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


Women on the Verge of a Philosophical Breakdown

About the Seminar

CPCT’s annual research seminar meets on a bi-weekly basis and is open to centre members, graduate affiliates, and other interested staff and students. It aims to serve as a forum for philosophical work and dialogue at Goldsmiths.

This year’s seminar is dedicated to women in the history of philosophy, broadly understood, around whom questions of materialism and embodiment have pivoted from antiquity to the near present. We hope in particular to see how the confrontation with forms of inquiry such as fragments, letters, visions and pamphlets compels us to rethink the categories that are customarily used to identify a legibly philosophical, because paradoxically disembodied corpus. Selections range from natural philosophy, the interstices between logic and rhetoric, philosophy of mind, mysticism, critiques of democracy and rights, and psychoanalysis. Throughout we will explore the challenges and provocations posed by these texts to debates on the union of mind and body, reason and madness, vision and idea, reform and revolution, and the ‘woman question’.

Co-convened by Julia Ng (Autumn), Marina Vishmidt, Alberto Toscano, Svenja Bromberg, Stefan Nowotny

All meetings will take place on Wednesdays from 4:00-6:30pm in RHB 307. [**Note room change.]

A detailed session plan including links to readings is available here.

4 Oct — Informational Meeting
18 Oct — Sappho
1 Nov — Hildegard von Bingen
15 Nov — Teresa of Avila | Julia Kristeva
29 Nov — Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia
13 Dec — Margaret Cavendish

24 Jan — Anne Viscountess Conway
7 Feb — Damaris Cudworth, Lady Masham
21 Feb — Emilie du Châtelet
7 Mar — Catherine Trotter Cockburn
21 Mar — Olympe de Gouges | Mary Wollstonecraft

25 Apr — Rahel Varnhagen | Hannah Arendt
9 May — Eleanor Marx | Alexandra Kollontai
23 May — Rosa Luxemburg
6 Jun — Melanie Klein
20 Jun — Simone Weil