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
Under Representation: A Conversation between David Lloyd and Lucie Mercier on race and aesthetics
Margaret McMillan Building Room 220
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
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
‘Giving the Foreigners Citizenship’, or, Machiavelli for Brexiteers
Professor Stuart Hall Building
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].
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 email@example.com
Marxism and Psychoanalysis: Alliance or Conflict?
From Soviet Psychology to the Present
Samo Tomsic and Keti Chukhrov
31 May 2019
Professor Stuart Hall Building Room PSH 305
The critique of psychoanalysis in Soviet Marxist philosophy and psychology was predicated on the secondary role of the unconscious and hence of ‘psychics’, in the construction of the social subject. Key studies such as Voloshinov’s Freudianism (1976) and Marxism and the Philosophy of Language (1929) and Leontiev’s Activity and Consciousness (1977), insisted that what functions as lack and alienation in psychoanalysis are in fact socio-economic categories and hence prone to dissolution under communism, having no stable ontology of their own. Consequently, the unconscious is simply that part of consciousness, which has not yet acquired awareness; indeed consciousness is nothing but an assemblage of socio-cognitive activity and labour, and therefore precisely an extension of social production. This classical mode of Marxist argumentation was subject to severe critique in the 1970s such as Lyotard’s Libidinal Economy (1974), Guattari’s Machinic Unconscious (1979) and Castoriadis’s The Imaginary Institution of Society (1975). In these texts desire and the unconscious were claimed as the irretrievable force of capitalism’s libidinal and phantasmatic nature. Meanwhile Lacan’s critique of philosophy’s reliance on consciousness in the 1960s was even stricter, calling the transparently rational subject a fatal error of philosophy. What, therefore, is left of the Soviet Marxist critique of psychoanalysis? This symposium will explore this question, specifically through a discussion of subjectivity and the social function of language, from these two drastically opposed standpoints. Continue reading
CHASE-funded screening event ‘A Berlin Childhood around 1900 – A Project in Progress’
Friday, May 10 18:00 – 21.00
Professor Stuart Hall Building LG01 – Goldsmiths, University of London
Attendance is free but registration is required, please register here: