Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Deleuze Seminar, Convened by Jon Roffe, Melbourne School of Continental Philosopy, March 7-May 30, 2011.

The Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy is pleased to announce a new Evening School taught by Jon Roffe on the work of Gilles Deleuze. Classes will begin on March 7.

This weekly seminar will be devoted to a serial discussion of Gilles Deleuze’s oeuvre. The first twelve weeks will discuss those works in the history of philosophy, the studies of literature and the two books (Difference and Repetition and Logic of Sense) that elaborate his own position that were published between 1953 and 1969. The second twelve week period will begin by discussing the three books written with Félix Guattari during the 1970’s and will finish by considering Deleuze’s final published essay, “Immanence: A Life …”

Much of Deleuze’s own philosophy emerges through a complex series of interventions and discussions of the work of others. This seminar, however, will not be concerned with questions about the accuracy of his readings of, for example, Nietzsche or Kant, but will instead foreground what Deleuze takes as crucial in their work as he accounts for it. Each week a short text will be provided for students online to read in advance of the seminar. Though this is by no means compulsory, it will provide some basic coordinates for the material to be covered in the lectures.

Jon Roffe is the author of the forthcoming Badiou's Deleuze, and the co-editor (with Graham Jones) of Deleuze's Philosophical Lineage. He has been writing about and teaching Deleuze for the last ten years.

Enrolment in the Deleuze seminar can be undertaken in six or twelve week blocks, which you can sign up for here. Specifics about the second half of the seminar will be made available later in the year.

Part One

Week One: Introduction – The Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze in Outline (March 7)
Week Two: Empiricism and Subjectivity (March 14)
Week Three: Nietzsche and Philosophy (March 21)
Week Four: Kant’s Critical Philosophy (March 28)
Week Five: Bergsonism (April 4)
Week Six: “Masochism” [on Leopold von Sacher Masoch] (April 11)
Week Seven: Proust and Signs (April 18)

One week break

Week Eight: Deleuze’s Spinoza [both of the Spinoza books will be considered] (May 2)
Week Nine: Difference and Repetition I: the critique of the objective and subjective presuppositions of Western philosophy concerning difference (May 9)
Week Ten: Difference and Repetition II: constituting a philosophy of difference (May 16)
Week Eleven: Logic of Sense I: the structural account (May 23)
Week Twelve: Logic of Sense II: the genetic account (May 30)

Part Two (not yet open for enrolment, dates forthcoming)

Week Thirteen: Anti-Oedipus
Week Fourteen: Kafka: For a Minor Literature
Week Fifteen: A Thousand Plateaus I: Being and Language
Week Sixteen: A Thousand Plateaus II: Politics and Territory
Week Seventeen: Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation
Week Eighteen: Cinema 1: The Movement Image
Week Nineteen: Cinema 2: The Time Image
Week Twenty: Foucault
Week Twenty-One: The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque
Week Twenty-Two: What is Philosophy?
Week Twenty-Three: Essays Critical and Clinical [on Literature]
Week Twenty-Four: “Immanence: A Life …”

For full details and enrolment, see:

Cfp: "Bakhtin Through the Test of Great Time," Fourteenth International Mikhail Bakhtin Conference, University of Bologna, July 4-8, 2011.

Update 3 (February 23, 2011):

The conference will be organized around various coordinated topic areas:

1) The philological issue (the situation of Bakhtinian texts, with particular reference to the critical edition in seven volumes as yet unfinished);
2) Bakhtin philosopher and theorist (his contribution to philosophy, literary theory, religious thought, aesthetics, anthropology and contemporary human sciences);
3) Bakhtin and literary, cultural and anthropological history (corpuses, objects, languages, chronotopes).
There will also be special sessions on the Bakhtin Circle, religious thought, linguistic and mediological research, and musicology. However, papers and panel proposals on all aspects of the work of the Bakhtin Circle are welcome: genesis, influences, comparisons, reception, extensions, reformulations, exegesis, textology, translation, teaching, and in all spheres in which Bakhtinian thought is proving to be particularly productive.

Extended Deadline for Proposals of Papers: February 28, 2011

Deadline for Panel Proposals: February 15, 2011

Proposals should include: paper title, abstract of 600-800 words, author’s name, institutional affiliation, full mailing address and e-mail address. Please include up to five key words to describe your topic. Please send proposals in word format to: Federico Pellizzi at

Acceptances will sent out by March 15, 2011.

International Advisory Committee:

Ramon Alvarado, Universidad autónoma metropolitana (Mexico)
Craig Brandist, Bakhtin Centre Sheffield (GB)
Mika Lähteenmäki, Jyväskylä University (Finland)
Vitalij Machlin, MSPU (Russia)
Nikolaj I. Nikolaev, PSUL (Russia)
Clive Thomson, Western Ontario University (Canada)
Anthony Wall, University of Calgary (Canada)

Official Conference Languages: English, French, Russian, Italian.
Proceedings: a refereed conference proceedings volume will be published following the conference.

Conference fees: The conference fee is 200 € (student fee 100 €), payable directly online to the Conference Organizer:

Conference website (currently under construction):

Contact Information

Scientific Coordinator: Federico Pellizzi
Coordinating Assistant: Susan Brewer
Conference Organizer: Roberta Partisani

Update 2 (November 12, 2010): please note the change of dates above.  Deadline for submission of paper proposals: January 15, 2011.  Contact Frederico Pellizzi at the address below.

Update: Email submissions to: A response will be sent by the end of February 2010. The official website is not yet operative but will be set up shortly, at which point a further announcement will be made.

Hannay, Alastair. Review of Clare Carlisle, KIERKEGAARD'S FEAR AND TREMBLING. NDPR (February 2011).

Carlisle, Clare.  Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling: a Reader's Guide.  London: Continuum, 2010.

The Continuum Reader's Guides aim to give "clear and accessible introductions to classic works of philosophy." The author of this Guide makes it clear that she has planned to write an "accessible commentary" on Fear and Trembling. Commentaries and introductions are not the same. Introductions give you the lay of the land, guides (commentaries) are detailed maps that assist progress through the landscape. Like following a scenic route with a map and historical vade mecum, reading Fear and Trembling with a guide book in hand will seem out of place to many. Clare Carlisle's book is full of useful information and fruitful reflection, but it would be a shame to offer it to someone who has yet to read Fear and Trembling. For others it has much to offer and chew over. Introduction? No.

Carlisle's commentary, forming the second of the book's three chapters ("Reading the Text"), is nearly three times longer than the other two combined. Readers who prefer "a shorter overall discussion" are invited to skip this chapter, moving directly from "Overview of Themes and Context" to "Reception and Influence". Since the outside chapters are, to this reviewer's mind, more open to critical comment than the extended commentary, the main focus here is on these, with only the following brief account of the second chapter. . . .

Read the rest here:

Cfp: 8th Annual Meeting, California Roundtable on Philosophy and Race, University of Massachusetts, Boston, September 23-24, 2011.

The California Roundtable on Philosophy and Race announces a call for papers for its seventh annual roundtable. This roundtable brings together philosophers of race, and those working in related fields in a small and congenial setting to share their work and to help further this sub-discipline of philosophy. Philosophical papers are invited on any issue regarding race, ethnicity, or racism, and including those that take up race in the context of another topic, such as feminism, political philosophy, ethics, justice, culture, identity, biology, phenomenology, existentialism, psychoanalysis, metaphysics, or epistemology.

Submissions are especially encouraged from junior scholars and philosophers of color. We seek to foster a productive and intellectually stimulating environment for those working in philosophy and race. The Roundtable also aspires to bring together junior and senior scholars to develop and enhance constructive mentoring relationships.


Cfp: "Marx and Aristotle," Eighth Annual Conference, Marx and Philosophy Society, Institute of Education, University of London, June 4, 2011.

Main Speakers:

Jon Pike (Open University)
Tony Burns (Nottingham)
Scott Meikle (Glasgow)

The Marx and Philosophy Society aims to encourage scholarly engagement with, and creative development of, the philosophical and foundational aspects of Marx's work. The society welcomes contributions from any philosophical or political position.


Webber, Jonathan. Review of Joseph S. Catalano, READING SARTRE. NDPR (February 2011).

Catalano, Joseph S.  Reading SartreCambridge: CUP, 2010.

Anglophone readers of Jean-Paul Sartre's major philosophical treatises have long been indebted to the work of Joseph Catalano. His commentaries on Being and Nothingness and Critique of Dialectical Reason together provide a detailed map of the complicated terrain of Sartre's thought and have proved indispensable to students and academics alike since their first publication in 1974 and 1986 respectively. This cartographic exegesis has grounded his own careful contributions to debates in the philosophy of mind and action, well represented by his collection Good Faith and Other Essays and his monograph Thinking Matter.

His latest book, Reading Sartre, is arguably his most ambitious, drawing together into a single narrative arc not only the two major theoretical treatises on which he has published commentaries, but also the largest two of Sartre's biographical works, the hefty Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr and the gargantuan yet unfinished The Family Idiot: Gustave Flaubert 1821-1857. Although he has brought these works together before, in the final chapter of Good Faith and Other Essays, his aim here is much broader in scope and deeper in detail. The goal of this thorough study, he tells us, is to 'rethink Sartre': although he is trying to clarify the basic structures of Sartre's theory of the place of the individual in the social and material world, he admits that he will inevitably develop only a particular perspective on that theory (p. x). His tone is thus frequently tentative and exploratory and he regularly reminds his readers to take his work as an invitation to 'read more deeply' and allow Sartre's thought to help them, as it has helped him, 'to think more clearly and more honestly' (pp. ix, xii).

Catalano illustrates Sartre's thought with aspects of our social and political life, such as the state of heightened security in which the western world has been operating for the past decade, as well as more personal dimensions of our lives, such as our childhoods and relations with our own children. He may well be right that our lives can be enriched by the ability to see it in Sartrean perspective and is certainly right to imply that we ought to be more philosophical about our quotidian concerns than is usually the case. But in emphasising this import of his book, Catalano downplays the major contribution the book is set to make to academic discussions about or informed by Sartre's existentialism.

In drawing together Sartre's four largest publications, written about a decade apart and together spanning almost his entire career, and in viewing Sartre's major biographical writings as works that develop as well as apply his philosophy, Reading Sartre sets a fresh agenda for the scholarly study of Sartre's writings and for the use of his thought to inform ongoing philosophical, psychological, and political debates. Through careful analysis of the structure and central claims of Sartre's four most substantial works, two of which have so far received scant philosophical attention, and by laying bare the theoretical relations between these works, Catalano facilitates the pursuit of this new agenda just as his earlier commentaries have facilitated discussion of Sartre for nearly four decades. . . .

Read the rest here:

"Fiction on Fiction: Metafictions and Reflexive Representation -- Philosophy, Film, Art, Literature," Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge, April 15-16, 2011.

This conference focuses on metafiction, taken to cover any fiction which represents itself as a fiction.

Confirmed speakers include:

- Mark Currie(School of English and Drama, Queen Mary, University of London)
- Ruth Ronen (Department of Philosophy and Culture Research, University of Tel Aviv)
- Murray Smith (Department of Film Studies, University of Kent)
- Kendall Walton (Department of Philosophy, University of Michigan)
- Patricia Waugh (Department of English Studies, University of Durham)

Possible topics include:

- How to accommodate metafictions within an account of truth in fiction
- Audience engagement with metafictional representations
- Metafictional narrative techniques
- Metafiction in literature, film or the visual arts
- Whether metafictions place constraints on the ontology of fiction and the nature of fictional objects.

For further details and registration, please see the conference homepage:

Sluga, Hans. Review of Peter E. Gordon, CONTINENTAL DIVIDE. NDPR (February 2011).

Gordon, Peter E.  Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2010.

In 2003, Peter Gordon, Professor of History at Harvard University, published a remarkable book on the kinship between two distinctive figures of Weimar culture: the German Jewish philosopher, theologian, and mystic Franz Rosenzweig and the famed author of Being and Time, Martin Heidegger. The inspiration for this book had come from a short piece Rosenzweig had written on a momentous philosophical debate between Heidegger and his colleague Ernst Cassirer that had taken place at Davos, Switzerland, in 1929 in front of a large international audience. Gordon's new book, Continental Divide: Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos, deals directly with this encounter -- with its content, its setting, its antecedents, consequences, and implications. The book can usefully be read as a sequel to Gordon's earlier work, for the two books together draw an extraordinary picture of a unique moment in the history of twentieth-century German philosophy and culture. . . .

Read the rest here:

Fagan, Melinda Bonnie. Review of Steve Fuller, SCIENCE. NDPR (February 2011).

Fuller, Steve.  Science: the Art of Living.  Montreal: McGill-Queens UP; Chesham: Acumen, 2010.

Steve Fuller's Science challenges widely held assumptions about scientific values, the relation of science to religion, and the significance of the Intelligent Design movement. The book is part of Acumen's Art of Living series, aimed at a general audience. Each volume in the series is a personal reflection on the question: "How should we live?" as this relates to a specific topic: Work, Pets, Faith -- here, Science (ii). Fuller fulfils his brief with a bracingly heterodox account of the values animating scientific inquiry. Science consists of nine substantive chapters, a brief introduction, and a concluding bibliographic essay. Each chapter expands on an overall thesis: "the art of living scientifically involves taking theology much more seriously than either practicing scientists or religious believers are inclined to do" (1). Fuller construes science as a long-term, social enterprise of knowledge-production, which requires justification and support. He locates values necessary for these in the Western intellectual tradition, specifically Christian theology. This characterization of science underwrites Fuller's polemical claim that intelligent design and creationism are more in tune with the ethos of science than some currently established theories, notably Darwinian evolution. Science is thus a rejoinder to recent popular works championing scientific atheism on Darwinian grounds. Though many of its ideas appear in Fuller's previous publications, Science updates earlier arguments and presents his distinctive views to a general audience. . . .

Read the rest here:

Pub: Lancashire, Ian. FORGETFUL MUSES.

Lancashire, Ian.  Forgetful Muses: Reading the Author in the Text.  Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2010.

Read the related essay, "Vocabulary Changes in Agatha Christie's Mysteries as an Indication of Dementia: a Case Study," by Lancashire and Graeme Hirst, here:

Read Amanda Fortini's review, "Literary Alzheimer's" in the New York Times here:

Read Judy Stoffman's review, "An Agatha Christie Mystery: Is Alzheimer's on the Page?", in The Toronto Star of January 23, 2010, here:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"L'Ecrivain Edouard Glissant est mort." LE MONDE February 4, 2011.

Chantre éloquent de la diversité et du métissage, le grand écrivain antillais Edouard Glissant est mort le 3 février, à Paris, à l'âge de 82 ans. Poète, romancier, essayiste, auteur dramatique et penseur de la "créolisation", il était né à Sainte-Marie (Martinique) le 21 septembre 1928 et avait suivi des études de philosophie et d'ethnologie, à Paris.

Le prix Renaudot attribué, en 1958, à son roman La Lézarde, fit connaître du grand public cet intellectuel qui ne sépara jamais sa création littéraire d'une réflexion militante. Influencé par la philosophie de Gilles Deleuze et Félix Guattari, il a fait une utilisation politique de l'histoire et de la géographie des Caraïbes, manifestant sa révolte contre les racismes de toutes sortes et rappelant la tâche indélébile de l'esclavagisme sur les relations de la France avec l'Afrique et tout "l'outre-mer".

S'opposant à tout système imposé, à tout refus de l'autre, Edouard Glissant a été le chantre du métissage et de l'échange, formulant dans les essais regroupés au sein de la série "Poétique" sa thèse sur la "Philosophie de la relation" et la "Poétique du divers". Lui-même a refusé de s'enfermer dans un genre unique, circulant en permanence entre le roman, l'essai et le poème, y compris au sein de chaque ouvrage. . . .

Read the rest here:

Ginev, Dimitri. Review of Don Ihde, HEIDEGGER'S TECHNOLOGIES. NDPR (January 2011).

Ihde, Don.  Heidegger's Technologies: Postphenomenological Perspectives.  New York: Fordham UP, 2010.

Don Ihde dedicated his book Technics and Praxis (1979) to the memory of Martin Heidegger. Twenty seven years later he wrote:
I have come to regret that dedication . . . My aversion was not only because of the moral discrepancy, which does arise by equating gas chamber victims and biotechnological corn, but also because I saw that for Heidegger, every technology ended up with exactly the same output or analysis. (1)
The book under review, an impressive collection of interesting studies (some of which have been published previously), supplements the negative sentiments of aversion with a profound critique of Heidegger's philosophy of technology. The range of Ihde’s discussion is remarkable: ideas about the genesis and history of the philosophy of technology; a view about the rise of techno-romanticism; a re-reading of "the Heidegger corpus" from the empirical perspective of science-technology studies; a comparative analysis of the variants upon "autonomous technology" put forward by Heidegger, Jacques Ellul and Lewis Mumford; an explanation of the sense in which Heidegger's philosophy of technology is an existential-phenomenological enterprise; a rebuttal of the arguments for the thesis that modern technology is applied science; a search for a rationale for differentiating between handwork technology and scientific technology; and the doctrine that modern technology is both historically and ontologically prior to modern science. In handling these issues, Ihde tries to avoid appeal to representationalist epistemology in discussing science's cognitive specificity and the science-technology relationship, to replace the metaphysical meta-narrative about the "essence of technology" with a pragmatist account of science-technology, and to combine his phenomenological account of the life-world "in the midst of myriad technologies" with a multicultural diversifying of the Eurocentric story about the metaphysical trajectory of modern technology. . . .

Read the rest here:

Di Giovanni, George. Review of Karin de Boer, ON HEGEL. NDPR (January 2011).

de Boer, Karin.  On Hegel: the Sway of the Negative.  London: Palgrave, 2010.

Though not large in size (200 pages in normal format discounting end-notes and general apparatus), this book defends a complex thesis that requires it to range far and wide over the whole Hegelian corpus. The title, indefinite as it is ("On Hegel"), and the aphorism of the subtitle ("The Sway of the Negative"), already signals the broadness of the book's reach and the complexity of the thesis underpinning it. These traits make the book difficult to report on, but one can try none the less. The book is motivated by a critique of modernity that involves a critique of Hegel inasmuch as the latter's dialectical optimism is a hallmark of modernity. The critique is inspired by such figures as "Kierkegaard, Marx, Adorno, Heidegger, and Derrida," (5) at least to the extent that, like them, the author questions Hegel's principle of "absolute negativity." However, unlike these mentors, who failed to do justice to the strength of Hegel's thought, the author intends to capitalize on this strength by relying on a suggestion, which she finds in Hegel's early Essay on Natural Law (1803), that would limit the negative to its more tragic aspects. Hegel's is only a suggestion. As the author clearly recognizes, in the same essay Hegel also advances the more speculative idea of "absolute negativity" to which he is driven because of systematic requirements (26-27). None the less, it is on this more limited suggestion of a "tragic negative," and the entanglements to which it gives rise in concreto, that the author pins her hopes for an understanding of the dynamics of the contemporary world. As she says, "Nothing prevents us from . . . converting this very entanglement into a basic philosophical principle" (28).

Accordingly, the book is a reflection on all aspects of Hegel's system that exploits, while at the same time criticizing and limiting, Hegel's leading idea of the "negative." The book unfolds in ten chapters -- the shortest 7 pages, the longest 22 -- that follow on the whole the sequence of the Encyclopedia. It is Logic, however, and the conceptual problems that it poses, that control the book's development from beginning to end. For the author, contrary to what she takes to be the tendency of post-analytical Anglophone literature on Hegel to privilege the Phenomenology (the same, I add, could be said of the post-war French scene) believes (rightly so, in my opinion) that the capital work of Hegel, the one that holds his whole system together, is precisely the Logic. Chapter 1 presents what the author believes to be "Hegel's early account of tragedy" (7). Chapters 3 to 4 are a study of the Logic, while Chapters 5 to 8 relate the author's interpretation of the Logic to the rest of the System ("Circularity," "Nature," "Language," "Teleology"). In Chapter 9, the author finally turns to History. "Drawing on the perspective developed in the preceding chapters," the aim here is "to bring out the tragic nature of conflicts such as those between universality and particularity, freedom and power, the individual and the community, or progress and tradition" (8). . . .

Read the rest here:

Shaw, Joshua. Review of Michael de Saint Cheron, CONVERSATIONS WITH EMMANUEL LEVINAS, 1983-1994. NDPR (January 2011).

Cheron, Michaël de Saint.  Conversations with Emmanuel Levinas, 1983-1994.  Trans. Gary D. Mole.  Pittsburgh: Duquesne UP, 2010.

Michaël de Saint Cheron's Conversations with Emmanuel Levinas, 1983-1994 (hereafter Conversations), is a somewhat misleadingly titled new publication from Duquesne University Press. The book's title makes it sound as though it is a collection of interviews between Levinas and Saint Cheron, a scholar who has published works on Augustin Malroux and Elie Wiesel and who participated in Levinas's lessons at the École normal israélite orientale from 1983 onward. However, Saint Cheron's interviews compose only a small part of the book, which also contains four essays on Levinas and an extended essay on Yom Kippur, atonement, and forgiveness. The fact that these interviews constitute a small part of the book will be a disappointment for some. However, Conversations has several qualities to recommend it, both as a study of Levinas's philosophy as well as a work of Jewish philosophy in its own right. . . .

Read the rest here:

Cfp: "Michael Oakeshott’s Political Philosophy in Comparative Perspective," California State University, Santa Monica, October 2011.

British philosopher Michael Oakeshott (1901-1990) was a theorist of individualism in a time of conformism. He did not follow any of the major “schools” of philosophy of his day, preferring to strike his own path. His work has sometimes been called “liberal” and sometimes “conservative”, and it is certainly “radical” in some ways as well, such as in its rejection of moralism in politics. He was one of the deepest thinkers about what is known as liberal education, which is one of the goals of a university education. But a true liberal education, he observed, cannot result in a uniform, mass-produced, conformist product. In these days of crisis in higher education, perhaps it is time to look at his work again.

Oakeshott drew heavily on the English tradition in political philosophy, on such thinkers as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and John Stuart Mill. He was himself often compared to twentieth century thinkers such as Isaiah Berlin, Karl Popper, and C. B. Macpherson. But his connections, historical or conceptual, with a wider range of thinkers also bear rethinking, and that is one of the purposes of this conference. His work will be compared with that of Ludwig Wittgenstein, the Austrian genius who overlapped with him some years at Cambridge, and José Ortega y Gasset, one of the great Spanish thinkers of the twentieth century. We will also return to the French connection with Jean Jacques Rousseau: there are affinities as well as huge antipathies. Oakeshott’s first major book drew on Hegel at a time when Hegel was unpopular in England; there is more to be done in exploring this aspect of his work.

It is too much to say that Oakeshott scholarship has been exclusively dominated by English reflection on their own great thinker, but there is something original in our project: to bring American experts together with a research group from Spain which has been involved in the cosmopolitan project of interpreting Oakeshott. Looking at Oakeshott from a distance, so to speak, may help us find overlooked implications of his thought.

For more information, contact Dr. Cyrus Masroori at:

Cfp: "Religion, Politics and the Future of Liberal Education," Tenth Anniversary Meeting, Michael Oakeshott Association, University of Tulsa, October 13-16, 2011.

2011 marks the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Michael Oakeshott Association, a group established to encourage the critical study of one of the twentieth century’s most important political philosophers. Previous conferences have taken place at the London School of Economics, Colorado College, the University of Jena in Germany, and Baylor University.

The University of Tulsa will host the Association’s meetings this year. The focus of the conference will be Oakeshott’s understanding of liberal education and the contemporary university. Also central will be the possible relationships between university education, politics and religion. Potential authors should strive both to engage Oakeshott’s work on its own terms and to locate it in broader discussions about education, religion and politics. Papers that compare Oakeshott to other relevant thinkers are encouraged.

Abstracts, no more than 500 words, should be sent by April 15, 2011 to Abstracts should also include: title of paper, full name(s), affiliation, current position, and an email address.


Cfp: "Radical Foucault," Centre for Cultural Studies Research, University of East London, September 9, 2011.

The publication of Michel Foucault's Lectures at the Collège de France, 1983-84 in English will be complete in April 2011 and his first Collège de France lecture course, La Volunté de Savoir will be published for the first time in February. The Centre for Cultural Studies Research at the University of East London is holding a one-day conference on Friday, September 9th, 2011 which will re-assess Foucault's contribution to radical thought and the application of his ideas to contemporary politics. What does it mean to draw on Foucault as a resource for radical politics, and how are we to understand the politics which implicitly informs his work?

Many commentators today would seem to claim Foucault as the theorist of a politics which eschews all utopian ambition in favour of a certain governmental pragmatism, while others would claim him for a rigorous but ultimately rather simple libertarianism: can either of these positions ever be adequate to the radicalism of Foucault’s analyses? Does it matter?

What is the significance of Foucault’s ideas of ‘governmentality’ and ‘biopolitics’ in understanding his later oeuvre and its implications; do either of these terms deserve to carry the weight attributed to them by some commentators? What is the ongoing relevance of Foucault’s account of disciplinarity: is, it, as Lazzarato has claimed, a historical category no longer fully applicable to contemporary forms of power?

How can Foucauldian ideas be brought bear on the analysis of austerity politics? Is there a role for Foucault's ideas in formulating effective resistance to the increasing erosion of civil liberties that operates both within countries and across state boundaries? Can the notion of bio-power account for contemporary forms of racism? How can Foucauldian epistemology enable an understanding of the biopolitics of contemporary scientific discourse?

Confirmed Keynotes:

Stuart Elden, Professor in the Department of Geography, Durham University.
Mark Kelly, Lecturer in Philosophy, Middlesex University.

Abstracts of no more than 350 words are invited, to arrive no later than Tuesday, 1st March 2011. Subjects may include, but are not limited to:

Foucauldian thought and contemporary subjectivation
Foucault and other thinkers
Governmentality and everyday life
Strategic discourses of war and terror
New technologies of the self
Foucault and new forms of resistance
Heterotopias now and in the future
Foucault and the erosion of the state
Disciplinary society and the society of control
Foucault, British politics and the 'big society'
Foucault, post-Fordism and post-democracy

Email abstracts to Jeremy Gilbert ( and Debra Benita Shaw (

Cfp: "The Time(s) of Our Lives," Annual Meeting, Australasian Society of Continental Philosophy, La Trobe University, December 12-14, 2011.

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Elizabeth Grosz (Rutgers University)
Professor John McCumber (UCLA)
Professor James Williams (University of Dundee)

In the 1980s, US economist Jeremy Rifkin claimed that, “a battle is brewing over the politics of time.” He felt that the pivotal issue of the twenty-first century would be the question of time and who controlled it. In this conference, we open up the possibility that a battle over the politics (and philosophy) of time is also what is at stake in the differences between various major currents of contemporary European philosophy.

This is arguably so despite there being a metaphilosophical agreement amongst the vast majority of continental philosophers, which is that starting with the supposition of the ultimate truth of objective time is the wrong way to go, since the time of our lives will not be able to be adequately reconstructed, as David Hoy suggests.

Indeed, the endorsement (and rejection) of various different philosophical methods is partly bound up with their success (and failure) in illuminating the relationship between time and the socio-political. Consider the following methods: dialectics, transcendental reasoning post-Kant, genealogy, hermeneutical and psychoanalytic techniques, Heidegger’s destructive retrieve, Derridean deconstruction, the Frankfurt School style critique of modernity, as well as the general wariness of aligning philosophical method with either common sense or a deferential relationship to the findings of the sciences. From Husserl’s genetic phenomenology, to Bergson’s durée and the use of intuition as a method which is claimed to put us inside rather than outside time, to Heidegger’s Being and Time, time and method have been central to continental philosophy at least since the nineteenth century. Taken together, these methods also ensure that sustained textual engagement, and a concern with culture and history, undergird large parts of contemporary continental philosophy.

When it comes to thematising the ethico-political and normativity more generally, continental philosophers also invariably invoke time, and this often depends on forms of transcendental philosophy and temporal orders of priority. This is partly due to the vast influence of Heidegger. While Heidegger’s work is subsequently contested by Levinas, Derrida, and Deleuze (as well as others), it is typically contested on temporal grounds. Other continental philosophers associated time and normativity in the nineteenth century. While Hegel is an obvious case, arguing that the task of philosophy ought to be to grasp one’s own time in thought, we might also think of Nietzsche’s revaluation of values in which time is central. Nietzsche argues, for example, that all ressentiment is resentment of the present (the “now”) and claimed in Ecce Homo that the notion of the eternal return of the same was his greatest idea, along with the associated idea of amor fati: become what one is. We might also consider Marx, whose rich and varied analyses of the relation between certain modes of production and time (e.g. time-as-measure) remains influential. Kierkegaard’s work is primarily concerned with the manner in which the genuinely religious life involves a contradiction between temporal existence and eternity, as well as the manner in which the choice, or leap of faith, occurs at an instant in which time (lived time) and eternity are envisaged to intersect.

Drawing on these traditions, David Wood suggests that violence (both of a conceptual and more empirical nature) is best understood as fundamentally a disease of time, as a “chronopathology.” Ethico-political problems are in store for us when the living-present is understood as self-contained, when we are nostalgic for the past (or seek to return to some origin), and when the future is understood as entirely circumscribed and delimited by the expectations of the present. Current institutions are worth of critique to the extent that any of these chronopathologies are dominant, and thus exclude other times.

In that respect, of course, the irony of the title of the conference – the time(s) of our lives – is also deliberate. With global warming, the financial crisis, etc., it would be hard to say these are, in fact, the times of our lives in a positive sense, representing any kind of apotheosis of modernity. We hence hope to invoke reflections on these times, open to a variety of disciplines, including politics, social theory, and literature amongst others, all of which in their different ways remain critical of the present, tracing alternative temporal trajectories that fracture or wound – what Elizabeth Grosz calls the nick of time – any sense of our times as stable, progressive, and improving.

This critical dimension remains vital to European philosophy today, but within which some important temporal tensions remain. Are there biases enshrined, for example, in the phenomenological preoccupation with the living-present, or the post-structuralist valorisation of the future? Must the philosopher always be utopian in some sense?

A call for papers on these questions, as well as any others within continental philosophy broadly construed, will be sent out in early in 2011.

Pub: Fadda, Emanuele, ed. "Saussure, Philosopher of Language." RIFL: RIVISTA ITALIANA DI FILOSOFIA DEL LINGUAGGIO 3 (2010).

  • Emanuele Fadda, Introduzione
  • Tullio De Mauro, "Che ne è di Saussure, oggi?: intervista di Felice Cimatti"
  • Daniele Gambarara, "Per una filosofia del linguaggio e delle lingue. Intervista di Emanuele Fadda"

  • Michel Arrivé, "Saussure: un langage sans voix?"
  • Antonino Bondì, "Il linguaggio come «fenomeno»: L'esperienza linguistica tra Saussure e la fenomenologia"
  • Simon Bouquet, "D’une épistémologie néosaussurienne de la linguistique à la question des droits de l’homme"
  • Davide Bruzzese, "La riflessione anagrammatica di Ferdinand de Saussure: un’altra riflessione sul segno"
  • Cosimo Caputo, "Linguistica e filosofia del linguaggio in Saussure"
  • Felice Cimatti, "Concetto e significato. Saussure e la natura umana"
  • Manuel Gustavo Isaac, "Les paradoxes de l’arbitraire"
  • Emiliano La Licata, "Saussure e il disordine della langue"
  • Robin M. Muller, "Kant and Saussure"
  • Thomas Robert, "Saussure et l’origine du langage: un interdit à dépasser par la philosophie linguistique"
  • Horst Ruthrof, "Linguistic Arbitrariness and the ‘Nebulous’ World of Vorstellung in Saussure"
  • Gildas Salmon, "Les conditions d’une science de l’intertextualité: réflexion sur les apories du comparatisme Saussurien"
Recensioni e Note:

  • Andrea D’Urso, Caputo, Hjelmslev e la semiotica
  • Emanuele Fadda, Nota sugli atti del convegno "Révolutions saussuriennes"
Download the essays here:

Cfp: Kögler, Hans-Herbert, and Paul Healy, eds. Special Issue on Contemporary Advances in Hermeneutics. COSMOS AND HISTORY.

Twentieth century hermeneutics, including the work of Heidegger, Gadamer and Ricoeur, effected a revolution regarding the concepts of understanding and interpretation. Instead of being solely focused on a methodology of the human sciences, hermeneutics matured into a fundamental exploration of the grounds of human experience. In accordance with the aims of Cosmos and History, we aim to provide a forum for those challenging basic assumptions about being and being-in-the-world, and about humanity’s relation to the physical and social worlds. We are especially interested in exploring the ontological grounds, and the metaphysical, epistemological and methodological implications of hermeneutics for the domains of both 'nature' and 'human nature'. A new hermeneutics of nature could leave behind traditional Cartesian assumptions and fully unleash the potential of hermeneutic philosophy. Topics might include hermeneutics and metaphysics, the experience of nature and society, and the difference between explanation and understanding, among others. However, well developed contributions to all areas of hermeneutics will be considered.

Deadline for submissions:30th November, 2011.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Cfp: "Critical Theory and Social Justice," Fourth International Conference on Critical Theory, John Felice Rome Center of Loyola University Chicago, May 9-11, 2011.

The conference will examine the importance and the developments of the Frankfurt School by addressing both the philosophical tradition of the early stages of Critical Theory – and in particular the works of Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse – as well as the application of their theories to our contemporary society. In order to reflect the wide range of topics addressed by Critical Theory, the conference will cover different aspects of philosophical reflection on justice, politics, aesthetics, sociology, technology, literature and any other relevant field of study.

During the sessions, each speaker will have 30 minutes. All presentations will be made in English.

Keynote Speakers:

Deborah Cook, University of Windsor, Canada
Alessandro Ferrara, University of Rome, Tor Vergata.
David Ingram, Loyola University Chicago
Stefano Petrucciani, University of Rome, La Sapienza

If you are interested in presenting a paper or organizing a panel (of up to 5 speakers), please submit a 1-2 page abstract by January 29, 2011 (including name, eventual institutional affiliation and mailing address). Abstracts should be submitted by email. Decisions regarding the program will be made by February 2011. To submit an abstract, or for more information, contact: Stefano Giacchetti Ludovisi, PhD –

Cfp: "Writing Upon the Limit: Writing in the Philosophy of Jean-Luc Nancy," Department of Philosophy, University of Dundee, May 13, 2011.

This one-day workshop is intended to bring together academics and nonacademics from philosophy, French studies, and cultural studies interested in discussing post-Derridean ideas about writing.

Writing is a recurring theme in the work of Jean-Luc Nancy, for whom, writing “has its place at the limit.” Nancy coins the term exscription to describe a form of inscription that can be traced outside the text. This means that he pushes our understanding of writing into extended and external bodies. The conference aims to explore Nancy's ideas further, for instance in critical thoughts concerning the circumscribing of texts even in the extended domain of exscription and in relation to current interest in ideas of the extended mind.

Submission of papers exploring these issues are invited. Papers should have a reading time of 20 minutes. Postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers are encouraged to act as respondents to present brief replies to open the question and discussion sessions.

We are pleased to announce confirmed speakers include:
Ian James (Downing college, Cambridge)
Chris Watkin, (Murray Edwards College, Cambridge)
Martin Crowley, (Queen’s College, Cambridge).

The deadline for receipt of submissions is February 28, 2011.

Abstracts and inquiries should be sent to

Pub: PARRHESIA 10 (2010).

  • "The Metaphormatted Human: Bio-Artistic Practices of the Human Nexus" by Thierry Bardini & Marie-Pier Boucher
  • "The Eternal Return and the Phantom of Difference" by Catherine Malabou, translated by Arne De Boever
  • "The Birth of Immunopolitics" by Frédéric Neyrat, translated by Arne De Boever

  • "Philosophical Anthropology in Kant, Foucault and Agamben" by Colin McQuillan
  • "A Taste for Life (On Some Suicides in Deleuze and Spinoza)" by Jason E. Smith
  • "Lacan’s Ethics and Foucault’s Care of the Self: Two Diagrams of the Production of Subjectivity" by Simon O'Sullivan

  • James W. Heisig, Philosophers of Nothingness: an Essay on the Kyoto School reviewed by Eugene Thacker
  • Thomas Wheatland, The Frankfurt School in Exile reviewed by Mark Tomlinson
Download the essays here:

Cfp: "Storyworlds Across Media: Mediality – Multimodality – Transmediality," Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, June 30– July 2, 2011.

Even though narratology was conceived as a transmedial endeavour from its very beginnings in Russian formalism and French structuralism, most of its more influential models have been – and continue to be – developed in the context of literary criticism and film studies. In contemporary media culture, however, the creation of storyworlds is not limited to literature and traditional feature films. Rather, emerging forms of multimodal and interactive narration, experiments with the distinction between fictional and nonfictional narrative, various forms of intermedial adaptation, and attempts at 'transmedia storytelling' create new ways of presenting narrative content, thereby calling attention to the affordances and limitations of different narrative media as well as to their potential for cooperation. The increased interest in the relation between media and narrative sparked by the development of digital technology and the recent proliferation of delivery techniques in the context of media convergence has reinforced the need for an interdisciplinary and transmedial narratology that studies storyworlds across media.

We welcome proposals for papers on the following aspects of storyworlds across media:
· Transmedial narratological concepts: What are the theoretical problems encountered by the project of a transmedial narratology that spans different media? To what extent and under what conditions can narratological concepts be applied across narrative media?
· Mediality of Narrative: In what ways is the mediality of pictorial narrative (e.g. paintings, photographs), graphic narrative (e.g. graphic novels), audiovisual narrative (e.g. TV-series, film), and interactive narrative (e.g. computer games) relevant for their specific narrativity?
· Intermedial Relations: How do older media react to the emergence of new media by imitating their techniques or borrowing their resources? How do new media start out borrowing the narrative forms of older media but eventually develop their own forms?
· Transmedial Narration: What kinds of specific problems arise from the transmedial representation of characters, events, and storyworlds in the context of adaptations, transmedia storytelling franchises, and other forms of transmedial narration?

Please send proposals (including a 300-word abstract, contact information and a 100-word bio) for 30-minute papers via email (as a PDF) to no later than March 31th, 2011. Accomodation for speakers will be provided. Publication of the conference proceedings is planned.

Cfp: "New Critical Perspectives on the 'Trace,'" University of Malaga, Spain, October 20-22, 2011.

The aim of this Conference is to explore the critical notion of the ‘trace’ and its applicability to contemporary literature written in English. The turn to ethics and trauma studies in contemporary criticism has attracted much critical interest. However, little attention has been given to the concept of the ‘trace’ and the ways in which it engages questions of ethics, memory studies and trauma in contemporary literature.


Hart, Kevin. Review of Gianni Vattimo and Rene Girard, CHRISTIANITY, TRUTH AND WEAKENING FAITH. NDPR (December 2010).

Vattimo, Gianni, and Rene Girard.  Christianity, Truth, and Weakening Faith: a Dialogue.  New York: Columbia UP, 2010.

Gianni Vattimo is best known today, at least in the English-speaking world, as one of a triad of European philosophers whose names are often on the lips of a general audience, one existing largely outside Philosophy Departments in the United States. The other two are Georgio Agamben and Slavoj Žižek. These three writers do not constitute a school, and perhaps there is little that binds them together except a shared background in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European philosophy. Agamben draws from Heidegger and Benjamin; Žižek elaborates on Lacan; and Vattimo develops from Nietzsche and Luigi Pareyson. Each has a far broader philosophical and artistic culture than is usual in the English-speaking philosophical world. What allows their names to be linked in North American conversations is a willingness to engage in discussions of the nature and future of Christianity and to offer commentary on contemporary political events. So Agamben writes a gloss on Paul's epistle to the Romans, The Time that Remains (2005), reflects on homo sacer, and speaks out against America's response to 9/11. Žižek, a declared atheist, nonetheless figures Christianity as a partner in the quest for social egalitarianism and is a frequent spokesman on contemporary political events. His joint book with theologian John Milbank, The Monstrosity of Christ (2009), is a recent instance of his engagement with Christianity. And Vattimo, now on more intimate terms with the Catholic Church, has recently written a number of short books -- interventions and dialogues, really -- on Christianity, while also offering insights into contemporary politics. From 1999-2004 he was a member of the European parliament. . . .

Read the rest here:

Beardsworth, Sara. Review of Gunnar Farlsson, PSYCHONALYSIS IN A NEW LIGHT. NDPR (December 2010).

Karlsson, Gunnar.  Psychoanalysis in a New Light.  Cambridge: CUP, 2010.

Karlsson's book redefines the significance and purpose of psychoanalysis from a phenomenological perspective that conceives of psychoanalysis as a science (searching for truth) and "not merely as a method of treatment." His purpose is "to discuss the domain and conditions of psychoanalysis theoretically rather than from the perspective of clinical experience." This project is clearly executed with helpful chapter summaries along the way. Overall, it casts a powerful phenomenological searchlight upon the couch, levering the intelligibility of psychoanalytic theory off from dependence on its own empirical moment, the practice. We will consider the major fruits of this endeavor before questioning its risks.

Four specific objectives can be discerned in Karlsson's book: to ground psychoanalysis as a science phenomenologically, to present the Freudian subject as a temporalizing subject whose original striving is the striving for existence, to integrate narrative truth and historical truth in psychoanalysis, and to establish the function of self-consciousness in the analytic setting. . . .

Read the rest here:

Cfp: "A Past That Has Never Been Present? Art / Philosophy / History," University of King's College, June 8-11

Keynote Speakers:

  • Cathy Caruth (Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Comparative Literature and English, Emory University)
  • Leonard Lawlor (Sparks Professor of Philosophy, Penn State University)
This interdisciplinary conference, supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, will bring together scholars from various disciplines to explore the ways in which Maurice Merleau-Ponty's reference to "a past that has never been present" in The Phenomenology of Perception might be said to challenge our conventional notion of memory as a past perception, and so also to complicate our understanding of what is at stake in represen, ting the past as an object of experience.

Given Merleau-Ponty's claim that this "original past" is not to be interpreted on the basis of consciousness, perception or bodily engagement with the world, might the notion of a "past that has never been present" provide a new angle of inquiry in our explorations of temporality and its rupturing, memory disorders and obsessions with the past, in short, a thinking of representation that moves beyond a subject-object dichotomy?

Papers are welcome from scholars in philosophy, arts and art history, film studies, architecture, literary studies, history, trauma studies and/or psychoanalysis. Conference organizers will select a number of papers for subsequent publication. Paper proposals should provide a) name/institutional affiliation; b) 250-word abstract of proposed paper.

We invite proposals on such topics as:

The primal scene (psychoanalytic interventions)
Questions of messianism
Augustine (confession, time, memory)
Politics of Foundation / Revolution
Merleau-Ponty / Levinas / Bergson/ Deleuze
Proust (In Search of Lost Time)
Difference and Repetition
Revisiting Trauma
Mourning and Melancholy
Film and New Technologies (Digital Reproducibility)
Traces and Materiality

Deadline for proposals is December 15, 2010.

Please send submissions electronically to

Cfp: ARGMAS 2011: Eighth International Workshop on Argumentation in Multi-Agent Systems, Taipei, Taiwan, May 2-3, 2011.

This workshop will focus on the concepts, theories, methodologies, and applications of computational models of argumentation in building autonomous agents and multi-agent systems. Argumentation can be abstractly defined as the formal interaction of different arguments for and against some conclusion (eg, a proposition, an action intention, a preference, etc.). An agent may use argumentation techniques to perform individual reasoning, in order to resolve conflicting evidence or to decide between conflicting goals. Multiple agents may also use dialectical argumentation in order to identify and reconcile differences between themselves, through interactions such as negotiation, persuasion, and joint deliberation.

The main goal of ArgMAS 2011 will be to bring together the community of researchers working on argumentation in multi-agent systems. The workshop has the following technical goals:
- To explore the use of argumentation in practical reasoning.
- To investigate how argumentation can be used to enable rational interaction between autonomous agents.
- To explore the applicability of argumentation for solving a variety of problems in multi-agent systems, such as information exchange, negotiation, team formation, deliberation, etc.
- To explore strategic reasoning and behavior in argumentation-based interaction.
- To understand how argumentation relates to other areas of multi-agent research, such as game theory, agent communications, and planning.
- To present and encourage implemented systems which demonstrate the use of argumentation in multi-agent systems.
- The workshop will solicit papers looking at both theory and practice.

In particular, the workshop aims at bridging the gap between the vast amount of work on argumentation theory and the practical needs of multi-agent systems research.

For more information, visit:

Pub: INFORMAL LOGIC 30.4 (2010).


  • "Systematically Distorted Communication: an Impediment to Social and Political Change" by Alan G Gross
  • "Attacking Character: Ad Hominem Argument and Virtue Epistemology" by Heather Battaly
  • "The Structure and Evaluation of Planning Arguments" by Thorbjoern Mann
  • "The Question of Truth" by David Botting
  • "Take My Advice—I Am Not Following It: Ad Hominem Arguments as Legitimate Rebuttals to Appeals to Authority" by Moti Mizrahi

  • "The Pragma-Dialectician’s Dilemma: Reply to Garssen and van Laar" by Harvey Siegel, John Biro
Teaching Supplement:

  • "Critical Thinking and Small Group Activities" by Claude Gratton
Book Reviews:

  • Maurice A. Finocchiaro, Defending Copernicus and Galileo: Critical Reasoning in the Two Affairs reviewed by Scott Crothers
Download the essays here: