Archive for the ‘Seminars’ Category

Seminar by Mark Kelly (2014)

Mark Kelly

DATE/TIME: Wednesday, 17 September, 3.30pm-5.00pm

PLACE: University of Western Sydney, Bankstown Campus, Building 3, Room 3.G.27  [How to get to Bankstown Campus] http://www.uws.edu.au/campuses_structure/cas/campuses/bankstown

All welcome

ABSTRACT: In this paper, I critically assess Gilles Deleuze’s ‘societies of control’ thesis, in relation to both the work of Michel Foucault which inspired it, and the work of which it inspired in turn, including that of Hardt and Negri, and Lazzaratto. I argue, contra Deleuze and his reading of Foucault, that contemporary society continues to be a form of the disciplinary–biopolitical society identified by Foucault as existing already in the nineteenth century. The argument for this is dual. On the one hand, I point to claims by Deleuze that have not been born out by subsequent development, particularly the claim that disciplinary institutions are breaking down: while some institutions have declined, others (particularly the prison) have massively expanded, leaving no clear pattern of decline. On the other hand, I argue that characteristics specifically assigned to societies of control by Deleuze are already part of disciplinary power as conceived by Foucault, noting indeed that Foucault uses the word ‘control’ as a synonym for discipline.

While acknowledging changes, I thus argue that any transition from Fordism to post-Fordism is at most a modification of disciplinary power, rather than a matter of a new technology of power in a Foucauldian sense. I hence seek to downplay the political importance of this change in favour of a reading of our society as exhibiting continuous tendencies. I conclude by agreeing with commentators who argue that neoliberalism is more accurately characterised as a return to nineteenth century conditions.

Mark Kelly was appointed Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and ARC Future Fellow at the University of Western Sydney in 2014. His ARC project, ‘The invention of norms: how ethics, law, and the life sciences shape our social selves’ aims to show how the concept of the norm has shaped our understanding of the world, changed our society, and become part of our personal lives. He has authored three books on the thought of Michel Foucault – The Political Philosophy of Michel Foucault (Routledge, 2009), Foucault’s History of Sexuality Vol. I (Edinburgh, 2013), and Foucault and Politics (Edinburgh, 2014) – and published on topics in political philosophy, including a forthcoming book, Biopolitical Imperialism (Zero).

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Postponed until later this year

Cartography of Exhaustion

Venue: Morven Brown 310 (map ref C20)University of NSW, Sydney
Who: Peter Pál Pelbart
Peter pal Pelbart.jpg

School of Humanities and Languages and the Biopolitical Research Network

Drawing on Nietzsche’s problematic of nihilism and the question of exhaustion that Deleuze finds in Beckett, this talk will attempt to trace some of the lines required for a cartography of exhaustion. This cartography will be developed in relation to conceptual pairs such as subjectivation/ desubjectivation, bare life/ a life, biopolitics/ biopower. It will touch on the perspectives of Deleuze, Foucault and Agamben, in each case in relation to our contemporary context.

Peter Pál Pelbart is a professor of philosophy at the Catholic University of Sao Paulo and a member, with Suely Rolnik, of the Centre for the Study of Subjectivity. He is also coordinator of the Ueinzz Theater Company and translator of Deleuze and Guattari into Portugese. He has worked especially with the concepts of time, biopolitics, subjectivity, madness, community and with thinkers such as Guattari, Deleuze, Foucault, Nancy, Blanchot, Agamben. He has published in Chiméres and Multitudes and his recent books include O tempo não-reconcilado (Perspectiva, 1998), A vertigem por um fio: Políticas da subjetividade contemporânea (Iluminuras, 2000), Vida Capital, (Iluminuras, 2003), Filosofia de la Desercion: Niilismo, Locura y Comunidad (Tinta Limon, 2009): Cartography of Exhaustion: Nihilism Inside Out, (São Paulo and Helsinki, n-1 Edições, 2013).

For further information contact Paul Patton prp@unsw.edu.au


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Charlotte Epstein, Experiences of bodily privacy are changing in the contemporary surveillance society

Wednesday 6 August, 3.30pm – 5.00pm 2014
Bankstown Campus
Room 3.G.27
University of Western Sydney
All welcome

More info

In this paper I consider how our experiences of bodily privacy are changing in the contemporary surveillance society. To this end I use biometric technologies as a lens for tracking the changing relationships between the body and privacy that underwrite our modern democratic polities. Adopting a broader genealogical perspective, however, I begin by retracing the role of the body in the constitution of the modern liberal political subject. I consider successively two quite different understandings of the subject, the Foucauldian political subject as theorized by Michel Foucault, followed by the subject of psychoanalysis analysed by Jacques Lacan. My genealogy of the modern political subject begins with the habeas corpus, and observes a classically Foucauldian periodization, the historical succession of a regime of sovereignty¹ with a regime of governmentality¹ within which our surveillance societies are currently taking shape. In the final part of the article, instead of the unidirectional Foucauldian gaze, I switch to a two-way scopic relationship, by way of Lacan¹s analysis of the mirror stage. I locate both the place of the body and the function of misrecognition in the constitution of the psychic subject. The psychoanalytic perspective, in which the powerful gaze is revealed as that of the Other, serves to appraise the effects upon the subject of excessive exposure. I conclude to the importance of the subject¹s being able to hide, even when she has nothing to hide. By considering these two facets of subjectivity, political and psychic, I hope to make sense of our enduring, and deeply political, passionate attachment to privacy, notwithstanding the increasing normalization of surveillance technologies and practices.

My interests are in the areas of International Relations theory, particularly in post-structuralist approaches and discourse theory, critical security studies and global environmental politics. In my book, The Power of Words in International Relations: Birth of An Anti-Whaling Discourse, I approach the topic of whaling both as an object of analysis in its own right and as a lens for examining the role of discursive power in international relations.

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Gastvortrag am IZW: “Wittgenstein and Foucault on ‘scientific’ and ‘philosophical’ truth”,

Dr. Luca Paltrinieri
(Associate Researcher am Chambre de Commerce et d’industrie de Paris, Ile-de-France/CCI-Paris-IDF)

Thursday 16 July 2014, 6pm
Innovationszentrum Wissensforschung (IZW) / Berlin Center for Knowledge Research
Hauptgebäude TU Berlin, Room H 0111
(Hörsaal im Erdgeschoss), Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin


“In my talk I will try to compare some remarks of the ‘second’ Wittgenstein to the foucaldian conception of « history of Truth », particularly in a period of time going from 1969 to 1971. I do not want to suggest that there had been an underground influence of Wittgenstein on Foucault’s work, but I just want to show that with Wittgenstein’s notions of certainty and Truth it is useful to understand the foucaldian notion of « knowledge ». On the other side the archeological methods developed by Foucault help us to understand the historical dimension of our philosophical concepts. This comparison of two different styles of reasoning will give us the opportunity to do some remarks about historical epistemology. “

Rückfragen: Innovationszentrum Wissensforschung (IZW)
Tel.: 314-22606; E-Mail: info@wissensforschung.tu-berlin.de

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Xavier Riondet ECS Forum 13/12/2013
À côté de Freinet : une enquête philosophico-historique d’allure foucaldienne

Education, Culture and Society Research Group Forum
KU Leuven

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Henrik Bang, Rethinking Michel Foucault: The Political Circle of Parrhesia and Democracy, 2014

Video of seminar

As part of ‘s seminar series, Professor Henrik Bang (University of Canberra) indicates perspectives on Michel Foucault that can inform our understanding of democracy.

Michel Foucault has become an exemplar in the disciplines of philosophy, sociology, history, linguistics and literary criticism. Ironically, he has never made much of an impact upon the political discipline, to which he first of all belongs, and in which he deserves a prominent position as one of the best political theorists and researchers of all time. In particular in his later strings of lectures from 1978 to 1984 he develops an empirical and normative approach to studying the political as governmentality.

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Séminaire “Politiques de Foucault”,
6e séance : Luca Paltrinieri, 17 mai 2014, Paris Ouest


La prochaine séance du séminaire “Politiques de Foucault” accueillera Luca Paltrinieri. Il interviendra sur le thème “’Ou la population ou les classes’ : l’archéologie foucaldienne du débat Marx-Malthus”.

Présentation de la séance  :

“Malthus a mis clairement au centre de la réflexion de l’économie politique moderne la question bio-économique de la population. La sienne est une réponse à l’optimisme des Lumières quant aux régulations possibles du rapport entre population et ressources : à la perfectibilité de la nature humaine de Godwin et Condorcet, Malthus oppose l’obstacle de la loi naturelle de population prescrivant le conflit entre croissance géométrique de la population et croissance arithmétique des subsistances. Par le concept de « surpopulation relative », Marx et Engels ont montré en revanche qu’il n’y a pas de loi naturelle qui règle les rapports entre démographie et économie : la loi de population n’est pas une constante qui fait entrer en contradiction deux progressions naturelles, elle est le produit variable de conditions historiques et notamment, dans le capitalisme, de la surexploitation de la force de travail. Ainsi, derrière la « loi naturelle de la population » se cachent des rapports de classe et, selon les mots de Marx « la population est une abstraction si je néglige les classes dont elle se compose ».

Nous partirons de cette critique marxienne de Malthus pour montrer que la perspective de la gouvernementalité foucaldienne en représente quelque part l’archéologie. Se concentrant sur les théories prémalthusiennes, Foucault tente en effet de gagner un autre point de vue sur la question : ni simple « nature », ni artefact idéologique, la population des Lumières est un ensemble de comportements intotalisables, étrange sujet/objet dont la nature politique la situe pourtant en radicale discontinuité par rapport aux théories de la souveraineté. Son émergence manifeste l’avènement d’un régime gouvernemental où la question du pouvoir ne peut plus être posée dans les termes classique de l’obéissance/désobéissance individuelle, mais impose de repenser les conditions même de (re)production d’une collectivité humaine.

Membre du Collège International de Philosophie, Luca Paltrinieri est directeur du programme De la gestion à l’autogestion. Une généalogie politique de l’entreprise.

Date :
Samedi 17 mai 2014, 10h-12h

Lieu :
Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense
bâtiment D, salle 04 (rez-de-chaussée)
Comment venir ? par le train et le RER
Plan du campus de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense

Comité d’organisation :
Philippe Combessie
Stéphane Dufoix
Stéphane Haber
Christian Laval
Christian Lazzeri
Emmanuel Renault

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