Call for Applications – Pittsburgh Summer School in Contemporary Philosophy – Formalism and the Real: Ontology, Politics, and the Subject

Readers of the blog may be interested in a philosophy symposium this summer that I have a hand in organizing. I’ve pasted the full information below the fold, but please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions. Read the rest of this entry »

From R.A.P. Music to Run the Jewels: Killer Mike and the Homonymity of the Idea

What follows is a first pass attempt to bring together the themes of sovereignty I have been exploring alongside Stephen Keating this semester with contemporary hip hop.


What could be an anonymous homonymy that moves towards the name itself? A herald from Atlanta carries the answer. Read the rest of this entry »

Call For Papers: Feminism: Body, Image, Power

Some readers might be interested in submitting something to an upcoming conference at Villanova. Please note that we accept both abstracts and papers from both graduate students and faculty.

2014 Call for Papers -19th Annual Philosophy Conference at Villanova University Sponsored by PGSU
Feminism: Body, Image, Power
Friday, March 21 – Saturday, March 22, 2014
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Lisa Guenther (Vanderbilt)

“The personal is political,” the well-known slogan of the Women’s Liberation Movement, continues to demand that we explore the ways in which our most intimate embodied practices, experiences, and images can be the site of politics, and alternately, how politics are carried out and enacted in the desires, affects, self-consciousness, and relationships of personal and interpersonal life.  Focusing on the highly productive concepts of body, image, and power, this conference aims to engage in discussion of a number of philosophical themes, topics, and approaches that are feminist in method or that deal with the topic of feminism.  How does the body stand at the juncture of the public and the private?  How do our private and collective images conceal or reveal the intersections of imagination and representation?  How does power operate as the conjunction of identity, knowledge, and praxis?  Feminist philosophy and feminism more broadly has much to tell us about the nature of our embodiment, our imaginaries, and the power relations that structure our lived experience, and this conference welcomes papers and artwork that deal with these topics, broadly construed. While all papers addressing feminism and feminist issues, works, authors, etc. are welcome, we especially encourage papers that take on these perennial issues of feminism in a contemporary context.

Possible topics of discussion include, but are not limited to:
-       Public and private spaces of embodied experience
-       Biopolitics and new technologies
-       Reproductive rights, natality, and motherhood
-       Autonomy, dependency, and vulnerability
-       Feminism and affect theory, body image, and imagination in cultural productions (e.g. film and media)
-       Intersections of gender, class, race, sexuality, and ability
-       The relationship between critical phenomenology, feminist philosophy, and political activism
-       Reciprocity of feminist theory with queer theory, critical race theory, postcolonial theory, globalization, and environmental ethics
-       Feminism and psychoanalysis
-       Postfeminism and postmodern feminisms

The Philosophy Graduate Student Union at Villanova University welcomes individuals (including graduate students and faculty) to submit abstracts, papers, proposed panels or artist presentations to be considered for our conference. Please send submissions formatted for blind review to:
Submission Deadline: December 15, 2013

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The Use-Value of Ethics: Antonio Negri’s Hopeful Time

This post emerges out of a close reading I did of one of Negri’s toughest texts, “The Constitution of Time,” which is in the Time for Revolution book put out by Continuum. I’m referencing the hardback edition, which has different pagination than the paperback edition. My thanks to Adam, Anthony, and Brad for hosting the post at AUFS.

I’d suggest that Negri’s “The Constitution of Time” can be understood as part of a contemporary ethical project. I am using “ethics” here in the sense of a way of life, and it’s how I understand Negri’s usage of “the practice of theory,” such as the following statement: “When the practice of theory is directed simply towards the constitution of the transcendent, time is non-existence. Time is multiplicity. Time is a theological scandal.” (30) I think that his (uneven) attempt to chart out a materialist theory of time is more readily understandable in these terms, and I’d like to  draw out the main contours of this ethics in order to clarify his pervasive recourse to the language of hope. Given Negri’s grounding of his own project in Spinoza, this is something I’ve found a bit troubling, even though I’m willing to entertain the idea that Negri does the some kind of rewriting to terms like hope that Spinoza famously does with God. Nevertheless, reading through “The Constitution of Time” was a bit of a revelation for me in my study of Negri, and despite the fact that this text is at times even more difficult than The Savage Anomaly, I’ve found it pretty helpful for getting a sense of what he’s up to in terms of his own ethics.

The first place that Negri’s ethics can be detected is in his polemical opposition to the “re-equilibrating calculus” of Keynes and Polanyi. (41) The fundamental distinction in Negri’s text is between the empty, reversible, measuring time of capitalism, and the constitutive, composing, open time of communism. Negri suggests that the second has been made possible by the first, which for him is why the “overcoming of capitalism occurs on the basis of needs constructed by capitalism.” (26) The more that capital has expanded on a global scale, the more difficult it becomes to measure labor with time. When capital has expanded far enough, when it “invests the whole of life,” then “time is not the measure of life, but is life itself.” (35) This paradox is one way to describe real subsumption; in conquering life, capital has seemingly become victorious once and for all. There is no longer an alternative to the M-C-M’ relation. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Communism, ethics, immanence, Marxism, Negri, politics, Spinoza. Comments Off

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