Call for Applications
Truth and Knowledge
The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory invites applications to its Winter and Spring 2015 core graduate seminar.
Some of the most fundamental questions human beings have asked themselves involve the nature of truth and knowledge. What do we know about the world we live in and ourselves, and how do we know what we (believe we) know? Is there such a thing as truth, or is all knowledge relative, historical, perspectival – even ideological? Are there limits to knowledge, things we simply cannot know, as Kant argued, or can our knowledge expand indefinitely? When we talk about truth, are we talking about the correspondence of our knowledge to objects in the world? What do Heidegger, Lacan, and Badiou (e.g.) mean when they insist that truth is categorically distinct from knowledge? How is truth as a juridical concept (“I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”) different from other accounts of truth, such as those used in mathematics, logic, and science? Does truth function in politics (other than through the perception of its absence)? What is the role of truth in the humanities, in terms of both research and pedagogy? Does truth have a place in literature and art? What does Cézanne mean when he refers to “the truth in painting,” and what does it mean in Derrida’s book of that title? How does truth function in the contexts of rhetoric and pragmatism? Does gender have a relationship to truth and knowledge? How do race and class inflect the status and function of truth and knowledge? How do the concepts of data, information, and the digital revolution reorient our senses of truth and knowledge? These are some of the questions to be addressed in this year’s ECT core seminar, through readings of thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, William James, Heidegger, Foucault, Lacan, Derrida, and Badiou.
Visitors to the seminar and other ECT sponsored events this year will include Alain Badiou, Jacques Rancière, Emily Apter, Zina Giannopoulou, Monte Ransome Johnson, Jerome Christensen, John Carriero, John H. Smith, Slavoj Zizek, Mladen Dolar, and Alenka Zupancic.
Graduate students in all Ph.D. and MFA programs at UCLA are invited to apply to the seminar, and the ECT graduate certificate program. More information on the program is available here. To apply, please write a one page statement describing your interests and experience in critical theory. Please include your name, email, departmental affiliation, and year in graduate school. Applications should be sent by November 15 to Asiroh Cham, Acting Student Affairs Officer for the Department of Comparative Literature: email@example.com
The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory and the Art Center College of Design present
Three Lectures by Alain Badiou
“Are We Really in the Time of Revolts?”
Monday, Dec. 2, 7:00 (Los Angeles Times Auditorium; Art Center College of Design, Pasadena)
“On the Real”
Wed., Dec. 4, 5:00 Young Research Library 11360, UCLA [NOTE: this is a new location]
“Theater and Philosophy”
Monday, Dec. 9, 5:00 (Royce 314, UCLA)
Alain Badiou is widely considered to be one of the most important Continental philosophers alive today, and one of the greatest thinkers of our time. He was born in Morocco in 1937 and came of age in France in the 1960s, when he began publishing novels, plays, works of philosophy, political theory, and literary and aesthetic criticism. Since then he has written dozens of books and hundreds of essays, which have been read not only by scholars and students all over the world, but by artists, writers, political organizers, and many other people who have been inspired by his strikingly original and powerful ideas, his eloquent writing and teaching, and the example of his personal optimism and commitment. Unlike many of his peers, Badiou does not regard the idea of truth to be intrinsically suspect; nor does he agree with the frequent claim of post-structuralist criticism that the project of Western philosophy has exhausted itself. The central question addressed by Badiou’s work is how does fundamental change occur? How does something really new emerge in the world? In some ways similar to the historian of science, Thomas Kuhn, whose work explores the “structure of scientific revolutions,” Badiou asks how one world changes into a new one – not only, however, in the realm of science, but also in those of art, politics, and even in the human experience of love. According to Badiou, a new world emerges through the patient work of developing what he calls “truth procedures” in the aftermath of an “event,” an historical irruption within a field of knowledge and existence (such as the experiments of Galileo, the French revolution, the musical innovations of Schoenberg, or the love of Abelard and Heloise).
Badiou’s major books of philosophy are Theory of the Subject (1982; English translation 2009), Being and Event (1988; English translation 2005), its sequel, Logics of Worlds (2006; English translation 2009), and a third major volume in this series, The Immanence of Truths, is now in preparation. In addition he has written dozens of books on politics, film, literature, music, ethics, Saint Paul, mathematics, and many other topics. He has also published six plays (which are frequently staged in Europe), three well-received novels, and innumerable occasional pieces.
Alain Badiou: Primary Works
(titles of works translated into English are in bold)
Almagestes (1964) [novel]
Portulans (1967) [novel]
“La subversion infinitésimale” Cahiers pour l’Analyse #9 (1968)
“Marque et manque: à propos du zéro” Cahiers pour l’Analyse #10 (1969)
Le concept de modèle (1969) [The Concept of Model]
Théorie de la contradiction (1975)
De l’idéologie, with F. Balmès (1976)
Le Noyau rationnel de la dialectique hégelienne, with L. Mossot and J. Bellassen (1977) [The Rational Kernel of the Hegelian Dialectic]
L‘Écharpe rouge (1979) [play]
Théorie du sujet (1982) [Theory of the Subject]
L’Incident d’Antioche/The Incident at Antioch (1982, 2013) [play]
Peut-on penser la politique? (1985)
L‘Être et l‘Événement (1988) [Being and Event]
Manifeste pour la philosophie (1989) [Manifesto for Philosophy]
Le nombre et les nombres (1990) [Number and Numbers]
Rhapsodie pour le théâtre (1990) [included in Writings on Theater, forthcoming 2013]
D’un désastre obscur (1991) [Of an Obscure Disaster]
Conditions (1992) [Conditions]
L‘Éthique (1993) [Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil]
Ahmed le subtil (1994) [play]
Ahmed Philosophe, followed by Ahmed se fâche (1995) [Ahmed the Philosopher, forthcoming 2013] [play]
Beckett, l’increvable désir (1995) [On Beckett]
Les Citrouilles, a comedy (1996) [play]
Calme bloc ici-bas (1997) [novel]
Deleuze (1997) [Deleuze: The Clamor of Being]
Saint Paul. La fondation de l’universalisme (1997) [Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism]
Abrégé de métapolitique (1998) [Metapolitics]
Court traité d’ontologie transitoire (1998) [Briefings on Existence]
Petit manuel d’inesthétique (1998) [Handbook on Inaesthetics]
Circonstances 1: Kosovo, 11 Septembre, Chirac/Le Pen (2003) [in Polemics]
Circonstances 2: Irak, foulard, Allemagne/France (2004) [in Polemics]
Circonstances 3: Portées du mot « juif » (2005) [in Polemics]
Le Siècle (2005) [The Century]
Logiques des mondes. L‘être et l‘événement, 2. (2006) [Logics of Worlds]
Circonstances 4: De quoi Sarkozy est-il le nom? (2007) [The Meaning of Sarkozy]
Petit panthéon portatif (2008) [Pocket Pantheon: Figures of Postwar Philosophy]
Second manifeste pour la philosophie (2009) [Second Manifesto for Philosophy]
L’Antiphilosophie de Wittgenstein (2009) [Wittgenstein’s Anti-Philosophy]
Circonstances 5: L’hypothèse communiste (2009) [The Communist Hypothesis]
Éloge de l’Amour (2009) [In Praise of Love]
Il n’y a pas de rapport sexuel, with Barbara Cassin (2010) [There’s No Such Thing as a Sexual Relationship, forthcoming 2014]
Heidegger : Le nazisme, les femmes, la philosophie, with Barbara Cassin (2010) [Heidegger: Nazism, Women, Philosophy, forthcoming 2014]
Cinq leçons sur le ‘cas’ Wagner [Five Lessons on Wagner] (2010)
L’explication, with Alain Finkielkraut (2010)
Le fini et l’infini [for children], 2010
La philosophie et l’événement, with Fabien Tarby [interview] Philosophy and the Event (2010)
Cinéma (2010) [Cinema]
Circonstonces 6: Le Réveil de l’histoire (2011) [The Rebirth of History]
La relation énigmatique entre politique et philosophie (2011)
L’antisémitisme partout – Aujourd’hui en France, with Eric Hazan [Reflections on Anti-Semitism (2011)
Entretiens : Tome 1 (1981-1996) [interviews] (2011)
Jacques Lacan, passé présent, with Élisabeth Roudinesco (2012) [Jacques Lacan, Past and Present, forthcoming 2014]
La République de Platon [Plato’s Republic]
Circonstonces 7 : Sarkozy:pire que prevu ; les autres: prevoir le pire (2012)
L’aventure de la philosophie française : Depuis les années 1960 (2012) [The Adventure of French Philosophy]
Controverse: Dialogue sur la politique et la philosophie de notre temps (with Jean-Claude Milner, 2012) [Controversies, forthcoming 2014]
Éloge du théâtre (2013)
Pornographie du temps présent (2013)
Le séminaire : Lacan – L’antiphilosophie 3, 1994-1995 (2013)
Le séminaire : Malebranche – L’être 2, Figure théologique, 1986 (2013)
Please join us for a talk by
“On Friendship and Neighbors”
on Tues. Oct 29, 4:00 in Humanities Building 193 at UCLA
Professor Stiegler is the director of the department of cultural development at the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, also a professor at the University of Technology of Compiègne where he teaches philosophy. Before taking up the post at the Pompidou Center, he was program director at the International College of Philosophy, Deputy Director General of the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel, then Director General at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM). In 2010 he founded the high school and international graduate school of philosophy, Ecole de Philosophie d’Epineuil-le-Fleuriel, in a windmill in rural France.
Professor Stiegler has published numerous books and articles on philosophy, technology, digitization, capitalism, consumer culture, etc. Among his writings, his three volumes of La technique et le temps (English Translation: Technics and Time), two volumes of De la misère symbolique, three volumes of Mécréance et Discrédit and two volumes Constituer l’Europe are particularly well known. Professor Stiegler has a long term engagement with the relation between technology and philosophy, not only in a theoretical sense, but also situating them in industry and society as practices. He is one of the founders of the political group Ars Industrialis based in Paris, which calls for an industrial politics of spirit, by exploring the possibilities of the technology of spirit, to bring forth a new “life of the mind.” He published extensively on the problem of individuation in consumer capitalism, and he is working on the new possibility of an economy of contribution.
Bibliography of his books in English:
• (2013) What Makes Life Worth Living: On Pharmacology (Cambridge: Polity Press)
• (2013) Uncontrollable Societies of Disaffected Individuals: Disbelief and Discredit, 2 (Cambridge: Polity Press)
• (2011) The Decadence of Industrial Democracies: Disbelief and Discredit, 1 (Cambridge: Polity Press)
• (2010) Taking Care of Youth and the Generations (Stanford: Stanford University Press)
• (2010) For a New Critique of Political Economy (Cambridge: Polity Press)
• (2010) Technics and Time, 3: Cinematic Time and the Question of Malaise (Stanford: Stanford University Press)
• (2009) Technics and Time, 2: Disorientation (Stanford: Stanford University Press)
• (2009) Acting Out (Stanford: Stanford University Press)
• (2002) Echographies of Television: Filmed Interviews (Cambridge: Polity Press), with Jacques Derrida
• (1998) Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus (Stanford: Stanford University Press)
Co-sponsored by ECT and the UCLA Department of French and Francophone Studies
Please join us on Thursday October 10th at 1:00 in Humanities 348 for a lecture by
Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
“Fascist Aesthetics Re-visited”
Since the emergence and establishment of new mass media in the early twentieth century theater historiography cannot be pursued adequately without reflecting on the interrelation between stage, screen and radio. This becomes all the more clear with regard to the development of Nazi mass stagings and their anti-fascist counterparts in the 1930s – both using the chorus as a figure of the masses, which not only presents the political as fundamentally theatrical, but underlines the specific mediality of this very figure as a living loud speaker of the public. Starting with scenes of the singing crowd in Jean Renoir’s 1937 film on the French Revolution – La Marseillaise – as an anti-fascist reaction to the propagandist use of radio and mass stagings by the Nazis, my contribution calls for a broadened scope regarding the historicization of the chorus, which takes the development of mass media into account. From this vantage point the quoting of pre-existing forms in staging the masses during the early period of Nazism and their specific change in form after 1936 can be re-rooted. Often conceived as static and monolithic, what is determined as “fascist aesthetics” changes fundamentally in the very year of Renoir’s film: The collective figure of the populace is transposed into an ornamental allegorization of Nazi power. This re-routing implies a paradigm shift in propaganda politics from sound to spectacle. It can thus be discussed in light of a re-accentuation of media dispositifs, due to the establishment of the sound film, which paradoxically evokes not just the talkie, but new perspectives on the ornament of the masses and its propagandist utilization.
Evelyn Annuss is a faculty member of the Institute for Theater Studies at Ruhr University Bochum. Her current research project focuses on the figure of the chorus in Nationalsocialist mass theater. Further key interests in research are contemporary theater and performance art, the cultural history of staging collectivity, drama theory and quotations of literary forms, the rhetorics of representation and visual politics in film, photography and theater as well as queer theory and post-colonial critique. After her dissertation on Elfriede Jelinek’s Theater of Afterlife (Fink 2007, 2nd edition), she curated the exhibition Stagings Made in Namibia. Post-colonial Photography (b_books 2009) at the National Art Gallery of Namibia in Windhoek and in Berlin 2009. Recent publications: “Inszenierungen des Kollektivsubjekts im Thingspiel” (Kreuder et. al.: Theater und Subjektkonstitution 2012); „Public Movement“ (Maske & Kothurn 2012).
Co-sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature, UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory and EU project REPEAT
The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory invites applications to its Winter and Spring 2014 core graduate seminar.
Winter Quarter will be entitled “Psychoanalysis, Structure, Economy” and will be taught by Professor Eleanor Kaufman on Tuesdays, 3:00 – 6:00. This quarter of the seminar focuses on critical theory at the juncture of psychoanalysis, structuralism, and Marxism, which arguably reached its pinnacle in the 1960s and 1970s, in the work of Lacan, Althusser, and Deleuze, among others, but continues in significant albeit altered fashion in thinkers such as Jameson and Žižek. In addition to the above, we will read work by Baudrillard, Lyotard, Kristeva, Badiou, Copjec, and Rancière if time permits. As a working heuristic, the logic of structure and economy will be contrasted with more pervasive recent turns to the political.
Spring Quarter will be entitled “Psychoanalysis as Anti-Philosophy” and will be taught by Professor Kenneth Reinhard on Thursdays, 3:00 – 6:00. In this quarter of the seminar we will consider Lacan’s claim that psychoanalysis is “anti-philosophy,” beginning by examining Freud’s relationship to philosophy, especially Nietzsche (including Derrida’s account of that relationship). We will spend most of our time reading Lacan in terms of his relationship to Descartes, Kant, Hegel, and other philosophers, as well as contemporary philosophical critiques of psychoanalysis by Derrida, Deleuze, and others. Our discussion will be framed by Badiou’s account of “anti-philosophy” and his 1994-95 seminar on Lacan.
Visitors to the seminar will include Bernard Stiegler, Eric Santner, and Joan Copjec. Alain Badiou will join us for a series of lectures during the first week of December.
Graduate students in all Ph.D. and MFA programs at UCLA are invited to apply to the seminar, and the ECT graduate certificate program. More information on the program is available here. To apply, please write a one page statement describing your interests and experience in critical theory. Please include your name, email, departmental affiliation, and year in graduate school. Applications should be sent by November 15 to Michelle Anderson, Student Affairs Officer for the Department of Comparative Literature: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Slavoj Zizek, Eric L. Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard
Please join us for the
ECT Symposium – Spring 2013
Julia Sushytska (University of Redland)
“At the Limits of Logos: On Antigone’s Melancholia”
Tues. May 7, 5:00 Humanities 348
Martin Puchner (Harvard)
“The Drama of Ideas: Socrates and Modern Drama”
Wed. May 22, 5:00 Humanities 348
Robert Watson (UCLA)
“Why Cognitive Overload Necessitates Culture, and Cultural Evolution Necessitates the Arts and Humanities”?
Tues. May 28, 5:00 Humanities 348
Alain Badiou’s play, The Incident at Antioch, is now available in a French-English edition from Columbia University Press. You can receive a 30% discount if you go to the CUP website, and use this promo code: INCBAD
in The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever
With Horse Lords
Monday, February 25th, 2013
Doors 8pm – Show 9pm
Tickets are $25 – hollywoodforever.ticketfly.com
PARKING IS FREE ON SITE
Alain Badiou’s “hyper-translation” of Plato’s Republic is now available from Columbia University Press. If you purchase it through the web link here and enter the promo code “PLABAD” you will receive a 30% discount.
University of Chicago Press
Slavoj Zizek, Eric L. Santner, and Kenneth Reinhard
216 pages | 6 line drawings | 6 × 9 | © 2006, 2013
In Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud made abundantly clear what he thought about the biblical injunction, first articulated in Leviticus 19:18 and then elaborated in Christian teachings, to love one’s neighbor as oneself. “Let us adopt a naive attitude towards it,” he proposed, “as though we were hearing it for the first time; we shall be unable then to suppress a feeling of surprise and bewilderment.” After the horrors of World War II, the Holocaust, and Stalinism, Leviticus 19:18 seems even less conceivable—but all the more urgent now—than Freud imagined.
In The Neighbor, three of the most significant intellectuals working in psychoanalysis and critical theory collaborate to show how this problem of neighbor-love opens questions that are fundamental to ethical inquiry and that suggest a new theological configuration of political theory. Their three extended essays explore today’s central historical problem: the persistence of the theological in the political. In “Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor,” Kenneth Reinhard supplements Carl Schmitt’s political theology of the enemy and friend with a political theology of the neighbor based in psychoanalysis. In “Miracles Happen,” Eric L. Santner extends the book’s exploration of neighbor-love through a bracing reassessment of Benjamin and Rosenzweig. And in an impassioned plea for ethical violence, Slavoj Žižek’s “Neighbors and Other Monsters” reconsiders the idea of excess to rehabilitate a positive sense of the inhuman and challenge the influence of Levinas on contemporary ethical thought.
A rich and suggestive account of the interplay between love and hate, self and other, personal and political, The Neighbor has proven to be a touchstone across the humanities and a crucial text for understanding the persistence of political theology in secular modernity. This new edition contains a new preface by the authors.
Toward a Political Theology of the Neighbor
Miracles Happen: Benjamin, Rosenzweig, Freud, and the Matter of the Neighbor
Eric L. Santner
Neighbors and Other Monsters: A Plea for Ethical Violence
Theory and Theater
The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory is now accepting applications for its Winter and Spring 2013 core seminar, which will be on “Theory and Theater.” Please send your application by November 15 to the ECT Program, c/o Michelle Anderson, Student Affairs Officer, Department of Comparative Literature, UCLA email@example.com. Please include your name, email address, the Ph.D. or MFA program you are enrolled in, your year in the program and expected date of degree, and the name of your thesis or graduate advisor. Please describe your background and interests in critical theory (no more than one page).
According to Plato, “there is an ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry” (Republic, 607b5–6) – a quarrel above all between philosophy and what Plato considers to be the most essentially mimetic form of poetry, theater (from the Greek θεᾶσθαι, meaning to behold or see). Plato argues that, as the imitative art par excellence, theater is ontologically, epistemologically, and ethically inferior to philosophy, which strives to penetrate the shadows of representation in order to attain the reality of ideas. But if there is a fundamental conflict (or even, as Plato suggests, a power struggle) between philosophy and theater, philosophy is associated with theory [θεωρία] which comes from the same root as theater, θεα. So philosophy-theory and poetry-theater are not only antagonists vying for political and social influence, but also rival siblings, each claiming to be the legitimate expression of a certain mode of visuality. Indeed, for Aristotle poetry (and above all theater) is closely allied with philosophy, as a parallel route on the way to universal truths. What then do theory and theater have in common, and what can they learn from each other? What kind of thinking is specific to the textual and performative conditions of theater? How does theater constitute a laboratory for aesthetic, conceptual, and political experimentation? And how does theoretical philosophy depend on models of knowledge and action that derive from theater? In what sense is theorizing not simply an act of description or abstraction, but performative and even theatrical? And how have philosophy and theater converged in their unfoldings after Plato, producing new hybrid forms in modernity and the contemporary world?
The seminar will begin in the winter by considering the Greek origins of both theater and philosophy in Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Plato, and Aristotle, in relation to commentaries by modern thinkers such as Hegel, Hölderlin, Nietzsche, Wagner, Kierkegaard, Freud, Benjamin, Lacan, Adorno, Lacoue-Labarthe, Badiou, Butler, Žižek, and Zupančič. Theatrical topics will include tragedy, comedy, opera, and marionette theater. The seminar will include talks and sessions lead by visiting scholars, and will be held in conjunction with a series of lectures by Maestro James Conlon (Music Director of LA Opera, and Regents’ Lecturer at UCLA during Winter 2013) and a visit to LA Opera’s production of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. In the spring, the seminar will concentrate on modern and recent theory and theater, including Shakespeare, Brecht, Artaud, Beckett, and Badiou, as well as Noh plays and Chinese Opera. Again the seminar will involve several guest speakers, and will include two weeks of sessions lead by Alain Badiou, who will be Regents’ Lecturer at UCLA during Spring 2013. Other experimental theatrical events are also planned for spring quarter.
The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory is proud to welcomeAlain Badiou on the occasion of the 10th year of his visits to Southern California.
On Wednesday, May 23rd at 4:00 Badiou will present a lecture, “Towards a Contemporary Conception of the Absolute,” in the Popper Theatre in Schoenberg Hall at UCLA.
On Saturday, May 19th, Alain Badiou will present a lecture and participate in a symposium entitled “Changing the World: Between History and Politics” at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena (at the Graduate Art Program location: 950 S. Raymond Ave. Pasadena, CA)
2:00 pm – 4:30 pm: talks
Nathan Brown (UC-Davis): “Rational Kernel, Real Movement: Alain Badiou and Théorie Communiste in the Age of Riots”
Kenneth Reinhard (UCLA): “The Use of Forcing”
Jason E. Smith (ACCD): “From Riot to Insurrection: History and Politics in Badiou”
4:30 – 5:00 pm: Break
5:00 – 6:00 pm: Keynote Lecture by Alain Badiou
6:00 – 6:30 pm: Roundtable
For more information, please contact Jason Smith at Jason.Smith@artcenter.edu
Art Center College of Design
Graduate Art Program
950 S. Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91105
Please join us on Tuesday, April 24 at 5:00 in Humanities 348 at UCLA for an ECT Symposium with
Frédéric Worms“Critical Vitalism: A Thread Through French 20th Century Philosophy and Today’s New Philosophical Problems”
Frédéric Worms is Director of the Centre International d‘Étude de la Philosophie Française Contemporaine and teaches the history of philosophy at the Université de Lille III. Professor Worms is a specialist of Henri Bergson, and the coauthor with Philippe Soulez of a biography of Bergson. He has recently published a book on the ethics of care (Le moment du soin) in which he attempts to expand the notion of care that has been a noted aspect of ethical thought coming out of Anglo-American feminist thought.Support for this talk has been provided by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the UCLA Department of Comparative Literature.
ECT Seminar Spring 2012
Alain Badiou: Worlds, Events, Truths
Tues. April 3 ECT Symposium: Stathis Gourgouris
5:00 CL seminar room
“Archē and Infinity of a Political Cosmos”
1. April 5 Introduction
Badiou, Manifesto for Philosophy
Tues. April 10 ECT Symposium: Michael Saman
5:00 CL seminar room
“Goethe, Lévi-Strauss, and the Science of the Concrete”
2. April 12 Neighborhoods
Badiou, Theory of the Subject, “Everything that belongs to a whole,” “Action, manor of the subject,” “Algebra and Topology,” “Neighborhoods”); “The Neighborhood,” “Toward a Philosophy of the Open” (pdf and video)
Wed. April 18 ECT Symposium: Deborah Achtenberg
noon, Faculty Center
“Derrida Between Moses and Elijah”
3. April 19 Situations
Badiou, Being and Event, “Introduction,” selections from Parts I-III (the ontology of situations)
Tues. April 24 ECT Symposium: Frédéric Worms
5:00 CL seminar room
“Critical Vitalism: a thread through French twentieth century philosophy and today’s new philosophical problems”
4. April 26 Badiou, Being and Event, selections from Parts IV and V (events)
Wed. May 2 ECT Symposium: Simone Pinet
5:00 CL Seminar Room
“World Maps, Local Languages”
5. May 3 Bruno Bosteels
Badiou, Being and Event, selections from Parts VII and VIII
(truth and the subject: the generic and forcing)
Bruno Bosteels, “World and Event”
6. May 10 Worlds
Jason Smith and Ken Reinhard
Badiou, Logics of Worlds, Book I
Badiou, Second Manifesto for Philosophy
7. May 17 Seminar with Alain Badiou
1. Analytic study: the transcendental
Badiou, Logics of Worlds, Book II, Greater Logic 1: The Transcendental
Sat. May 19 Art Center (Pasadena) conference:
“Changing the World”
Alain Badiou, Jason Smith, Nathan Brown, Ken Reinhard
Mon. May 21 Lecture by Emily Apter 4:00, Humanities 193
“Translation at the Checkpoint: On States, Borders, and the Limits of Sovereignty in Translation Theory”
8. Tues. May 22, 5:00 Seminar with Alain Badiou
2. Dialectic study: modification, fact, weak change, event
Badiou, Logics of Worlds, Book V: The Four Forms of Change
Wed. May 23, 4:00 ECT Symposium: Alain Badiou
“Towards a Contemporary Conception of the Absolute”
Popper Theatre in Schoenberg Hall
9. May 31 Badiou, Logics of Worlds, Book VI: Theory of Points
10. June 7 Badiou, Logics of Worlds, Book VII: What is a Body?
Please join us on Tuesday April 3 at 5:00 in the Comparative Literature Seminar Room (Humanities 348) for an ECT Symposium with
Professor of Comparative Literature, UCLA
“Archē and Infinity of a Political Cosmos”
Stathis Gourgouris was born in Hollywood and grew up in Athens, Greece. He received his PhD in Comparative Literature at UCLA in 1990. He has taught Comparative Literature at Princeton and Columbia, and has been Visiting Professor at Yale (European Studies), the University of Michigan (Comparative Literature and the International Institute), and the National Polytechnic in Athens (Graduate Program of Epistemology). He was a National Endowment of the Humanities recipient in 2003 (as a Senior Fellow in the American School of Classical Studies in Athens), as well as Senior Fellow at the Center for Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture, Rutgers University (2000). He serves currently on the Board of Supervisors of the English Institute, Harvard University, and has recently been elected President of the Modern Greek Studies Association.
He has published two books: Dream Nation: Enlightenment, Colonization, and the Institution of Modern Greece (Stanford UP, 1996) – translated in Serbo-Croatian (Belgrade Circle, 2005); Greek translation forthcoming (Kritiki, 2006) – and Does Literature Think? Literature as Theory for an Antimythical Era (Stanford UP, 2003) – Greek translation published by Nefeli (2005). In addition to literary writings, he has written articles on politics, psychoanalysis, music, and film studies, published in boundary 2, South Atlantic Quarterly, Thesis Eleven, New Literary History, Performing Arts Journal, Qui Parle, Cardozo Law Review, Strategies, Diaspora, Social Text, as well as in journals in Greece, France, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, and Egypt.
He is a poet, with three books of poetry in Greek, and many poems published in English in anthologies and journals such as Harvard Review, Jacaranda Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, Compages, LA Weekly. He has translated various Greek poets in English, notably Yiannis Patilis’ Camel of Darkness (Selected Poems 1970-1990) in the Quarterly Review of Literature Book Series (1997), as well as the poetry of Heiner Müller and Carolyn Forché into Greek.
“What Can a Body Do? Psychoanalysis and the Logic of the Symptom”
The Psychoanalysis Reading Group at Cornell University invites submissions for its upcoming annual conference
Featuring Keynote Speaker Tim Dean, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University at Buffalo (SUNY); author of Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking (2009), Beyond Sexuality (2000), and Gary Snyder and the American Unconscious: Inhabiting the Ground (1991); co-editor of A Time for the Humanities: Futurity and the Limits of Autonomy (2008) and Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis (2001).
April 20-21, 2012
Ithaca, New York
What does the symptom know about the body, and how much of that knowledge can it tell? Psychoanalysis operates under the hypothesis of a body de-natured from the organism. According to Jacques Lacan, this is why we think: as he notes, the subject “thinks as a consequence of the fact that a structure, that of language … carves up his body, a structure that has nothing to do with anatomy. Witness the hysteric.” De-natured from its status as organism, the body emerges as parceled and the symptom as “truth taking shape” (Lacan). The symptom “holds” the body: we do not want to let the symptom go, for the jouissance tied to its eruption props up our very being. In analysis, then, language works on the symptom: the analyst maneuvers to fragment the chain of meaning that has sustained the subject’s individual body at the expense of its carved one, inviting the subject to encounter the truth of the structure, desire borne of language’s effects on the body. Encountering such effects, however, threatens the stability of both the subject’s “self” as well as its link to the social.
The symptom also speaks to the specificity of psychoanalysis as a clinical praxis; to the limits of its relevance for interpreting social or cultural phenomena beyond the clinic; and to the possibilities for interpretation implied by Lacan’s late reformulation, following the literary example of James Joyce, of the symptom as sinthome, “a signifier that would have no sense at all, just like the Real.” If the clinic of the neurotic symptom is the place where psychoanalysis thinks itself, what kind of knowledge can the analysand articulate about psychoanalysis as a practice in light of the sinthome’s resistance to analysis? To what extent does the sinthome’s relationship to knowledge and truth invite us to historicize the many ways—clinical, scientific, mathematical, political and aesthetic—the symptom both enables and limits the production of its perverse truth?
If psychoanalysis provides a support for the work of the symptom as a singular structure through which the body exerts itself in excess of both the ego’s place within the social link and discursive taming of the body, how might we theorize this work’s ability to extend into other terrains? From Freud’s social and theological investigations (Moses and Monotheism or Totem and Taboo) to Lacan’s claim that woman is the symptom of man to Octave Mannoni’s anthropologies (Prospero and Caliban) to the Marxism of Louis Althusser (“symptomatic reading”) or Slavoj Žižek (“How Marx Invented the Symptom”) to, most recently, Tim Dean’s work on different social organizations of sexual practice, psychoanalysis moves beyond the clinic to consider the logic of bodies within and against the limits of the social world. How does psychoanalytic thought, in its labor to enter into such practices, stay loyal to Lacan’s insistence that it is the unconscious, not the analyst, that engages in the work of interpretation? Inversely, how might the internal logic of psychoanalytic thought depend on psychoanalysis’s ability to articulate itself to this manifold of social activities, from literature to law, aesthetics to anthropology?
The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 1, 2012. Abstracts should not exceed 250 words; presenters will have 25 minutes each for their presentations with ample time for discussion afterward. Please send abstracts to the Psychoanalysis Reading Group at firstname.lastname@example.org. Notices of acceptance will be sent by February 15, 2012.
The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory presents a symposium, co-sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies,
on Monday Feb. 27 at 5:30 [PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE],
in Royce 306 by Martin Treml
(Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin)
“Paulinian Enmity: A story of the correspondence(s) of Jacob Taubes & Carl Schmitt”
Between 1977 and 1980, after two decades of an intense, mutual, yet indirect acknowledgment, Jacob Taubes, philosopher of religion and rabbinically trained Jew, exchanged with Carl Schmitt, Nazi crown jurist and theorist of the state of exception, letters and postcards. Taubes as well as Schmitt are often regarded as charlatans and demonic manipulators, but both of them are also remembered by many as some of the intellectually and spiritually most fascinating figures they ever encountered. In any case, there is no doubt that Taubes has made major contributions to the scholarship of apocalyptic thinking and messianic gnosticism. He has taken the field from the mere study of historical phenomena to a penetrating investigation of the dialectics of secularization and resacralization constitutive of what we call “religion.” In a similar way, Schmitt can be credited with fundamental insights into the relationship of theology and the study of law, between decision-making and the persistent difference between friend and enemy. The intellectual dialogue between Taubes and Schmitt in their correspondence took place before the background of a political, but also academic state of crisis in West Germany. The aftershocks of the late 1960s student movement were still evident in most if not all of the country’s institutions and discourses. This aftermath can be found Taubes’s and Schmitt’s discussions about ardent questions of political theology, such as: Saint Paul as the first illiberal Jew, Thomas Hobbes as the thinker of world civil war avant la lettre, Erik Peterson and Leo Strauss as sharp critics of the work of Schmitt, and Walter Benjamin as a mutual reference point. All of these concerns intersect with the central concerns of their respective thinking: the certainty of a liberating revelation; Catholicism as universal form; apocalyptical sentiment; the enduring power of the katechon set into the cold space of decision. Their correspondences were linked what may be called “Paulinian enmity.” The Taubes and Schmitt letters, which have been published in Germany last year, are now presented to the US academic public for the first time.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2011-2012 ECT Seminar, “What is a World?” The seminar will meet on Thursdays, 3:00-6:00 Winter and Spring Quarters. Applications are due Dec. 2, 2011 by email to: ECT Program, c/o Michelle Anderson, Student Affairs Officer, Department of Comparative Literature, UCLA email@example.com
Please include the following information: name, email, Ph.D. or MFA program or department, year in program and expected date of degree, and thesis or graduate advisor. Please describe your background and interests in critical theory, in no more than two single spaced pages.
The ECT seminar is the core course required of students who wish to receive the Graduate Certificate in Experimental Critical Theory; more information on requirements for the certificate is available here
What is a World?
What remains of the idea of “world” today? Is the increasingly rapid circulation of information, money, and objects around nearly the entire earth confirming capitalism as the whole cloth from which, for better or worse, our reality is woven, and globalism as the only viable paradigm for understanding its warp and woof, its rips and patches? And is the only alternative to globalization the new “localisms,” “regionalisms,” and “communitarianisms” that resist these expanding technological and economic networks by emphasizing the integrity of geographically limited and culturally particular areas and systems? What is a world? Is a world an interior, with a border that marks its difference from an exterior? Is a world constituted by the various perspectives of the individuals who inhabit it or is there something transcendental in a world, invariant and resistant to and even constitutive of multiple perspectives? Are worlds distinct and exclusive, or interpenetrating and inclusive? Is our knowledge limited to and by our historical and geographical situation in a world, or do we have access to truths that link multiple worlds? How does a world emerge? Suddenly like the Big Bang or the biblical creation story, or through gradual development, like geological accretion? And how does a world change? Through internal development or external pressures? Through evolutionary modification or revolutionary rupture? These are some of the questions that will guide our investigations of the concept of world and the functions of history, event, and truth in worlds in the ECT Seminar this year. Winter quarter will be led by Professor McCumber and will focus on the work of Martin Heidegger and his relationship to Aristotle, Nietzsche, and Husserl; Spring quarter will be led by Professor Reinhard and will examine the ideas of Alain Badiou and his relationship to Plato, Hegel, and Heidegger.
Winter 2012 (German 265): History, Truth and World: Heidegger displaced the locus of truth from sentences, propositions and theories to the set of contextualized significances he calls “world.” This move was indispensable for subsequent philosophy, which may accept or reject it but cannot ignore it without falling back into an uncritical use of modernistic categories (pre-eminently, those of “subject” and “object”). Heidegger himself saw this displacement as prepared for in a wide variety of his predecessors, from Aristotle to Husserl; this gives his move an historical justification in that Heidegger sees himself as saying clearly (!) what they were only trying to articulate. We will look at his discussions of those predecessors, along with their actual texts, with a view to understanding and evaluating this justification.
Spring 2012 (Comparative Literature 290): Worlds, Events, Truth: In the twentieth century, Heidegger presented a critique of globalism avant la lettre in the form of a history of the concept of “world,” beginning with an authentic Greek idea of kosmos and leading to its corruption in, for example, modern notions of Weltanschauung or “world-view.” For Heidegger, the impoverishment of the concept of world in modernity is bound up with the rapid development of technology, which has uprooted us from the world, rendering everything equally intelligible and equally meaningless. Without succumbing to Heidegger’s reactionary fear of technology, Alain Badiou has also criticized the concept of globalism, especially in the form of what he calls the “democratic materialism” (the proposition that there are only “bodies and languages”) that forms the common ideology of the western world. The position that Badiou calls the “materialist dialectic” agrees that a world is made up of nothing more than bodies and languages – there is no spirit beyond the material bodies and symbolic languages that constitute our worlds. However, Badiou argues that there is indeed an “exception” to this rule, which is precisely a truth, the constitutive yet indiscernible void or excess in a world. Truths are immanent to a particular world, according to Badiou, yet they are universal, infinite, and “trans-worldly.” For Badiou, a world is an ontologically closed set in which the possibility of appearing is regulated by transcendental conditions, or a logic, particular to that world. How then can we change the world? How does a new world arise, if it is to be more than a modification of a pre-existing world? This seminar will focus on Badiou’s Logics of Worlds, as well as other texts by Badiou on the concepts of world, event, truth, and subject. We will consider Badiou’s idea of world primarily in relation to that of Heidegger, and possibly also in relation to other philosophers such as Plato, Hegel, and Sloterdijk. Professor Badiou will join us for two weeks, as a UC Regents Lecturer, presenting new material in seminars and public lectures.
“The Aesthetics of Imperfection and the Art of Recording”
SEPTEMBER 27, 2011
HUMANITIES 193 UCLA
Andy Hamilton teaches in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Durham. His areas of research include Philosophy of Mind, History of 19th and 20th Century Philosophy, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Aesthetics with a special emphasis on music. He is also a jazz pianist and writes for “The Wire” and other contemporary music magazines on contemporary composition and improvised music. Among his numerous publications is the book Aesthetics and Music (2007). For further information on his articles on philosophy and music please visit: www.andyhamilton.org.uk
CO-SPONSORED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMPARATIVE LITERATURE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF MUSICOLOGY
Eric Santner on the UC Press blog on the new idolatry
Here is a link to a youtube video of Alain Badiou and Joe Litvak in a scene from Badiou’s play, Ahmed the Philosopher. The scene was part of a conference and performance on Badiou’s Drama at the HAU 1 theater in Berlin on July 2, 2011, sponsored by the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung. Speakers at the conference including Alain Badiou, Joe Litvak, Lee Edelman, Eric Santner, Ward Blanton, Martin Treml, and Ken Reinhard. A performance composed of scenes from Ahmed the Philosopher and Incident at Antioch was arranged by Sommer Ulrickson and performed by her and other actors.
Hosted by Professor Stephen Barker (UCI)
Due Date for Abstracts and Panel Proposals: 21 November 2011.
Individual Abstracts & Panel Proposals should be sent as an attachment to: firstname.lastname@example.org
All enquiries about the conference only, to this email address.
Please join us for a special conference and performance in Berlin sponsored by the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung and Hebbel am Ufer:
Alain Badiou’s Political Theater
With talks by
Alain Badiou, Ward Blanton, Lee Edelman, Joe Litvak, Ken Reinhard, Eric Santner, and Martin Treml
A reading of scenes from Badiou’s plays Incident at Antioch and Ahmed the Philosopher organized by
July 2, 2011 in HAU 1 (4:00-7:00PM and 8:00-10:00PM; 1600-1900 and 2000-2200)
HEBBEL AM UFER – HAU 1: Stresemannstr. 29 / 10963 Berlin
Also please join us for a talk by Alain Badiou,
“Towards a Contemporary Conception of the Absolute,”
In conversation with Frank Ruda and Jan Völker
On July 4 at 8:00 in the Roter Salon at Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
The UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory and the Hammer Museum present a conference/performance
on June 4 & 5, 2011 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles:
Can Art and Politics Be Thought? Practices, Possibilities, Pitfalls
Curated by Kenneth Reinhard and Drew Daniel
Part 1: Saturday June 4, 1:00-6:00
(in the Billy Wilder Theater)
Joshua Clover, “Between Centuries: Distance and the Epic”
(intro by Jason Smith)
Steve Goodman, The Martial Arts of Sonic Hauntology”
(intro Robert Fink)
Lauren Berlant, “On the Desire for the Political”
(intro by Sianne Ngai)
Interview with Drew Daniel
Part 2: Saturday June 4, 8:00-11:00
Ultra-Red (in Hammer gallery)
Jay Lesser (in Hammer atrium)
Kode9 (in Hammer Billy Wilder Theater)
Matmos (and guests) (in Hammer Billy Wilder Theater)
Part 3: Sunday June 5, 1:00-6:00
(in the Billy Wilder Theater)
Drew Daniel, “All Sound is Queer”
(intro by Julia Lupton)
Joan Copjec, “The Fate of the Image in Church History and the Modern State”
(intro by Eleanor Kaufman)
Allan Sekula, “The Forgotten Space”
(intro by Mary Kelly)
Alain Badiou, “Negation and Formalization”
(intro by Ken Reinhard)
Part 4: Sunday, June 5, 8:00-10:00
(in the Billy Wilder Theater)
Reading of scenes from Alain Badiou’s plays Incident at Antioch and Ahmed the Philosopher
directed by Stephen Barker
introduction by Ken Reinhard
Followed by a discussion with Alain Badiou
EVERYTHING IS IN EVERYTHING
From: Aesthetic Education
To: Intellectual Emancipation
March 11&12, 2011
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena
Conception and Organization: Annette Weisser & Jason E. Smith (Graduate Art Program, ACCD)
This conference will bring together senior and junior scholars as well as internationally acclaimed artists working in the field of contemporary political and aesthetic theory. The papers and presentations will consider the knot formed in Rancière’s work between aesthetics, politics and education. From his earliest work The Lesson of Althusser to his magisterial book on the pedagogical theory of Joseph Jacotot The Ignorant Schoolmaster, the theme of education have been at the center of Rancière’s concerns; his apparently recent turn to aesthetics, after the 1995 publication of The Disagreement, should in turn be understood as a continuation of his studies of the aesthetic experiments conducted during the post-work nights of 19th century proletarians The Nights of Labor. The question forming the horizon of this conference is therefore: what would it mean to propose a new “aesthetic education” of humanity today? How would the resurrection of this concept transform the current concepts of art, politics, and pedagogy? And to what extent is it necessary to return to the founding moments of aesthetic theory to rearticulate the relation between art and politics today?
- (Researcher and Translator, Brussels) Arne de Boever (CalArts, Los Angeles) Claire Fontaine (Artist Collective, Paris) Peter Friedl (Artist, Berlin) Sharon Hayes (Artist, Columbia University, New York) Maria Muhle (Bauhaus University, Weimar) Martin Plot (CalArts, Los Angeles) Kristin Ross (New York University) Jan Völker (Freie Universität Berlin) Evan Calder Williams (UC Santa Cruz)
ECT seminar 2011
Philosophy, Art, and Politics
Professor Kenneth Reinhard
1. Jan. 6 Introduction: Plato, Platonism, and Anti-Platonism
Plato, The Republic
Alain Badiou, “Art and Philosophy” from Handbook of Inaesthetics
Jacques Rancière, selections from The Politics of Aesthetics
2. Jan. 13 Eleanor Kaufman and Ken Reinhard, “Plato’s Republic and Badiou’s”
Plato, The Republic
Alain Badiou, Hypertranslation of Plato’s Republic (selections)
Jacques Rancière, “Plato’s Lie” from The Philosopher and His Poor Part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4
3. Jan. 20 John McCumber on Aristotle
Aristotle, Poetics; Politics I; Nicomachean Ethics III 6-9 (on courage)
John McCumber, “Aristotelian Catharsis and the Purgation of Woman”
4. Jan. 27 Kant on Aesthetic Judgment
Kant, Critique of Judgment
Hannah Arendt, Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy (selections)
Jean-François Lyotard, Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime (selections)
5. Feb. 3 Kant and Schiller on Aesthetic Education
Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man (selections)
Jacques Rancière, “The Aesthetic Revolution and Its Outcomes”
Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe & Jean-Luc Nancy, The Literary Absolute (selections)
6. Feb. 10 Hegel on Culture and Terror
Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit (selections)
Jean Hyppolite, Genesis and Structure of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit (selections)
7. Feb. 17 Hegel on Art and Tragedy
Hegel, Lectures on Aesthetics (selections)
Beat Wyss, Hegel’s Art History and the Critique of Modernity (selections)
Feb. 22 ECT Symposium: Bruno Bosteels lecture, “Decadence, Aesthetics, and Grand Politics” (5:00 Royce 314)
8. Feb. 24 Bruno Bosteels on Nietzsche
Alain Badiou, “Breaking in Two the History of the World?”
Alberto Moreiras, Exhaustion of Difference, selections
Bruno Bosteels on Moreiras and Esposito
9. March 3 Heidegger, Politics, Art
Heidegger, “The Origin of the Work of Art,” “What are Poets For?”
Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Heidegger, Art and Politics: The Fiction of the Political (selections), Heidegger and the Politics of Poetry (selections)
10. March 10 Kristin Ross, “Marx’s Realist Intention”
Marx and Engels, The Civil War in France
Raymond Williams, “A Lecture on Realism”
A conference sponsored by the UCLA Program in Experimental Critical Theory
Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010 10:30-4:30
UCLA Faculty Center, Hacienda Room [NOTE ROOM CHANGE]
SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY SESSION
Graham Harman, “What are Speculative Realism and Object-Oriented Ontology?”
Timothy Morton (UC Davis), “Sublime Objects”
Eleanor Kaufman (UCLA), “Sartre and Object Classification”
Levi Bryant (Collin College), “Ontotheology and Withdrawal: Sexuation and the New Metaphysics”
Nathan Brown (UC Davis), “On Method: The Compound Epistemology of After Finitude”
Ian Bogost (Georgia Tech), “Object-Oriented Ontogeny”
Graham Harman (American University, Cairo), “Real Objects and Pseudo-Objects: Remarks on Method”