Oct 2 2015

Andrea Rossi on Foucault



The Labour of Subjectivity: Foucault on Biopolitics, Economy, Critique

(Futures of the Archive, Rowman and Littlefield International)

Michel Foucault defined critique as an exercise in de-subjectivation. To what extent did this claim shape his philosophical practice? What are its theoretical and ethical justifications? Why did Foucault come to view the production of subjectivity as a key site of political and intellectual emancipation in the present? Andrea Rossi pursues these questions in The Labour of Subjectivity. The book re-examines the genealogy of the politics of subjectivity that Foucault began to outline in his lectures at the Collège de France in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He explores Christian confession, raison d’état, biopolitics and bioeconomy as the different technologies by which Western politics has attempted to produce, regulate and give form to the subjectivity of its subjects. Ultimately Rossi argues that Foucault’s critical project can only be comprehended within the context of this historico-political trajectory, as an attempt to give the extant politics of the self a new horizon.


Through an in-depth and skillful presentation of Foucault’s work, Andrea Rossi traces the genealogy of governmentality in the problematic relation between the subject and the norm, action and freedom, power and knowledge. His analysis offers a rigorous and original interpretation of the great Foucauldian themes of biopolitics, economy and the formation of modern subjectivity.

— Roberto Esposito, Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy

Everyone who thinks they have a secure and incisive grasp of the philosophical, ethical and political implications of Foucault on subjectivity should test their presuppositions by reading Andrea Rossi’s book. His innovative investigation is philosophically profound, ethically sensitive, and politically astute. Based on impressive close reading and full of quotable sentences, the book should be consulted whenever one wants to evoke Foucault on the historical production of subjectivity, on bio-political economy, on technologies of power, and on the particularities of the politics of the present.

– Michael J. Shapiro, Professor of Political Science, University of Hawaii

Andrea Rossi is a Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Koc University, Turkey.

Oct 2 2015

On Creaturely Life










A New Reading Group on Humanity and Animality at the University of Leeds

In the first meeting, the group will discuss the opening chapter of Eric Santner’s Creaturely Life and Rainer Maria Rilke’s “The Eighth Duino Elegy”. Please see the Creaturely Life webpage for links to the reading material: http://creaturelylife.tumblr.com/

3-5 pm, Wednesday, October 7th

Medical Humanities Suite

School of English

University of Leeds

Oct 2 2015

Writing, Drawing and Roland Barthes

Incontro con Italo Calvino











On Writing and Drawing:

Theorizing and Practicing Creativity with Roland Barthes

A One-day Symposium at Lancaster University

This interdisciplinary symposium places Roland Barthes’s theoretical writings on forms of creativity alongside his lesser known, but substantial, archive of drawings. Although, or perhaps precisely because, Barthes did not consider his drawings to be ‘art’, they can be viewed through the lens of his work on the neutral, textual pleasure, and authorship, and may even be seen to throw their own light on these theories. Assessing the role of such alternative texts in the oeuvre of one influential thinker also encourages us to think more broadly about how creative processes can both unfold within and shift across multiple media. Our presentations explore the work of further writers and artists who employ multiple media, as well as considering the theoretical and practical shifts that have occurred in our understanding of the underlying concepts of ‘text’ and ‘author’ since the advent of digital media and platforms.

2015 is the centenary year of Barthes’s birth and this event takes place on the date of his birth. The symposium is a collaboration between Insight, a creative research centre based at the Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University and Authors and the World, an AHRC-funded collaboration between researchers in the departments of European Languages & Culture, English & Creative Writing, Linguistics and Contemporary Arts at Lancaster University.


Charlie Gere (Lancaster University), Delphine Grass (Lancaster University), Beth Harland (Lancaster University), Sunil Manghani (University of Southampton), Eric Robertson (Royal Holloway University). Chair: Rebecca Braun (Lancaster University)

Artworks exhibited by Jean Arp (works from the Peter Scott collection), Sally Morfill (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Ana Čavić.

12 November 2015, 11.00 – 18.00

Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster University

Lunch and refreshments will be provided. The event is free but you need to book a place at: https://www.lancasterarts.org/whats-on/on-writing-and-drawing-roland-barthes-symposium


Jun 8 2015

Futures of the Archive: Theory, Criticism, Crisis












A new book series from Rowman and Littlefield International in partnership with the Northern Theory School

Edited by Arthur Bradley (Lancaster University) and Simon Swift (University of Geneva)

What will be the future of critical theory’s past? This new series offers a set of radical interdisciplinary interventions which explore how the history of critical theory can contribute to an understanding of the contemporary.

By returning to classic critical debates in philosophy, politics, aesthetics, religion and more, the volumes in this series seek to provide a new insight into the crises of our present moment: capitalism, revolution, biopolitics, human rights, the animal and the anthropocene.

In this way, Futures of the Archive shows that the past – and in particular critical theory’s own past – is not a dead letter, but an archive to which we still belong and which continues to shape our present and future.

International Advisory Board: 

Robert Appelbaum (University of Uppsala)

Howard Caygill (Kingston University)

Terry Eagleton (Lancaster University)

Paul Hamilton (Queen Mary, University of London)

J. Hillis Miller (University of California at Irvine)

Yvonne Sherwood (University of Kent)

Lyndsey Stonebridge (University of East Anglia)

Rei Terada (University of California at Irvine)

Samuel Weber (Northwestern University)

In order to discuss or propose a submission, please contact Arthur Bradley and Simon Swift.

Apr 16 2015

Anne-Lise Francois on Climate Change



‘Climate Change and the Cumulus of History’

A lecture by Professor Anne-Lise Francois (University of California, Berkeley) at the University of Leeds

Anne-Lise Francois is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Her book Open Secrets: The Literature of Uncounted Experience (Stanford UP, 2007) was awarded the René Wellek prize for Comparative Literature in 2010.

Thursday, 7th May 5.15 pm.

Seminar Room 5,

School of English,

University of Leeds.

This talk is generously funded by the Leverhulme Foundation.

Feb 22 2015

Derrida’s Faith and Knowledge: A Workshop











Re-reading Derrida’s ‘Faith and Knowledge’

A Northern Theory School/Department of Theology and Religious Studies Workshop at the University of Nottingham

In his enigmatic 1994 essay ‘Faith and Knowledge: The Two Sources of “Religion” within the Limits of Reason Alone’, Jacques Derrida explores the troubled place of religion in late modernity. If Derrida’s essay largely precedes the ‘post-secular’ turn in contemporary thought, it anticipates many of post-secularism’s defining concerns and questions: secularisation, ‘globalatinzation’, the return of the religious, the ‘religion’ of technological modernity, religious fundamentalism, violence and terror.

This workshop will be the first ever event dedicated to exploring the implications of Derrida’s landmark essay 20 years after its original publication. What is the significance of Derrida’s essay today? How do his reflections upon religion anticipate, deepen or question the turn to religion in figures like Habermas or Taylor? To what extent might Derrida’s essay  (which also contains important reflections on Kant, Bergson, Heidegger and Levinas) serve as a point of departure to explore the past, present and future of philosophy of religion?

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers that address any aspect of Derrida’s ‘Faith and Knowledge’ and/or use the text as a point of departure to address larger questions such as secularisation, the messianic, political theology, reason, technology, religious violence and terror. This workshop is free and open to all.

Speakers include:

Agata Bielik-Robson, Arthur Bradley, Joseph Cohen, Joanna Hodge, Adam Lipszyc, Laurent Milesi, Christopher Müller, Danielle Sands, Donovan Schaefer, Daniel Weiss, Raphael Zagury-Orly.

In order to register, please contact Agata Bielik-Robson [Agata.Bielik-Robson@nottingham.ac.uk]

June 1st-2nd 2015

Department of Theology and Religious Studies

Room A100, Law and Social Sciences Building, Monday-Tuesday

University of Nottingham

Feb 16 2015

Jack Halberstam on Queer Theory










A Series of Events with Jack Halberstam (USC) at the University of Manchester

Public Lecture

“A Path So Twisted”: Thinking Wildly With and Through Punk Feminisms

Tuesday 10th March 4.30-6 pm (Venue: TBC)

(Sponsored by Manchester Feminist Theory Network and the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology)

Roundtable Discussion

‘Why Be Normal?’

Tuesday 10th March  7.30-9pm at Contact: SICK! Arts Festival

Tickets can be purchased from: http://www.sickfestival.com/programme/manchester/why-be-normal/

CIDRAL Theory Intensive:

On Queer Theory

Speakers: Professor J.Jack Halberstam (University of Southern California); Professor Monica Pearl (University of Manchester); Clara Bradbury-Rance (Phd student, University of Manchester) (‘Putting Feminist Theory into Practice’, co-sponsored by CIDRAL and NWCDTP)

Wednesday, 11th March 10 am-12 pm

This event is free but requires you to register at the Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cidral-mftn-theory-intensive-on-queer-theory-with-j-jack-halberstam-registration-14992273293

Reading material: 

J. Jack Halberstam, ‘Introduction: Low Theory’ in The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011) J. Jack Halberstam, ‘Gaga Sexualities: The End of Normal’ in Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2013) J. Jack Halberstam, ‘Charming for the Revolution: A Gaga Manifesto’, http://www.e-flux.com/journal/charming-for-the-revolution-a-gaga-manifesto/. Readings available to download at:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/n3z0or816rs0ul8/AAA5BpgstWvWAs1RvLfTpx58a?dl=0 )

Jack Halberstam is Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Gender Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. Halberstam is the author of five books including: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and has written articles that have appeared in numerous journals, magazines and collections. Halberstam has co-edited a number of anthologies including Posthuman Bodies with Ira Livingston (Indiana University Press, 1995) and a special issue of Social Text with Jose Munoz and David Eng titled “What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now?” Halberstam is currently working on several projects including a book titled THE WILD on queer anarchy, performance and protest culture, the visual representation of anarchy and the intersections between animality, the human and the environment.

Jan 24 2015

Lorraine Daston to give Inaugural Northern Theory School Public Lecture












Inaugural Rowman & Littlefield International Annual Public Lecture

‘Rules, Models, and Paradigms: Before Rules Became Rigid’

Lorraine Daston (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin)

Rules – in the form of everything from traffic regulations and government directives to etiquette manuals and parliamentary procedures – structure almost every human interaction. Increasing use of computers has intensified a trend that began in the eighteenth century of ever more, ever more rigid rules for ever more domains of public and private life. But the algorithm became the prototypical rule only relatively recently, in the late nineteenth century. The long history of rules prior to that point shows surprising affinities with concepts now considered to be the antithesis of rule-following, such as thinking in terms of models and paradigms. Sources as disparate as the rules of monastic orders to textbooks of commercial arithmetic to cookbooks reveal a hidden history of the premodern rule.

Professor Lorraine Daston is Executive Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin, and Visiting Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Corresponding Member of the British Academy, and Member of both the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the Leopoldina Academy of Sciences. In 2010 she was awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite of the Federal Republic of Germany, and in 2012 the History of Science Society’s Sarton Medal.

She has taught at Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Brandeis, the University of Göttingen, and the University of Chicago and held visiting positions at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, the University of Vienna, and Oxford University (Isaiah Berlin Lectures in the History of Ideas).

Her books include Classical Probability in the Enlightenment (Princeton University Press, 1988), Wonders and the Order of Nature, 1150-1750 (Zone, 1998, with Katharine Park), both of which were awarded the Pfizer Prize of the History of Science Society, Thinking with Animals (Columbia University Press, 2006, with Gregg Mitmann), Things That Talk (Zone, 2007), Objectivity (MIT, 2007, with Peter Galison) and Histories of Scientific Observation (Chicago University Press, 2011).

6.00 pm

23rd March 2015

Cavendish Colloquium Room

Faraday Building

Lancaster University

This lecture is sponsored by Rowman & Littlefield International Publishers.

Please contact Arthur Bradley (a.h.bradley@lancaster.ac.uk) to reserve a place.

Jan 14 2015

Adam Phillips on Psychoanalysis, Morality and the Senses










Sensing the Arts

Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts and Languages (CIDRAL) at the University of Manchester

Roundtable with Adam Phillips: Psychoanalysis, Morality and the Senses

Adam Phillips with Dr Monica Pearl and Professor Ian Parker. Chair: Professor Jackie Stacey (CIDRAL Director)

Recommended background readings:

1. ‘Punishing Parents’ in One Way and Another (2013), pp. 351-371

2. ‘On Satisfaction’  Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life  (2012), pp. 137-168

3. ‘On a More Impersonal Note’ in Intimacies (Leo Bersani and Adam Phillips) (2008), pp. 89-117

Additional background reading:

4. ’The Pragmatics of Passion’ (Ch 20) Promises, Promises: Essays on Literature and Psychoanalysis (2000), pp. 296-309

(PDFs available at: http://events.manchester.ac.uk/event/event:ki-hwl172v1-d9rs2u)

Adam Phillips is a freelance psychoanalyst and wrier. After studying English at the University of Oxford, he trained as a child psychotherapist and became Principal Child Psychotherapist at Charing Cross Hospital in London. He is the author of nineteen books, including: Winnicott (1988), On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored (1993), Monogamy (1996), Houdini’s Box (2001), Missing Out (2012), One Way and Another (2013). A regular contributor to the London Review of Books, Raritan, and The Threepenny Review, Phillips is also the general editor of new translations of Freud’s work published by the Penguin Press.

Dr Monica Pearl is Lecturer in Twentieth Century American Literature at the University of Manchester. She is the author of AIDS Literature and Gay Identity: The Literature of Loss (Routledge, 2013) and essays on the graphic memoir Fun Home, the play Angels in America, the writing of W.G. Sebald, and opera.

Professor Ian Parker is Professor of Management in the School of Management at the University of Leicester, Co-Director of the Discourse Unit (www.discourseunit.com), secretary of Manchester Psychoanalytic Matrix and a practising psychoanalyst in Manchester. He is also Honorary Professor of Education at the University of Manchester. His recent books include Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Revolutions in Subjectivity (Routledge, 2011), and six books in the series ‘Psychology after Critique’ (Routledge, 2015).

3.30-5.30pm, 4 February 2015

University Place Lecture Theatre A,

University of Manchester

Followed by wine reception at Cafe Muse.

For more information: email: clara.bradbury-rance@manchester.ac.uk, go to www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/cidral/ or tweet @cidral_uom

Nov 7 2014

Bill Brown on Obsolescence














‘The Obsolescence of the Human’

A Lecture by Professor Bill Brown (University of Chicago) at the University of Leeds.

This lecture will focus on questions of obsolescence in general before addressing the eagerness (in the work of Bruno Latour above all) to do away with the human/unhuman distinction.

Professor Brown is Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture at the University of Chicago and works at the intersection of literary, visual, and material cultures. He is author of, amongst other works, A Sense of Things: The Object Matter of American Literature and co-editor of Critical Enquiry.

5.00 pm

Thursday, 4th December

The Alumni Room, House 10 of The School of English.

University of Leeds  

Please contact Dr Sam Durrant at s.r.durrant@leeds.ac.uk for further information.