I was very happy to have the opportunity to present my research on Nietzsche, Foucault, genealogy and counter-history at the annual conference of the North Texas Philosophical Association. A special thanks to Dale Wilkerson, Cynthia Nielsen, Charles Bambach, Michael Vendsel and the other organizers for coordinating such an excellent program.
Machete: Art in Times of Political Crisis
What can–or should be–the role of artistic practice in situations of political crisis? How are we to best understand and theoretically explicate the political contributions of the cultural world? To address these and related questions, the Machete Group proposes to explore a trans-cultural constellation of flashpoints in the global struggle of the arts:
-Participatory art in Latin America that merges with left social movements and works to denounce state and economic terrorism.
– The international political economy surrounding Guernica and the struggle against Nazism, which challenges the well-known critique of Picasso’s political impotence developed by Sartre and Adorno
– Omid Shekari’s paintings that embody an Iranian gaze that confronts Western viewers with the harsh realities of conflicts within the Middle East that have been sublimated and distorted by mainstream media.
Join Machete members David Dempewolf, Sebastien Derenoncourt, Jennifer Ponce de León, Gabriel Rockhill and Yuka Yokoyama for a challenging collective discussion concerning the role of cultural producers in the darkest of political times.
I am pleased to have the opportunity to present at the Critical Theory Roundtable at Penn State on 11/13. The entire program is available here. The abstract of the long version of my paper (of which I will only present a small part) is available below.
“Critical and Radical Theory”
What can theory do? Or, perhaps better, what does theory do? How does it operate, and what are its social, political and economic stakes and impacts? How does the intelligentsia as a class contribute to the perpetuation or transformation of inherited power structures? Continue reading
The Slought Foundation has recently posted audio recordings of some of the lectures from the conference “American World Literature” (2/5-6/2016) to its website. Click here to listen to my presentation on “Writing Revolution: Whitman’s Literary Democracy,” as well as to lectures by Emily Apter, Aaron Jaffe and Tracy McNulty.
I will be presenting a keynote lecture, entitled “Social Semiology and the Circulation of Images,” at the seminar on “Fabula” organized by the Norwegian research group “Text Image Sound Space (TBLR)” in New York City on May 3, 2016.
The I will be presenting a paper entitled “Critical and Radical Theory”–abstract below–at the “What Critique?” conference at UMass Amherst on April 23, 2016. For the program and more information, please click here.
Abstract: “Critical and Radical Theory”
The stakes of the paper that I will present can best be described in terms of a critique of critical reason. Neither a full-scale rejection nor a simple internal modification, such a critique seeks to foreground both the strengths and limitations of some of the dominant strategies, methodologies and sociopolitical orientations of critical theory, broadly construed. The ultimate goal is hence affirmative and productive: to rethink critical social theory for the 21st century.
Although the general stakes of the paper touch on issues integral to ‘continental’ philosophy since at least Kant, it will specifically concentrate on the Frankfurt School heritage. It takes Horkheimer’s canonical essay, “Traditional and Critical Theory,” as its palimpsestic reference point in order to sketch the lineaments of a radical theory. Understood as an attempt to reflexively reinvigorate social theory beyond its now institutionalized forms of ‘traditional critical theory,’ it questions the latter’s persistent Eurocentrism and phallocentrism, its academic distance from radical political praxis, its contemporary professionalization as a brand of moral and political philosophy, and its gradual withdrawal from the daunting project of an analysis of society in toto (from psychic forces and aesthetics to political economy and history).
The overall objective of the paper will thus be to work through one of the major critical traditions in continental philosophy in order to push beyond it, subjecting it to a critique that aims at honing a radical edge too often dulled by the institution of ‘critical theory.’