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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After Benjamin: A Symposium on the Wherewithal of Political Thinking Today (28 September 2017)

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After Benjamin

A Symposium on the Wherewithal of Political Thinking Today

Hosted by the Walter Benjamin London Research Network

Thursday, 28 September 2017

3-6pm

Richard Hoggart Building 137a, Goldsmiths, University of London

 

James Martel (San Francisco State University)

Unburied Bodies: The Power and Vulnerability of the State

Andrew Benjamin (Kingston / University of Technology, Sydney)

Two Catastrophes? Divine Violence and Climate Change

Julia Ng (Goldsmiths)

After the Fact

**This event is free and open to the public.

 

About the Speakers:

James Martel is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at San Francisco State University. He is the author of The Misinterpellated Subject (Duke University Press, 2017); a trilogy of books on Walter Benjamin: The One and Only Law, Walter Benjamin and the Second Commandment (Michigan 2014); Divine Violence: Walter Benjamin and the Eschatology of Sovereignty (Routledge/GlassHouse 2011); and Textual Conspiracies: Walter Benjamin, Idolatry and Political Theory (Michigan, 2011); Subverting the Leviathan: Reading Thomas Hobbes as a Radical Democrat (Columbia, 2007) and Love is a Sweet Chain: Desire, Autonomy and Friendship in Liberal Political Theory (Routledge 2001). His talk is drawn from a book currently under review with Amherst College Press entitled Unburied Bodies: the Subversive Power of the Corpse.

Andrew Benjamin is Professor of Philosophy and the Humanities, Kingston University London and Distinguished Professor of Architectural Theory at the University of Technology, Sydney. He co-convenes the Walter Benjamin London Research Network and is the author of numerous books on Benjamin, most recently Working with Walter Benjamin: Recovering a Political Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press 2013).

Julia Ng is Lecturer in Critical Theory in the Department of English and Comparative Literature and the Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought at Goldsmiths, University of London.


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Call for Papers: Benjamin and Leibniz – On Expression (WBLRN / Goldsmiths, 27-28 June 2017; deadline 20 April)

OnExpression.jpgCall for Papers

Benjamin and Leibniz: On Expression

Conference and Workshop

Conference: 27 June 2017 @ RHB 342
Workshop: 28 June 2017 @ RHB 142
Location: Goldsmiths, University of London

Walter Benjamin London Research Network 
Hosted by the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, Goldsmiths

Supported by the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy and the London Graduate School, Kingston University

Keynote Speaker: Professor Peter Fenves, Northwestern University

Deadline for abstracts: 20 April 2017 

‘The idea is a monad—that means briefly: every idea contains the image of the world’, writes Walter Benjamin in The Origin of the German Mourning Play. ‘Expression’, in the writing of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, denotes an isomorphic relation between the universe and its components, or monads. Every monad contains an image, or reflection of the universe; ‘each simple substance has relations which express all the others, and (…) consequently it is a perpetual living mirror of the universe (§56, Monadology). This conference seeks to reanimate Benjamin’s encounter with Leibniz, and considers, particularly, the manner in which Leibniz’s concept of expression informs Benjamin’s thought.

As Gilles Deleuze writes in Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza, the concept of expression, rediscovered by Spinoza and Leibniz, ‘already had behind it a long philosophical history, but a rather hidden, and a rather forbidden history’. Walter Benjamin’s engagement with Leibniz’s philosophy was an enduring one as well. Explicit references to Leibniz’s philosophy may be found from Benjamin’s doctoral dissertation on early German romanticism to his final text, the ‘Theses on the Philosophy of History’. Yet the Leibniz-Benjamin encounter might be considered a hidden one too, and—from the dearth of critical commentary on the subject—the scope of Leibniz’s influence on Benjamin may appear equally forbidding. Whence the furtive nature of those themes appropriated from Leibniz in Benjamin’s writing, and to what extent might ‘expression’ be the sign under which less visible dimensions of such themes can, paradoxically, be made legible?

Both the concept of expression—as a point of convergence between the philosophy of Leibniz and Benjamin—and its bearing upon their philosophy more generally, have gone underinvestigated. This conference will bring together researchers working on different aspects of expression in Benjamin and Leibniz’s philosophy. The workshop—to be held on the following day—will offer participants an opportunity to read texts by Leibniz, Benjamin and others, and to investigate the role played by the themes of expression and monadology in and between disciplines in the 20th and 21st centuries.

We welcome papers on a range of topics including but not limited to:

* The role of the
Monadology in Benjamin’s ‘philosophy of ideas’ and philosophy of language
* Between expression (
Ausdruck) and perception (Wahrnehmung) in Walter Benjamin’s writing
* The place of Leibniz in Benjamin’s encounter with Romanticism

* Leibniz’s concept of expression in Benjamin’s philosophy of history

* The concept of expression between Leibniz, Deleuze and Benjamin

* Monadic/expressive use of philosophical terminology in Benjamin

* Benjamin’s disputations with infinitesimal calculus

* Leibniz’s concept of expression and Benjamin’s writing on poetics

* The ‘virtual’ in Leibniz; virtuality in Benjamin and Derrida

* Leibniz, Benjamin and theories of the coming philosophy

* Logical expression, historical expression: Benjamin’s responses to Cohen

Proposals (250-300 words) for 20 minute long papers, accompanied by a brief biographical note (100 words) should be submitted to onexpressionwblrn@gmail.com by April 20th, 2017.

Organization: Noa Levin / Christopher Law


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Benjamin and the Literary: Romantic Forms

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A Walter Benjamin London Research Network conference of new work on Benjamin’s doctoral thesis on Romanticism, followed by a workshop on its most influential interpretations.

11 Mar 2016
10:00am – 6:00pm
302, Hatcham House (St James 19)

Benjamin’s doctoral dissertation, The Concept of Criticism in German Romanticism, has long functioned not only as a lens through which to synthesize the theories of art and knowledge in early Romanticism, but also as a cornerstone for understanding Benjamin’s own theories and practices of criticism. In harnessing his affirmation of criticism’s ability to unfold the potential immanent to works of art, such readings proffer upon the dissertation an undeniable political and historical force. Departing from ‘the literary’ both as a conceptually privileged mode of expression and as a configuration of linguistic experience, this workshop brings together emerging scholars with the aim of directing attention to under-analyzed aspects of Benjamin’s early work on criticism and critique, and to the possible articulations of politics and history contained therein. Presentations will focus on: the relation between criticism, philosophy and literature; irony; the afterlives of Benjamin’s dissertation; allegory and the Baroque. This will be followed by a workshop on the dissertation and selected readings.

Conference website


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Werner Hamacher – “Image and Time” (Walter Benjamin London Research Network)

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One of the world’s seminal readers of Walter Benjamin inaugurates new philosophy research network with a workshop on Benjamin’s understanding of the image.

23 Oct 2015
10:00am – 5:00pm
Room D111, Granary Building, Central Saint Martins

The day will be split into four sessions, each devoted to a selection of short texts and excerpts. Texts under discussion will be distributed ahead of the workshop in German and English.

Participation in the workshop is limited. Please register your interest by sending a letter of intent and (in the case of PhD students) a thesis abstract by Oct 5, 2015 to j.ng [at] gold.ac.uk, j.cohen [at] gold.ac.uk, and a.benjamin [at] kingston.ac.uk.

Werner Hamacher is a professor emeritus of comparative literature at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, and a professor of Philosophy and Literary Theory at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. (Frankfurt am Main) http://www.egs.edu/faculty/werner-hamacher/biography/

The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought (CPCT) at Goldsmiths, University of London collaborates with the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, the London Graduate School at Kingston University, and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, in a network of research and scholarly exchange related to the work of Walter Benjamin. The network brings together scholars and research students in the London area, and facilitates the exchange of advanced, philosophical and literary-theoretical research on Benjamin between the UK, other parts of Europe, and around the world. The network is co-chaired by Julia Ng (co-director of CPCT), Josh Cohen (English and Comparative Literature), and Andrew Benjamin (LGS Kingston / Monash).

The network hosts an annual lecture series; and text-based workshops that intersperse short formal presentations and close textual analysis of one or several key writings by Benjamin along a chosen theme.


The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought (CPCT) is a new centre for philosophical inquiry at Goldsmiths. For further information please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/sociology/research-centres/cpct/

To sign up for announcements of upcoming events, please subscribe to our mailing list at:http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cpct-announce
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www.gold.ac.uk/…/walter-benjamin/


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Werner Hamacher: “Now: Time” (Walter Benjamin London Research Network)

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One of the world’s seminal readers of Walter Benjamin inaugurates new philosophy research network with a talk on Benjamin’s idea of historical time.

22 Oct 2015
5:00pm – 7:00pm
137a, Richard Hoggart Building

Werner Hamacher is a professor emeritus of comparative literature at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, and a professor of Philosophy and Literary Theory at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. (Frankfurt am Main) http://www.egs.edu/faculty/werner-hamacher/biography/

The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought (CPCT) at Goldsmiths, University of London collaborates with the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, the London Graduate School at Kingston University, and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, in a network of research and scholarly exchange related to the work of Walter Benjamin. The network brings together scholars and research students in the London area, and facilitates the exchange of advanced, philosophical and literary-theoretical research on Benjamin between the UK, other parts of Europe, and around the world. The network is co-chaired by Julia Ng (co-director of CPCT), Josh Cohen (English and Comparative Literature), and Andrew Benjamin (LGS Kingston / Monash).

The network hosts an annual lecture series; and text-based workshops that intersperse short formal presentations and close textual analysis of one or several key writings by Benjamin along a chosen theme.

The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought (CPCT) is a new centre for philosophical inquiry at Goldsmiths. For further information please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/sociology/research-centres/cpct/

To sign up for announcements of upcoming events, please subscribe to our mailing list at:http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cpct-announce

www.gold.ac.uk/…/walter-benjamin/