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Programme of Events 2019-20

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Fri 4 Oct, '19
Workshop on Expression and Self-Knowledge with Dorit Bar-On and Lucy Campbell

Expression and Self-knowledge

Warwick University, Friday 4th October 2019

Humanities H0.03


11.00 – 12.30
Lucy Campbell (Warwick)
‘Self-knowledge: expression without expressivism’

12.30 – 2.00

Dorit Bar-On (University of Connecticut)
‘No ‘How’ Privileged Self-Knowledge’

3.00 – 4.30

Cristina Borgoni (Bayreuth University)

‘Primitive forms of first-person authority and expressive capacities’

Tue 8 Oct, '19
CRPLA Seminar
Room S0.11, Social Sciences Building

Speaker: Andrew Patrizio (History of Art, Edinburgh College of Art)

Title: 'The Ecological Eye: Setting Agendas Across Art History, Theory and Politics'

Respondents: Olga Smith (IAS/Art History), Jonathan Skinner (ECLS), Nick Lawrence, Diarmuid Costello (Philosophy)

Co-sponsored by Warwick Environmental Humanities Network)

Followed by Drinks Reception at 7.30pm

Wed 16 Oct, '19
Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07. Oculus Buildng

Speaker: Ursula Renz (Klagenfurt)

Title: 'Socratic Self-Knowledge and the Concept of the Human Self: From Phenomenology to Metaphysics and Back Again'

Tue 22 Oct, '19
CRPLA Seminar
Room S0.11, Social Sciences Building

Speaker: Serge Trottein (CNRS/École Normale Supérieure/PSL Research University)

Title: 'Kant and Postmodern Aesthetics'

Wed 30 Oct, '19
Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07. Oculus Buildng

Speaker: Sameer Bajaj (Philosophy, Warwick)

Title: TBC

Tue 12 Nov, '19
CRPLA Seminar
Room S0.11, Social Sciences Building

Speaker: Joanna Zylinska (Department of New Media and Communications, Goldsmiths)

Title: 'Artificial Intelligence, Anthropocene Stupidity'


'My talk will engage with two defining apocalyptic narratives of our times: the Anthropocene and AI (Artificial Intelligence). Both of these narratives, in their multiple articulations, predict the end of the human and of the world as we (humans) know it, while also hinting at the possibility of salvation. Looking askew at the conceptual and aesthetic tropes shaping them, and at their socio-political contexts, I will be particularly interested in the way in which these two stories about planetary-level threats come together, and in the reasons for their uncanny proximity. Concurring with Marshall McLuhan that art works as a 'Distant Early Warning system' for all kinds of apocalypse, I will suggest that it can also serve as a testing ground for the making and unmaking of such apocalyptic scenarios. And it is in art that I will seek the possibility of envisaging a better and more prudent relationship with technology - and with the world - from within the Anthropocene-AI nexus. The talk will include a presentation of some visual work from my own art practice'.

Wed 20 Nov, '19
Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07. Oculus Buildng

Speaker: Sonia Sedivy (Toronto)

Title: 'Aesthetic Properties and Philosophy of Perception'

Tue 3 Dec, '19
Room S0.11, Social Sciences Building

Speaker: Rachel Bowlby (Department of Comparative Literature, UCL)

Title: 'Unnatural Resources: Changing Arguments and Reproductive Technologies'

Fri 6 Dec, '19
George Eliot and Philosophy - 200th Anniversary Symposium
Wolfson Research Exchange (Floor 3, Library Extension)
Tue 14 Jan, '20
CRPLA Seminar
Room S0.11, Social Sciences Building

Speaker: Naomi Waltham-Smith (Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies, Warwick)

Title: 'Homofaunie: Non-Human Tonalities of Listening in Derrida and Cixous'

Tue 28 Jan, '20
Room S0.11, Social Sciences Building

Speaker: Josh Robinson (School of English, Communications, Philosophy, Cardiff)

Title: 'Crisis in Theory'

Josh Robinson teaches modern and contemporary critical theory in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at the University of Cardiff. Most recently, he is author of Adorno’s Poetics of Form, which appeared last year in SUNY’s Contemporary Continental Philosophy series):


Crisis in Theory: Beyond the Representational Paradigm

This paper aspires to offer a critical account of a set of assumptions that are widespread in literary and critical theory, both in its historical emergence (as seen primarily through its institutional histories) and in several more recent developments (including the various ‘turns’ that arise from time to time. My focus is on what I term the representational paradigm: in its simplest and broadest formulation, the assumption, explicit or otherwise, within literary studies that works of literature matter insofar as they are representative; that what matters about literary works is their representative character.


This paradigm persists in multiple, not always interdependent (or even necessarily compatible) manifestations, which include: an analytical focus on events represented within works of literature (what might be called a focus on content at the expense of form); a set of analytical procedures that rely on an implicit theory of allegory whereby readings are produced that see elements of a work as representing elements outside it; attempts to reconfigure the canon and/or redesign our curricula such that the works and authors within it are more representative of global society. I outline a tentative taxonomy of these different versions of representationalism, and relate them to a set of shared democratic assumptions about political representation—assumptions which have a tendency to place themselves beyond scrutiny. I argue that while the democratic aspirations expressed at least in progressive versions of representationalism paradigm constitute a commendable alternative to the (not only cultural) conservatism of the tendencies against which they are in many respects a reaction, these underlying assumptions ultimately overlook or even limit the potential of literature’s ways of thinking to contribute to a transformation of our understanding of the political. I thus set out some of the ways in which criticism and theory might move beyond the representational paradigm.


Wed 5 Feb, '20
Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07. Oculus Buildng

Speaker: Sophia Connell (Birkbeck)

Title: 'Aristotle on Animal Cognition: Contemporary Perspectives'

Wednesday 5 February 2020, 4.15pm-6pm, Room OC1.07, Oculus

Sat 15 Feb, '20
CANCELLED: Literature and the Event: Reformulations of the Literary in the 21st Century


Derek Attridge (English and Related Literature, York)

Esther Leslie (Political Aesthetics, Birkbeck)

Fri 21 Feb, '20 - Sat 22 Feb, '20
10am - 6pm
CANCELLED: Resonance: A Social Theory for the Good Life

Runs from Friday, February 21 to Saturday, February 22.


Hartmut Rosa (Sociology, Jena University/Max Weber Kolleg Erfurt)

Daniel Hartley (World Literatures, Durham)

Irina Hron (German Studies, Vienna University/Gothenburg University)

Fri 21 Feb, '20
CANCELLED: Public Lecture by Hartmut Rosa
Room R113, Ramphal Building

Guest Speaker: Hartmut Rosa on the English translation of his publication Resonance.

“Resonance and Alienation. Two Modes of Experiencing Time in an Age of Acceleration”

Sat 22 Feb, '20
CANCELLED: Resonance: Social Theory and The Good Life: A Workshop with Hartmut Rosa
Milburn House, The University of Wawick

German Social Theorist Hartmut Rosa and his publication Resonance.

Tue 25 Feb, '20
Room S0.11, Social Sciences Building

Speaker: Kate Soper (Philosophy, University of Brighton/London Metropolitan University)

Title: 'The Dialectics of Progress: Towards a Post-Growth Aesthetic and Politics of Prosperity'

Wed 26 Feb, '20
CANCELLED: Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07. Oculus Buildng

Speaker: Chris Janaway (Southampton)

Title: Schopenhauer

Wed 4 Mar, '20
CANCELLED: Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07, Oculus

Speaker: Sameer Bajaj

Title: TBC

Tue 10 Mar, '20
Room S0.11, Social Sciences Building

Speaker: James MacDowell (Department of Film and TV, Warwick)

Title: 'Regarding YouTube as Art'

Wed 11 Mar, '20
CANCELLED: Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07. Oculus Buildng

Speaker: Alan Millar (Stirling)

Title: TBC

Mon 16 Mar, '20 - Tue 17 Mar, '20
10am - 6pm
CANCELLED: Poetry and Philosophy BSA Synergy Conference
MS.03 (Zeeman Building)

Runs from Monday, March 16 to Tuesday, March 17.

We hope to re-schedule this event. Contact Eileen John ( for more information.

Tue 28 Apr, '20
CANCELLED: CRPLA Seminar: Rescheduled from 25 and 10 March 2020
Room S0.20, Social Sciences Building

Guest Speakers:

Kate Soper (Philosophy, University of Brighton/London Metropolitan University)

Title: 'The Dialectics of Progress: Towards a Post-Growth Aesthetic and Politics of Prosperity'

James MacDowell (Department of Film and TV, Warwick)

Title: 'Regarding YouTube as Art'

Wed 13 May, '20
Philosophy Department Colloquium: Richard Moore: 'The Communicative Foundations of Propositional Attitude Psychology'
By Zoom

Speaker: Richard Moore

The Communicative Foundations of Propositional Attitude Psychology


According to a widely held dogma, a developed propositional attitude psychology is a prerequisite of attributing communicative intent, and so a developmental prerequisite of natural language acquisition. This view is difficult to reconcile with developmental evidence, which shows not only that children do not develop propositional attitudes until they are four years old (e.g. Rakoczy 2017), but also that this development is parasitic upon natural language acquisition (de Villiers & de Villers 2000; Lohmann & Tomasello 2003; Low 2010), and that it recruits brain regions that do not exist in infancy (Grosse-Wiesmann et al. 2017). Against the received view, and building on my work on minimally Gricean communication (Moore 2017a), I sketch a developmental trajectory to show how propositional attitude psychology could be both invented and learned through communicative interaction. I finish by considering the conditions in which cultural tools for mental state representation might first have been developed in human history; and the extent to which our early human ancestors might have lacked propositional attitudes. The goal of the paper will not be to show that strong nativism about human mindreading must be false, but that there is no reason to take it for granted in considering the origins of the modern human mind.

Wed 3 Jun, '20
Philosophy Department Colloquium: Carrie Figdor (University of Iowa)
By Zoom

Speaker: Carrie Figdor (University of Iowa)

Title: What could cognition be, if not human cognition?
Abstract: We have long thought about cognition from an anthropocentric perspective, where human cognition is treated as the standard for full-fledged capacities throughout the biological world. This makes no evolutionary sense. I will discuss the theoretical and methodological shifts away from this perspective in comparative research — shifts that lie behind recent discoveries of advanced cognition in many non-humans — and how these changes bear on the debate between those who see human and non-human cognition as continuous (a difference in degree) vs. those who see them as discontinuous (a difference in kind).
Wed 17 Jun, '20
Philosophy Department Colloquium
By Zoom

Speaker: Sameer Bajaj (Warwick)

Title: "Democratic Mandates and the Ethics of Representation."

Democratic Mandates and the Ethics of Representation

A day after the Tories achieved a decisive victory in the December 2019 British general election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that he had received a “huge great stonking mandate” to get Brexit done and implement his domestic policy agenda. Whether or not what Johnson received is appropriately described as huge, great, or stonking, his statement reflects a more general idea that has wide currency in conventional democratic thought—namely, that larger electoral victories give representatives greater mandates to govern. Despite its important role in the practice of democratic politics, democratic theorists have paid little attention to the questions of whether larger electoral victories actually give representatives greater mandates to govern and, if so, what the moral implications of having a greater or lesser mandate are. My aim in this essay is to answer these questions and, in doing so, lay the groundwork for a normative theory of democratic mandates. I suggest that the key to answering the questions lies in understanding the relationship between two functions of democratic votes. Votes have a metaphysical function: they authorise representatives to govern. And votes have an expressive function: they express attitudes about the representatives they authorise. I defend what I call the dependence thesis: the content, size, and moral implications of a representative’s mandate depend on the attitudes expressed by the votes that generate the mandate. I then argue that, given certain ineliminable features of large-scale democratic politics, real-world democratic representatives are rarely in a position to justifiably claim greater mandates based on the size of their electoral victories.

Fri 19 Jun, '20 - Sat 20 Jun, '20
10am - 6pm
POSTPONED: New Date TBC: Blood on the Leaves and Blood at the Roots: Reconsidering Forms of Enslavement and Subjections Across Disciplines

Runs from Friday, June 19 to Saturday, June 20.

This event will be re-scheduled for a future date.

Tue 7 Jul, '20 - Thu 9 Jul, '20
Online Colloquium: 'The Ends of Autonomy'
By Zoom

Runs from Tuesday, July 07 to Thursday, July 09.

Tuesday 7 July


20.00 Christopher Watkin (Monash), Welcome and introduction


20.15 Ali Alizadeh (Monash), ‘La liberté guide nos pas’: the dialectic of freedom in a French revolutionary poem


20.35 Nick Hewlett (Warwick), Karl Marx and the concept of freedom


20.55 Questions and discussion


21.10 Keynote 1: Peter Hallward (Kingston), A law unto ourselves: autonomy as mass sovereignty


21.50 Questions and discussion


22.10 Serhat Tutkal (National University of Colombia), Autonomy against authoritarian neoliberalism: the removal of Kurdish mayors in Turkey


22.30 Taylor Lau (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Against the economic view of time in the workplace: the claim to free time


22.50 Kayte Stokoe (Birmingham), Crip autonomy and external limitations


23.10 Alex Corcos (Warwick), UK Higher Education in 'A Century for Foxes’: or, a case study in the role of privilege and luck in establishing conditions for radical autonomy


23.30 Questions and discussion


23.50 Close



Wednesday 8 July


20.00 Keynote 2: Louise Amoore (Durham), Of autonomies and algorithms


20.40 Questions and discussion


21.00 Charlotte Heath-Kelly (Warwick), The extremist across history: changing relations of liberty, threat and detection


21.20 Oliver Davis (Warwick), Algorithmic governmentality and the Modern bureaucratic ideal: species of abstraction and autonomy


21.40 Simon Angus (Monash), How liberating is liberation technology?


22.00 Questions and discussion


22.15 Yurii Sheliazhenko (KROK), Informed autonomy: conceptualization of freedom in the digital age


22.35 Alesja Serada (Vaasa), Blockchain owns you: from cypherpunk to a self-sovereign identity


22.55 Ken Archer (independent scholar), Freedom, agency and the hermeneutics of technology


23.15 Questions and discussion


23.30 Close



Thursday 9 July


20.00 Nupur Patel (Oxford), Emancipating the female body: pudeur and Louise Labé’s expression of sexual desire in selected poetry


20.20 Felicity Chaplin (Monash), Freedom and autonomy in the post #MeToo world


20.40 Kirsty Alexander (Strathclyde), The biophilic threads in feminist visions of autonomy


21.00 Ji-Young Lee (Bristol and Copenhagen), Autonomy and assisted reproductive technologies


21.20 Questions and discussion


21.50 Trine Riel (independent scholar and artist, Copenhagen), To what end? Ascetics between renunciation and emancipation


22.10 Andrea Rossi (Koç), Pastoral power: on finitude and autonomy


22.30 Christopher Watkin (Monash), The critique of emancipatory reason


22.50 Questions and discussion


23.10 Close