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Lecture archive: MRes Art: Theory and Philosophy

Listen to a diverse selection of past MRes Art: Theory and Philosophy lectures from our archives

Lewis R. Gordon ‘Illicit Appearance: Race, Racism and Violence in New World Orders’

David Harvey - Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism, A Symposium On Resistance

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Sur Analysis: Institutional Psychotherapy and Analysis

This two-day symposium took place at Central Saint Martins from 6-7 April 2017.

Institutional Analysis is the linchpin connecting Deleuze and Guattari’s schizoanalysis and Frantz Fanon’s contributions to postcolonial theory with art and aesthetics. This two-day event, was first of its kind in the UK, bringing together key figures in the Institutional Analysis movement as well as researchers working in this field in order to reconstruct the origins and development of this practice and introduce to the English-speaking world this framework for engaging with philosophy, mental health, aesthetics and the arts.

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Gender without Borders

An interdisciplinary series of lectures presented by faculty teaching on the MA Gender without Borders at Kingston University, as well as a few other experts in the field.

Simone de Beauvoir: existentialism and politics

15 January 2016
Stella Sandford

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Diffractive Pedagogies

20 January 2016
Helen Palmer

Helen Palmer, lecturer in English at Kingston University, and author of the forthcoming book Queer Defamiliarisation, presents the lecture 'Diffractive Pedagogies'. The talk addresses the translation of concepts into creative practice, using multi-media such as film, art, dance, and music.

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Beyond the Bedroom: the violence of motherhood in EL James' 50 Shades of Grey trilogy

28 January 2016
Sara Upstone

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Assembling Samira and Travel: queering sexual humanitarianism through experimental ethnographic filmmaking

3 February 2016
Nicola Mai

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An Ethics of Opacity: Fearing Difference in the 21st Century

11 February 2016
Shannon Winnubst

Professor Shannon Winnubst teaches women's and gender studies at Ohio State University and is currently visiting Utrecht University. She is author of the book Way too Cool. She presents a lecture entitled 'An Ethics of Opacity: Fearing Difference in the 21st Century.' Shannon is a visiting lecturer, representative of the kind of speakers who will be invited to present seminars in conjunction with the MA Gender without Borders at Kingston University.

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The Speaking Body is Today's Unconscious

Kingston University and London Society - New Lacanian School in collaboration with Art and Philosophy at Central Saint Martins presents The Speaking Body is Today's Unconscious seminar series.

The Body and the Imaginary

21 January 2016
Pierre-Gilles Gueguen

Pierre-Gille Guéguen’s talk discusses the art of Francis Bacon in the context of his relationship with his ‘symptom-partner’ Georges Dyer. The talk is oriented by conceptual innovations, such as the sinthome, introduced by Lacan in his teaching in the late 1970s. Pierre-Gille Guéguen is a psychoanalyst who lives and works in Paris. He is a member of the École de la Cause freudienne.

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The Symbolic and the Body

4 February 2016
Marie-Helene Brousse

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The Real and the Body

18 February 2016
Vicente Palomera

Pierre-Gille Guéguen’s talk discusses the art of Francis Bacon in the context of his relationship with his ‘symptom-partner’ Georges Dyer. The talk is oriented by conceptual innovations, such as the sinthome, introduced by Lacan in his teaching in the late 1970s. Pierre-Gille Guéguen is a psychoanalyst who lives and works in Paris. He is a member of the École de la Cause freudienne.

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Public lectures on philosophy, politics and the arts 2014 - 2015

Art and Philosophy at Central Saint Martins in Collaboration with the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University.

Use! Value! Exchange! Inside and Outside Relations of Exchange
Peter Osborne (CRMEP, Kingston)
20 November 2014

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Borrowing its title from the 2010 film by Phil Collins centred on the teaching of a class on Marx’s Capital to young people in eastern Germany, after reunification, this talk reflects upon the revival of interest in Marx’s critique of political economy, its continuing – indeed, increasing – relevance to the social experience of capitalist societies, and the possibilities of a new philosophical interpretation of Capital, centred on its complex structure of temporal categories. In particular, drawing on Walter Benjamin’s deployment of a proliferating variety of forms of cultural and political use-values (entertainment-value, exhibition-value, consumer-value, cult-value, connoiseur-value, authority-value and, crucially, education-value – Lehrwert), attention will be paid to the dialectic of use-value and exchange-value internal to the commodity form and the problematic of the political function of cultural use-values.

Relinquishing the Transcendental? Speculative Realism in Question
Catherine Malabou (CRMEP, Kingston)  
4 December 2014

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Is contemporary continental European philosophy preparing itself to break with Kant? An attack upon supposedly indestructible structures of knowledge is occurring: finitude of the subject, the phenomenal given, a priori synthesis. “Relinquishing the transcendental” is the leading project of postcritical thinking in the early twenty-first century, in particular as it appears in Quentin Meillassoux’s book After Finitude. Some questions it seemed could never be raised after the Critique of Pure Reason are reappearing with a renewed force: Was Kant genuinely able to deduce categories instead of imposing them, to prove the necessity of nature, to found the difference between “a priori” and “innate”? Should we consider, on the contrary, that the “problem of Hume”—the existence of an irreducible contingency of the world—was never settled by the Transcendental Deduction? Such a claim implies that we have provided a sufficiently convincing concept of the irregularity of the laws of nature and of the possibility of a totally different world. Does After Finitude elaborate such concepts

Philosophical Kafkas
Howard Caygill (CRMEP)  
15 January 2015

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Public lectures on philosophy, politics and the arts - 2013

Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy and The London Graduate School in collaboration with Art and Philosophy at Central Saint Martins. This lecture series took place at Central Saint Martins from 31 January to 30 May 2013.

Philosophy and the Black Panthers

31 January 2013
Howard Caygill (CRMEP)

This reflects on the role played by philosophy in forming and articulating the political tactics and strategies of the Black Panthers (originally, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense), the revolutionary African-American organisation formed in California in 1966. It suggests that philosophy provided a position from which the Black Panthers developed a radical politics of race in the USA beyond the religious orientations of the Civil Rights movement and the Nation of Islam. Focusing on the work of Huey Newton, the talk emphasises the role played by Plato, Nietzsche and Speech Act Theory in the formulation of a politics of visibility and a performative concept of cultural and political intervention. It will also critically consider the reflections of the French writer Jean Genet on the Black Panthers practice of resistance.

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The Singularity of Literary Cognition

7 February 2013
Sam Weber (LGS)

Whatever cognition is produced by the reading of literary - and probably more generally artistic - texts is sharply different from that produced by other disciplines. Most, if not all, critics will agree that a literary or artistic interpretation does not provide a universally valid meaning of the work or text being read, but rather something far more singular, more situationally bound, that arises from an encounter. Literary interpretations that matter are those that open the possibility of future encounters by sensitising one to the significance of hitherto neglected details or aspects, focusing as much on the 'how' as the 'what'. In this respect, literary encounters produce not so much knowledge as acknowledgement of the radical heterogeneity of texts. To that extent they can claim to provide an exemplary experience of singularity that is not without affinities to certain developments in contemporary science.

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A Thought of/from the Outside

21 February 2013
Etienne Balibar (CRMEP)

A well-known essay published by Foucault in 1966 on the work of Maurice Blanchot, La pensee du dehors, was translated into English in two different ways: 'The thought of the outside', and 'The thought from outside'. This indicates a deep ambiguity concerning its possible interpretations. Together with the earlier essay on Bataille ('Preface to Transgression'), the essay forms the metaphysical counterpart to the early 'archaeological' work, beginning with History of Madness and ending with The Order of Things, centered on the 'anti-humanist' doctrine of the elimination of the subject. It is widely supposed that, in his later work, when studying apparatuses of power-knowledge, and when outlining a history of regimes of subjectivation and truth, Foucault had entirely reversed this orientation. The lecture will discuss the enigmatic notion of the 'outside' and its relationship to transcendental philosophy, assess the importance of a dialogue with Blanchot in the formation of Foucault's philosophy, and argue that, contrary to established wisdom, it never ceased to frame the critique of subjectivity in Foucault's work.

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Auto-Immune Narcissism

7 March 2013
Simon Morgan Wortham (LGS)

To what extent does sleep constitute a limit for the philosophical imagination? Why does it recur throughout the text of philosophy as a constant complication for Western thought, despite attempts to downplay its importance as purely physiological, or secondary to the question of dreams and dreaming? How does it change the question of dreams, for instance? This lecture asks such questions by turning to the work of Hegel, Bergson and Freud.

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A Critical Theory of Sex

21 March 2013
Stella Sandford (CRMEP)

The sex/gender distinction has been fundamental to Anglophone feminist theory since the 1970s, in various different ways. Many feminists, seeing a direct political advantage in a vocabulary that allowed them to distinguish between what they saw as the biological reality of sex and normative masculinity and femininity, embraced 'gender' as a category of analysis. What is the relation of the sex/gender distinction and its theoretical vicissitudes to the social reality of everyday gendered lives? Has the sex/gender distinction ever made waves outside of feminist theory? In this lecture I argue that the tendency of the popular cultural uses of the words 'sex' and 'gender' gives a false impression. The popular concept of sex is not the biological concept but its ideological deployment and as such the social reality of the idea of 'sex' is more important than its biological reality. Feminist theory requires a theoretically satisfying account of sex that is adequate to this social reality in order to oppose it. This is the role of a critical theory of sex.

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The Postconceptual Condition

18 April 2013
Peter Osborne (CRMEP)

It is nearly 35 years since Jean-François Lyotard published The Postmodern Condition, that 'seemingly neutral review of a vast body of material on contemporary science and problems of knowledge or information' that proved to be (in Fredric Jameson’s phrase) 'a kind of crossroads'. Those, like Jameson, who took the road to postmodernism have long since had to retrace their steps or accustom themselves to life in a historical cul de sac. Yet the revival and deepening of discourses of the modern alone is insufficient to grasp the most distinctive features of the historical present. How best, then, to characterise our intellectual condition today?

This lecture offers a double displacement of Lyotard's standpoint: from the postmodern to the contemporary and from 'knowledge' to 'art'. Critically viewed, it is argued, contemporary art is postconceptual art. As such, it reflects and reflects upon a broader postconceptual condition of historical experience.

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Whither Materialism?

2 May 2013
Catherine Malabou (CRMEP)

I will examine Althusser's concept of class struggle in theory ('Reply to John Lewis' and 'Lenin and Philosophy') as a way of approaching current materialisms that do not explicitly refer to Marxist theory. Focusing on the relationship between philosophy and science, I will develop the example of neurobiology and the subsequent redefinition of the mind/body problem. To what extent is neurobiology a political field? Can we consider the philosophical insistence on the brain as a way to resist idealism?

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Duchamp a Calcutta

16 May 2013
Eric Alliez (CRMEP)

Duchamp a Calcutta: No, Duchamp didn’t go to Calcutta and it is a terribly bad pun, used here to refresh the tautological inquiry into Duchamp's 'meta-eroticism' (a tautology since Duchamp, readymade included, is the meta-ironic specialist in precision ass and glass works - precision oculism). But it is a productive tautology if the whole Duchampian corpus can be rearticulated – via Lacan and against Lacan's phallogocentrism – through the passage from the principle of contradiction to the principle ‘there is no sexual relation’; and from the latter to the transexuation of Rrose Sélavy, subverting the grammaticality of painting ('the arrhe of painting'), ‘feminine in gender’. Duchamp a Calcutta, or, Duchamp du sexe.

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Spider Universe: Lars von Trier

23 May 2013
Scott Wilson (LGS)

This is a paper about the creativity of fear in film and philosophy, focussing on Lars von Trier and Gilles Deleuze. The former is a film maker who has a long history of psychotherapy and psychoanalytic treatment for phobic anxiety which he has used both critically and creatively as material for his films. The latter, we discover from his biographer Francoise Dosse, had a phobia for both milk products and schizophrenics. In this paper, the understanding of phobia developed in the cinema of von Trier will be deployed in order to disclose the link between a fear of milk and the figure of the schizophrenic and offer a different way of understanding the dynamic genesis of Deleuze's philosophy, particularly his logic of sense. Neither exactly a structure nor a symptom, phobia is a problematic category in psychoanalysis. Here, psychoanalytic, schizoanalytic and neuroscientific accounts of phobia are discussed by way of elaborating a 'gnomonology' that articulates a critical and clinical understanding of cultural production, particularly in its engagements with scientific discourse.

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Vitalism or Voluntarism?

30 May 2013
Peter Hallward (CRMEP)

Over much of the modern period, social criticism has been associated with forms of emancipatory political theory, and has helped clarify what is at stake in various struggles to escape from forms of 'enslavement to necessity'. In moments when this association has been challenged or disrupted (for instance, in Europe, at the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century), emancipatory thinkers have sometimes sought more immediately 'affirmative' foundations, in appeals to religion, nature, authenticity or action. This talk will consider how far recent and contemporary critical theory might be understood as structured by a comparable disruption, and how far the central issue at stake might be interpreted in terms adapted from an old argument about how best to read thinkers like Bergson and Gramsci as vitalist, or voluntarist?

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