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


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CPCT Research Seminar 2021-22: What is Global Critical Theory?

The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought is pleased to announce the theme of this year’s Research Seminar: “What is Global Critical Theory?”

The history of critical theory is one of migration and displacement of ideas – of travelling and exiled theory – but to date it has all too often been written as a story of the afterlife of the European Enlightenment. There is a growing research interest in the global reach of critical theory but its emphasis has often been skewed towards the applicability of ideas to local contexts, or to regional and area studies of specific social and political phenomena. This seminar seeks to begin to pose the problem of a ‘global critical theory’ by undertaking a series of soundings of conceptual debates emerging in different locales and conjunctures that foreground the non-Western genesis of crucial problems of contemporary critical theory, as well as the situated problematisation of the forms of historical difference and unevenness that mark the travels of critical theory. The seminar will touch, inter alia, on Caribbean and Latin American debates on the short-circuits, ‘misencounters’ (desencuentros) and misplacements between critical concepts in Europe and the Americas, and their aesthetic figurations in the periodisation of the Baroque and the conceptual persona that is Caliban; explore the uptake by Levantine Marxist intellectuals of Said’s Orientalism; investigate the oft-overlooked contributions of Vietnamese philosophers Trần Đức Thảo to postwar phenomenology and deconstruction, and Nguyễn Khắc Viện to global Marxism; and inquire into the critical theories of fascism originating in interwar Japan. 

Free and open to the public, as always. Convened by Alberto Toscano (a.toscano [at] gold.ac.uk) and Julia Ng (j.ng [at] gold.ac.uk)

Register here: https://gold-ac-uk.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_t5RX4pGtQEiGxD9VthSSGg

For a detailed session plan including further readings and links to PDFS, please visit https://cpct.uk/2021-2022/.


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CPCT Research Seminar 2020-21: Critiques of Violence

Paul Klee (From the Song of Songs) Version II ((Aus dem hohen Lied) (II. Fassung))

CPCT Research Seminar 2020-21:
Critiques of Violence

We’re pleased to announce the programme for this year’s Research Seminar, which is convened by Andrea Mura and Julia Ng. A detailed session plan including further readings and links to PDFs is available at https://cpct.uk/2020-21/.

Wednesdays from 4:00-6:00pm UK time on Zoom

=> Register here: https://gold-ac-uk.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gLOwwDQFTX2WYR4MmZ40Cg

Description:
2021 is the 100th anniversary of the publication of two texts that were seminal for the development of the modern critique of the state: Walter Benjamin’s “Toward the Critique of Violence” and Sigmund Freud’s Mass Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego. The years around 1921 were not only the immediate aftermath of a number of revolutionary events in the environs of “Europe” (Russia, Germany), however; they were also coincident with the abolition of the world’s last widely recognized caliphate, the reshaping of the Arab Middle East, and the creation of the first Islamic mass movement of the twentieth-century: the Muslim Brotherhood. Taking this triple anniversary as its point of departure, this seminar will investigate what it means to “critique violence” and what being a “state” stands for during the long decade around and in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, both for contemporaries of the time and for us today who are the heirs to some of the most influential writings in political and legal thought resulting from this period. Alternating between close systematic readings of the texts in question and a genealogical approach to their historical and intertextual contexts, the seminar will seek to return the conceptual and practical stakes of a critique of violence to their full complexity, reconsidering them as articulations of implicit and explicit debates on anti-imperialism, nationalisms old and new, the value of constitutionalism, and the ambiguous role of religion in the modern world.