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

Research Centre run jointly between the Departments of Sociology and English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths University, London

Bataille’s Nietzsche

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A Workshop with Keith Ansell-Pearson and Stuart Kendall

Thursday, 10 Nov
4-7pm @Richard Hoggart Building 256, Goldsmiths

Friday, 11 Nov
10am-6pm @Deptford Town Hall 109, Goldsmiths

Free and open to the public.

Written during the final months of the Nazi occupation of France, Georges Bataille’s Sur Nietzsche is a record of life during wartime. It is, in the words of the translator of the new English edition, Stuart Kendall, also a work “of ethical and political philosophy, or rather, more pointedly, […] an antifascist work written under conditions of enemy occupation, which is to say as a book written as a covert act of war.” Aimed at cleansing Nietzsche from the “stain” of his Nazi interpreters, Bataille’s Nietzsche puts thought to the test of experience and pushes experience to its limits. In this third volume of his Summa Atheologica Bataille recognises that “existence cannot be at once autonomous and viable,” yearning instead for community out of the depths of isolation and transforming Nietzsche’s will to power into a will to chance.

CPCT is pleased to host a two-day workshop of lectures and seminar discussions around the new translation of Bataille’s On Nietzsche (SUNY Press, 2015), led by Keith Ansell-Pearson (Warwick) and Stuart Kendall (California College of the Arts). Please see below for links to the text excerpts under discussion. 

Click here for abstracts.

10 Nov (RHB 256)
4:00 pm – Stuart Kendall (CCA), ‘Bataille beyond Nietzsche: The “On” of On Nietzsche’
5:00 pm – Keith Ansell-Pearson (Warwick), ‘Nietzsche as an Anti-Political Thinker?’
6:00-6:30 pm – General discussion

Drinks at New Cross House

11 Nov (DTH 109)
10:00 am – William Stronge (Chichester/Brighton), ‘The Creaturely Condition’
10:45 am – Willow Verkerk (CRMEP Kingston), ‘On Communication: Bataille’s Friendship with Nietzsche’

Coffee 11:30

12:00 pm – Jim Urpeth (Greenwich), “Immanence and the Sacred in Bataille’s ‘On Nietzsche'”

Lunch 12:45 to 2:00 pm

2:00 pm – Seminar 1, “The Position of Chance” (pp83-120), led by Chris Law (Goldsmiths) [PDF]
3:00 pm – Seminar 2, “Philosophical Epilogue” (pp308-318), led by Stuart Kendall (CCA) [PDF]
4:00 pm – Concluding roundtable


Keith Ansell-Pearson is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick. He is one of the foremost experts on Nietzsche in the English-speaking world, and is the author of Nietzsche contra Rousseau (CUP 1991), An Introduction to Nietzsche as Political Thinker (CUP 1994), Viroid Life: Perspectives on Nietzsche and the Transhuman Condition (Routledge 1997), How to Read Nietzsche (Granta 2005), A Companion to Nietzsche (Blackwell 2006), and Nietzsche’s Search for Philosophy (Bloomsbury, 2017).

Stuart Kendall is a writer, editor and translator working at the intersections of modern and contemporary design, visual culture, poetics and ecology. He is the author of the critical biography Georges Bataille, as well as the translator of Guilty and Inner Experience by Bataille, also published by SUNY Press.


One thought on “Bataille’s Nietzsche

  1. Pingback: Bataille’s Nietzsche: abstracts | The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, Goldsmiths University of London

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