Conspiracy/Theory, The Play of Conspiracy in Plato's republic, Demetra Kasimis
Jan
24
4:00 PM16:00

Conspiracy/Theory, The Play of Conspiracy in Plato's republic, Demetra Kasimis

  • 5811 S Kenwood Ave Chicago United States (map)
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Does Plato’s Republic dramatize a conspiracy? Ostensibly, this work of historical fiction revolves around a philosophical question posed at the start about the meaning of justice. This challenge famously incites the characters to design a political regime alternative to the Athenian democracy under which the characters speak. The provided impetus for discussing radical political change is a desire to investigate a political idea rather than a wish to overthrow a political regime for a better one. While this picture of what the Republic is up to is not wrong, it does belong to the narrator, who speaks from a political reality Thucydides describes as highly unstable. Plato stages a collective and clandestine nighttime act to found an alternative regime “in speech” during the years of the Peloponnesian War when suspiciousness was rampant and rumor of conspiratorial acts came to constitute juridical evidence for rounding up citizens. I argue that the Republic makes wide-ranging and curiously under-explored use of this anxious, vicissitudinous atmosphere by troping conspiracy in plain sight. From the narrator’s untrustworthy voice to the setting’s disjointed time, the conversation’s interest in exposing endless connections between concepts to its idealization and unmasking of the workings of a kind of all-knowing “big power,” the Republic plays with conspiracy not to endorse it but to establish a conspiratorial mood. Read in light of these political realities, its rhetorical strategies invite us to experience the pleasures of conspiratorial thinking while reflecting critically on them. But because the Republic conspicuously deflects the question of the characters’ intentions and abilities to implement their political plot—it stresses its ideal (or utopian) quality, it ultimately leaves the question of how to think about the plotting in this plot open. I suggest that this aporetic configuration compels us to consider the salutary critical energies also afforded by a democracy in a conspiratorial mood.

Check out the Facebook and Eventbrite pages for this event. RSVP is recommended as seating is limited, but not required.

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3CT Presents Future Café - Utopia
Jan
30
5:30 PM17:30

3CT Presents Future Café - Utopia

Please join us for the first meeting of winter quarter.  Following a salon format, the Future Café offers opportunity and space for undergraduates to collectively imagine utopian possibilities and long-termfutures. 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? 

All undergraduates are welcome to participate. Hosted by 3CT fellows Shannon Lee Dawdy and Bill Brown

Check out the Facebook page for this event. RSVPs not required.

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New Book Salon, Worldmaking after Empire by Adom Getachew
Feb
14
6:00 PM18:00

New Book Salon, Worldmaking after Empire by Adom Getachew

Adom Getachew discusses Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination. She will be joined in conversation by Christopher Taylor, Darryl Li, and Jennifer Pitts. A Q&A and signing will follow the event.

Presented in partnership with the Seminary Co-Op Bookstore and the Center for International Social Science Research

About the Book: Decolonization revolutionized the international order during the twentieth century. Yet standard histories that present the end of colonialism as an inevitable transition from a world of empires to one of nations—a world in which self-determination was synonymous with nation-building—obscure just how radical this change was. Drawing on the political thought of anticolonial intellectuals and statesmen such as Nnamdi Azikiwe, W.E.B Du Bois, George Padmore, Kwame Nkrumah, Eric Williams, Michael Manley, and Julius Nyerere, this important new account of decolonization reveals the full extent of their unprecedented ambition to remake not only nations but the world.

About the Author: Adom Getachew is Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Political Science at University of Chicago.

About the Interlocutors: Christopher Taylor is Assistant Professor of English at University of Chicago; Darryl Li is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of Chicago.

About the Moderator: Jennifer Pitts is Professor of Political Science at University of Chicago.

Check out the Facebook event HERE.

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Worlding, Writing--Trauma and the Aesthetics of Life series: Bad News
Feb
21
5:00 PM17:00

Worlding, Writing--Trauma and the Aesthetics of Life series: Bad News

Bad News is an award-winning installation work that combines Wizard of Oz techniques and live improvisational acting into an emotionally charged one-on-one experience whose story and setting is uniquely generated, for each performance, by a computer simulation. In the summer of 1979, a resident in a computer-generated American small town has died alone at home, and a mortician's assistant—the player—is tasked with tracking down and notifying the next of kin. To do this, the player navigates the richly simulated town to interact with its residents, who are each played live by a professional actor. Throughout gameplay, an unseen wizard listens in remotely to manage the unfolding experience via live coding and discreet communication with the actor. Writing about the piece for Rolling Stone, Steven T. Wright remarked, "This marvel of procedural performance can only be played by a lucky few, and that's a crying shame." Through its peculiar bricolage of human and machine performance, Bad News meditates on the trauma of losing a life and, ultimately, a world.
 
In this special public performance, attendees will listen in on a live playthrough (in the style of a radio play) and receive a behind-the-scenes, commentated look at the AI technology and Wizard of Oz techniques that underpin the experience. Attendees will also be encouraged to ask questions and call out story ideas that can be communicated to the actor, who may integrate them into the experience as it is unfolding. A Q&A session will follow the performance.

TEAM BIO

Bad News is a project of James Ryan, Ben Samuel, and Adam Summerville, who created the piece as PhD students in the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz, a research lab dedicated to exploring the artistic potential of artificial intelligence. Since its inception in 2015, Bad News has been performed internationally, at venues including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Slamdance, and IndieCade, where it won the Audience Choice award. Adam Summerville, who is now an assistant professor in Computer Science at Cal Poly Pamona, serves as guide on the project: he assists the player in the lead-up to her performance and explains the piece to exhibition passersby. Adjacently to this project, Summerville is a rising scholar in the area of artificial intelligence for videogames, where his work has received attention from The Guardian and SlateBen Samuel, now an assistant professor in Computer Science at the University of New Orleans, leverages over a decade of improvisational experience to serve as the project's sole actor. In this vein, his past work includes a starring role in Hulu's first original scripted series, Battleground, which earned him praise from the New York Times.James Ryan, who is now a research scientist at the historic computing firm BBN Technologies, serves as wizard on the project—this entails managing each performance, behind the scenes, as it is unfolding. His work in expressive computer simulation has been featured in The GuardianVice, and on BBC Radio. 

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Conspiracy/Theory, Feeling the Plot: Writing into the Affects, Atmospheres, and Poetics of Conspiracy, Susan Lepselter
Feb
26
5:30 PM17:30

Conspiracy/Theory, Feeling the Plot: Writing into the Affects, Atmospheres, and Poetics of Conspiracy, Susan Lepselter

How does one write about a conspiracy theory without explaining it away?

This event is a hands-on writing workshop. We'll explore ways to represent and think about the occult, elusive object of a plot.

Check out the Facebook and Eventbrite pages for this event. RSVP is recommended as seating is limited, but not required.

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3CT Presents Future Café - Kinship
Feb
27
5:30 PM17:30

3CT Presents Future Café - Kinship

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. 

Check out the Facebook page for this event. RSVPs not required.

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Worlding, Writing--Trauma and the Aesthetics of Life series: Illness Narratives as Health Activism: Telling Stories about Precarity to Save the ACA
Mar
7
5:00 PM17:00

Worlding, Writing--Trauma and the Aesthetics of Life series: Illness Narratives as Health Activism: Telling Stories about Precarity to Save the ACA

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), which expanded health insurance coverage to millions of Americans and federally mandated the provision of health insurance to individuals with “pre-existing conditions,” is a politically divisive law facing an ongoing ‘repeal and replace’ effort in Congress and the courts. As patients, caregivers, and health activists fight to resist the repeal of the ACA, they are sharing intimate illness narratives in an effort to frame the repeal effort as a looting of their insurance benefits and an attack on the investment in equity and justice they say the ACA represents. One such effort emerges from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a left-leaning labor union that organizes around a number of social justice issues. SEIU’s “Fight For Our Health” campaign calls on patients and caregivers to share intimate accounts of how the threat of repeal fosters what I call “health insurance precarity.” These narratives, shared in person during protest actions and online by the campaign, address these accounts to legislators and the public at large, situating the resolution of this precarity as a social, rather than individual, concern.

This health activism campaign raises questions about how patients at risk of losing health insurance coverage make claims to biological citizenship and social belonging. What are the affective experiences of health insurance precarity? How does the campaign marshal these experiences to demand access to care and promote collective social action? Drawing on a discourse analysis of primary documents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and illness narratives shared through this campaign, I will discuss these questions and consider how these narratives function within the current health media landscape.

ABOUT BEZA MERID

Beza Merid (Ph.D., New York University) is an LSA Collegiate Fellow in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where he researches the cultural and political dimensions of illness. In particular, his scholarship examines how experiences of patienthood are mediated in the contemporary health media landscape, how patients and caregivers find ways to survive when adequate health insurance is inaccessible, and the persistence of racial disparities in heart disease and stroke.

Merid is currently working on his first book project, which examines how stand-up comedy and stand-up comedians participate in the production of biomedical knowledge, and gathering material for his second book project, which examines how patients and caregivers participate in knowledge production about racial disparities in heart disease and stroke.

Check out the Facebook and Eventbrite pages for this event. RSVP is recommended as seating is limited, but not required.

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3CT Presents Future Café - Consciousness
Apr
30
5:30 PM17:30

3CT Presents Future Café - Consciousness

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. 

Check out the Facebook page for this event. RSVPs not required.

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Materializing the Future, Speculative Design: Post-petroleum Utopias
May
31
9:00 AM09:00

Materializing the Future, Speculative Design: Post-petroleum Utopias

Speculative Design is a cyborg practice that harkens back to past futurist movements, insisting on a moveable spectrum between art and radical social science. The term embraces diverse practitioners motivated to open up the imagination around “wicked problems” (Dunne and Raby 2013). Perhaps no problem seems quite so wicked in the contemporary moment as climate change and human dependency on petroleum. What would it mean to imagine a world without oil and its derivatives? What sort of leaps are both necessary and possible? What possibilities does a multi-generational perspective open up – a future beyond our own lifetimes?

Check out the Facebook event. RSVP not required, but recommended as seating is limited.

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Immortality for All: A Trilogy of Films about Russian Cosmism with Anton Vidokle
Nov
30
7:00 PM19:00

Immortality for All: A Trilogy of Films about Russian Cosmism with Anton Vidokle

  • Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Today the Russian philosophy known as Cosmism has been largely forgotten. Its utopian tenets–combining Western Enlightenment with Eastern philosophy, Russian Orthodox traditions with Marxism–inspired many key Soviet thinkers until they fell victim to Stalinist repression. In this three-part film project, artist Anton Vidokle probes Cosmism’s influence on the twentieth century and suggests its relevance to the present day. This Is Cosmos (2014) returns to the foundations of Cosmist thought, The Communist Revolution Was Caused by the Sun (2015) explores the links between cosmology and politics, and Immortality and Resurrection for All! (2017) restages the museum as a site of resurrection, a central Cosmist idea. Combining essay, documentary, and performance, Vidokle quotes from the writings of Cosmism’s founder Nikolai Fedorov and other philosophers and poets. His wandering camera searches for traces of Cosmist influence in the remains of Soviet-era art, architecture, and engineering, moving from the steppes of Kazakhstan to the museums of Moscow. Music by John Cale and Éliane Radigue accompanies these haunting images, conjuring up the yearning for connectedness, social equality, material transformation, and immortality at the heart of Cosmist thought. 

(Kazakhstan/Germany/Russia/USA, 2014-2017, 96 min., DCP)

Screening 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM in Room 201.

Co-sponsored with the Gray Center, CEERES, and Film Studies.

RSVP on our Eventbrite or Facebook event page.

Anton Vidokle is an artist based in New York and Berlin. As founder of e-flux and e-flux journal, he has produced projects such as the Martha Rosler Library 2005-2006, Pawnshop 2007, unitednationsplaza 2008-09 and Time/Bank 2010. Vidokle’s work has been exhibited internationally at Documenta 13 and the 56th Venice Biennale. His films have been screened at Bergen Assembly; Shanghai Biennale; Istanbul Biennial; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Berlinale International Film Festival; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Gwangju Biennale; Locarno Festival; and Centre Pompidou, among others.

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3CT Presents Future Café : Human Rights
Nov
27
5:30 PM17:30

3CT Presents Future Café : Human Rights

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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Pavlos Roufos - "A Happy Future is a Thing of the Past"
Nov
19
6:00 PM18:00

Pavlos Roufos - "A Happy Future is a Thing of the Past"

“A careful and penetrating analysis of the cruel torment of Greece, and its background in the emerging global political economy, as the regimented capitalism of the early postwar period, with gains for much of the population, has been subjected to the assault of neoliberal globalization, with grim effects and threatening consequences.” ––Noam Chomsky 

Pavlos Roufos discusses "A Happy Future is a Thing of the Past: The Greek Crisis and other Disasters." He will be joined in conversation by John Clegg. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.  

Presented in partnership with the Seminary Co-Op Bookstore.

At the Co-op

About the book: Since 2010, Greece’s social and economic conditions have been irreversibly transformed due to austerity measures imposed by the European troika and successive Greek governments. These stringent restructuring programs were intended to make it possible for Greece to avoid default and improve its debt position, and to reconfigure its economy to escape forever the burden of past structural deficiencies. But things have not gone according to plan. Eight years later, none of these targets have been met. If the programs were doomed to fail from the start, as many claim, what were the real objectives of such devastating austerity? 

In this latest installment in Reaktion's Field Notes series, published in association with the Brooklyn Rail, Pavlos Roufos answers this key question in an insightful, critical analysis of the origins and management of the 2010 Greek economic crisis. Setting the crisis in its historical context, Roufos explores the creation of the Eurozone, its “glorious” years, and today’s political threats to its existence. By interweaving stories of individual people’s lived experiences and describing in detail the politicians, policies, personalities, and events at the heart of the collapse, he situates its development both in terms of the particularities of the Greek economy and society and the overall architecture of Europe’s monetary union. This broad examination also illuminates the social movements that emerged in Greece in response to the crisis, unpacking what both the crisis managers and many of their critics presented as a given: that a happy future is a thing of the past. 

About the author: Pavlos Roufos has been active in Greece’s social movements since the early 1990s and has written on Greece and the economic crisis for the Brooklyn Rail (New York) and Jungle World (Berlin). He has worked as a film editor and is currently doing PhD research on German economic policy at the University of Kassel, Germany. 

About the interlocutor: John Clegg is a Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences and Harper-Schmidt Fellow at the University of Chicago.

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Elliott Colla, Does Poetry Incite? Lessons from Egyptian Movement Poetry
Nov
8
4:00 PM16:00

Elliott Colla, Does Poetry Incite? Lessons from Egyptian Movement Poetry

  • Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (map)
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For decades, poetry has held a central place within leftist social movements in Egypt and has created a canon that includes figures such as Ahmed Fouad Negm and Samir ‘Abd al-Baqi, along with dozens of other movement poets whose names are less known. The modes and functions of movement poetry are multiple: it serves as a privileged idiom of debate and deliberation; it interpellates publics and articulates claims; and it moves people to act. On this last point, Egyptian activists and state security officers have tended to agree historically. Yet even so, when pressed— in court, for instance—to make the case for how poetry incites, their accounts of poetry’s power stumble. This presentation traces the history of movement poetry in modern Egypt, from 1968-2013, and explores the ambiguities of this history by way of incitement cases that were raised against Negm during the 1970s. 

About Elliott Colla
Elliott Colla is the Associate Professor in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. He is author of Conflicted Antiquities: Egyptology, Egyptomania, Egyptian Modernity (Duke University Press, 2007) and translator of numerous Arabic novels, including Ibrahim Aslan’s The Heron, Ibrahim al-Koni’s Gold Dust, and Raba‘i al-Madhoun’s The Lady from Tel Aviv. The Euston Films/Channel 4 (UK) television adaptation of his novel, Baghdad Central, will appear in August 2019. This talk comes from his current book project, The People Will: Literature and Social Movements in Egypt.

This event will be from 4:00 - 5:30 PM with a reception to follow. 

RSVP encouraged, but not required.

View this event on Eventbrite and/or Facebook.

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Christopher Taylor - "Empire of Neglect" - Adom Getachew
Nov
5
6:00 PM18:00

Christopher Taylor - "Empire of Neglect" - Adom Getachew

Christopher Taylor discusses "Empire of Neglect: The West Indies in the Wake of British Liberalism." He will be joined in conversation by Adom Getachew. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

Presented in partnership with The Seminary Co-op Bookstore

At the Co-op

About the book: Following the publication of Adam Smith’s "The Wealth of Nations," nineteenth-century liberal economic thinkers insisted that a globally hegemonic Britain would profit only by abandoning the formal empire. British West Indians across the divides of race and class understood that, far from signaling an invitation to nationalist independence, this liberal economic discourse inaugurated a policy of imperial “neglect”—a way of ignoring the ties that obligated Britain to sustain the worlds of the empire’s distant fellow subjects. In "Empire of Neglect" Christopher Taylor examines this neglect’s cultural and literary ramifications, tracing how nineteenth-century British West Indians reoriented their affective, cultural, and political worlds toward the Americas as a response to the liberalization of the British Empire. Analyzing a wide array of sources, from plantation correspondence, political economy treatises, and novels to newspapers, socialist programs, and memoirs, Taylor shows how the Americas came to serve as a real and figurative site at which abandoned West Indians sought to imagine and invent postliberal forms of political subjecthood.

About the author: Chris Taylor is an assistant professor of English and the College at the University of Chicago. His first book, "Empire of Neglect: The West Indies in the Wake of British Liberalism," was published by Duke University Press in 2018. He is currently working on a new book project, entitled "The Voluntary Slave: Atlantic Modernity’s Impossible Subject." Chris holds a PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in English from New York University.

About the interlocutor: Adom Getachew is Neubauer Assistant Professor of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago. Her forthcoming book, "Worldmaking After Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination," reconstructs an account of self-determination offered in the political thought of Black Atlantic anticolonial nationalists during the height of decolonization in the twentieth century. Adom holds a joint PhD in Political Science and African-American Studies from Yale University and BA in Politics and African-American Studies from the University of Virginia.

RSVP is encourage but not required. Sign up here

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Demetra Kasimis - "The Perpetual Immigrant"
Nov
1
6:00 PM18:00

Demetra Kasimis - "The Perpetual Immigrant"

Demetra Kasimis discusses "The Perpetual Immigrant and the Limits of Athenian Democracy." She will be joined in conversation by Jonathan M. Hall, John P. McCormick, and Josephine McDonagh. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

Presented in partnership with the Seminary Co-Op Bookstore

About the book: In the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, immigrants called 'metics' (metoikoi) settled in Athens without a path to citizenship. Galvanized by these political realities, classical thinkers cast a critical eye on the nativism defining democracy's membership rules and explored the city's anxieties over intermingling and passing. Yet readers continue to treat immigration and citizenship as separate phenomena of little interest to theorists writing at the time. In "The Perpetual Immigrant and the Limits of Athenian Democracy," Demetra Kasimis makes visible the long-overlooked centrality of immigration to the originary practices of democracy and political theory in Athens. She dismantles the interpretive and political assumptions that have led readers to turn away from the metic and reveals the key role this figure plays in such texts as Plato's Republic. The result is a series of original readings that boldly reframes urgent questions about how democracies order their non-citizen members.

About the author: Demetra Kasimis is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where she specializes in democratic theory and the thought and politics of ancient Greece. Her research in political theory has been supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the Fulbright and Mellon Foundations. "The Perpetual Immigrant and the Limits of Athenian Democracy" (Cambridge UP, 2018) is her first book.

About Jonathan M. Hall: Jonathan M. Hall is the author of "Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity" (Cambridge, 1997), which received the 1999 Charles J. Goodwin Award for Merit from the American Philological Association; "Hellenicity: Between Ethnicity and Culture" (Chicago, 2002), which was the recipient of the 2004 Gordon J. Laing Award from the University of Chicago Press; "A History of the Archaic Greek World, ca. 1200–479 BCE" (2nd edition: Chichester, 2014); "Artifact and Artifice: Classical Archaeology and the Ancient Historian" (Chicago, 2014); and a series of articles and chapters concerning the political, social, and cultural history of the Greek world. He has taught at the University of Chicago since 1996 and was awarded the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2009.

About John P. McCormick: John P. McCormick is Professor in the Department of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books on the history of political thought and democratic theory, most recently, "Reading Machiavelli" (Princeton University Press, 2018).

About Josephine McDonagh: Josephine McDonagh is Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, University of Chicago. Before coming to Chicago she taught in a number of universities in Britain and Ireland, most recently University of Oxford and King’s College London. She is author of "De Quincey’s Disciplines" (Oxford University Press, 1994), "George Eliot" (Northcote House, 1997), and "Child Murder and British Culture 1720–1900" (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and has co- edited a number of volumes, most recently (with Joseph Bristow), "Nineteenth-Century Radical Traditions" (Palgrave, 2016) and (with Supriya Chaudhuri, Brian Murray and Rajeswari Sunder Rajan) "Commodities and Culture in the Colonial World" (Routledge, 2018). Her study of literature and migration in the nineteenth century is in process.

RSVP encouraged, but not required. Sign up here.

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3CT Presents Future Café
Oct
30
5:30 PM17:30

3CT Presents Future Café

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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Michel Feher - "Rated Agency" - Jonathan Levy
Oct
26
6:00 PM18:00

Michel Feher - "Rated Agency" - Jonathan Levy

Rated Agency is a must-read for anyone seeking to escape the melancholy of the Trump era by building an effective progressive movement against a creeping dystopia.”—Yanis Varoufakis

Michel Feher discusses "Rated Agency: Investee Politics in a Speculative Age." He will be joined in conversation by Jonathan Levy. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

Presented in partnership with Zone Books and The Seminary Co-op Bookstore.

About the book: The hegemony of finance compels a new orientation for everyone and everything: companies care more about the moods of their shareholders than about longstanding commercial success; governments subordinate citizen welfare to appeasing creditors; and individuals are concerned less with immediate income from labor than appreciation of their capital goods, skills, connections, and reputations.

That firms, states, and people depend more on their ratings than on the product of their activities also changes how capitalism is resisted. For activists, the focus of grievances shifts from the extraction of profit to the conditions under which financial institutions allocate credit. While the exploitation of employees by their employers has hardly been curbed, the power of investors to select investees — to decide who and what is deemed creditworthy — has become a new site of social struggle.

In clear and compelling prose, Michel Feher explains the extraordinary shift in conduct and orientation generated by financialization. Above all, he articulates the new political resistances and aspirations that investees draw from their rated agency.

About the author: Michel Feher, a Belgian philosopher, is the author of "Powerless by Design: The Age of the International Community" and the editor of "Nongovernmental Politics and Europe at a Crossroads," among other titles. Founder of Cette France-là, a monitoring group on French immigration policy, Feher is also a founding editor of Zone Books.

About the interlocutor: Jonathan Levy teaches history at the University of Chicago. He is currently completing a book on the history of American capitalism.

RSVP encouraged but not mandatory, sign-up here

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Silencing the Past @ 25 Symposium
Oct
26
to Oct 27

Silencing the Past @ 25 Symposium

  • Regenstein Library Room 122 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The year 2020 will mark the 25th anniversary of the publication of Michel-
Rolph Trouillot’s seminal text, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. This conference will use the occasion of this anniversary to reflect both on the continued importance and afterlife of Silencing the Past (STP) and on
its relationship to Trouillot’s larger oeuvre. Proceedings from the conference
will be published as a volume in 2020.

CONVENED BY: YARIMAR BONILLA, MAYANTHI FERNANDO, GREG BECKETT & FRANCOIS RICHARD.

Schedule:

Oct 26: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Oct 27: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

For the full conference schedule and more information visit: www.silencingthepast25.com

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The Outlook for Democracy In Brazil
Oct
25
5:00 PM17:00

The Outlook for Democracy In Brazil

  • Social Science Research Building Room 122 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Brazil, the world's fourth largest democracy, is on the verge of electing a president with a proudly authoritarian agenda. If Jair Bolsonaro is elected on October 28, what does this mean for democracy in Brazil and elsewhere?

Panelists:

  • Brodwyn Fischer, History and Latin American Studies

  • Yanilda María González, Social Service Administration

  • Benjamin Lessing, Political Science

  • Andreas Glaeser, Sociology (Moderator)

RSVP via Eventbrite.

ORGANIZED BY:

  • THE CENTER FOR LATIN AMERICAN STUDI ES

  • THE CHICAGO CENTER ON DEMOCRACY

  • THE CHICAGO CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY THEORY

  • THE PROGRAM ON POLITICAL VIOLENCE AT C POST

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Pavlos Roufos - "A Happy Future is a Thing of the Past" - John Clegg
Oct
25
2:30 PM14:30

Pavlos Roufos - "A Happy Future is a Thing of the Past" - John Clegg

“A careful and penetrating analysis of the cruel torment of Greece, and its background in the emerging global political economy, as the regimented capitalism of the early postwar period, with gains for much of the population, has been subjected to the assault of neoliberal globalization, with grim effects and threatening consequences.” ––Noam Chomsky 

Pavlos Roufos discusses "A Happy Future is a Thing of the Past: The Greek Crisis and other Disasters." He will be joined in conversation by John Clegg. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.  

Presented in partnership with the Seminary Co-op Bookstore.

About the book: Since 2010, Greece’s social and economic conditions have been irreversibly transformed due to austerity measures imposed by the European troika and successive Greek governments. These stringent restructuring programs were intended to make it possible for Greece to avoid default and improve its debt position, and to reconfigure its economy to escape forever the burden of past structural deficiencies. But things have not gone according to plan. Eight years later, none of these targets have been met. If the programs were doomed to fail from the start, as many claim, what were the real objectives of such devastating austerity? 

In this latest installment in Reaktion's Field Notes series, published in association with the Brooklyn Rail, Pavlos Roufos answers this key question in an insightful, critical analysis of the origins and management of the 2010 Greek economic crisis. Setting the crisis in its historical context, Roufos explores the creation of the Eurozone, its “glorious” years, and today’s political threats to its existence. By interweaving stories of individual people’s lived experiences and describing in detail the politicians, policies, personalities, and events at the heart of the collapse, he situates its development both in terms of the particularities of the Greek economy and society and the overall architecture of Europe’s monetary union. This broad examination also illuminates the social movements that emerged in Greece in response to the crisis, unpacking what both the crisis managers and many of their critics presented as a given: that a happy future is a thing of the past. 

About the author: Pavlos Roufos has been active in Greece’s social movements since the early 1990s and has written on Greece and the economic crisis for the Brooklyn Rail (New York) and Jungle World (Berlin). He has worked as a film editor and is currently doing PhD research on German economic policy at the University of Kassel, Germany.

About the interlocutor: John Clegg is a Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences and Harper-Schmidt Fellow at the University of Chicago.

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Robert Meister, Historial Justice in the Age of Finance
Oct
18
4:00 PM16:00

Robert Meister, Historial Justice in the Age of Finance

  • Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Historical Justice in the Age of Finance is a sequel to After Evil, arguing that injustice, not merely trauma, is the aftermath of evil and presenting an historical account of democratic politics a the extraction of a price for rolling over the option of justice now.  To make this case, I connect a Marx-inflected language of historical justice to the technical language of valuing financial options. and show that historical justice is itself an option that has value today even though it is not an option that can presently be exercised. In summary form, my argument is that political democracy in an age of finance is best understood as a project of increasing and realizing the present value of historical justice as an option in non-revolutionary conjunctures. Political democracy can do this, because within contemporary global finance capital market liquidity is inherently at risk. Through acritical appropriation of the language and practices of financialization, progressive movements can leverage finance’s theoretical reduction of class power to an absence of political risk in capital markets by introducing a political risk that the state will not restore liquidity to capital markets. I argue that the liquidity guarantee that the state provides in such situations, most recently in 2008, can be priced using options theory--and that this is the political premium available to fund greater justice that can be extracted for allowing the cumulative gains from past injustice to remain.

About Robert Meister

Professor Meister is 3CT’s visiting scholar. A professor of social and political thought in the department of the History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz, Meister’s research interests include political and moral philosophy, law and social theory, Marxian theory, institutional analysis, and financialization. His most recent book is After Evil: A Politics of Human Rights(Columbia University Press, 2011). His essay, “Liquidity”, in Derivatives and Wealth of Society (University of Chicago Press, 2016) will be part of the new book.

Event starts at 4:00 with a reception to follow. View this event on Eventbrite and Facebook. RSVP on Eventbrite encouraged, but not required.

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The Soup Is On: Experiment in Critical Practice
Jun
1
to Jun 2

The Soup Is On: Experiment in Critical Practice

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
May
29
6:00 PM18:00

Linda Zerilli Book Salon

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

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Modes of Ethnographic Inquiry: Where Ethnographic Practice Meets Multimedia
May
24
3:30 PM15:30

Modes of Ethnographic Inquiry: Where Ethnographic Practice Meets Multimedia

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

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Climate Change and Asia
May
24
9:30 AM09:30

Climate Change and Asia

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

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Elettra Stimilli: The Debt of the Living
May
23
5:30 PM17:30

Elettra Stimilli: The Debt of the Living

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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Global Authoritarianisms
May
17
5:00 PM17:00

Global Authoritarianisms

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

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3CT Presents Future Café: Cities
May
14
5:00 PM17:00

3CT Presents Future Café: Cities

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/ .

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Materializing the Future: Urban Space
May
11
2:30 PM14:30

Materializing the Future: Urban Space

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
May
7
12:00 PM12:00

1918: The Constitutional Anomalies of Insurgent Universality” by Massimiliano Tomba

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.

 

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3CT Presents Future Café: Intimacy
May
3
5:00 PM17:00

3CT Presents Future Café: Intimacy

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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Tone, Tact and Meaning in Ethnographic and Documentary Film
Apr
12
6:30 PM18:30

Tone, Tact and Meaning in Ethnographic and Documentary Film

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.

 

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Beyond Satire: What Lubitsch, Genet, and Claudel Can Tell Us About Ideology Today.
Apr
10
5:00 PM17:00

Beyond Satire: What Lubitsch, Genet, and Claudel Can Tell Us About Ideology Today.

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.

 

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The Digital and the Analog
Apr
9
4:30 PM16:30

The Digital and the Analog

 

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

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3CT Presents Future Café: Transportation
Apr
5
5:00 PM17:00

3CT Presents Future Café: Transportation

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
Mar
1
5:00 PM17:00

3CT Presents Future Café: Post-Capitalism and Labor

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/ .

View Event →