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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Goldsmiths Annual Philosophy Lecture – Alienation & Freedom: Frantz Fanon’s Lost and Last Works


Jean Khalfa and Robert J.C. Young give the first Goldsmiths Annual Philosophy Lecture, on the hitherto unpublished and unavailable works of Frantz Fanon.


1 June 2018

LG02, Professor Stuart Hall Building

Since the publication of The Wretched of the Earth in 1961, Fanon’s work has been deeply significant for generations of intellectuals, philosophers and activists seeking to radically interrogate our understandings of violence, race, political subjectivity, mental illness and the challenges of decolonization. In CPCT’s first annual lecture, we are joined by the editors of the landmark collection Alienation and Freedom. This volume collects together unpublished and unavailable works comprising around half of Fanon’s entire output – which were previously inaccessible or thought to be lost. This book introduces audiences to a new Fanon, a more personal Fanon and one whose literary and psychiatric works, in particular, take centre stage. Khalfa and Young will explore how these writings provide new depth and complexity to our understanding of Fanon’s entire oeuvre, revealing more of his powerful thinking about identity, race and activism which remain remarkably prescient. The talk will shed new light on the work of a major 20th-century philosopher, and on newly available texts which oblige us to take a fresh look at the intellectual history of anti-colonial and post-colonial thought, as well as to address with Fanon some of the most pressing theoretical issues of our time.

The lecture will be followed by a response by Jane Hiddleston and will also feature a performance-reading of excerpts from the two plays by Fanon included in Alienation & Freedom: The Drowning Eye and Parallel Hands. Continue reading

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Maladies of the Book 4: Samuel Beckett (11 May)


Friday 11 May 2018 at 2 – 5.30pm

ICA, The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

in the Studio

Following rich and stimulating sessions on Mallarmé, Bataille and Blanchot, Maladies of the Book continues with an afternoon symposium on Samuel Beckett, the great prose-poet of cosmic textual exhaustion. We will begin with a reading of the crucial late text Company, led by Dani Caselli, and be followed by meditations from Derval Tubridy and Andrew Renton on Beckett’s complex and variegated relationship to the visual arts and other matters.

The event is free, but please reserve a place with Eventbrite:

Organisers: Michael Newman, Art (m.newman (at) and Josh Cohen, ECL (j.cohen (at)

Reading and talks

Daniela Caselli (University of Manchester)

A reading of Company (1979collected in Nohow On 1989 – please bring a copy with you)

Andrew Renton (Goldsmiths)

“Like something out of Beckett”: Beckett in his own image

Derval Tubridy (Goldsmiths)

Samuel Beckett and Moving Image Art


And in the evening for those who wish:

London Beckett Seminar, with wine, 6 – 8pm

Institute of English Studies Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, second floor, room 243

Dr Sinéad Mooney (De Montfort University) “Delirium of Interpretation”: Beckett and Outsider Art


Daniela Caselli is Professor of Modern Literature at The University of Manchester, specialising on modernism, critical theory, and gender. Among her numerous publications are many on Beckett, including the books, Beckett’s Dantes (2005) and Beckett and Nothing (2010), and articles on ‘Beckett and Italian Literature’ (2013) and ‘Beckett, Dante and the Archive’ (2014). Dani is President of the Beckett Society (2017–2020) and sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Beckett Studies.

Andrew Renton is Professor of Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London.  He holds a PhD from University of Reading on Beckett’s later work and is a patron of the Beckett International Foundation.  He has curated many shows internationally, including the first Manifesta in Rotterdam 1996, Walter Benjamin’s Briefcase, Porto 1994, Browser in Vancouver 1997 and London 1998, Total Object Complete with Missing Parts, Glasgow, 2001, Stay Forever and Ever and Ever at South London Gallery, 2007, Come, Come, Come into my Worldat the Ellipse Foundation, Lisbon, 2007, Front of House at Parasol Unit, London, 2008, and the first ArtTLV biennial in Tel Aviv, 2008.  Between 2012 and 2017 he was the founding  Director of Marlborough Contemporary Gallery in London, where he mounted more than thirty exhibitions.  He is author and editor of many articles, books and monographs on art.

Derval Tubridy is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London and co-director of the London Beckett Seminar at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She works on modern and contemporary literature, performance and the visual arts with a particular focus on the intersections between language, materiality and process. Recent publications include articles in the Journal of Beckett Studies and Contemporary Theatre Review, and chapters in Staging Beckett in Great Britain and in Samuel Beckett and Contemporary Art. Her monograph Samuel Beckett: The Language of Subjectivity is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press in June 2018.

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Stuart Elden, ‘Foucault’s Confessions of the Flesh’ (May 9)



Richard Hoggart Building room 137

Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, SE14 6NW


In February 2018 the fourth volume of Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality was finally published. Les Aveux de la chair [Confessions of the Flesh] was edited by Frédéric Gros, and appeared in the same Gallimard series as volumes 1, 2 and 3. The book treats the early Christian Church Fathers of the 2nd-5th century. This talk will discuss the book in relation to Foucault’s other work, showing how it sits in sequence with volumes 2 and 3, but also partly bridges the chronological and conceptual gap to volume 1. It will discuss the state of the book and whether it should have been published, despite Foucault’s stipulation of ‘no posthumous publications’. It will outline the contents of the book, which is in three parts on the formation of a new experience, on virginity and on marriage. There are also some important supplementary materials included. The talk will discuss how it begins to answer previously unanswered questions about Foucault’s work, and will also say something about how the book might be received and discussed.

Stuart Elden is Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick, UK. He is the author of books on territory, Michel Foucault, Martin Heidegger, and Henri Lefebvre. Shakespearean Territories will be published by University of Chicago Press in October 2018. He is currently writing books on Georges Canguilhem and on the very early Foucault, as well as editing a collection of Lefebvre’s writings on rural sociology with Adam David Morton.

All welcome.

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Philosophy Today 61.4: Werner Hamacher in memoriam

An announcement from our friends at Philosophy Today: the latest issue, 61.4 (2017), is now available online. It includes a memorial section on Werner Hamacher, who gave a lecture at Goldsmiths in October 2015 in inauguration of the Walter Benjamin London Research Network. 

The volume contains translations of two previously unpublished essays by Hamacher: “The One Right No One Ever Has” (trans. Julia Ng), and “Other Pains” (trans. Ian Alexander Moore). “The One Right No One Ever Has” was originally written for an edited volume from which it was subsequently withdrawn for reasons detailed in the essay’s concluding note. “Other Pains” was a talk whose final form was put together with the help of Shinu Sara Ottenburger, Hamacher’s literary executor. 

Also in the volume are essays written in memory of Hamacher by some of his former students, friends, and colleagues. Details below. 



Philosophy Today – Volume 61, Number 4 – 2017

Continue reading

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Maladies of the Book 3: Maurice Blanchot (Feb 2)


A symposium on Friday February 2nd at 2pm – 6pm

The ICA, The Mall, London in the Studio

Starting from his late reflections on passivity in The Writing of the Disaster, we turn to the work of Maurice Blanchot to develop our ongoing exploration of writing as impossibility and madness, and extend it to a consideration of the image. Beginning with a workshop on passages from Writing the Disaster, and Blanchot’s texts ‘Reading’ and ‘The Narrative Voice’, we will explore ideas of a radical passivity, reading situated before comprehension, the neutral, and the image as cadaver.

Paul Davies (University of Sussex) will guide the reading on passivity and reading.

John Stezaker (artist) will talk on the image, for which the reading will be ‘Two Versions of the Imaginary’.

Beth Guilding (Goldsmiths, University of London) will present a paper ‘”We do not come to the end with age”: Blanchot’s last word’, for which the reading will be Blanchot’s text ‘Who?’ from Who Comes After the Subject. 

Attendance is free, but please reserve a place in advance on Eventbrite:

Copies of the readings will be provided to those who book on Eventbrite.

Organised by Josh Cohen and Michael Newman for the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought with the Department of Art, Goldsmiths, University of London.

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Lorenzo Chiesa, ‘What Is a Subject? Lacan/Foucault’ (11 January 2018)


11 January 2018


Richard Hoggart Building (RHB) Room 144

This talk will focus on Foucault’s 1969 article ‘What Is an Author?’ and on Lacan’s comments on it. Although Lacan highlights the links between Foucault’s notion of the author and the subject of the unconscious as conceived by psychoanalysis, it will be argued that Lacan’s materialist stance is ultimately incompatible with Foucault’s fundamentally vitalist ontology.

Lorenzo Chiesa is Director of the Genoa School of Humanities and Visiting Professor at the European University at St Petersburg. He also teaches at the Freud Museum, London. Previously, he was Professor of Modern European Thought at the University of Kent, where he founded and directed the Centre for Critical Thought. His most recent works include The Not-Two: Logic and God in Lacan (MIT Press, 2016), The Virtual Point of Freedom (Northwestern UP, 2016), and Lacan and Philosophy (, 2014).

All welcome.