Figure/Ground interview with Catherine Malabou

Figure/Ground interview with Catherine Malabou:

Dr. Malabou was interviewed by Gerardo Flores Peña. July 25th, 2017.

Catherine Malabou is a professor of philosophy at The European Graduate School / EGS and professor of modern European philosophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University, London. She is known for her work on plasticity, a concept she culled from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, which has proved fertile within contemporary economic, political, and social discourses. Widely regarded as one of the most exciting figures in what has been called “The New French Philosophy,” Malabou’s research and writing covers a range of figures and issues, including the work of Hegel, Freud, Heidegger, and Derrida; the relationship between philosophy, neuroscience, and psychoanalysis; and concepts of essence and difference within feminism. She is the author of important books as Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing: Dialectic, Destruction, Deconstruction (2009), Changing differences (2011) and most recently Before tomorrow : epigenesis and rationality (2017).

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Neil Brenner, Debating Planetary Urbanization: For an Engaged Pluralism – open access working paper

Neil Brenner, “Debating planetary urbanization: for an engaged pluralism,” Working Paper, Urban Theory Lab, Harvard GSD, Summer 2017.

This essay reflects on recent debates around planetary urbanization, many of which have been articulated through strikingly dismissive caricatures of the core epistemological orientations, conceptual proposals, methodological tactics and substantive arguments that underpin this emergent approach to the urban question.  Following brief consideration of some of the most prevalent misrepresentations of this work, I build upon Trevor Barnes and Eric Sheppard’s (2010) concept of “engaged pluralism” to suggest more productive possibilities for dialogue among critical urban researchers whose agendas are too often viewed as incommensurable or antagonistic rather than as interconnected and, potentially, allied.  The essay concludes by outlining nine research questions whose more sustained exploration could more productively connect studies of planetary urbanization to several fruitful lines of inquiry associated with postcolonial, feminist and queer-theoretical strands of urban studies.  While questions of positionality necessarily lie at the heart of any critical approach to urban theory and research, so too does the search for intellectual and political common ground that might help orient, animate and advance the shared, if constitutively heterodox, project(s) of critical urban studies.

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Michelle Terry appointed as new artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe

tumblr_otl59qLiF41t96b19o1_r2_1280.jpgEarlier this week it was announced that Michelle Terry had been appointed as the new artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe. This follows the premature end to Emma Rice’s time in that role (which I reported and briefly commented on last year). Terry is a fine actress and I’ve seen her in a few productions – as Rosalind in As You Like It at the Globe, in the RSC’s pairing of Love’s Labour’s Lost and Love’s Labour’s Won (a retitled Much Ado About Nothing), and as Henry V in Regent’s Park. She’s a largely unknown quantity as a director, so this will be interesting to watch.


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Adam Kotsko interview in The Revealer on The Prince of this World

pid_23793Adam Kotsko interview in The Revealer – The Prince of This World: Adam Kotsko and Patrick Blanchfield in Conversation

Adam Kotsko is a prolific writer and scholar whose work has tackled subjects ranging from the Church Fathers to prestige TV to contemporary American politics. His latest book, The Prince of This World, offers a remarkable genealogy of the idea of the Devil, from the Hebrew Bible to the New Testament to the Church Fathers to the Middle Ages to the Reformation and beyond. It’s also a nonpareil exploration of the work the concept of the Devil does in terms of political theology, both in those eras and in ostensibly secular, contemporary ideologies. Adam joins The Revealer’s Patrick Blanchfield to talk about his latest book and more.

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Words in Worlds: An Interview with Kathleen Stewart in Cultural Anthropology

Words in Worlds: An Interview with Kathleen Stewart in Cultural Anthropology, conducted by Andrés Romero and Toby Austin Locke. Thanks to Ben Anderson for the link.

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The Guardian on ‘the insidious creep of pseudo-public space in London’

untitled.pngThe Guardian has an interesting and disturbing feature on ‘the insidious creep of pseudo-public space in London‘; along with a commentary by Bradley L. Garrett.

The map itself is here.


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Marianne Janack, María Pía Lara, Eduardo Mendieta, and Martin Woessner – A Forum on Richard Rorty

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailMarianne Janack, María Pía Lara, Eduardo Mendieta, and Martin Woessner – A Forum on Richard Rorty in the Los Angeles Review of Books

AFTER DONALD J. TRUMP was elected president of the United States, the American philosopher Richard Rorty (1931–2007) returned to the pages of many of the major newspapers of the world as one of the few thinkers who had predicted the election of a “strongman” with Trump’s homophobic and racist features. The relevant passage can be found in the lectures Rorty delivered on the history of leftist thought in 20th-century America at Harvard University in 1997, and published as Achieving Our Country a year later. While reprints of this book were hitting several political philosophy best seller lists, Rorty’s Page-Barbour lectures — titled Philosophy as Poetry — were also released. If in Achieving Our Country, Rorty predicted the election of a right-wing populist, in the latter he stresses how valuable the imagination is for the future of philosophy, which is, in many ways, an imperiled discipline. Although these are not his most important books, they indicate that Rorty was a philosopher ahead of his time, a philosopher for the future.

The goal of this forum is not simply to remember Rorty 10 years after he passed away on the June 8, 2007, but also to continue the conversation which he urged all philosophers to pursue. I have invited Marianne Janack, María Pía Lara, Eduardo Mendieta, and Martin Woessner to cover specific aspects of Rorty’s thought, including feminism, social hope, and post-truth. Their concise contributions underscore the significance of Rorty’s writings for the 21st century. My introduction recalls important moments of the American thinker’s life as well as his outstanding contribution to continental philosophy.

— Santiago Zabala

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Stuart Hall: In Conversations

Stuart Hall: In Conversations

Explore the life, work and legacy of a thinker that some call the last of the great public intellectuals and a figure widely credited with being the founder of cultural studies: this man is Stuart Hall. Through conversations with his former students, colleagues, and friends, we’ll seek to better understand this seminal writer and academic. More from Stuart Hall: In Conversations »

Thanks to dmf for the link

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Rhetoric, Fascism and the Planetary: A Conversation between William Connolly and Nidesh Lawtoo

Connolly 2017NLRhetoric, Fascism and the Planetary: A Conversation between William Connolly and Nidesh Lawtoo at The Contemporary Condition.

As well as talking about Connolly’s recent book, Facing the Planetary, it also discusses themes from his next, the forthcoming Aspirational Fascism.

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Pamela L Gay, ‘The Unacknowledged Costs of Academic Travel’ at Medium

Pamela L Gay, The Unacknowledged Costs of Academic Travel at Medium

An interesting discussion of the procedures for academic travel and its reimbursement. It’s US focused, but the issue is much wider. I seem to be continually owed money by three or more different universities – not always for travel to conferences or lectures, but also for service roles like travelling to examine a PhD or attend a meeting. When you’re in an established position this is usually just a minor inconvenience, but for those at the start of career, being owed these amounts of money can be much more significant.

There are surely things that could be done to improve this – more booking of tickets by the host university, or at least having the reimbursement ready to go immediately after the event, rather than waiting for the event to begin the long, slow process. Some places are good at this, so it’s clearly not impossible.

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