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Programme of Events 2019-20

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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

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 23 Oct, '19
PG Work in Progress Seminar
S2.77, The Cowling Room

Speaker: Adam Neal

Title: 'Social Poverty'

Respondent: Simon Gansinger


The paper explores the relationship between material deprivation, and our needs as social beings. It argues that those who suffer at that intersection do so in two distinct but sometimes overlapping ways: 1) their needs for friendship, human contact and intimacy; and 2) status driven harms. The paper then conceptualises these harms as social poverty and argues that any complete account of poverty should include the impact on our social needs and our social position. The paper explores the ways in which each aspect of social poverty can lead to a worsening of material conditions. These include the social capital we gain from our social relationships, the impact of social poverty on our ability to participate in the job market and the impact on our ability to make and sustain social connections. The paper contextualises social poverty by discussing studies on the residents of Chicago who died during the 1995 Heatwave, poverty in inner city areas and low-income pensioners. After assessing different accounts of poverty, the paper shows that assessing poverty using income fails to do justice to the many factors which determine the extent of one's deprivation, including people's environments, social situation, social norms, friends and family, unemployment and life expectancy. This leads to an assessment of poverty as capability deprivation which, the paper argues, is more effective in assessing deprivation in respect of our nature as social beings. However, the paper argues that capability deprivation goes too far from our ordinary understanding of poverty. Instead, the paper outlines a conception of social poverty and argues that should be prominent in our thinking about deprivation.

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 13 Nov, '19
PG Work in Progress Seminar
S2.77, The Cowling Room

Speaker: Emily Bassett

Title: 'Responsibility for Sexual Desire'


Sexual desire is a rich topic dominated by conflicting intuitions - the uncontrollable nature of sexual desire and the indisputable existence of sexual repression often go hand in hand in literary works from the Aeneid to Anna Karenina. Questions of responsibility for sexual desire in particular are muddied by these warring opinions on the nature of sexual desire.

In this paper, I will draw on one account of sexual desire offered by Shaffer. Shaffer rejects what he calls 'propositional theories' of sexual desire - which appear more amenable to questions of responsibility - in favour of an account of sexual desire that is emotion-like, which I begin by outlining. Following this, I move to Shaffer's argument that his account is not parallel to emotions in one key way: sexual desires, unlike emotions, are not appropriately subject to reasons. In exploring whether this argument holds, I touch upon correlative concerns about opening sexual desires up to questions of responsibility, and draw to the conclusion that it is at least intuitively possible to talk about responsibility for sexual desire. However, I also hold this conclusion would be best served with a clear delineation of what it means for something to appropriately be subject to reasons.

Thu 21 Nov, '19
PG Work in Progress Seminar: CHANGE OF DATE
S2.77, The Cowling Room

Speaker: Jae Hetterley

Title: 'Heidegger's Kantianism in Being and Time'


This paper investigates Heidegger's intellectual development at a specific historical moment: the centrality of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason to Heidegger's understanding of ontology in the late 1920s. Why does fundamental ontology become a specifically transcendental philosophy, and how ought we to understand the transcendental thread in relation to the wider systematics of Being and Time? Regarding the first question, I argue that Heidegger's thought undergoes its own 'Copernican Revolution' in response to a methodological aporia Heidegger is confronted with - namely, how can phenomenology address the question of the meaning of being whilst going beyond mere anthropology? The Copernican Revolution, I argue, signals a way out insofar as it demonstrates that intentional conditions coincide with ontological conditions - and with this in place, structures of Dasein are consequently structures of being. Secondly, in filling out Heidegger's transcendental conception of ontology, I draw an analogy between Kantian imagination and Heideggerian disclosedness as the root of their systematic unity - that what both philosophers foundationally recognise ontologically is a structure of ambiguity at the heart of the human subjectivity, between intuition and understanding, existentiality and facticity. Ontological interpretation, in turn, is structually projective for both Kant and Heidegger - which is to say, the formal structures of their respective ontologies cohere. Finally, I consider the question of transcendental idealism in relation to Kant and Heidegger, and set out how the primarily systematic argument that I provide in the thesis can provide the basis for closer readings of Being and Time.

The seminar will be followed by a Q&A session and drinks in The Duck.

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'

Wed 4 Dec, '19
PG Work in Progress Seminar
S2.77, The Cowling Room

Speaker: Zak Stinchcombe

Title: 'This Moral Vision: Martha Nussbaum and the Novel'


This talk is interested in examining the relations that hold between ethical and literary value with a particular focus on whether they are in tension, do not neatly complement one another, perhaps violently disagree, and so on. Initially we will look at two competing accounts of this tension, namely Ethicism (wherein ethical deficiency, or merit, corresponds to literary deficiency or merit) and Aestheticism (there is no real tension to discuss - aesthetic value and ethical value do not occupy the same space, have nothing to do with one another, that ethical considerations are irrelevant to aesthetic judgements, and so on). Neither account is satisfactory, treating the relationship too superficially. Martha Nussbaum's account of the novel, particularly in the Jamesian novel, points to a deeper, more textured account of the relationship. Quite apart from the ethical and literary value covarying. or else standing independently of one another, Nussbaum argues: 1) novels are themselves works of moral philosophy. 2) it is in novels that one finds the most appropriate articulation of the, or this, moral vision. 3) we can find in novels a paradigm of moral activity. I shall assess the plausibility of these claims, taking into consideration some interpretative ambiguities that exist in her account. I will then be in a position to say something of how this might be applied to the tension we began with. Nussbaum says that there exists a 'dynamic tension between two possible irreconcilable visions...' I agree that this tension exists. Moreover, though, I intend to claim something stronger. The dynamic tension is not merely present; it is an essential component of the relationship between ethical and aesthetic value.

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.


Mon 3 Feb, '20
Post Graduate Work in Progress Seminar
Room S2.77, The Cowling Room

Speaker: Jörn Wiengarn

Title: 'I Trusted You! - On the Normativity of Interpersonal Trust'

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)

Mon 17 Feb, '20
Postgraduate Work in Progress Seminar
Room S2.77, The Cowling Room

Speaker: Giulia Lorenzi

Title: The Role of Conceptualisation in DeBellis' Work on Music: A Discussion

Respondent: Chenwei Nie

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.

Mon 24 Feb, '20
CANCELLED: Postgraduate Work in Progress Seminar
Room S2.77, The Cowling Room

Speaker: Adam Bainbridge

Title: How to Appreciate Art (according to the critics)

Respondent: Gianluca Lorenzini

What is it to appreciate a work of art? For example, is it coherent to say “That’s a good sculpture, but I don’t like it”?

Analytic philosophers of art who think about art criticism typically agree that successful criticism must be evaluative. They claim that critics must judge the value of artworks, as art. But philosophical consensus quickly unravels into disagreements about how judgements are to be justified, and into disagreements about what makes artistic value valuable.

These philosophical divergences emerge in different beliefs about what a “proper” encounter with a work of art amounts to. In this talk, I want to suggest that the philosophers are not paying adequate attention to the actual practice of art criticism. I will introduce three possible ways of understanding appreciation in this context and I’ll ask: is there a relationship between our beliefs about an artwork’s value and our susceptibility to experience affective and emotional responses? I will argue that to appreciate an artwork is not merely to recognise its value, it is to incorporate the work into our lives.

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'

Mon 9 Mar, '20
POSTPONED UNTIL TERM 3: Postgraduate Work in Progress Seminar
Room S1.50, Social Sciences Building

Speaker: Will Gildea

Title: 'Grounding Our Equality Amid Inequality: Towards a View of Moral Status'

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

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

Title: 'Regarding YouTube as Art'

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'

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