Roz Morris explores the withdrawal of electricity in the de-industrializing spaces of South Africa's gold economy, many of which are are subject to the state only via the threat of violence. Here, popular tribunals nonetheless try to mimic the sovereign state and economic life attempts a rationalized form. What conspires here - what brings together otherwise distinct bodies (of discourse and power), Morris argues - is not so much theory as forms of existence that are determined and determining in the mode of resemblance.
This is a one-day conference theorizing the entanglement of gender, nation, sexualities and secularism in contemporary Europe.
In our second DeSigning Praxis dialogue, DeSigning Cosmology, Keith Murphy and Taylor Lowe will discuss the intersection of Design and Cosmology in their own research on Swedish and Thai politics, respectively. Their work on the place of design in political cosmologies (or cosmopolitics) will frame a discussion of the contemporary politics of cosmology.
** PLEASE NOTE LOCATION HAS CHANGED TO SWIFT HALL **
This one-day participatory event co-organized by faculty fellows at 3CT and University of Chicago students provides an opportunity to think through the phenomenon of Trumpism, reactions to it, and its reverberations upon the institution of the university.
Co-Sponsored Event: New CHS Journal Issue + Global Intellectual History and the History of Capital: toward a social history of concepts // Andrew Sartori
We're thrilled to announce a newest issue in our journal, Critical Historical Studies! In conjunction with this latest issue, CHS editor and author Andrew Sartori will discuss how forms of economic practice help illuminate social imaginaries and asks to what extent writing the history of ideas is also a task of economic and social history or a task of critical theory.
This workshop examines the concept of Locke's metallism which is widely condemned today as a theoretical regression. However, it allowed him to conceive money as a medium of commercial social interdependencies that were distinct in constitution from political determinations.
Poet CA Conrad will lead this workshop on reconnecting with our own creative toolkits through (Soma)tic poetry rituals which he argues create an “extreme present” for our writing, helping us see the creative viability in everything around us.
For the inaugural conversation of the “DeSigning Praxis” dialogue series 3CT brings together Robert Somol, director of the school of architecture at UIC, and Orit Halpern, historian of science and scholar of mid-twentieth century pedagogies of design, for a discussion on their current critical engagements with the praxis and theory of teaching architecture and design.
Please join us for a round table discussion on the critique of political economy in light of contemporary economic, social, and political crises. We’ll be using Postone’s re-reading of Marx as a point of departure for this discussion and will examine recent crisis-ridden developments in light of that critique.
Please join us for a discussion of Patrick Jagoda's new book Network Aesthetics which, in exploring how popular culture mediates our experience with interconnected life, reveals the network’s role as a way for people to construct and manage their world—and their view of themselves. Jagoda will be introduced by Lauren Berlant, and Bill Brown will comment on the text.
This talk explores the workings of contemporary forms of neoliberal ideology in counter-distinction to earlier philosophical conceptions of the human being (as radically open and fundamentally historical). Schuster argues that within neoliberalism, the very openness meant to combat reification has itself become a vector for reification. Not only does neoliberalism exploit this openness or ontological precarity, it also mobilizes a powerful apparatus for interpreting the subject, giving it a specific form: namely, debt.
This two-day symposium, held in partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago, brings together leading practitioners in conservation and collection care for presentations and demonstrations, to explore how knowledge of industrial materials and processes can inform art historical interpretation. (For more information, including venues, please click on the event)
Timothy Melley examines the mushrooming U.S. discourse on conspiracy and argues that conspiracy discourse marks an epistemological crisis in which a desire for democratic transparency seems paradoxically impeded by the growing availability of information.
In this lecture, Rabie will give a political economic history and a city report on Ramallah, and argue that when viewed from a different perspective, the newness of the Ramallah market does not index instability, but instead points towards a set of practices that attempt to bound instabilities into possibilities for accumulation. In various ways, debt, falling wages, and PA wage instability control the dynamics of consumption and manage the market; and the political economic relationship of the PA to Israel keeps the West Bank, as both a territorial unit and a market, subordinate to Israel’s.
Co-Sponsored Event: Writing as Archival Practice: A Lecture/Writing, Theory/Practice Workshop Hybrid // Ann Cvetkovich
Ann Cvetkovich asks what happens when a grassroots lesbian feminist archive finds its way to the collections of a major university research library. Does it lose its counverarchival aura, or can it carry its powers of critical intervention into new spaces? Please join us as Cvetkovich explores this and other questions within the broader context of her research on queer archival politics.
Panel: The Concept of Capital and the Current State of Capitalism // Étienne Balibar & Verónica Gago
This half-day panel will feature presentations by Étienne Balibar (Columbia University) and Verónica Gago (University of Buenos Aires) followed by responses from Robert Meister (3CT Visiting Scholar, UCSC) and Moishe Postone. Kaushik Sunder Rajan will act as panel moderator.
In the context of the ongoing Syrian civil war and its accompanying news cycle, Prof. Weiss explores reflections of an ethics of immediacy in Syrian literature through the concept of the “slow witness,” a figure that is both represented in specific literary texts but also embodied by the practice of writing and reading fiction itself in a time of extreme human suffering and dislocation.
Noam Chomsky will discuss features of U.S. foreign policy and its intimate relationship with U.S. domestic policy.
Please join the Political Theory Workshop and Prof. David Scott who will present his reading of of the problem-space of political will in Michael Manley’s first book, The Politics of Change (1974). He seeks to clarify the conceptual connections through which Manley sought identify the political conundrums of the aftermaths of colonial rule, and map a path toward their resolution.
Fashions of dress are paradigmatic drivers of material obsolescence. Yet at the same time, fashion is the marginal aesthetic practice where ‘salvage’ is most on the surface. In part, the ubiquity and ordinariness of the vintage, the retro, and the cyclically recurrent in fashion put the oppositional charge of the act of salvage in question.
Through a mentorship program with SAIC (MDesign) graduate students, University of Chicago MODA students have been working on the concept of 'salvaging' in fashion design, theory and construction. This workshop will discuss their ongoing salvaged garment projects, which will then be exhibited at the Salvage 3.1 Symposium on May 13.
In The Mechanical Smile Evans explores the connections between the first fashion shows and early cinema, arguing that they functioned (in the Benjaminian sense) as “new velocities”—forces that altered the rhythms of modern life. Using significant new archival evidence, Evans shows how so-called “mannequin parades” employed the visual language of modernism to translate business and management methods into visual seduction and argues for an expanded definition of modernism as both gestural and performative, drawing on literary and performance theory rather than art and design history.
This conference explores new formations of, or contests over, gendered and generational power emerging in the global South. Topics include: what ways do conflicts over women’s visibility and mobility correspond to the reconfiguration of (in)equalities between men and women? What role does the circulation of women’s human rights discourses play in this process? How do these conflicts relate to ongoing changes in kin relations, regimes of love, and new forms of state regulation? And how does attending to new social panics reveal the shifting lines of contemporary citizenship and the way in which gender figures in these arrangements?
How can we think of evidence when it is situated amid multiple fields of knowledge and practice? This conference examines the problems that evidence poses for a range of inquiries in Muslim communities, from law and theology to science and historiography.
A discussion of Caroline Evan's Fashion at the Edge, which will draw on diverse perspectives from Marx to Walter Benjamin. Evans explores experimental fashion’s preoccupation with representations of death, trauma, alienation and decay and what these disturbing themes tell us about consumer culture and contemporary anxieties.
Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami will discuss their new book Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War, which is a vivid and groundbreaking look at a political and humanitarian nightmare. It explores the horrific and complicated reality of life in Syria today with unprecedented detail and sophistication, drawing on first-hand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, courageous human rights activists, and others.
How might we understand the enduring interest that material culture and the world of things holds for the humanities and social sciences? Tracking the object/thing distinction as it appears in the work of Heidegger and Lacan, Bill Brown's new book, Other Things, focuses on the thingness disclosed by the literary and artistic works of people such as Virginia Woolf, Man Ray, Spike Lee and Don DeLillo.
Participants will bring, to read aloud, 300-500 words about something that, for them, prompts a recognition/daydream/thought/action, etc. The writing can take any form but should be an effort to present/characterize/follow the lines of the thing that prompts.
On the occasion of 3CT’s 10th anniversary, we reflect once more on the contemporary as an imaginative projection and a site of struggle, where the question of what can be shared matters to so many. How do we create concrete and conceptual infrastructures of the present that are at once vital and textured, given different foci and disciplinary divides? Exploring histories, gesturing toward virtual and actual political and economic frameworks, this conference aims to prompt comparison and theoretical innovation.
When Hungary joined the European Union and NATO, it was joyously welcomed as a newly "democratic" state. Yet in the last few years, the former dissidents of the 1989-era have circulated alarming letters to an international audience warning of fraudulent elections, corrupted courts, rewritten histories, and an extreme far right party. Prof. Gal's analysis will begin with the postsocialist economic history of Hungary, the discursive strategies of the current government, and the dilemmas of the opposition.
Lecture: The European Crisis And The Radical Left's Strategic Dilemmas: Lessons Of The Greek Case // Leo Panitch
The first anniversary of Syriza's election, as the first and only radical left party to gain state power since the beginning of the global capitalist crisis, provides an appropriate occasion to reflect on how and why the euphoria was so quickly tempered, and what this suggests about the structural constraints and strategic dilemmas facing the radical left, not only in Spain and Portugal as well as Greece but across the continent, amidst Europe's multliplying crises and the rise of the far right.