Call for Papers: New Encounters in French and Italian Thought

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

20th Annual Conference Sponsored by the Philosophy Graduate Student Union (PGSU)
March 13-14, 2015
Villanova University

New Encounters in French and Italian Thought
Keynote: Jason E. Smith

The negotiation between French and Italian activists and intellectuals in the mid-twentieth century opened a field of theoretical experimentation, the effects of which pose a challenge for contemporary politics. This encounter materialized through various collectives, traversing the neat intellectual and practical boundaries of the academy. Whether through the images of intellectuals in the streets, or through radical activist groups extending from the Situationist International to Tiqqun, the laboratory of French and Italian thought poses a constellation of conceptual weapons that remain vital for any contestation with the state of things. These implements have been successful in intervening within contemporary struggles on the level of theory, practice, and the construction of history in the present.

Under the inheritance of this tradition, this conference invites submissions from the interstices and margins of recent French and Italian philosophy. Possible paper topics include feminist recapitulations of post-workerism, the theoretical legacy of biopolitics as it is taken up in Agamben and Esposito, and the ongoing challenges for theory and practice posed by social movements extending from Latin America to the Mediterranean in the wake of events such as Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation.

Other topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Post-Althusserian philosophy
  • Decolonial challenges to eurocentric thought and strategies
  • Wages for Housework and care economies
  • Realism and contemporary ontologies
  • Re-interpretations of the Gramscian legacy
  • Philosophies of life and the problem of vitalism
  • Lacanian psychoanalysis and its heritage
  • French and Italian receptions of Spinoza, Hegel, and Marx
  • Affect theory and imagination in cultural productions (e.g. film and media)
  • Collective organization and social ontologies

The Philosophy Graduate Student Union at Villanova University welcomes graduate students and junior faculty to submit any of the following to be considered for our conference: paper abstracts of 250-350 words, papers of approximately 3000 words (including co-authored work) suitable for a 20 minute presentation, or proposed panels. Authors of accepted abstracts should send completed papers by March 1, 2015.

Please send submissions, prepared for blind review, by December 21st, 2014 to

This conference is committed to accommodating people with disabilities. Conference participants and attendees are encouraged to contact the above email address to discuss accommodations.

Another Laruelle related event post

At some point soon I hope to return back to blogging. I have been working very diligently over the past few months on a number of projects that have taken up most of my time. While you don’t come here for my whinging (that’s what my locked twitter account is for) I haven’t had a day since August that I didn’t work for at least eight hours. It’s getting a bit much! But should end soon and you’ll have some Laruelle related goodies to show for it, like the translation of Introduction to Non-Marxism (final proofing is going on right now) and my introduction and guide to Principles of Non-Philosophy, which will be out in May with EUP. I should have my synthetic introduction to his work finished in January (coming out with Polity) and then I will be finished with my duties to the secondary literature, translations, and editing. I really am thankful for the method and insights that Laruelle has given me, but it’s important that his work is, for me, a method for doing work not “Laruelle-oriented” and so I am looking forward to finishing these projects and focusing on the on-going generic secular project with some others (more details about that as they develop).

Until these projects are finished, edited, and dusted, I am here to give you two more Laruelle related announcements. First, the Laruelle in Translation series hosted by Michael O’Rourke, took place in July. The videos of the lectures by Joshua Ramey, Alex Dubilet, Alice Rekab, and myself are now online at the media page of the Global Art & Ideas Nexus. Also you will find there a short film by Alice Rekab. Unfortunately we don’t have video of the discussion that took place after she showed her video, but it was a genuinely interesting and exciting use of non-philosophy. I am very excited to see it come to fruition. The film was created in collaboration with an artist in Sierre Leone, People Pikeen, and was a genuine work of generic translation. Alice will soon be helping to raise awareness about the Ebola crisis hitting that community and I will be posting a link to that when it is up. You can see another collaboration between the two to help raise awareness about precautions against Ebola on her Vimeo page.

Secondly, for those in the New York area, next weekend (Oct 10-11th) there will be a symposium at Parsons The New School for Design. The symposium will feature a number of friends of the blog, like Alex Dubilet and Dave Mesing, and will represent the diversity of uses to which Laruelle’s project has been put in the Anglophone world. The poster below contains all the pertinent information. Superpositions_Laruelle_Symposium

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Call for Papers: Philadelphia Summer School in Continental Philosophy

Leon Niemoczynski and Stephanie Theodorou inform me that there will be a Philadelphia Summer School in Continental Philosophy this year that should be right up our readers’ alley. It’s led by John Caputo, on the topic of “Continental Philosophy of Religion and the New Metaphysics.” Full details available here.

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Agamben events at Northwestern

On the 15th anniversary of Giorgio Agamben’s Northwestern lectures the Paul of Tarsus Interdisciplinary Working Group presents with support from the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Program in Critical Theory, and the German department.

Friday, April 18, 12.30-3pm, Kaplan seminar room (Kresge 2-380)

Alessia Ricciardi – The Highest Poverty as Form of Life: Agamben’s Franciscanism and the Contemporary

Virgil W. Brower – “High Use”: Martin Luther as a hidden protagonist in Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer series

Wednesday, April 23, 2-3.30pm, German seminar room (Kresge 2-500)

Samuel Weber (in conversation with Peter Fenves and Anthony C. Adler, Yonsei University) – Politics of Singularity: Ontology, Theology, Economy

Conference at Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities: The Actuality of the Theologico-Political

We haven’t had enough conference announcements lately, so I thought I’d let you know of the forthcoming event at the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities in London entitled “The Actuality of the Theologico-Political.”

I will be giving a paper there entitled “Political Theology from Below,” wherein I plan to argue for the necessity of a non-theocentric approach to political theology in terms that will be strongly reminiscent of my Harvard talk earlier this year on Agamben and psychoanalytic drive theory.

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Conference Presentation at APA’s Division of Psychoanalysis (39)

I’ll be in New York at the end of April presenting at Division 39’s annual spring conference. This year the topic of the conference is Conflict and the dates are April 23-27. I’ll be chairing a panel on April 25th entitled: Childhood Sexual Abuse and Conflicts: The Traumatic Sequelae. I’ll be presenting an individual paper as well that I’ve entitled Pathological Caretaking: Changing Object Relations for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Here’s the abstract.

Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) warps the individual’s sense of self and object relations. Adult survivors of CSA internalize a sense of badness and guilt that makes their very existence seem criminal (Ferenczi, 1933), contributing to their belief that they deserve punishment and mistreatment. These internalizations inhibit their ability to form healthy and satisfying relationships. They are severely anxious about attachment and are often counterdependent due to their mistrust of others. They often initiate relationships in which they assume a pathological caretaking role, excessively devoted to partners who can be needy, immature, narcissistic and sadistic. These relationships allow them to disavow their dependency needs and yet still have them vicariously met by taking care of a needy other. In this paper, I will analyze these relational patterns that I have termed pathological caretaking, in which the survivor empties himself of desire (Ehrenberg, 1992), choosing to elevate the needs of the other. Also, I will focus on the ways in which these childhood traumas lead to personality-fragmentation (Ferenczi, 1933) and to the erasure of the true self and the creation of a false self (Winnicott, 1960). Furthermore, I will highlight from my own clinical work how I have used a Lacanian (Lacan 2006) focus on desire to destabilize the fixed relational patterns that render these individuals vulnerable to future victimization.

American Comparative Literature Association seminar on Agamben

Next week, Virgil Brower and I will be presiding over an ACLA seminar entitled “Agamben, Capital, and the Homo Sacer Series: Economy, Poverty, People, Work.” The full conference schedule is available for download here. Our seminar’s line-up is as follows:

Read the rest of this entry »

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