Academic year 2017 - 2018

 
 
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The SOUP IS ON: EXPERIMENT IN CRITICAL PRACTICE

Fri, Jun 1, 2018 9:30 AM - Sat, Jun 2, 2018 4:30 PM

This conference launches Berlant and Stewart's The Hundreds (DUKE, 2018), their forthcoming experiment in form, attention, and generative worlding. Apart from Stewart and Berlant, every Soup is On experimenter wrote an index for the book, reorganizing it in their own register and mode. Their collaborative effort aspires to jumpstart a community conversation about what critical thinking can look like, sound like, and be for.

Registration is not required, but is recommended. RSVP through Eventbrite or through the Facebook event

Check out our Experiments, Workshops & more!
For more information, please visit the conference website.

 
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LINDA ZERILLI BOOK SALON

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Please join us in celebrating Professor Linda Zerilli's book, A Democratic Theory of Judgment (University of Chicago Press, 2016). Professor Deborah Nelson, author of Tough Enough: Arbus, Arendt, Didion, McCarthy, Sontag, Weil (University of Chicago Press, 2017) will serve as respondent. Copies of Professor Zerilli's book can be purchased here; copies of Professor Nelson's book can be purchased here

In this sweeping look at political and philosophical history, Linda M. G. Zerilli unpacks the tightly woven core of Hannah Arendt’s unfinished work on a tenacious modern problem: how to judge critically in the wake of the collapse of inherited criteria of judgment. Engaging a remarkable breadth of thinkers, including Ludwig Wittgenstein, Leo Strauss, Immanuel Kant, Frederick Douglass, John Rawls, Jürgen Habermas, Martha Nussbaum, and many others, Zerilli clears a hopeful path between an untenable universalism and a cultural relativism that forever defers the possibility of judging at all.
           
Zerilli deftly outlines the limitations of existing debates, both those that concern themselves with the impossibility of judging across cultures and those that try to find transcendental, rational values to anchor judgement. Looking at Kant through the lens of Arendt, Zerilli develops the notion of a public conception of truth, and from there she explores relativism, historicism, and universalism as they shape feminist approaches to judgment. Following Arendt even further, Zerilli arrives at a hopeful new pathway—seeing the collapse of philosophical criteria for judgment not as a problem but a way to practice judgment anew as a world-building activity of democratic citizens. The result is an astonishing theoretical argument that travels through—and goes beyond—some of the most important political thought of the modern period.

RSVPs are not required, but are recommended. Please register through Eventbrite or the Facebook Event

 

MODES OF ETHNOGRAPHIC INQUIRY: WHERE ETHNOGRAPHIC PRACTICE MEETS MULTIMEDIA

Thursday, May 24, 2018 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Please join us for Modes of Ethnographic Inquiry, a panel discussion centered around the intersections of ethnographic practice and multimedia. Refreshments will be served at 3:30pm; our conversation will begin at 4:00pm. For more information, please check out our Facebook event

Panelists:

  • Tirtza Even (SAIC) & Nadav Assor (Connecticut College)

  • Meg McLagan (Barnard College)

  • Maple Razsa (Colby College)

Organizers: Kaushik Sunder Rajan and Julie Chu

Moderator: Owen Kohl

This event is co-sponsored by:
Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture
UChicago Urban
Department of Anthropology
Center for East European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies

 

CLIMATE CHANGE IN ASIA

Thursday, May 24, 2018 9:30 AM  5:30 PM

Asia is central to the causes, responses, and implications of climate change. This symposium explores climate policy and environmental challenges across East, Southeast, and South Asia, from water politics and renewable energy to sustainable tourism in the Anthropocene. 

Sponsored by: 

"Studies in Climate Change: The Limits of the Numerical"

a Mellon Foundation Project at the Franke Institute for the Humanities

 

ELETTRA STIMILLI: THE DEBT OF THE LIVING

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 5:30 PM  7:00 PM

Please join us for a talk by Elettra Stimilli. Stimilli will be presenting on her book, The Debt of The Living. RSVPs are not required, but are recommended. Register on Eventbrite or Facebook

Max Weber’s account of the rise of capitalism focused on his concept of a Protestant ethic, valuing diligence in earning and saving money but restraint in spending it. However, such individual restraint is foreign to contemporary understandings of finance, which treat ever-increasing consumption and debt as natural, almost essential, for maintaining the economic cycle of buying and selling.

In The Debt of the Living, Elettra Stimilli returns to this idea of restraint as ascesis, by analyzing theological and philosophical understandings of debt drawn from a range of figures, including Saint Paul, Schmitt and Agamben, Benjamin and Marx, Nietzsche and Freud, and Foucault. Central to this analysis is the logic of “profit for profit’s sake”—an aspect of Weber’s work that Stimilli believes has been given insufficient attention. Following Foucault, she identifies this as the original mechanism of a capitalist dispositif that feeds not on a goal-directed rationality, but on the self-determining character of human agency. Ascesis is fundamental not because it is characterized by renunciation, but because the self-discipline it imposes converts the properly human quality of action without a predetermined goal into a lack, a fault, or a state of guilt: a debt that cannot be settled. Stimilli argues that this lack, which is impossible to fill, should be seen as the basis of the economy of hedonism and consumption that has governed global economies in recent years and as the premise of the current economy of debt.

 
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SABA MAHMOOD MEMORIAL

Monday, May 21, 2018 5:00 PM  7:00 PM

Please join us in remembering Saba Mahmood. Mahmood was an Assistant Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago from 1998-2003. You can view more information about the memorial at the event website.

Please RSVP on Eventbrite

 

GLOBAL AUTHORITARIANISMS

Thursday, May 17, 2018 5:00 PM  7:30 PM

The first panel in our series on The New Global Authoritarianism focuses on the electorate. It addresses the question why a majority of the voters in countries that have only recently turned towards democracy feel compelled to support politicians whose explicit goal it is to undo vital parts of of the institutional fabric commonly held to make up a formal democracy. Our three speakers have been carefully chosen to represent areas of the world distinct in economic development and history: Turkey, eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. After addressing all three cases in turn, the discussion between the three panelists will explore common patterns and causes.

Please RSVP on Eventbrite

 

3CT PRESENTS FUTURE CAFÉ: CITIES

Monday, May 14, 2018 5:00 PM  6:30 PM

What is a Future Café? It is an experiment. It is an open-ended conversation. It is a chance to brainstorm and share ideas without evaluation. It is a place to eat cake. Based loosely on both 3CT’s successful Book Salon series and the global Death Café movement, the objective of this new recurring event is to provide opportunity and space for undergraduates to collectively imagine utopian possibilities and long-term futures. 

Under the auspices of the Materializing the Future research project, Professors Shannon Dawdy and Bill Brown facilitate the Future Café, a venue where students in the College can creatively and collaboratively imagine possibilities for the long term.

There is no formal registration nor an Eventbrite as previous Future Cafés. You can access the Facebook event here.

This Future Cafe will coincide with the symposium: Materializing the Future: Urban Spaces.

"For additional information and links, go to: http://voices.uchicago.edu/futurecafe/ .

 

MATERIALIZING THE FUTURE: URBAN SPACE

Friday, May 11, 2018 2:30 PM  6:00 PM

This event brings together visionary urban designers whose practices are shaping the future of the city in Chicago, New York, and Cape Town. The aim is to spark a conversation across the disciplines about how materiality, temporality, and social praxis might inform radically alternative urban futures. Sponsored under the Materializing the Future initiative of 3CT’s Object Cultures Project and open to all, our distinguished guests will be:

Emmanuel Pratt, Sweet Water Foundation, Chicago, IL

Sweet Water Foundation practices Regenerative Neighborhood Development, a creative and regenerative social justice method, that creates safe and inspiring spaces and curates healthy, intergenerational communities that transform the ecology of once-blighted neighborhoods.

Ilze and Heinrich Wolff, Wolff Architects, Cape Town, S.A.

Wolff is a design studio concerned with developing an architectural practice of consequence through the mediums of design, advocacy, research and documentation. Ilze Wolff co-founded Open House Architecture in 2007, a transdisciplinary research practice that develops documentation, exhibits, and tours of industrial spaces in urban South Africa. Heinrich Wolff was the 2005 Lubetkin Award winner and elected Designer of the Future by the Wouter Mikmak Foundation.

Michael Sorkin, Michael Sorkin Studio, New York, NY

Michael Sorkin Studio is a global design practice devoted to both practical and theoretical projects at all scales with a special interest in the city and green architecture. The studio is based in New York City and maintains satellite offices in Shanghai and Xi’an, China.

Please RSVP on Eventbrite

 
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1918: THE CONSTITUTIONAL ANOMALIES OF INSURGENT UNIVERSALITY” BY MASSIMILIANO TOMBA

Monday, May 7, 2018 12:00 PM  1:20 PM

Massimiliano Tomba will be presenting his paper "1918: The Constitutional Anomalies of Insurgent Universality” at the Political Theory Workshop. 

Massimiliano Tomba is a professor at the History of Consciousness Department in UC Santa Cruz. His new project, “Insurgent Universality” is about the plurality of revolutions that intersected in the French Revolution, which he considers from the perspective of the insurgency of the slaves in the Haitian revolution and the insurgencies of women and the poor in France. He makes a case for an alternative tradition of “insurgent universality” that challenges the dominant conception of universalism in several ways. “Insurgent universality” constitutes a different tradition that, on the one side, holds together political experiments, such as the Paris Commune and the first Soviet Constitution, both of which question the statist-juridical conception of citizenship, and on the other side, allows us to think of different pathways of modernization, which bridge Western and non-Western juridical, political and economic conceptions.

 

3CT PRESENTS FUTURE CAFÉ: INTIMACY

Thursday, May 3, 2018 5:00 PM  6:30 PM

What is a Future Café? It is an experiment. It is an open-ended conversation. It is a chance to brainstorm and share ideas without evaluation. It is a place to eat cake. Based loosely on both 3CT’s successful Book Salon series and the global Death Café movement, the objective of this new recurring event is to provide opportunity and space for undergraduates to collectively imagine utopian possibilities and long-term futures. 

Under the auspices of the Materializing the Future research project, Professors Shannon Dawdy and Bill Brown facilitate the Future Café, a venue where students in the College can creatively and collaboratively imagine possibilities for the long term. 

"For additional information and links, go to: http://voices.uchicago.edu/futurecafe/ .

 

TONE, TACT AND MEANING IN ETHNOGRAPHIC AND DOCUMENTARY FILM

Thursday, April 12, 2018 6:30 PM  9:00 PM

Michael M.J. Fischer (MIT) and Thorsten Trimpop (School of the Art Institute of Chicago)   

Thorsten Trimpop’s film, Furusato 古里, is a human-scale portrait of a small town in Japan’s nuclear exclusion zone. It premiered at the International Documentary Film Festival Leipzig (DOK Leipzig) where it won the grand prize, the Golden Dove. 

Currently, it's touring film festivals worldwide and is in theatrical release in 52 cities in Germany and Austria. 

The film will be shown, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker (Trimpop) and anthropologist (Fischer). Trimpop and Fischer co-taught a class at MIT last year exploring ethnographic filmmaking and particularly the fast-changing partnership between technologies and ways of seeing. 

Food will be served in Cobb Hall 402 at 6:30pm

Screening and lecture will begin at 7:00pm in the Film Studies Center (Cobb Hall 306)

Fischer's interest is in broadening the tools of ethnographic “writing” (including both epistemological frames from other media, and incorporating other media for ethnographic and social theory purposes). 

Furusato 古里 translates, roughly, as “home”, but also more poignantly evokes the landscapes both of our origin and birth, but also our death.  

Such “structures of feeling” are themselves of ethnographic interest, as are the transnational structures of feeling that motivate a filmmaker to take up the years that it takes to produce such a film.    

Furusato 古里 reveals the unusual relationship between a landscape and its inhabitants. Over the course of a thousand years, the exuberant nature of Japan’s eastern coast has become interwoven in the lives of its people. Here, the earth is sacred—but now, it is tainted with the invisible danger of radiation. For those who have decided to stay, the rural scene surrounding the crippled Fukushima Daiishi nuclear power plant remains the place they call home – their furusato, the first landscape they experience as children and the last one they will see before they die. A monumental portrait of wounded nature and the unsung costs of progress, the film illuminates the struggle of daily existence amidst the greatest nuclear disaster of our time. Here, no one measures in half-lives. This is about eternity.


 

BEYOND SATIRE: WHAT LUBITSCH, GENET, AND CLAUDEL CAN TELL US ABOUT IDEOLOGY TODAY.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 5:00 PM  6:30 PM

Please join us for a talk with Aaron Schuster on contemporary satire and ideology: 

Can there still be political comedy when politics has itself become an unsurpassable comedy, a self-satire to beat all satires? Today we ought to reverse Marx's famous formula: instead of history as the farcical repetition of what previously possessed tragic dignity,  contemporary reality presents itself as "the first time as farce, the second time as tragedy." This is the lesson of Jean Genet's play The Balcony, a subversive political comedy that takes place almost entirely inside a fancy brothel. What begins as a seemingly inconsequential sex farce ends as a deadly serious political tragedy when the clownish troupe of brothel-goers effectively seize the reigns of power.

In this talk, I will focus on three artworks, Ernst Lubitsch's film To Be or Not To Be, Genet's The Balcony, and Paul Claudel's play The Hostage, to outline some of the ways that ideology works today.

Aaron Schuster is a philosopher and writer, based in Amsterdam. He is the author of The Trouble with Pleasure: Deleuze and Psychoanalysis (MIT Press, 2016). He is currently working on two book projects: Spasm: A Philosophy of Tickling, forthcoming from Cabinet Books, and, together with William Mazzarella and Eric Santner, Sovereignty Inc.: Three Inquiries in Politics and Enjoyment, to appear in the Trios Series of the University of Chicago Press. In 2016 he was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago 

 

THE DIGITAL AND THE ANALOG

Monday, April 9, 2018 4:30 PM  6:00 PM

Please join us for a talk with Alexander Galloway and Ivan Ascher on analogicity, digitality, and information theory. Galloway and Ascher will be discussing the ways in which analogicity has defined itself as an alternative to digitality - how "pure" information always encounters its supplement (or opposite) in the form of real materiality (bitcoin's consumption of energy being one prime example).

Alexander R. Galloway is a writer and computer programer working on issues in philosophy, technology, and theories of mediation. He is author of several books on digital media and critical theory, including The Interface Effect (Polity, 2012). His collaboration with Eugene Thacker and McKenzie Wark, Excommunication: Three Inquiries in Media and Mediation, has recently been published by the University of Chicago Press. With Jason E. Smith, Galloway co-translated the Tiqqun book Introduction to Civil War(Semiotext[e], 2010). For ten years he worked with RSG on Carnivore, Kriegspiel and other software projects. Galloway's newest project is a monograph on the work of François Laruelle, published in October 2014.

Ivan Ascher teaches social and political theory at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His current research is on the continued relevance of Karl Marx and Max Weber for a critique of contemporary capitalism. He is also developing a new research project on the university in the age of neoliberalism.

Please RSVP via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-digital-and-the-analog-tickets-44195454795


 

3CT PRESENTS FUTURE CAFÉ: TRANSPORTATION

Thursday, April 5, 2018 5:00 PM  6:30 PM

What is a Future Café? It is an experiment. It is an open-ended conversation. It is a chance to brainstorm and share ideas without evaluation. It is a place to eat cake. Based loosely on both 3CT’s successful Book Salon series and the global Death Café movement, the objective of this new recurring event is to provide opportunity and space for undergraduates to collectively imagine utopian possibilities and long-term futures. 

Under the auspices of the Materializing the Future research project, Professors Shannon Dawdy and Bill Brown facilitate the Future Café, a venue where students in the College can creatively and collaboratively imagine possibilities for the long term. 

"For additional information and links, go to: http://voices.uchicago.edu/futurecafe/ .

 
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3CT PRESENTS FUTURE CAFÉ: POST-CAPITALISM AND LABOR

Thursday, March 1, 2018 5:00 PM  6:30 PM

What is a Future Café? It is an experiment. It is an open-ended conversation. It is a chance to brainstorm and share ideas without evaluation. It is a place to eat cake. Based loosely on both 3CT’s successful Book Salon series and the global Death Café movement, the objective of this new recurring event is to provide opportunity and space for undergraduates to collectively imagine utopian possibilities and long-term futures. 

Under the auspices of the Materializing the Future research project, Professors Shannon Dawdy and Bill Brown facilitate the Future Café, a venue where students in the College can creatively and collaboratively imagine possibilities for the long term. 

"For additional information and links, go to: http://voices.uchicago.edu/futurecafe/ .

 
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TERRELL CARVER, MARX & ENGELS'S "GERMAN IDEOLOGY" UPDATE: FABRICATIONS RECEPTIONS, QUESTIONS

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 5:30 PM  7:00 PM

This illustrated talk presents an overview of very recent historical and analytical research on Marx and Engels, arguing that The German Ideology “never took place,” considering how and why activists become “thinkers,” and exploring what difference a practice-based contextual approach might make to the discourses through which political theory is defined in scholarly and other communities.

Terrell Carver is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Bristol, UK. He has published widely on Marx, Engels and Marxisms, and also on sex, gender and sexualities. He is co-general editor of the Palgrave Macmillan book series "Marx, Engels, and Marxisms" and co-editor of the journal Contemporary Political Theory. Currently he is Program co-chair for the 25th IPSA World Congress of Political Science in Brisbane,July 21-25, 2018.

 
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THOMAS DODMAN, WHAT NOSTALGIA WAS: WAR, EMPIRE, AND THE TIME OF A DEADLY EMOTION

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 6:00 PM  7:30 PM

Nostalgia today is seen as essentially benign, a wistful longing for the past. This wasn't always the case, however: from the late seventeenth century through the end of the nineteenth, nostalgia denoted a form of homesickness so extreme that it could sometimes be deadly.

What Nostalgia Was unearths that history. Thomas Dodman begins his story in Basel, where a nineteen-year-old medical student invented the new diagnosis, modeled on prevailing notions of melancholy. From there, Dodman traces its spread through the European republic of letters and into Napoleon's armies, as French soldiers far from home were diagnosed and treated for the disease. Nostalgia then gradually transformed from a medical term to a more expansive cultural concept, one that encompassed Romantic notions of the aesthetic pleasure of suffering. But the decisive shift toward its contemporary meaning occurred in the colonies, where Frenchmen worried about racial and cultural mixing came to view moderate homesickness as salutary. An afterword reflects on how the history of nostalgia can help us understand the transformations of the modern world, rounding out a surprising, fascinating tour through the history of a durable idea.


Thomas Dodman is Assistant Professor in the Department of French and the College at Columbia University. He is the author of What Nostalgia Was: War, Empire and the Time of a Deadly Emotion(Chicago, 2018) and is currently co-editing a global history of war for the Éditions du Seuil. A cultural and intellectual historian of modern France, Dr.Dodman received his PhD from the University of Chicago and was a Mellon Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He previously taught at Boston College and currently serves as associate editor for Emotion Review.

 

FUTURE CAFE AND DOC FILMS PRESENT: AFROFUTURISM

Monday, February 26, 2018 5:30 PM  10:30 PM

Future Cafe: 5:30-6:45 PM

Sankofa: 7 - 9:10 PM; $5.00 at the door (cash or card)

3CT's Future Cafe and Doc Films are pleased to contribute their collaborative effort to Doc Film's Afrofuturism series. Please join us for a discussion moderated by Professor Shannon Dawdy and Doc Films Series Programmer Jola Idowu, followed by a screening of Sankofa. Light refreshments will be provided. 

Afrofuturism has been a part of the African and African Diaspora experience in all generations from slavery, to the Great Migration, Civil Rights, and today. The desire for a better and more equitable future that offers a site of healing for both the past and the present has been an integral part of the Black experience. In celebration of the end to our Afrofuturist series, Doc Films and 3CT present FutureCafe.2: Afrofuturism. Join us as we host a conversation on imagining a Black future in an uncertain present and what defines a Black Future. The conversation will be moderated by Professor Shannon Dawdy, Anthropology, and "The Future Is Black: Afrofuturism in Film" programmer, Jola Idowu. After the conversation, guests are free to transition to Ida Noyes Theater for a screening of a seminal film of Afrofuturism, Sankofa by Haile Gerima.

Source:: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/future-cafe-and-doc-films-present-afrofuturism-tickets-43202974259?aff=efbevent

 

3CT PRESENTS THE NEXT FUTURE CAFÉ: CLIMATE CHANGE

Thursday, February 1, 2018 4:30 PM  6:00 PM

The next meeting of the Future Café will take place Thursday, February 1st, from 4:30-6:00 pm in Wilder House with the student-selected topic of long-term human responses to Climate Change. Participants are invited to check out the following optional media pieces that can be used to launch the discussion:

1) "Six Ways We Can Adapt to Climate Change" 

2) Snowpiercer (Bong Joon-Ho, 2013)

All undergraduates are welcome to participate. Registration is highly encouraged as seating is limited. RSVP via Eventbrite  or on Facebook

What is a Future Café? It is an experiment. It is an open-ended conversation. It is a chance to brainstorm and share ideas without evaluation. It is a place to eat cake. Based loosely on both 3CT’s successful Book Salon series and the global Death Café movement, the objective of this new recurring event is to provide opportunity and space for undergraduates to collectively imagine utopian possibilities and long-term futures. 

Under the auspices of the Materializing the Future research project, Professors Shannon Dawdy and Bill Brown facilitate the Future Café, a venue where students in the College can creatively and collaboratively imagine possibilities for the long term. 

"For additional information and links, go to: http://voices.uchicago.edu/futurecafe/ .

 
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3CT NEW BOOK SALON: THE MANA OF MASS SOCIETY

Friday, January 19, 2018 6:00 PM  7:30 PM

Please join us for our first New Book Salon of the new year where we'll be discussing William Mazzarella's forthcoming book, The Mana of Mass Society.

We often invoke the “magic” of mass media to describe seductive advertising or charismatic politicians. In The Mana of Mass Society, William Mazzarella asks what happens to social theory if we take that idea seriously. How would it change our understanding of publicity, propaganda, love, and power?  Mazzarella reconsiders the concept of “mana,” which served in early anthropology as a troubled bridge between “primitive” ritual and the fascination of mass media. Thinking about mana, Mazzarella shows, means rethinking some of our most fundamental questions: What powers authority? What in us responds to it? Is the mana that animates an Aboriginal ritual the same as the mana that infuses a rioting crowd, a television audience, or an internet public? At the intersection of anthropology and critical theory, The Mana of Mass Society brings recent conversations around affect, sovereignty, and emergence into creative contact with classic debates on religion, charisma, ideology, and aesthetics.

Co-Sponsored by The Seminary Co-Operative Bookstores.

 
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"WHERE HAVE ALL THE LEADERS GONE?" WITH MICHAEL HARDT

Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:30 PM  6:00 PM

Please join 3CT for a lecture by Michael Hardt, in which he will use examples from past theory and practice to situate and clarify some of the issues and alternatives involved in the organization of social movements today.

We continue to witness each year the eruption of “leaderless” social movements.  From North Africa and the Middle East to Europe, the Americas, and East Asia, movements have left journalists, political analysts, police forces, and governments disoriented and perplexed.  Activists too have struggled to understand and evaluate the power and effectiveness of horizontal movements.  Why have the movements, which express the needs and desires of so many, not been able to achieve lasting change and a more just society?  Many assume that if only social movements could find new leaders they would return to their earlier glory and be able to sustain and achieve projects of social transformation and liberation.  Where, they ask, are the new Martin Luther King Jr.s, Rudi Dutschkes, Patrice Lumumbas, and Stephen Bikos?  Where have all the leaders gone? 

Michael Hardt teaches at Duke University, where he is co-director of the Social Movements Lab.  He is co-author (with Antonio Negri) of the Empire trilogy (EmpireMultitude, and Commonwealth) and, most recently, Assembly. Michael Hardt also currently serves as the editor of The South Atlantic Quarterly.

 
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FUTURE CAFÉ

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 4:30 PM  6:00 PM

Please join 3CT’s new venture into the future. Under the auspices of the Materializing the Future research project, Professors Shannon Dawdy and Bill Brown will facilitate the Future Café, a venue where students in the College can creatively and collaboratively imagine possibilities for the long term. 

What is a Future Café? It is an experiment. It is an open-ended conversation. It is a chance to brainstorm and share ideas without evaluation. It is a place to eat cake. Based loosely on both 3CT’s successful Book Salon series and the global Death Café movement, the objective of this new recurring event is to provide opportunity and space for undergraduates to collectively imagine utopian possibilities and long-term futures. What sort of ideas appeal in the present moment? What projects are already underway? What is neo-futurism, or futurology? What is the role of imagination in shaping politics, the environment, and social life? How might radical futures be brought into being? Each café will have a general theme linked to an optional discussion piece such as a podcast, a piece of fiction or journalism, a film, or a museum exhibit.

Future Café will take place on the first Thursday of every month from 4:30-6:00 PM in Wilder House.

 All undergraduates are welcome to participate. Registration is highly encouraged as seating is limited. RSVP at the Eventbrite link here or on Facebook.

 
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NEW BOOK SALON: PHARMOCRACY

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 6:00 PM  7:00 PM

Please join us for the first New Book Salon of the academic year. Kaushik Sunder Rajan will be discussing his latest publication, Pharmocracy
Continuing his pioneering theoretical explorations into the relationships among biosciences, the market, and political economy, Rajan introduces the concept of pharmocracy to explain the structure and operation of the global hegemony of the multinational pharmaceutical industry. He reveals pharmocracy's logic in two case studies from contemporary India: the controversial introduction of an HPV vaccine in 2010, and the Indian Patent Office's denial of a patent for an anticancer drug in 2006 and ensuing legal battles. In each instance health was appropriated by capital and transformed from an embodied state of well-being into an abstract category made subject to capital's interests. These cases demonstrate the precarious situation in which pharmocracy places democracy, as India's accommodation of global pharmaceutical regulatory frameworks pits the interests of its citizens against those of international capital. Sunder Rajan's insights into this dynamic make clear the high stakes of pharmocracy's intersection with health, politics, and democracy.

 

NOT READING: 2017 ENGLISH GRADUATE CONFERENCE

Thursday, November 2, 20173:00 PM -Friday, November 3, 20178:00 PM

The 2017 Conference of the English Department Graduate Students at the University of Chicago invites students, faculty, and local (not) readers to a conference on the relevance of "not reading" to the cultures, practices, and institutions of literature. Our conference begins with a simple contention: every act of reading entails an implicit decision not to read something else—and, indeed, not to engage in an activity other than reading. How can an acknowledgement of this fact help us rethink some of the most pressing issues of literary study today, including new interpretive methodologies, canonicity, patterns of publication, the work of reading, lost texts, the archive, or the politics of what we (don't) read?

Conference Website: https://voices.uchicago.edu/notreadinguofc/

 
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CO-SPONSORED EVENT: ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION WITH FRANÇOISE VERGÉS

Thursday, October 19, 2017 6:00 PM  7:00 PM

Presented by Logan Center Exhibitions in partnership with the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT).

Drawing on her writings and extensive research on postcoloniality, racism and the work of Pan-Africanist scholars such as Aimé Césaire, post-colonial theorist Françoise Vergés leads a discussion on the origins of pan-Africanism and considers its contemporary articulations in the culture and politics of the African diaspora.  

This event is part of the multiyear research project and public program, The Ties that Bind: Waves of Pan-Africanism in Contemporary Art and Society. The first convening, Returns, presents a series of public programs that takes place at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts from October 13 – 15, and October 19, 2017. For more information, please visit the website

 

CONSPIRACY/THEORY CONFERENCE

Friday, October 6, 2017 9:30 AM - Saturday, October 7, 2017 7:00 PM

Please join us for a two-day conference engaging epistemological problems in contemporary politics and the value of social theory in an age generating new forms of propaganda, deception, and surveillance, as well as tactical rejections of science by both industries and governments.

Conspiracy/Theory considers the intersection of conspiracy and theory, focusing on the imbrication of complex systems across politics, economics, militarism, and technology in the present. Exploring the conditions for knowing in a world where there is often too much information but not of the right kind to judge evidence, ascertain the nature of truth claims, or resolve issues of agency and intent, one goal is to examine how and when intuition, experience, and judgement become marked as either conspiratorial or theoretical. Understanding the elective affinities between conspiracy and theory while appreciating the seductions of each, this project engages the theoretical in conspiracy and the conspiratorial in critical theory, grappling as well with the ways in which suspicion, opacity, networks, uncertainty, and mass mediation function today.

Please go to our conference website for a full schedule and further details. 

Participants include:

Nadia Abu el-Haj (Anthropology, Columbia University)
Hussein Agrama (Anthropology, UChicago)
Kathleen Belew (History, UChicago)
Lisa Davis (Anthropology, Princeton University)
Robin Derby (History, University of California-Los Angeles)
Joe Dumit (Science Studies and Anthropology, University of California-Davis)
Faith Hillis (History, UChicago)
Lochlann Jain (Anthropology, Stanford University)
John Jackson (Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania)
Darryl Li (Anthropology, UChicago)
Louisa Lombard (Anthropology, Yale University)
Joseph Masco (Anthropology, UChicago)
Bob Meister (History of Conscious, University of California-Santa Cruz)
Timothy Melley (English and American Studies, Miami University)
Rosalind Morris (Anthropology, Columbia University)
George Shulman (Gallatin School, New York University)
Lisa Wedeen (Political Science, UChicago)