Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Events for early 2011

‘Spaghetti Communism? The Politics of the Italian Western’, Marxism in Culture seminar, Senate House, London (25 March 2011)

‘Screening Series: ‘Critical Criticism. Radically funny’, Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend (1967), INC research group in continental philosophy, Goldsmiths, London (18 February 2011).

Dark Materialism

Dark Materialism
12 January 2011 , 13:00 to 18:00
Flett Lecture Theatre, Natural History Museum

This symposium draws on recent paradigms in contemporary philosophy, physics and critical theory. It assembles unique and multidisciplinary reflections on the idea of darkness in its relation to matter in diverse locations, namely: physics, astronomy, ecology, mysticism, speculative realism, psychoanalysis and literature. As a conceptual framework, dark materialism engages with matter at the thresholds of its annihilation and disappearance beyond the topographies of ‘base materialism’ and at the very edges of forms of thought where the objects, things, Things and no-things on which it depended exert their independence. Darkness, in matter, energy, ecology and life itself, in black holes in the universe and in the mind, emerges as baseless and founding, exterior and interior at once. It leaves thought in the void, enabling disruptions and speculative realignments of diverse concepts and the real itself, reshaping not only the world of ideas but also the very order of things.

Click here for more information and for the registration link for this event

Monday, 20 December 2010

Hostile Objects

Theory Research Group Presents
'Hostile Objects'
Evan Calder Williams (Santa Cruz)

Thursday 20th January 2011
University of Chichester, Bishop Otter Campus

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Two Goldsmiths events December 10

Jodi Dean, Blog Theory (book launch and discussion), Chair: Matthew Fuller, Respondents: Nina Power, Owen Hatherley
2-4pm, NAB LG01

Benjamin Noys, The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Continental Theory

Book launch and discussion
Chaired by Alberto Toscano, with responses by Jodi Dean and John Roberts
Friday 10 December 2010
Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross, Lewisham SE14 6NW

Today negativity is reified into images of disaster, apocalypse, terror, and depression, while contemporary theory insists on beginning from affirmation as the only way to resist the supposed 'failures' of negativity. The Persistence of the Negative (Edinburgh University Press, 2010) challenges this consensus and aims to rehabilitate a contemporary thinking of negativity as site of resistance. Analysing the 'affirmationist consensus', from Derrida to Badiou, via Deleuze, Latour, and Negri, The Persistence of the Negative excavates disavowed traces of negativity in their work, and relocates theory within the context of capitalist abstraction and crisis. This discussion deals with the core arguments of the book, placing the author in debate with leading theorists.

Benjamin Noys is Reader in English at the University of Chichester, and the author of Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction and The Culture of Death, and the editor of the forthcoming Communization and its Discontents.

John Roberts is Professor of Art & Aesthetics at the University of Wolverhampton. He is the author of a number of books, including The Art of Interruption: Realism, Photography and the Everyday (Manchester University Press, 1998), and The Intangibilities of Form: Skill and Deskilling in Art After the Readymade (Verso, 2007).

Jodi Dean is Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Erasmus Professor of the Humanities in the Faculty of Philosophy at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. She is the author, most recently, of Žižek’s Politics, Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies and Blog Theory.

Alberto Toscano is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, and the author of Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Formalism and the Subject 29-30 November 2010

Formalism and the Subject (Form and Formalism II)
November 29-30, 2010
Jan Van Eyck Academie
Maastricht, Netherlands

Organized by: Pietro Bianchi and Tzuchien Tho

Please see our website for abstracts and updates

‘The object of science is no longer only the specific domain of problems — of obstacles to resolve — it is also the intention and the aim of the subject of science. That is to say, it is the specific project that constitutes a theoretical conscience as such.”
--What is psychology? Georges Canguilhem, 1958

A contemporary positivist doxa situates a partition between science and philosophy where the former would constitute the domain of formal models based on the foreclosure of the subject and the latter would address the critical stance from the point of view of the empirical experience. This situation counterposes a mutually exclusive relation between a domain of consciousness and its correlative object of cognition: between a critical stance legitimated under the name of veracity and the domain of a-historical and a-subjective formal theorization. In this positivist psychologization of the “subject” of science, we are faced with two dead ends. Either we accept the merely “critical” standpoint of a philosophical subject that remains outside and, as the philosophers would have it, above, science, or we reduce subjectivity itself to the internal circulation of the object-subject relation that satisfies the normalized standards of correlative veracity.

This counter-position constitutes a fundamental obstacle for the contemporary approaches to rethink and re-problematize the nature of so-called “objective” knowledge. The place of the subject is an “in-between” which seems to be reluctant to every form of reduction, representation, formalization. Constantly doomed to the oscillation between the enunciated and enunciation, between what is said and the very event of saying, between the signifiers and the letter, between the speaking body and the grammatical subject. Is the subject simply a voided place-holder with no substantiality? The pure movement of the impossible rapport between the two?

Investigation by means of the issue of formalism intervenes here as an alternative. As one of the very means by which this separation between the subject (or mind, consciousness, etc.) and object (or world, reality, etc.) is made, the investigation of formalism itself is an opportunity to tear the subject away from its merely critical or, alternatively, empirical determinations. In other words, if formalism is the means by which a consciousness represents to itself the nature of the external reality, then the interrogation of this space of formalization itself is none other than the reckoning with the very nature of this counter-position between the subjective and objective. If so, then the transformation of the formal dimension is also the transformation of this rapport: the reconstitution of the subject, its representations and its localization in the field of knowledge and discourse. This dynamical movement, between formalization and (re)localization, is no doubt reorganized and renormalized into a constituted scientific body of knowledge in due course. Yet, in this narrow gap of indetermination, a vision of a “subject”, caught between empirical consciousness and its objective constitution, opens into a possible nomination that may allow us to seize a conception of a “subject” which points to an excess “in-between” which seems to resist determination.

The aim of the workshop is to try to address the avenues afforded for rethinking the problem of the subject by the investigation of formalism itself. Working in the context of the paths opened by the French epistemologie tradition, psychoanalysis and the recent wave of French anti-phenomenological philosophies of Deleuze and Badiou, we hope to explore the new frontiers that lie on the horizon as recent innovations in the formal sciences (formal logic and mathematics) have not only granted us new means to interrogate the domain of subjectivity but also allow us to transform its very topos. This will also be an opportunity to reevaluate the status of psychoanalysis' use of formal structures (matheme, knots and topology) in light of recent developments in these fields.

29/11/2010 Monday

14h – 14h30
Formalism and the subject: elements toward a problematic
Welcome and introduction by Pietro Bianchi and Tzuchien Tho

Form and Logical Structure in Badiou's Logiques des mondes
Beau Madison Mount
Response by Tzuchien Tho

Formalism and the Subject: Reflections on the Origin of Gauge Theory
Silvia de Bianchi
Response by Tzuchien Tho

Conference Dinner

30/11/2010 Tuesday

Formalisation and situation: Some elements for a materialistic reading of Lacan’s “four discourses”
Livio Boni
Response by Tom Eyers

Topological forms and their descriptive logic —the implications for thinking the subject in Deleuze’s The Fold, Leibniz and the Baroque
Niamh McDonnell
Response by Pietro Bianchi

Consistence/Inconsistence: Disruptions in the Isotopy of a Borromean
Benjamin Bishop
Response by Carlos Guillermo Gómez Camarena

Roundtable discussion

Monday, 8 November 2010

crisis and critique

Last chance to book online.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Book Launch II

Speaking at Sussex on my book for the seminar Studies on Social and Political Thought, on 3 November - details here.

'Crisis and Critique' 7th Annual HM Conference, London

'Crisis and Critique': Historical Materialism Annual London Conference

Central London, Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th November*

Registration and Provisional Programme Now Available


Notwithstanding repeated invocations of the ‘green shoots of recovery’, the effects of the economic crisis that began in 2008 continue to be felt around the world. While some central tenets of the neoliberal project have been called into question, bank bailouts, cuts to public services and attacks on working people's lives demonstrate that the ruling order remains capable of imposing its agenda. Many significant Marxist analyses have already been produced of the origins, forms and prospects of the crisis, and we look forward to furthering these debates at HM London 2010. We also aim to encourage dialogue between the critique of political economy and other modes of criticism – ideological, political, aesthetic, philosophical – central to the Marxist tradition.

In the 1930s, Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht projected a journal to be called ‘Crisis and Critique’. In very different times, but in a similar spirit, HM London 2010 aims to serve as a forum for dialogue, interaction and debate between different strands of critical-Marxist theory. Whether their focus is the study of the capitalist mode of production's theoretical and practical foundations, the unmasking of its ideological forms of legitimation or its political negation, we are convinced that a renewed and politically effective Marxism will need to rely on all the resources of critique in the years ahead. Crises produce periods of ideological and political uncertainty. They are moments that put into question established cognitive and disciplinary compartmentalisations, and require a recomposition at the level of both theory and practice. HM London 2010 hopes to contribute to a broader dialogue on the Left aimed at such a recomposition, one of whose prerequisites remains the young Marx’s call for the ‘ruthless criticism of all that exists’.

Themes discussed by the Conference include: Activism * Adorno: Philosophy, Aesthetics, Politics * Aesthetics of Crisis * Art and Activism * Althusser and the Aleatory Encounter I: Conceptual Aspects * Althusser and the Aleatory Encounter II: Philosophical Contrasts * Applying Value Theory * Approaching Passive Revolutions * Art in Neoliberalism * The Arts and Capitalist Triumphant: American Culture in the 1940s * Between Political Economy and Political Struggles * Beyond What Is and Isn’t to Be Done: The Question of Organisation Today * Biocapitalism * Bolshevik History * Book Launch: Jairus Banaji's Theory as History * Capital and the Crisis of Nature * Capitalism, Labour, Photography * Centenary of Hilferding’s Finance Capital * China: Internal Struggles and External Perceptions * Class, Gender, Crisis: The Attack on Public Services and Welfare * Class and Nation in the Middle East * Climate Change and Ecological Crisis: Law, Gender, Technology * Commodities, Labour and Space * Conjuncture, Contingency and Overdetermination * The Contemporary Global Economy (Marx and the ‘Global South’ 1) * Crisis and Accumulation in Asia * Crisis of Representation: Philosophy, Politics, Aesthetics * Crisis in Greece, Crisis in the Eurozone * The Crisis this Time * Commons and Commonwealths * Commons and Communism, Past and Present * Confronting the Right * Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism * Death and Utopia: Bloch and Benjamin * Dependency and Exploitation in Latin America * Dimensions of the Crisis: History, Finance, and the Labour Process * Energy and Crisis * The End of Old and New Labour: What's Left?* Eurozone Crisis: Causes and Ways Out * Feminism and the Critique of Political Economy * Financial Capital Before and After the Crisis * Financialisation: Theory and Practice * Forgotten Space: Capitalism and the Sea * Forms of Working-Class Resistance * From Crisis To Crises: Marxist Perspectives On Latin America In The Global Economy * From Crisis of Capitalism to Crisis of the Public Sector * Gender, Labour and the Future of Feminism * Geographies of Crisis and Critique I * Geographies of Crisis and Critique II * German Crises * Georg Lukács and the Aspiration Towards Totality * Gramsci * Historical Materialism, Universal History, and East Asia * Histories of Workers’ Struggles * The Ideology of the ‘Big Society’ * Imperialism: History and Theory * Intellectuals, Public Discourse and Education * International Relations, Militarism and Modes of Foreign Relations * Japanese and Western Marxism * Korsch, Lefebvre and Hegelian Marxism * Labour and Migration * Labour Power and the Marxian Analytics of Crisis * Latin America, Resistance and Political Economy * Legacies of Bolshevism * Lenin, Luxemburg and the Russian Revolution * Limits of Citizenship and Democracy * Managing Crisis: Fair Trade, Cooperatives, Degrowth * Marx Against Eurocentrism (Marx and the ‘Global South’ 2) * Marx and Critique * Marxian Investigations * Marxism and Geopolitics * Marxism and International Law * Marxism and Politics Today * Marxism and Theories of Politics * Marxist Theories of Finance and Risk * Marxist Theory and Cultural Politics * Marx for Our Times * Marx, Normativity, Justice * Marx’s Capital and the Development of Capitalism Today * Music and Resistance * Neoliberalism and World Cinema: A Double Take * Palestine and Global Justice: Current and Historic Challenges for the Left * Poetics, Painting, Politics * Political Ecology in a Time of Crisis * Political Economy and Value Theory * The Politics and Political Economy of the Media * The Politics of Housing * Profit and the Crisis * Radicalism in Contemporary Art and Literature * Red October: Left-Indigenous Struggles in Modern Bolivia * Rethinking the State * Rosa Luxemburg and the Critique of Political Economy * Screening: Comuna Under Construction * Servicing the Crisis * Sex in Crisis * Slavery and American Capitalism * Stasis, Contradiction, Hostility * Strategies for Art Today I * Strategies for Art Today II * Theorising the Crisis I * Theorising the Crisis II * Theorising the Crisis III * The Transformation of Chinese Marxism * Ultra-Leftism, Insurrection, and the City * Useless But True: Economic Crisis and the Peculiarities of Economic Science * Value and Struggles in China * Varieties of Capitalism I * Varieties of Capitalism II * Violence and Non-Violence * Walter Benjamin and Anthropological Materialism * Walter Benjamin and the Critique of Violence * Whither Feminism? * Who Rules the World? Contemporary Views on Ruling and Capitalist Classes * Workers, the Union Movement and the Crisis * Workers’ Self-Management and Alternative Work Organisation I * Workers’ Self-Management and Alternative Work Organization II * The Working Class after Neoliberalism: From the World to the East End of Glasgow * The Work of Daniel Bensaid *

Speakers include: Greg Albo * Bueno Aldo * Görkem Akgöz * Idris Akkuzu * Donatella Alessandrini * Anne Alexander * Jamie Allinson * Elmar Altvater * Marko Ampuja * James Anderson * Kevin Anderson * Alex Anievas * Caroline Arscott * Sam Ashman * John Ashworth * Tara Atluri * Maurizio Atzeni * Antonio Azevedo * Dario Azzellini * Abigail Bakan * Jeff Bale * Jairus Banaji * Laurent Baronian * Luca Basso * Amita Baviskar * Wesley Baxter * Dave Beech * Riccardo Bellofiore * Aaron Benanav * Marc Berdet * Janis Berzins * Beverley Best * Brenna Bhandar * Alain Bihr * Cyrus Bina * Robin Blackburn * Paul Blackledge * Joost de Bloois * Iain Boal * Roland Boer * Armando Boito * Patrick Bond * Bill Bowring * Chris Boyd * Umut Bozkurt * Honor Brabazon * Craig Brandist * Pepijn Brandon * Lutz Brangsch * Colm Breathnach * Peter
Brogan * Heather Brown * Sebastian Budgen * Jonah Butovsky * Alex Callinicos * Liam Campling * Bob Cannon * Thomas Carmichael * The Carrot Workers Collective * Warren Carter * Noel Castree * Aude de Caunes * Maria Elisa Cevasco * Giorgio Cesarale * Sharad Chari * Matthew Charles * François Chesnais * Danielle Child * ChristopherbChitty * Joseph Choonara * John Clegg * Perci Coelho * Sheila Cohen * Alejandro Colás * Nathan Coombs * John Cooper * Luke Cooper * Gareth Dale * Neil Davidson * Chuck Davis * Tim Dayton * Shane Deckard * Radhika Desai * Li Dianlai * Katja Diefenbach * Angela Dimitrakaki * James Dunkerley * Bill Dunn * Cedric Durand * Nick Dyer-Witheford * Caroline Edwards * Steve Edwards * Evie Embrechts * Katsuhiko Endo * Theresa Enright * Adam Fabry * Mauro Farnesi Camellone * Sara Farris * David Featherstone * Romain Felli * Oliver Feltham * David Fernbach * Michele Filippini * Ben Fine * Eoin Flaherty * Paul Flenley * Keith Flett * Kirsten Forkert * Des Freedman * Alan Freeman * James Furner * Nicola Fusaro * Jin Gao * Lindsey German * M.A. Gonzalez * Sara Gonzalez * James Goodman * Jamie Gough * Nicolas Grinberg * Agon Hamza * Adam Hanieh * Bue Rübner Hansen * Jane Hardy * Lea Haro * Barnaby Harran * Barbara Harriss-White * Johan Hartle * Dan Hartley * Mike Haynes * Amrit Heer * Paul Heideman * Christoph Hermann * Chris Hesketh * Andy Higginbottom * Jan Hoff * John Holloway * Charlie Hore * Nik Howard * Peter Hudis * Ian Hussey * Michel Husson * Ursula Huws * Anthony Iles * Ozlem Ingun * Robert Jackson * Dhruv Jain * Sang-Hwan Jang * Anselm Jappe * Olivier Jelinski * Heesang Jeon * Seongjin Jeong * Jonny Jones * Jyotsna Kapur * Rémy Herrera * Marina Kaneti * Ioannis Kaplanis * Elif Karacimen * Rebecca Karl * Ken Kawashima * Alexander Keller Hirsch * Mark Kelly * Anneleen Kenis * Paul Kellogg * Christiane Ketteler * Sami Khatib * Jim Kincaid * Don Kingsbury * Stathis Kouvelakis * Sam Knafo * Juha Koivisto * Stathis Kouvelakis * Michael R. Krätke * Clarice Kuhling * Alexi Kukuljevic * Anne E. Lacsamana * Mikko Lahtinen * Ishay Landa * Costas Lapavitsas * Amanda Latimer * Nick Lawrence * Philippe Lege * Emanuele Leonardi * Esther Leslie * Alex Levant * Les Levidow * Iren Levina * Norman Levine * Ben Lewis * Aiyun Liang * Lars Lih * Jacob Carlos Lima * Por-Yee Lin * Duncan Lindo * Nicola Livingstone * Alex Loftus * Domenico Losurdo * Nikos Lountos * David Mabb * Denis Mäder * Yahya Madra * F.T.C. Manning * Paula Marcelino * Fábio Marvulle * Pierre Matari * Paul Mattick * Patricia McCafferty * Daniel McCarthy * Andrew McGettigan * David McNally * James Meadway * Eileen Meehan * Antigoni Memou * Zhang Meng * David Michalski * China Miéville * Owen Miller * Seamus Milne * Andrew Milner * Dimitris Milonakis * Gautam Mody * Simon Mohun * Kim Moody * Colin Mooers * Michael Moran * Vittorio Morfino * Adam David Morton * Avigail Moss * Sara Motta * Tadzio Mueller * Sara Murawski * Douglas Murphy * Mary Jo Nadeau * Yutaka Nagahara * Immanuel Ness * Susan Newman * Michael Niblett * Stephen Norrie * Benjamin Noys * Sebnem Oguz * Francisco Ojeda * Chris O’Kane * Kosuke Oki * Ken Olende * Ozlem Onaran * Ahmet Öncü * Ozgur Orhangazi * Judith Orr * Reecia Orzeck * Ceren Ozselcuk * Leo Panitch * Giorgos Papafragkou * Rose Parfitt * Mark Paschal * Jody Patterson * Laurie Penny * He Ping * Simon Pirani * Charles Post * Nina Power * Gonzalo Pozo-Martin * Lucia Pradella * Tim Pringle * Toni Prug * Muriel Pucci * Besnik Pula * Thomas Purcell * Sam Putinja * Uri Ram * Gene Ray * Jason Read * John Rees * Oliver Ressler * Felicita Reuschling * Larry Reynolds * John Roberts * John Michael Roberts * William Roberts * Ed Rooksby * Sadi dal Rosso * Christina Rousseau * Devi Sacchetto * Giorgos Sagriotis * Spyros Sakellaropoulos * Gregory Schwartz * David Schwartzman * Ian J. Seda-Irizarry * Allan Sekula * Ben Selwyn * Richard Seymour * Greg Sharzer * Greg Shollette * Jan Sieber * Mark Silverman * Oishik Sircar * Murray E.G. Smith * Jason Smith * John Smith * Jeffrey Sommers * Panagiotis Sotiris * Michalis Spourdalakis * Kerstin Stakemeier * Julian Stallabrass * Guido Starosta * Engelbert Stockhammer * Robert Stolz * Ted Stolze * Kendra Strauss * Bronislaw Szerszynski * Jeff Tan * Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor * Kampagiannis Thanassis * Tzuchien Tho * Martin Thomas * Peter Thomas * Peter Thompson * Hillel Herschel Ticktin * Vladimir Tikhonov * Oxana Timofeeva * Bruno Tinel * Tania Toffanin * Massimiliano Tomba * Stavros Tombazos * George Tomlinson * Samo Tomsic * Jan Toporowski * Alberto Toscano * Nicos Trimikliniotis * Ben Trott * Pei Kuei Tsai * Alan Tuckman * Deborah Tudor * Lori Turner * Alexej Ulbricht * Steve Vallance * Giovanna Vertova * Marina Vishmidt * Keith Wagner * Hilary Wainwright * Gavin Walker * Andrew Warstat * Ben Watson * Michael Watts * Mike Wayne * Alexis Wearmouth * Jeffery R. Webber * John Weeks * Brian Whitener * Evan Calder Williams * Frieder Otto Wolf * Xinwang Wu * Wu Xinwei * Galip Yalman * Faruk Yalvaç * Eddie Yuen * Rafeef Ziadah * Mislav Zitko *

Monday, 4 October 2010

Persistence of the Negative Book Launch I

A book launch will be held for my new book The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Continental Theory (Edinburgh University Press, 2010) at The University of Chichester, Bishop Otter Campus, in Cloisters, 4pm to 5.15pm on Thursday 14 October - details also on facebook here.

It will be an informal event, with all welcome, however there will be a more 'academic' launch in London in late November as well.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Violence and Representation

Saturday 18 September 2010, 10.30–17.00

To coincide with the exhibition Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera, this symposium explores violence as a subject in relation to representations in the broadest range of historical and geographical contexts. It includes international artists, photojournalists and theorists who from their distinctive perspectives will attempt to unveil notions of spectatorship and consumption of violent images in contemporary culture. Key questions will encompass the notion of the political, apolitical or depoliticised spectator of representations of violence; the consequences of these kinds of practice and the difference between photo reportage and art photography.

Speakers include Shahidul Alam, Steve Edwards, Susan Meiselas, Simon Norfolk, John Roberts, Julian Stallabrass and Alberto Toscano.

Supported by Oxford Art Journal, the Open University and the British Council Tate Modern Starr Auditorium£20 (£15 concessions), booking recommended

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

New issue of Affinities on 'the new cooperativism'

The New Cooperativism
Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action
Volume 4, Issue 1, 2010
Cooperative practices and values that challenge the status quo while, at the same time, creating alternative modes of economic, cultural, social, and political life have emerged with dynamism in recent years. The 15 articles in this issue--written by activists, coop practitioners, theorists, historians, and researchers--begin to make visible some of the myriad modes of cooperation existing today around the world that both directly respond to new enclosures and crises and show pathways beyond them. Prefiguring other possibilities for organizing life and provisioning for our needs and desires, we call these cooperative experiments the new cooperativism.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Accelerationism Event

But which is the revolutionary path? Is there one? – To withdraw from the world market, as Samir Amin advises Third World Countries to do, in a curious revival of the fascist "economic solution"? Or might it be to go in the opposite direction? To go further still, that is, in the movement of the market, of decoding and deterritorialization? For perhaps the flows are not yet deterritorialized enough, not decoded enough, from the viewpoint of a theory and practice of a highly schizophrenic character. Not to withdraw from the process, but to go further, to "accelerate the process," as Nietzsche put it: in this matter, the truth is that we haven't seen anything yet
– Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus

The English unemployed did not have to become workers to survive, they – hang on tight and spit on me – enjoyed the hysterical, masochistic, whatever exhaustion it was of hanging on in the mines, in the foundries, in the factories, in hell, they enjoyed it, enjoyed the mad destruction of their organic body which was indeed imposed upon them, they enjoyed the decomposition of their personal identity, the identity that the peasant tradition had constructed for them, enjoyed the dissolutions of their families and villages, and enjoyed the new monstrous anonymity of the suburbs and the pubs in morning and evening.
– Jean-Francois Lyotard Libidinal Economy

Machinic revolution must therefore go in the opposite direction to socialistic regulation; pressing towards ever more uninhibited marketization of the pro­cesses that are tearing down the social field, “still further” with “the movement of the market, of decoding and deterritorialization” and “one can never go far enough in the direction of deterritori­alization: you haven’t seen anything yet”.
– Nick Land, “Machinic Desire”

In the early 1970s, post-68 French thinkers such as Deleuze and Guattari and Lyotard made the heretical suggestion that capital should not be resisted but accelerated. Deplored, repudiated then forgotten, this remarkable moment was returned to only in the UK during the 1990s, in the theory-fiction of Nick Land, Iain Hamilton Grant, Sadie Plant and the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit. Drawing upon Fernand Braudel, Manuel DeLanda, and cyber-theory, 90s accelerationism drew a distinction between markets (as bottom-up self-organising networks) and capital (an oligarchic and predatory system of control). Was accelerationism merely a new cybernetic mask for neoliberalism? Or does the call to “accelerate the process” mark out a political position that has never been properly developed, and which still has a potential to reinvigorate the left?

This one-day symposium will think through the implications of accelerationism in the light of the forthcoming publication of Nick Land’s Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987-2007 and Benjamin Noys’s The Persistence of the Negative.
Ray Brassier – co-editor with Robin Mackay of Nick Land's Fanged Noumena: Collected Writings 1987-2007 (2010)

Mark Fisher – author of k-punk blog and a founder member of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit

Robin Mackay – philosopher, director of Urbanomic, editor of Collapse

Benjamin Noys – author of The Persistence of the Negative (2010), blogs at No Useless Leniency

Nick Srnicek – author of Speculative Heresy blog, PhD candidate at LSE, and is working with Alex Williams on a book critiquing folk politics

Alex Williams – working on a book on accelerationism, blogs at Splintering Bone Ashes
Room RHB 256

Friday, 20 August 2010

Urbanomic at the Tate


Amanda Beech Sanity Assassin (2010)
John Gerrard Lufkin (near Hugo, Colorado) (2009)
Mikko Canini The Black Sun Rise (2010)
Pamela Rosenkranz Bow Human (2009)

On 3rd September 2010, Urbanomic present Late at Tate: The Real Thing, an evening event at Tate Britain with contemporary sound, video and sculptural work, and other interventions exploring the emerging philosophical paradigm of Speculative Realism and its impact on contemporary art practice.

Featuring work by artists Amanda Beech, William Bennett, Mikko Canini, John Gerrard, Florian Hecker and Pamela Rosenkranz, the event will include:

Premieres of two new sound works commissioned by Urbanomic:

Speculative Solution by Florian Hecker, exploring conceptual themes from French philosopher Quentin Meillassoux's After Finitude, which argues for the absolute contingency of all laws of nature;

Extralinguistic Sequencing by William Bennett (Whitehouse) + Mimsy DeBlois, using processed voice recordings and disorienting language patterns to expose an extralinguistic reality operating beneath ‘meaning’.

Screenings of British artist Amanda Beech's Sanity Assassin (2009), a claustrophobic journey through exiled German philosopher Adorno's LA nightmares, and drawing on philosopher Ray Brassier's nihilist masterpiece Nihil Unbound, with its declaration that we are all ‘already dead’; and Canadian artist Mikko Canini’s The Black Sun Rise (2010), a darkly abstract survey of a depopulated London.

An invasion of one of the Tate’s sculpture galleries by work drawn from Swiss artist Pamela Rosenkranz's 2009 Venice Biennale show Our Sun. A speculative-realist interrogation of the classic Venetian aesthetic of ‘light and water’, Rosenkranz’s work opens a dialogue with Reza Negarestani's Cyclonopedia, a ‘theory-fiction’ that rethinks the relation between sun and earth.
A curatorial intervention rethinking the Tate Britain room Art and the Sublime as The Real and the Sublime, with a work by Irish artist John Gerrard, who uses advanced 3d technology to create uncannily ‘real’ virtual environments.

A panel discussion with Amanda Beech, Mikko Canini, Mark Fisher (K-Punk), Iain Hamilton Grant, Robin Mackay, and Pamela Rosenkranz.

Centred around the approaches of philosophers Quentin Meillassoux (Paris), Ray Brassier (American University in Beirut), Iain Hamilton Grant (Bristol UWE) and Graham Harman (American University in Cairo), and with the additional tangential influence of Iranian philosopher Reza Negarestani, Speculative Realism refuses to interrogate reality through human (linguistic, cultural or political) mediations of it, instead drawing upon objective discourses such as mathematics, geology, astrophysics and chemistry to explore the possibility of conceiving of a reality indifferent to humans – a universe that exists before, after, and despite its manifestation in human experience.

As well as generating tremendous interest in philosophical circles, Speculative Realism has also been taken up in cultural theory and contemporary art, suggesting that the paradigm of a human-indifferent universe strikes a chord with twenty-first century cultural preoccupations. Urbanomic’s journal Collapse was instrumental in bringing Speculative Realism to public attention, having published in 2007 (in Collapse III) the proceedings of the group’s inaugural conference at Goldsmiths, University of London, and having consistently featured original work by the members of the group.

Sackler Octagon
1800-1900 and 1930-2100 William Bennett + Mimsy De Blois Extralinguistic Sequencing
1900 and 2100 Florian Hecker Speculative Solution
Clore Auditorium
1800-1930 and 2100-2200 Amanda Beech Sanity Assassin (25 min., timed screenings)
1945 - 2045 Panel Discussion: The Real, Representation, and the In-Itself.
Manton Studio
Mikko Canini The Black Sun Rise (3.54., continuous screening)
Ongoing Interventions
Room 9
Urbanomic The Real and the Sublime
John Gerrard Lufkin (near Hugo, Colorado)
Room 13
Pamela Rosenkranz Our Sun
Pamela Rosenkranz’s work courtesy of Karma International, Zurich.
John Gerrard’s work courtesy of Thomas Dane, London.
Hecker commission supported by The Elephant Trust.
More information: Mahogany deWitt: +44 (0) 7854309897

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

New Journal / New Issue

The first issue of the new journal Speculations, already given wide coverage but worth looking at, especially if you are into OOP.

Also, the new issue of Filozofski Vestnik on 'life', with what looks like some fascinating articles.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Marxism in Culture Autumn 2010



Friday 15 October
Capitalism 2.0: Peer Production, Intellectual Property & Juridification Processes Online
Anne Baron (London School of Economics)

Friday 05 November
Amongst the Ruins of Trier: Marx’s Materialism in the Shadow of the Roman Empire
Edith Hall (Royal Holloway University of London)

Friday 26 November
Marketing Theory, Critical Reflexivity & Ideology
Alan Bradshaw (Royal Holloway University of London)

Friday 17 December
The Marxism of Raymond Williams
Peter Thomas (Brunel University)

All seminars start at 5.30pm, and are held in the Wolfson Room (unless otherwise indicated) at the Institute of Historical Research in Senate House, Malet St, London. The seminar closes at 7.30pm and retires to the bar.

Organisers: Matthew Beaumont, Warren Carter, Gail Day, Steve Edwards, Maggie Gray, Owen Hatherley, Esther Leslie, David Mabb, Antigoni Memou, Nina Power, Pete Smith & Alberto Toscano.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Zizek's Communism

New issue of the International Journal of Zizek Studies on said topic.

Fanaticism Event


On the Uses of an Idea

By Alberto Toscano

Alberto Toscano will be launching ‘Fanaticism’ on Thursday 8 July, 6.45pm, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. Toscano will address the key issues at the heart of his new book, and welcome discussion from attendees. For more information and to book tickets, please call +44 (0)20 7930 3647, or visit the ICA website.

About the book:
The idea of fanaticism as a deviant or extreme variant of an already irrational set of religious beliefs is today invoked by the West in order to demonize and psychologize any non-liberal politics. Alberto Toscano’s compelling and erudite counter-history explodes this accepted interpretation in exploring the critical role fanaticism played in forming modern politics and the liberal state. Tracing its development from the traumatic Peasants’ War of early sixteenth-century Germany, to contemporary Islamism, Toscano tears apart the sterile opposition of ‘reasonableness’ and fanaticism. Instead, in a radical new interpretation, he places the fanatic at the very heart of politics, arguing that historical and revolutionary transformations require a new understanding of its role. Showing how fanaticism results from the failure to formulate an adequate emancipatory politics, this illuminating history sheds new light on an idea that continues to dominate debates about faith and secularism.

About the author:
Alberto Toscano is a senior lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Theatre of Production, translator of Alain Badiou’s The Century and Logics of Worlds and co-editor of Alain Badiou’s Theoretical Writings and On Beckett. He has published numerous articles on contemporary philosophy, politics and social theory, and is an editor of Historical Materialism. More information can be found here.

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

New Journal Issues / articles

New issues of Endnotes 2, which is online here, and Filozofski Vestnik, online here. An excellent obituary for Daniel Bensaid by Sebastian Budgen in International Socialism, and another excellent article on contemporary sexuality by Laurie Penny for Mute.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

The Crisis of the Human Sciences

Gulf University for Science and Technology, Kuwait
March 6-8, 2011a
The Crisis of the Human Sciences:
False Objectivity and the Decline of Creativity

Centralization and over-professionalization can lead to the disappearance of a critical environment capable of linking the disciplines to the "real world." The humanities need to operate in a concrete cultural environment able to influence procedures on a hic et nunc basis and should not entirely depend on normative criteria whose function is often to hide ignorance behind a pretentious veil of value-neutral objectivity. For example, in sociology, the growth of scientism has fragmented ethical categories and distorted discourse between inner and outer selves. Philosophy is suffering from an empty professionalism current in many philosophy departments in industrialized and developing countries where boring, ahistorical, and nonpolitical exercises are justified through appeals to false excellence. In all branches of the humanities absurd evaluation processes foster similar tendencies as they create a sterile atmosphere and prevent interdisciplinarity and creativity. An invidious technicization of theory plays into the hands of technocrats. Due to the centralization of editorial power in the hand of large university presses of Anglophone countries, the content, quality, and range of modern publishing has become only too predictable. How do people working in the humanities respond to the crisis in their respective disciplines? Papers including either meta-scientific considerations or concrete observations are welcome.

Keynote Speakers:
Lewis Gordon (Temple University)
Richard Shusterman (Florida Atlantic University)
Muhsin Jassim al-Musawi (Columbia University)
Khaldoun al-Naqeeb (Kuwait University)

Please spread this call for papers which is available here.

Submissions: Proposal submissions are welcome from scholars working in all fields of the humanities and social sciences as long as the proposals are directly related to the topic. A 250 word abstract along with a short biographical note (max. 100 words) should be submitted by using this Conference Website. Create an author account and paste both abstract and bio-note into the body of the text (do not attach files).

Deadline for abstracts: November 30, 2010 Papers should not exceed 3000 words (20 minutes reading time).

Conference fee: Early bird (until December 15) 50 KD [€130] covering the costs of an opening reception, a conference dinner, and refreshments. After December 15: 60 KD [€155]. The Gulf University for Science and Technology is a highly modern institution and strives to be among the leading private universities in the region.Please circulate this call for papers by forwarding the link and by printing out the pdf flyer. Thank you very much.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Abstraction, Universality and Money

7th annual conference of the Marx and Philosophy Society

Abstraction, Universality and Money

Institute of Education, University of London 20 Bedford Way, London
Saturday 5 June 2010, 9.30-6.00
Conference poster [pdf]

Plenary speakers:
Richard Seaford (Exeter)Money, Abstraction, and the Genesis of the Psyche

Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths) 'The Dead Pledge of Society: Methodological Problems and Political Consequences of 'Real Abstraction'

Christopher ArthurAbstraction, Universality and Money
Martin Sohn-RethelMemories of my Father, Alfred Sohn-Rethel

Graduate panels:
(1)Jan Sailer (Freiburg)Securities: The Purest Form of Abstract Wealth. A Re-evaluation of the Concept of 'Fictitious Capital'

Nick Gray (Sussex)Abstraction, Universality, Money and Capital: The Capital-Theory of Value

Marina Vishmidt (Queen Mary, University of London) Art in and as Abstract Labour

(2)Brian Fuller (York University, Toronto) Materialism and Dialectic: Reading Marx after Adorno

Tim Carter (Sussex) Alienation and Domination in Marx and Wittgenstein's Philosophical Anthropologies

Chris Allsobrook (Sussex)Meta-Maieusis: The Ideological Normative Grounds of Immanent Critique

£15 waged, £10 unwaged (provides annual membership of the Society).
To reserve a place in advance please email David Marjoribanks.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

TRG Seminar next week

Theory Research Group presents

David Cunningham
[University of Westminster]

‘Capitalist and Bourgeois Epics:
Lukács and the Theory of the Novel’

Tuesday 11 May 1-3pm Cloisters, The University of Chichester, Bishop Otter Campus, College Lane, Chichester

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Abstraction Conference

Marx and Philosophy Society

Seventh annual conference

Abstraction, Universality and Money Saturday

5th June 2010, 9.30am - 6.00pm

Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London

Richard Seaford (Exeter) Money, Abstraction, and the Genesis of the Psyche

Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths) The Dead Pledge of Society: Methodological Problems and Political Consequences of 'Real Abstraction'

Christopher Arthur Abstraction, Universality and Money

Graduate panels:

Jan Sailer (Freiburg) Securities: The Purest Form of Abstract Wealth

Nick Gray (Sussex) Abstraction, Universality, Money and Capital

Marina Vishmidt (Queen Mary, University of London) Art in and as Abstract Labour

Brian Fuller (York, Toronto) Materialism and Dialectic: Reading Marx after Adorno

Tim Carter (Sussex) Alienation and Domination in Marx and Wittgenstein

Chris Allsobrook (Sussex) The Ideological Normative Grounds of Immanent Critique

£15 waged, £10 unwaged (provides annual membership of the society)

To reserve a place in advance please email David Marjoribanks

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Variant - new issue

New Issue of Variant Magazine: The Tyranny of Rent

Variant, issue 37, Spring / Summer 2010

...the free, independent, arts magazine. In-depth coverage in the context of broader social, political & cultural issues.

Culture is one of the most important fields in the struggle for a more democratic, egalitarian and free society. If the changes currently proposed to this field by the Polish authorities are not subject to a wide social debate, consultation and criticism, they will bring catastrophic results for both the producers of culture and society as a whole. Culture should be perceived as a public good, not a privilege for a selected group of citizens. The dangers embedded in the governmental proposals for reforms in the domain of culture have already been discussed by artists, theorists, cultural and social activists. All agree that culture is a very specific field of production, and that it would be endangered by an exclusively market-oriented strategy of organizing it.

For the Polish authorities, culture appears to be just another life-sphere ready to be colonized by neoliberal capitalism. Attempts are being made to persuade us that the ‘free’ market, productivity and income oriented activities are the only rational, feasible and universal laws for social development. This is a lie. For us – the cultural producers – culture is a space of innovation and experimental activity, an environment for lively self-realization. This is under threat. Our lives, emotions, vulnerability, doubts, purposes and ideas are to become a commodity – in other words, a mere product to fuel the development of new forms of capitalist exploitation. It is not culture that needs “business exercises” it is the market that needs a cultural revolution. That revolution should not be understood as a one time “coup d’état”, but as a permanent, vigilant and compassionate dissent, a will to protest against, verify and criticize any form of colonization of the field of culture for the private interests of market players and bureaucrats.

Therefore we say: “We would prefer not to”. Our resistance is an expression of our more general protest against the commodification of social relations, its reifying character and general social injustice. We hereby express our existential and political solidarity with the people who oppose this marketization of all spheres of social and personal life. Culture plays an important role as a space for experimentation and reflection, for creating mutual trust and bonds between people. Cultural interactions based on the spontaneous activity of individuals and groups play a crucial role for the development of the society, including its economic dimension. Recognizing the importance of this is a necessary step in creating a space for self-realization and democratic debate.


Radical Change In Culture / Manifesto

On bullshit in cultural policy practice & research
Eleonora Belfiore

Remembering Brian Barry
Femi Folorunso

Launch of ‘Friends of Belge’ : An Appeal for Solidarity
Desmond Fernandes

Print Creations Comic & Zine reviews
Mark Pawson

Doodley-doo? Doodley don’t! Life and Sabotage
Gesa Helms

Comment : "Art Workers Won’t Kiss Ass"
Owen Logan

Precarious Labor: A Feminist Viewpoint
Silvia Federici

Overidentification and/or bust?
Stevphen Shukaitis

Learning to Breathe Protest
Salong, Interflugs, Academy of Refusal, 10th Floor
‘We have decided not to die.’

On taking and leaving the University
Marina Vishmidt

The Tyranny of Rent
Neil Gray

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Mediations - new issue

The editorial collective of Mediations, the journal of the Marxist Literary Group, is pleased to announce issue 24.2, a special issue that revisits the relationship between Marxism and literature. Mediations is published twice yearly. The Fall issues are dossiers of non-U.S. material of interest; the Spring issues are open submission and peer reviewed. Mediations has circulated in various forms and formats since the early 1970s, and is now available free on the web. Both a web edition and a print edition, downloadable in pdf form, can be accessed at Featured authors in the current issue include Gáspár Miklós Tamás, Imre Szeman, Neil Larsen, Mathias Nilges, Nicholas Brown, Aisha Karim, Leerom Medovoi, and Sarah Brouillette.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Fanaticism Q&A

Fanaticism Q&A, thanks again to Helen.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Crisis and Critique HM 2010

Historical Materialism London Conference 2010, 'Crisis and Critique'. Thursday 11th november to Sunday 14th november. Abstracts deadline: June 1, 2010

Notwithstanding repeated invocations of the ‘green shoots of recovery’, the effects of the economic crisis that began in 2008 continue to be felt around the world. While some central tenets of the neoliberal project have been called into question, bank bailouts, cuts to public services and attacks on working people's lives demonstrate that the ruling order remains capable of imposing its agenda. Many significant Marxist analyses have already been produced of the origins, forms and prospects of the crisis, and we look forward to furthering these debates at HM 2010. We also aim to encourage dialogue between the critique of political economy and other modes of criticism – ideological, political, aesthetic, philosophical – central to the Marxist tradition.

In the 1930s, Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht projected a journal to be called Crisis and Critique. In very different times, but in a similar spirit, HM 2010 aims to serve as a forum for dialogue, interaction and debate between different strands of critical Marxist theory. Whether their focus is the study of the capitalist mode of production's theoretical and practical foundations, the unmasking of its ideological forms of legitimation or its political negation, we are convinced that a renewed and politically effective Marxism will need to rely on all the resources of critique in the years ahead. Crises produce periods of ideological and political uncertainty. They are moments that put into question established cognitive and disciplinary compartmentalisations, and require a recomposition at the level of both theory and practice. HM 2010 hopes to contribute to a broader dialogue on the Left aimed at such a recomposition, one of whose prerequisites remains the young Marx’s call for the ‘ruthless criticism of all that exists’.

We are seeking papers that respond to the current crisis from a range of Marxist perspectives, but also submissions that try to think about crisis and critique in their widest ramifications. HM will also consider proposals on themes and topics of interest to critical Marxist theory not directly linked to the call for papers (we particularly welcome contributions on non-Western Marxism and on empirical inquiries employing Marxist methods).While Historical Materialism is happy to receive proposals for panels, the editorial board reserves the right to change the composition of panels or to reject individual papers from panel proposals.

Please submit a title and abstract of between 200 and 300 words by registering at by June 1, 2010

Possible themes include:
Crisis and left recomposition
Critique and crisis in the global south
Anti-racist critique
Marxist and non-Marxist theories of crisis
Capitalist and anti-capitalist uses of the crisis
Global dimensions of the crisis
Comparative and historical accounts of capitalist crisis
Ecological and economic crisis
Critical theory today
Finance and the crisis
Neoliberalism and legitimation crisis
Negation and negativity
Feminism and critique
Political imaginaries of crisis and catastrophe
The critique of everyday life (Lefebvre, the situationists)
The idea of critique in Marx, his predecessors and contemporaries
Art criticism, political critique and the critique of political economy
Geography and crisis, geography and the critique of political economy
Right-wing movements and crisis
Critiques of the concept of crisis
New forms of critique in the social and human sciences
Aesthetic Critique
Marxist literary and cultural criticism
Reports on recent evolution of former USSR countries and China

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Fanaticism Online

With thanks to Alberto for his excellent talk, and Helen for the recording, here is Alberto's presentation on fanaticism for those of you who couldn't make it.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Activist Realism Event




Monday, 22 March 2010


The Theory Research Group is proud to welcome Alberto Toscano, presenting on 'Fanaticism', 1-3pm, The University of Chichester, March 30 2010. For further details please contact Benjamin Noys, all welcome.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Cartographies of the Absolute

CADRE Lecture Series
Free Public Lecture by
Dr. Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths, University of London)Tuesday 23rd March 2010, 6.00pm, MK045

Postgraduate, Research and Enterprise Administrative Assistant MK505 I School of Art & Design Molineux Street Wolverhampton WV1 1DT

Cartographies of the Absolute, abstract and image

Revisiting the challenge posed by Fredric Jameson in his 1989 article on 'cognitive mapping', this presentation will consider the recent surge in attempts, across popular entertainment and contemporary art, to provide models, diagrams or narratives that might allow us to orient ourselves around the world system. From the multi-dimensional narrative exploration of the political economy of urban dispossession in The Wire to 'commodity-chain' films like Lord of War, from Mark Lombardi's diagrams of institutional collusion to Allan Sekula's Fish Story, the desire for an aesthetic that would provide knowledge of the totality seems widespread.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Schizoanalysis and Visual Culture

Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory
Venue: Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK, June 1st /2nd

What is schizoanalysis and how might it be applied to the analysis of contemporary visual culture? This question is both daunting in its complexity and exciting in terms of the possibility for a whole new way of thinking about visual culture it offers. Answering it seems to require that we experiment with Deleuze and Guattari’s ideas and concepts to produce our own new syntheses adequate to the demands of the present creative, historical and theoretical conjuncture we find ourselves in today. That is the challenge this symposium will take up by bringing together some of the most creative and exacting scholars working in the twin fields of Deleuze studies and film studies today.

Friday, 12 March 2010

HM Toronto (Psychedelic Marxism?)

HM Toronto: details here. Not quite sure what one unnamed friend describes as the 'bong resin crayon illustration', still perhaps I should give a paper on Marcuse (again)....

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Women, History and Sexuality PG Forum

One-day Postgraduate Forum
Women, History and Sexuality

April 1st 10.30 am, Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester, H144
South Coast Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Research Group (SCERRG)

We are pleased to announce a one-day postgraduate forum on 'Women, History and Sexuality'. The conference is interdisciplinary, combining approaches from the fields of English, history and philosophy, and discussing both contemporary feminism and the literature and history writing of the long eighteenth century. The theme is a 'light' one so speakers are giving papers on a variety of topics. All are welcome, whether staff, undergraduates, postgraduates or prospective postgraduates.
As well as being of interest to postgraduates, this forum will also be useful to undergraduates who have an interest in women’s writing, the eighteenth century or Austen’s precursors. For undergraduates it is also a chance to pick up some dissertation ideas, look at how academic presentations are structured and learn about postgraduate work.

Plenary speakers are: Dr Sue Morgan (Chichester), editor of The Feminist History Reader; and Dr Nina Power (Roehampton), author of One Dimensional Women (2009), speaking on issues in contemporary feminism. Entry is free. To register an interest, contact Fiona Price.

In Austen’s Northanger Abbey (1818), her naive but ingenuous heroine Catherine Moreland notoriously pronounces that ‘real solemn history ‘either vex[es] or wear[ies]’ her: ‘the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all’. Nonetheless, the eighteenth-century saw a rapid expansion in the forms of historical discourse, including a new emphasis on histories about and by women, and an invigoration of fictionalised forms of history. This forum will examine women’s often troubled relationship with the discourses of history and sexuality.

Preliminary Schedule
10.30 Introduction: Dr Fiona Price, 'Romantic women writers and the fictions of history: some introductory remarks';

10.40 - 11.10 Short plenary and questions: Dr Susan Morgan 'Duty and desire: historicising women and sexuality';

11.15-12.30 panel 1 ;

12.30 - 1.15 lunch;

1.30-2.45 panel 2;

2.45-3 tea break;

3-4.15 Plenary 2: Dr Nina Power 'One-Dimensional Woman: Work and the Illusion of Emancipation'. Talk about feminism today.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Marxism in Culture


Friday 30 April
No End & No Beginning: Pop, Periodization, Problems c. 1989
Joshua Clover (University of California, Davis)

Friday 14 May
Symposium on Frederic Jameson Matthew Beaumont (University College London), Gail Day (Leeds University), Nina Power (Roehampton University), and Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths)This seminar starts at the earlier time of 4.00pm

Friday 28 May
Photography in May ‘68
Antigoni Memou (University of East London)

Friday 11 June
Marx, Hegel and the 'Truth Claims' of Critical Realist Photography: A Political-Aesthetic Reading of the initial chapters of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit
Simon Constantine

All seminars start at 5.30pm, and are held in the Wolfson Room (unless otherwise indicated) at the Institute of Historical Research in Senate House, Malet St, London. The seminar closes at 7.30pm and retires to the bar.

Organisers: Matthew Beaumont, Warren Carter, Gail Day, Steve Edwards, Maggie Gray, Owen Hatherley, Andrew Hemingway, Esther Leslie, David Mabb, Antigoni Memou, Nina Power, Pete Smith, & Alberto Toscano.

For further information, contact Andrew Hemingway, at:a.hemingway[at] or Esther Leslie at: e.leslie[at]

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Is Resistance Really Futile? Event

Is Resistance Really Futile?
A Centre for Philosophy and Political Economy Event
One Day Workshop, 10-5pm, Tuesday March 9th, 2010
University of Leicester School of Management
522 Ken Edwards Building, University of Leicester
How are we to understand resistance in these increasingly financialised times? What, if anything, does the resisting subject look like today? These questions never go away. Within business and management studies, they seem to take on a special meaning. So is resistance to be located within revolutionary action alone? Or is it instead something which is always all around us? Is resistance inseparable from pathos? Or is there something about it which lends itself towards detached scrutiny? This workshop aims to analyse a variety of theories of resistance insofar as they have been used to make sense of the realities of the modern workplace. Presentations throughout the day will take a variety of conceptual and practical perspectives upon the question of resistance whilst the concluding roundtable will attempt to establish common strands of analysis.
Workshop Programme

10-10.30 Registration and Coffee

10.30-10.45 Welcome from the Organizers

10.45-12.15 Session 1
Nikos Karfakis and George Kokkinidis – Re-thinking cynicism: Kynical parrhesia in contemporary workplaces
Ozan N. Alakavuklar – Is it possible to justify resistance?
Nceku Nyathi – Anticolonialism and organising for resistance and change

12:30-1.30 Lunch

1.30-3 Session 2
Robert Cluley – On the Irresistibility of Resistance
Stevphen Shukaitis – Run This Town; or, Cultural Workers Throw Down Yr Tools, the Metropolis is on Strike
Martin Parker – Reflections and alternatives

3-3.30 Coffee

3.30-4.45 Roundtable Discussion – Moderator: Simon Lilley

4.45-5.00 Concluding Remarks & Farewell

Registration and Contact
Registration is free but places are severely limited. Please book early to avoid disappointment. For further information, please contact the workshop organisers, Ozan N. Alakavuklar and Stephen Dunne We look forward to seeing you

Monday, 22 February 2010

With thanks to HM/Sebastian Budgen, two new important sites:

The first is Décalages, a new journal dedicted to the work of Althusser and his circle.

The second is a new web page Research on Money and Finance.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Structure to Rhizome Conference


From Structure to Rhizome

Transdisciplinarity in French thought, 1945 to the present: histories, concepts, constructions

Cine Lumière, The French Institute 17 Queensberry Place, London, SW7 2DTtel. 020 7073 1350
16 & 17 April 2010
In the final decades of the twentieth century, the ‘great books’ of postwar French theory transformed study in the humanities in the Anglophone world. These books were all, in one way or another, transdisciplinary in character. Yet their reception has primarily taken place in an array of specific disciplinary contexts, isolated from a broader understanding of the intellectual dynamics, forms, significance and innovative potential of transdisciplinarity itself. This conference aims to redress this situation. Each speaker will reflect on the transdisciplinary functioning of a single concept in French thought since 1945, with respect to a founding text, a particular thinker or a school of thought.

Friday 16 April

Peter Osborne, Introduction:Transdisciplinarity
Etienne Balibar, Structure
Stella Sandford, Sex
Lunch break
Jean-Marc Lévy-Leblond, Science
Patrick Guyomard, Object a
Tom Conley, Writing
Drinks Reception

Saturday 17 April
Alain de Libera, Subject
François Cusset, Theory
Michèle Riot-Sarcey, History
Andrew Barry, Network
Éric Alliez, Rhizome

£45 / £20 students (free to members of the CRMEP, but booking is essential)
Advance registration: please write to Tom Eyers

Cheques should be made payable to ‘ Middlesex University’. Send to: Prof. Peter Osborne, CRMEP, Middlesex University, Trent Park campus, Bramley Road, London N14 4YZ, United Kingdom.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures at Roehampton

With thanks to IT

Spring Term 2010
Public Lectures
All Welcome
Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths College, London) ‘Fanaticism & the Enlightenment’
Tuesday Feb 16th 6 - 7.30 pm Duchesne Building Room 102

Graham McFee (California/Brighton) 'Wittgenstein, Philosophy & the Performing Arts'
Tuesday Mar 9th 6 - 7.30 pmDuchesne Building Room 001

James Wilson (University College London) 'John Stuart Mill & the Public Regulation of Health'
Tuesday Mar 16th 6 - 7.30 pmDuchesne Building Room 101

Michael Burns (Dundee University) 'Kierkegaard for the 21st Century'
Tuesday Mar 23rd 6 - 7.30 pmDuchesne Building Room 102

All enquiries: Dr Raj Sehgal, Philosophy Programme r.sehgal[at]
Directions to Roehampton can be found here

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Real Objects or Material Subjects?

Department of Philosophy, University of Dundee
March 27-28, 2010
11am-12pm: registration

12pm-12:15pm: Introductory Remarks

12:15pm-1:30pm: James Williams (Dundee) “Contemplating Pebbles”

1:30pm-2:30pm: Lunch

2:30pm-4:00pm: Nathan Coombs (Royal Holloway, University of London) Platonism and Realism: Badiou contra Harman

Sid Littlefield (Georgia College & State University): Inflationary and Deflationary Metaphysics

Mike Olson (Villanova University) On the Dogmatic Limitations and Speculative Resources of Transcendental Idealism

4:30pm-6:00pm: Graham Harman (American University, Cairo) “I Am Also of the Opinion that Materialism Must Be Destroyed”

10:00am-10:15am: Introductory Remarks

10:15am-11:30am: Adrian Johnston (University of New Mexico) “‘Naturalism or anti-naturalism? No, thanks–both are worse!’: Science, Materialism, and Slavoj Zizek.”

Austin Smidt (Nottingham) The Beyond In Our Midst: Sartre’s Robust Materialism as a Root of Revolution

Tom Eyers (Middlesex) Lacanian Materialism and the Question of the Real

Colby Dickinson (KU Leuven) Materialism as pantheistic animality: Giorgio Agamben and the silence of transcendence

1:15pm-2:00pm: Lunch Break

John Van Houdt (KU Leuven): The Necessity of Contingency or Contingent Necessity? Meillassoux, Hegel, and the Logic of Modal Necessity

Paul Ennis (University College Dublin) Phenomenology and the Ancestral

3:15pm-4:30pm: Peter Hallward (CRMEP, Middlesex) “Self-Emancipation between Hegel and Marx”

4:30pm-5:00pm: Closing Discussion

Registration is ESSENTIAL, please email with Name/Address/Institutional Affiliation/Email Address by March 1st.
Cost is 10 pounds unwaged/ 20 pounds waged. Checks can be made out to Michael Burns and sent to:

Michael Burns, Department of Philosophy, University of Dundee, Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN, Scotland, UK
Details on travel/accommodation will be posted shortly.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Double Header - Friday 12th February

nubureaucracy and capitalist realism
Friday, 12th February 20102-4pm Council Room, Laurie Grove Baths
Neoliberalism presents itself as the enemy of bureaucracy, the destroyer of the nanny state and the eliminator of red tape. Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism (Zer0 books, 2009) argues that, contrary to this widely accepted story, bureaucracy has proliferated under neoliberalism. Far from decreasing, bureaucracy has changed form, spreading all the more insidiously in its newly decentralised mode. This 'nu-bureaucracy' is often carried out by workers themselves, now induced into being their own auditors. Capitalist Realism aims to challenge the successful ideological doublethink in which workers' experience of increasing bureaucratisation co-exists with the idea that bureaucracy belongs to a 'Stalinist' past. This symposium will explore nu-bureaucracy and other related concepts developed in Capitalist Realism, such as 'business ontology' and 'market Stalinism'. How has nu-bureaucracy affected education and public services, and how can it be resisted? What implications might the attack on nu-bureaucracy have for a renewed anti-capitalism?

Respondent, Alberto Toscano, Department of Sociology
All welcome.

Friday 12th of February, 5.00-8.00 RHB 137
Screening of Queimada (1969) by Gillo Pontercorvo, followed by a conversation between Alberto Toscano, Peter Hallward and Benjamin Noys about the film, Fanon and the Haitian revolution.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Collapse VI: Geo/Philosophy

Dear Friends,
We are delighted to announce that Collapse VI: Geo/Philosophy is now available.
Advance orders and subscription copies are being shipped immediately.
Please visit our website to purchase. A PDF preview of the editorial introduction to the volume is also available on the website.

Contributors to the volume include:
Charles Avery, Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, Stephen Emmott, Owen Hatherley, F I E L D C L U B, Iain Hamilton Grant, Renée Green, Gilles Grelet, Manabrata Guha, Nicola Masciandaro, Timothy Morton, Greg McInerny, Robin Mackay, Reza Negarestani, Drew Purves, F.W.J. Schelling, Eyal Weizman, Rich Williams.

Following Collapse V's inquiry into the legacy of Copernicus' deposing of Earth from its central position in the cosmos, Collapse VI: Geo/philosophy poses the question: How should we understand the historical and contemporary bond between philosophical thought and its terrestrial support?

Collapse VI: Geo/philosophy begins with the provisional premise that the Earth does not square elements of thought but rather rounds them up into a continuous spatial and geographical horizon. Geophilosophy is thus not necessarily the philosophy of the earth as a round object of thought but rather the philosophy of all that can be rounded as an (or the) earth. But in that case, what is the connection between the empirical earth, the contingent material support of human thinking, and the abstract 'world' that is the condition for a 'whole' of thought?

Urgent contemporary concerns introduce new dimensions to this problem: The complicity of Capitalism and Science concomitant with the nomadic remobilization of global Capital has caused mutations in the field of the territorial, shifting and scrambling the determinations that subtended modern conceptions of the nation-state and territorial formations. And scientific predictions present us with the possibility of a planet contemplating itself without humans, or of an abyssal cosmos that abides without Earth - these are the vectors of relative and absolute deterritorialization which nourish the twenty-first century apocalyptic imagination. Obviously, no geophilosophy can remain oblivious to the unilateral nature of such un-earthing processes. Furthermore, the rise of so-called rogue states which sabotage their own territorial formation in order to militantly withstand the proliferation of global capitalism calls for an extensive renegotiation of geophilosophical concepts in regard to territorializing forces and the State. Can traditions of geophilosophical thought provide an analysis that escapes the often flawed, sentimental or cryptoreligious fashions in which popular discourse casts these catastrophic developments?

Continuing to combine and connect work from different disciplines and perspectives in innovative ways, this new volume of Collapse brings together philosophers, theorists, eco-critics, leading scientific experts in climate change, and artists whose work interrogates the link between philosophical thought, geography and cartography. This multiplicity of engagements makes Collapse VI a philosophically-rich yet accessible examination of the present state of 'planetary thought'.

Contents of Volume VI are as follows:
- In 'Becoming Spice: Commentary as Geophilosophy', Nicola Masciandaro (CUNY, argues that philosophy belongs not to the ‘folly’ of a vertically-oriented ‘straight path’ but to a ‘circular and endless’ movement on the surface of the earth. The practice of commentary provides the key to understanding this endless movement, as the continual production of knowledge, a practice which ‘proceeds by staying’. Masciandaro sees this role of commentary as being encoded in spice, as a global commodity whose currency and commercial movement figures the production of understanding through continual differentiation and distribution.
- One significant modern attempt to create a philosophy that encompasses the Earth system is F. W. J. Schelling’s naturephilosophy. In Schelling’s 1798 work On the World Soul, previously unavailable in translation, the philosopher revendicates the ancient theory of the ‘World-Soul’, entirely reconstructing it through the most contemporary science of his time, which he supplements with the necessary speculative basis that will allow him to effect this grand synthesis. As Iain Hamilton Grant tells us in his introduction to extracts from his new translation, Schelling’s book must be understood as a bold experiment in systematically thinking ‘the All’.
- Reflections on the contemporary problems of thinking the ecology of the planet follow, in extended interviews with research scientists working on computational models of climate change at Microsoft's Computational Science lab in Cambridge, England. Stephen Emmott, Greg McInerny, Drew Purves and Rich Williams discuss their work devising new predictive computational models which reflect the interconnectivity and complexity of the biosphere, and present us with the perspective of ecology as a science reborn and negotiating its foundations and principles in response to the urgency of environmental crisis.
- In 'Thinking Ecology: The Mesh, the Strange Stranger and the Beautiful Soul' Timothy Morton (Professor of Literature and the Environment at the University of California, Davis, and author of Ecology Without Nature) presents a challenge to the pious sentimentalisation of 'nature' in ecological discourse, challenging 'environmentalists' to leave behind the 'beautiful soul' and think themselves as enmeshed in a 'dark ecology'.
- A contribution from UK artist collective F I E L D C L U B extends Morton's critique of the ideology of environmentalism, and examines the technical mediation of man's relation to the biosphere, asking: 'How Many Slugs Maketh the Man?'
- In 'Fossils of Time Future', Owen Hatherley continues his project to rescue architectural modernism from the ‘Ikea modernism’ of ‘light and airy’ interior design belonging to the vacuous economic optimism of the late twentieth-century. He contends that, in restoring the links of modernism with its less palatable predecessors – such as the proto-brutalism of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall – we can reawaken a suppressed, but rich and provocative, historical lineage where architecture confronts the 'chthonic'.
- In an extended interview with architect and theorist Eyal Weizman, 'Political Plastic', we discuss the way in which he sees architecture per se as interacting with the ‘political architecture’ of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and how the structure of the latter has been involved in a conceptual commerce with theory. Discussing in depth his conception of ‘forensic architecture’, Weizman speaks about the way in which this materialist-pluralist conception of politics demands a rethinking of the notions of responsibility, ideology, and resistance, and how his project Decolonising Architecture’s processes of ‘design by destruction’ and ‘ungrounding’ seek to disrupt the very temporalities according to which the very question of a ‘solution’ to the problem of occupation has been posed.
- Graphic work by artists Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain examines the many ways in which the planet is coded; their playful constructions explore the peculiar grammatologies that emerge once this stenography between the geographical and the symbolic is in place.
- Manabrata Guha (Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore, India) presents an ‘Introduction to SIMADology’ in which he addresses the ‘global security ecology’ and suggests that its regime of thinking the relation of war to the earth – inherited, as he suggests, from the ‘father’ of the theory of warfare, Clausewitz – fails to register the radical difference which terror-operations inpose on the martial landscape. What Guha calls the SIMAD – Singularly Intensive Mobile Agencity of Decay – disrupts the Clausewitzian paradigm, drawing war-machines into a ‘chthonic battlespace’ which they are constitutively incapable of navigating.
- Reza Negarestani’s contribution undertakes an analytic examination of an ‘architecture and politics of decay’. Excavating some of the more bizarre preoccupations of mediaeval thought, and tracing their influence on early-modern mathematics, Negarestani suggests that they offer us the formal basis for an ‘architecture, mathesis and politics of decay’.
- Artist Charles Avery presents a new 'epilogue' and images of work from his project 'The Islanders', prefaced by Robin Mackay's essay which discusses the history of 'Philosophers' Islands' and the relation of Avery's work to this philosophical-literary tradition.
- Philosopher Gilles Grelet presents an implacable manifesto refusing philosophy's role of carving up and dividing the earth; presenting 'boat-theory' as 'a full-on attack on the world’, an angelic thought whose ‘crossings’ operate without the imperatives of the ‘worldly’.
- Artist Renée Green's film work 'Endless Dreams and Water Between', presented as part of an installation at Greenwich Maritime Museum in 2009, and presented in transcript form in Collapse VI, tells the story of four women driven by a curiosity about the island as a ‘non-location’. In contemplating their island locations, Green’s protagonists move towards a collective thinking which expands into the realms of the abstract only on the basis of their localisation and the contingency of their respective interests and life-circumstances.
Collapse VI: Geo/Philosophy
January 2010
Ed. R. Mackay
Limited Edition 1000 Numbered Copies
ISBN 978-0-9553087-7-2