphic adaptations

* Technologies of Terror: Remediating Controversial Images in New media

* Female Avengers: Controversial Cult Femmes

* Third World Threats: Cult Controversies Beyond the Western Gaze

* Aesthetics of ‘restraint’ and ‘excess’

* The Devil Within Her: The Cult Possession Movie

We welcome individual paper submissions, panels and roundtable proposals. Please send a 300-word abstract and a short (one page) C.V. by 7th March 2011 to:

Leon Hunt, Co-Director of Cine-Excess V, School of Arts: leon.hunt@brunel.ac.uk  
Filippo Del Lucchese, Co-Director of Cine-Excess V, School of Social Sciences: filippo.dellucchese@brunel.ac.uk

Cine-Excess V is currently confirming its line-up of filmmaking Guests of Honour and its official UK theatrical premieres for official release in February 2011. For further information and regular updates on the event please visit http://www.cine-excess.co.uk or contact: Xavier Mendik, Director of the Cine-Excess International Cult Film Conference and Festival Director of the Cine-Excess DVD Label School of Arts, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH: Xavier.mendik@brunel.ac.uk

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

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No Future

NO FUTURE

NO FUTURE: AN INTER-DISCIPLINARY INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
Durham University, UK
25-27 March 2011

First Call for Papers

From biblical apocalypse to the nihilism of the late nineteenth century, from the Enlightenment invention of progress to the counter-cultures of the late twentieth century, from technological utopianism to contemporary anticipations of environmental catastrophe, western civilization has been consistently transfixed by the figurative potential of the future. ‘No Future’ seeks to connect and inter-animate these disparate ways of thinking about the future, while at the same time questioning the basis of the various discourses of futurity they have produced, and which have proliferated in recent years. ‘No Future’ thus also implicitly questions what it is – other than the preoccupations of the present – that is invoked when we talk about the future.

The conference aims to stage a series of inter-disciplinary encounters around these different senses of ‘No Future’, and to examine the value and implications of adopting a ‘futurist’ position across and between a range of disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Contributions may take retrospective form, re-assessing significant moments in past discourses of futurity such as apocalypticism, Enlightenment ideas of progress, the persistence of the apparent dialectical unity of utopia/dystopia, the constructions of Modernism and the Historical Avantgarde, the symbolic projections of psychoanalytic theory. Others might examine the disciplinary shifts that have displaced or dispersed avantgardism in postmodernity, opening out onto such themes as transhumanism, post-postmodern reinflections of the dialectic, and various forms of contemporary utopianism. All of these are related to the central question of the ideological and aesthetic implications of any appeal to futurity, at the heart of which lies the tension between the future as rhetorical evasion and the future as the most persistent and deeply embedded of all heuristic devices.

Keynote speakers:
Mikhail Epstein (Emory)
Jean-Michel Rabaté (Pennsylvania)
Patricia Waugh (Durham)

Plenary panels:

Apocalyptic Futures
Lenin and Futurity
Bloch and Utopian Futures

Proposals for individual papers or integrated panels that engage with any aspect of the central theme are invited. Papers should be of 20 minutes duration to allow adequate time for discussion, and proposals for integrated panels should comprise a chair and three speakers.

Proposals that specifically engage with any of the following themes are particularly welcome:

Ontologies of the Future
Forms of Utopia
Dystopian Futures
Aesthetics and Technology
Eco-criticism and Ecotopia
Gendered Futures
Transhumanism
Futurism(s)
Futures of Freud
Dialectics of the Future
The Future of Theory

Proposals should be no longer than 250 words and should be submitted as an attachment to: alastair.renfrew@durham.ac.uk by Friday 2nd July 2010.

Further information will be available in due course at the conference web-site: http://www.dur.ac.uk/mlac/research/nofuture

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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

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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

David Black on Alfred Sohn-Rethel

David Black will speak on the work of Alfred Sohn-Rethel, a very interesting Marxist theoretician and writer at:

The Birkbeck Seminars on ‘Marx, Individuals & Society’, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, Room: MAL 354 (the entrance at the back of the building), 7:30PM to 9:00PM, Thursday 18th June 2009

Here’s a link to Sohn-Rethel for those who may not be familiar with his work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Sohn-Rethel

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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