new article on philosopher Peter Sloterdijk by Oliver Davis
Oliver Davis has published a new article on the work of philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, as part of a special issue of Angelaki on Sloterdijk, edited by Patrick Roney and Andrea Rossi. 'Anthropotechnical Practising in the Foam-World' can be accessed here. Abstract: I begin by acknowledging the profusion of Peter Sloterdijk’s published work, the suggestion by Bruno Latour that it may be on the side of design, and Sloterdijk’s pugnacious aversion to professorial critique. I focus on what I consider to be the crucial and vexed relationship between the general immunology of the Spheres trilogy [1998–2004] and the general ascetology of You Must Change Your Life . I present an analytical reconstruction of Sloterdijk’s account of originary spheric being-with in the trilogy, focused on its culmination in the foam-world; I suggest this account is too ambiguous on key matters of basic ontological structure and I question whether the foam metaphor is adequate as a description of intersubjectivity today. Against the backdrop of this discussion I consider whether the general ascetology of Sloterdijk’s second anthropotechnics involves practising in, or practising on, the shells of symbolic immunity and conclude the latter. Setting this alongside the trilogy’s insistence that cells in the foam are “co-fragile,” I argue that anthropotechnical practising in the foam-world is suffused with a violence which Sloterdijk is reluctant to theorize. Registering one significant undeclared context of his discussion of self-enhancement, in postmodern management theory, I suggest that successful anthropotechnical practising in the foam-world requires the capacity to ignore other people and their interests. I note that Sloterdijk’s one-eyed embrace of competitive self-enhancement in You Must Change Your Life has since been qualified in brief remarks in What Happened in the 20th Century?  but not substantively reconsidered. In conclusion, I pay tribute to the anthropotechnical lesson of Sloterdijk’s theoretical project, notwithstanding its design flaws and continuity errors.
new free-to-view article by Oliver Davis: 'Neoliberal capitalism's bureaucracies of "governance"'
The account of bureaucracy under neoliberal capitalism which I present in this article, under the innocuous heading it prefers to use to describe itself (‘governance’), draws together recent critical work by the late David Graeber, Wendy Brown, William Davies and Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval, which it repositions in relation to Jacques Rancière’s conception of the ‘police order’. I suggest that the massive production of insecurity by proliferating bureaucracies which structure neoliberalism’s project of competitive hierarchisation creates the ideal conditions for a vicious circle of securitarian inflation. To read the full article click here
Students and staff from across Warwick SMLC completed a clean sweep of Warwick awards.
We are very relieved to say that all of our students based in Brussels on the Year Abroad are safe and well. Students in Brussels should continue to heed the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice which is to stay away from crowded places and public transport at this stage. Full and updated details of the FCO’s advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/belgium
We are now in the process of contacting every student in France or a francophone country directly to ensure that they are also safe and well and you will be contacted individually by your Personal Tutor directly to check in. Students in France should likewise continue to heed the FCO’s advice for France which continues to state that the public should be extra vigilant, especially in public places.
These events are difficult to comprehend and of course follow only a few months after the Paris attacks in November. We are conscious that these attacks may well have an impact on your wider wellbeing. Further pastoral support is therefore available from your personal tutor in the first instance, from the French Studies Senior Tutor, Dr Susannah Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and from the University’s counselling team (email@example.com).
We will be in touch with any important further information where necessary. Further updates are available through the University's Insite page.
Thank you for your cooperation so far. We are naturally thinking of you and all those who have lost their lives or been injured in this tragic attack.
With best wishes
Professor Seán Hand, Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Congratulations to French at Warwick's debating team, made up of Courtenay Barron-Cutts, Anna Cottakis, Manon Lepretre and Peter O’Brien, who beat Exeter yesterday to make it through to the national final at the Institut français in London. Well done to their coach, Dr Margaux Whiskin, on this great result! Chapeau!
Dr. James Hodkinson of SMLC, currently researching Islam in German History, has been invited to take part in an event hosted by Woking People of Faith Interfaith forum, alongside prominent speakers in Woking on November 18th, 7pm.
Statement for students in Paris
The School of Modern Languages and Cultures is shocked and saddened by the events on Friday 13 November in Paris. We send our solidarity and sympathy to all those affected. We ask all our students in Paris at the moment to verify their safety for us and to read this statement.
Professor Seán Hand, Head of School.
Congratulations to Professor Pierre-Philippe Fraiture, Head of French Studies, on the publication of his guest-edited special issue of the International Journal of Francophone Studies, around the theme of 'Francophone African Philosophy and the Aftermath of the Empire.' Well done Pierre-Philippe!
Dr Mary Harrod (French Studies) appeared on BBC Radio 3's 'Free Thinking' programme on Thursday 9th July 2015 to discuss French intellectual culture.
Congratulations to the winners, runners-up and commended entrants of the Poetry competition organised as part of the 'Troubadours, trouvères and the Crusades' project led by Professor Linda Paterson (French Studies). The standard of entries was especially high; well done to all!
French Studies at Warwick presents a round-table event on Patrick Modiano, winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature. Wednesday 26th November at 3pm in MS.02.
The School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Warwick again welcomes applications for the British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme.