Category Archives: Public Events

Lecture at SPEP

I will be presenting a paper, entitled “Radicalizing Critical Theory beyond the Eurocentric Lodestone of Frankfurt,” at SPEP on October 19. It will be part of a panel that I am very proud to have co-organized with Romy Opperman and Verena Erlenbusch, entitled “Decolonial Genealogies of Critical Theory.” Click here for the full program.

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Book Event at the Slought Foundation

An author-meets-critics session that will take place on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 from 6-8 p.m. at the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia. Entitled “Radical Imaginaires,” the discussion will be based on my two most recent books: Counter-History of the Present and Interventions in Contemporary Thought.

Event Description
This symposium brings together leading scholars in the fields of political theory, intellectual history, comparative literature and aesthetics to discuss two recent books by philosopher Gabriel Rockhill: Counter-History of the Present: Untimely Interrogations into Globalization, Technology, Democracy (Duke UP, 2017) and Interventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics (Edinburgh UP, 2017 for the paperback edition). These works, whose contents are outlined below, perform a tectonic shift in the theoretical coordinates that frame our understanding of the contemporary. Cutting across multiple fields and debates, they intervene to propose both a novel form of theoretical practice and alternative conceptual models for understanding the multidimensionality of the current conjuncture as a force field of social struggle.

Counter-History of the Present dismantles the widespread belief that we are living in a
democratized and globalized era intimately connected by a single, overarching economic and technological network. Arguing that it fails to account for the experiences of billions 51GyEIiJWHL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_of people around the world, Rockhill interrogates the ways this political narratology has emerged in connection with the neocolonial expansion of neoliberalism, which often seeks to mask the oppressive dynamics of global capital behind the value-concept of democracy. He thereby puts into relief the development of a technico-democratic mission that historically mirrors the role played by the civilizing mission during the grand era of colonialism. Proposing a counter-history that simultaneously counters the narratives of this imperial mission and develops a new grammar for historical and political imaginaries, the book creates space for the articulation of futures no longer engulfed in the prison of the colonial present.

Interventions in Contemporary Thought is a collection of essays that rethink the state and stakes of contemporary theory. By resituating theoretical work in a broader force field of culture and power, Rockhill develops an alternative historical model for understanding intellectual developments and proposes incisive, iconoclastic interventions into a broad rockhill_1-2array of current debates. These include a detailed dismantling of the sequential historical narrative leading from the structuralism of Foucault to Derrida’s post-structuralism; a radical critique of the political implications of the philosophy of difference; a meticulous reassessment of the force and limitations of the work of Jacques Rancière, Alain Badiou, and Cornelius Castoriadis; and a retrieval of architecture and public art, which have been largely excluded from certain contemporary theoretical debates on art and politics. Drawing on and developing his earlier work in Radical History & the Politics of Art, the book as a whole thereby proposes to modify the very framework for thinking the historical relation between aesthetics and politics.  Continue reading

Program for the CTW/ATC 2017 in Paris

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The provisory program for the Critical Theory Workshop / Atelier de Théorie Critique, which is an intensive research collaborative that I run in Paris over the summer, has been set. Click here to read in full. The list of invited guests includes Marielle MacéPatrice ManiglierPeter Skafish, Philippe CorcuffSophie WahnichAlice Canabate, Marie Goupy, Jennifer Ponce de LeónJean-François BayartAndrew FeenbergBernard Stiegler and Özgür Gürsoy. Participants in this year’s workshop come from approximately 12 different disciplines and 15 cultural backgrounds. Click here to read their profiles.

Nova Resistance

C8MWXc3XYAA_REJI am very proud to have been involved with the coordination of non-violent direct action against the promotion of #FakeEducation at Villanova University (who invited Charles Murray, a well-known white supremacist, misogynist and classist pseudo-academic whose “ideas” have been widely debunked). To get involved with Nova Resistance and/or follow our actions, please click here to go to our FB page. You will find a statement on our activities, videos, photos and news reports.

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Machete Event: Friday, March 10

maar-picasso-guernica-smaller-e1488822534557Machete: 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.

Friday, 10 March 2017, Marginal Utility Gallery, Philadelphia, 7:00-9:00pm. For more information, and to download the pre-circulated texts, click here.