The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, Goldsmiths University of London

Research Centre based in Sociology and run jointly with the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths University, London

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Report: Two CHASE-funded events celebrating the work of Walter Benjamin at Goldsmiths — 10-11 May, 2019

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Screenshot from ‘A Berlin Childhood around 1900—A Project in Progress.’ © ‘A Christmas Angel’ (2016), Aura Rosenberg

On May 10-11th 2019, PhD Candidates Sofia Cumming (University of East Anglia, 2017 Cohort) and Federica Murè (Goldsmiths, 2018 Cohort) put together a programme of events centred on the work of Walter Benjamin (1892–1940). Continue reading

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Baudelaire and Philosophy—A British Society of Aesthetics Conference, 5-6 June 2019

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Baudelaire and Philosophy

An international conference supported by the British Society of Aesthetics and organised by the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought

Goldsmiths, University of London, 5-6 June 2019 

Charles Baudelaire is a pivotal reference for debates on modernity, criticism and poetics, though in the domains of philosophy and critical theory his work is often approached solely through the prism of contemporary commentary. Taking Baudelaire’s own references to philosophy seriously, this conference will also explore the complexity of the relation between the received understanding of Baudelaire as a prophet of modernity and his opposition to any idea of progress that would reduce poetic beauty to a vehicle for social and moral development. Baudelaire and Philosophy aims to do justice to the richness, complexity and ambiguity of Baudelaire’s critical and poetic writing, to explore his relation to philosophy and the philosophical, and to interrogate his place as a synonym for a certain idea of modernity.

PROGRAMME Continue reading

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Kevin McLaughlin (Brown) — Philology of Life: Benjamin’s Literary Critical Program (10 June 2019)

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CPCT and the Walter Benjamin London Research Network cordially invite you to

Philology of Life: Walter Benjamin’s Literary Critical Program

A talk by Kevin McLaughlin (Brown)

Monday, 10 June 2019
6:00 – 8:00pm
Richard Hoggart Building 137a, Goldsmiths
** followed by a wine reception

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Gabriele Pedullà, Machiavelli for Brexiteers (May 16)


‘Giving the Foreigners Citizenship’, or, Machiavelli for Brexiteers

Gabriele Pedullà

16 May


Professor Stuart Hall Building

Room LG01

A long and authoritative philosophical tradition, starting with Aristotle, asserted that cities have to be especially careful with foreigners, granting them citizenship only in exceptional cases, because the afflux of newcomers risks resulting in a threat to political concord and harmony. Against this opinion, in his Discourses on Livy Machiavelli offered a completely different reasoning: modern states should follow the model of Rome instead, where subjected populations and immigrants from abroad were constantly incorporated into the civic body, making the republic stronger, even if this process inevitably fuelled social conflicts. A lesson that is still valid today?

Gabriele Pedullà is associate professor of Italian Literature at the University of Roma Tre and has been visiting professor at Stanford, UCLA, the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Lyon), and Harvard. He is the author of In Broad Daylight: Movies and Spectators after the Cinema, Machiavelli in Tumult, and the novel Lame [Blades].

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The Dash— A Workshop with Rebecca Comay and Frank Ruda (May 25)

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25 May 2019

Room RHB 144

Richard Hoggart Building

In The Dash—The Other Side of Absolute Knowing (MIT Press, 2018), Rebecca Comay and Frank Ruda present a reading of Hegel’s most reviled concept, absolute knowing. Their book sets out from a counterintuitive premise: the “mystical shell” of Hegel’s system proves to be its most “rational kernel.” Hegel’s radicalism is located precisely at the point where his thought seems to regress most. Most current readings try to update Hegel’s thought by pruning back his grandiose claims to “absolute knowing.” Comay and Ruda invert this deflationary gesture by inflating what seems to be most trivial: the truth of the absolute is grasped only in the minutiae of its most mundane appearances. What if everything turns out to hinge on the most inconspicuous and trivial detail—a punctuation mark?

Rebecca Comay is a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto

Frank Ruda is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Dundee

Places are limited to so please register ahead of time with