Month: January 2011

Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, Vol. 18, No. 1

Here are the articles and links:

Vol 18, No 1 (2008–2010)

Jason Read on Malabou/Butler

Reviewing Sois mon corps: une lecture contemporaine de la domination et servitude chez Hegel, he writes:

This is one reason why Judith Butler and Catherine Malabou’s exchange on “Domination and Servitude” published in French as Sois mon corps: une lecture contemporaine de la domination et servitude chez Hegel is engaging. It is a reading of this all too well known section of Hegel’s text, but one that dispenses with the preoccupations of a previous generation in order to reread Hegel. Butler and Malabou each address Hegel from their particular philosophical commitments and engagements: Butler’s intervention is framed by her reading of Hegel in The Psychic Life of Power and Malabou continues her development of plasticity in her reading of Hegel. Which is not to say that the concerns of Kojeve are entirely absent. He is mentioned not just in name, but also in general orientation. His reading, which influenced Lacan, Bataille, etc., made this particular passage not just the genesis of self-consciousness, but an anthropogenesis, the constitution of the human as such.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Malabou and Butler’s confrontation is the way in which it pits their particular conceptual innovations, plasticity in the case of Malabou and subjection/attachment in the case of Butler, in relation to Hegel’s text. In each case the concept in question is developed in relation to Hegel’s thought, albeit differently. To start with Malabou’s reading of Butler, Malabou poses the question as to what extent Foucault’s problematic of subjectivity/subjection, especially once understood as an attachment and detachment to a particular kind of power differs from a dialectic, countering Butler’s Foucauldian reading of Hegel with a Hegelian reading of Foucault. The slave’s subjection is nothing other than a kind of attachment, the attachment to simply living, to the body as given, and mastery is a kind of detachment, an active constitution of the self as something other than this particular life, this body.What makes this possible is her concept of plasticity, the capacity to give and receive form, which cuts through dialects and subjection/subjectivity, to think the interconnection of passivity and activity.

Links and Such

1. Did Nietzsche have syphilis?Nigel Warburton has the link to a 2003 Telegraph article on the topic.

2. Nature has an article on the topic of “peer review by twitter,” which really is about science publishing in an era when articles can be critiqued online.

3. H/T Stuart Elden: here’s a journal that you need not have fear of rejection sending to:

The founding principle of the Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR) is rejection. Universal rejection. That is to say, all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected. Despite that apparent drawback, here are a number of reasons you may choose to submit to the JofUR:

  • You can send your manuscript here without suffering waves of anxiety regarding the eventual fate of your submission. You know with 100% certainty that it will not be accepted for publication.
  • There are no page-fees.
  • You may claim to have submitted to the most prestigious journal (judged by acceptance rate).
  • The JofUR is one-of-a-kind. Merely submitting work to it may be considered a badge of honor.
  • You retain complete rights to your work, and are free to resubmit to other journals even before our review process is complete.
  • Decisions are often (though not always) rendered within hours of submission.
  • 4. Graham Harman gives his most succinct case for his philosophical approach to objects.

    5. Here’s Peter Obsborne’s new Stanford Encycl. of Phil. article on Walter Benjamin.

    6. Andrew Benjamin’s Jan. 20 lecture, “Hegel’s Other Woman: The Figure of Niobe in Hegel’s Lectures on Fine Art,” at Kingston University is here.


    PIC Conference Reminder

    UPDATE: Just to add to my early reminder that the conference due date is next week, I’m hearing really great things about the general awesomeness of how this is coming together: really interdisciplinary and using different modes of engagement with the topic. Here’s the CFP:
    The Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture Student Alliance at Binghamton University (S.U.N.Y.) Presents:

    The Revolution of Time and the Time of Revolution
    A conference

    The 25th – 26th of March, 2011

    Keynote Speaker:

    Dr. Peter Gratton

    Assistant Professor of Philosophy
    University of San Diego, CA

    What sense of time is produced through radical politics? Is the understanding of time as future part of a radical imagination? If the commitment to radical social change involves looking forward into the future, will that leave us with a sense of futurity that depends on the linearity of yesterday, today, and tomorrow?
    To interrogate the emergence of radical creations and socialities, we welcome submissions that theorize time as it relates broadly to politics, cultural conflicts, alternative imaginaries, and resistant practices. Time has historically been thought and inhabited through a variety of frameworks and styles of being. At times the present repeats or seems to repeat the past. There are actions that seem to take place outside of time, to be infinite or instantaneous. Theories of emergence view time as folding in on itself. Indigenous cosmologies and Buddhist philosophers put forward the possibility of no-time or of circular and cyclical time.
    The radical question of time is one around which the work of many scholars has revolved: Derrida on the to-come [a-venir] of democracy, Negri’s work on kairos, Agamben on kairology, Santos on the expansive notion of the present, Deleuze and Guattari on becoming. This heterological list is far from exhaustive, while hinting at the depth of the theme that our conference cultivates. A central political concern, time invokes our most careful attention and the PIC conference provides the setting for this endeavor. We must find the time for time.

    At its core, this conference seeks to explore the relationship between time and revolution. Time here may mean not just simple clock and calendar time but rather a way of seeing time as part of a material thread that can go this way and that, weaving together the fabric of political projects producing the world otherwise. Ultimately, the question of time fosters a critical engagement with potentiality, potency, and power; as well as with the virtual and the actual, of the to be and the always already.
    We seek papers, projects, and performances that add to the knowledge of time and revolution, but also ones that clear the way for new thinking, new alliances, new beings.

    Some possible topics might include:

    • Radical notions of futurity, historicity, or the expansive present.

    • Conceptions on the right moment of action.

    • The political reality of time as stasis or cyclical.

    • The colonial creation of universal time, and decolonial cosmologies of time.

    • Work on thinkers of time and revolution.

    • Work on potentiality, the virtual, and the actual.

    • Capital and labor time.

    In keeping with the interdisciplinary emphasis of Binghamton University’s Program in Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture, we seek work that flourishes in the conjunction of multiple frames of epistemological inquiry, from fields including, but not limited to: postcolonial studies, decolonial studies, queer and gender studies, ethnic studies, media and visual culture studies, urban studies, science and technology studies, critical theory, critical animal studies, continental philosophy, and historiography.

    Workers/writers/thinkers of all different disciplinary, inter-disciplinary, and non-disciplinary stripes welcome, whether academically affiliated or not. Submissions may be textual, performative, visual.

    Abstracts of 500 words maximum due by Feburary 1, 2011. In a separate paragraph state your name, address, telephone number, email and organizational or institutional affiliation, if any.

    Email proposals to: with a cc: to

    Or by surface mail to: Cecile Lawrence, 14 Alpine Drive, Apalachin, NY 13732
    Emailed submissions strongly preferred.

    “Academically Adrift”

    Josipa Roksa (Sociology, University of Virginia) and Richard Arum (Sociology, NYU) are getting notice for their new book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (University of Chicago Press, 2011). Their thesis is that, frankly, using most students don’t learn anything during their four years of college in the U.S. But, take heart: the worst percentages are in the business schools, with humanities majors fairing much better. Here’s an excerpt and a news report on the book.

    Vitale’s Response on Derrida

    Yesterday, I made a quick comment on Vitale’s claim that Derrida was a “destructive” philosopher. Vitale has come back with a longer post on this:

    To quote Nietzsche, one must stand a rung down. And stay there long enough to build. One cannot simply keep moving, or one will dismantle any structure one wants to create. This position, while ultimately safe and unassailable, does not, I think, work at the speed of the world. The world moves slow. We need to articulate positions into full systems, rather than take a temporary strategic position one term at a time, then move on. We need to construct, create, and build, to delude ourselves, for a time, that all we say does not ultimately unweave itself as soon as we say it.

    Otherwise, why say anything? To be a bit Deleuzian here, because I think it’s worth still believing in the world.

    One would need to read his whole post to get the gist. The first thing I would note is that, given Vitale and Bryant’s back-and-forth last week about Object Oriented Ontology, it’s nice to see a place of agreement, since Ian Bogost, Graham Harman, and Levi Bryant made similar claims at earlier this year (though he has recently taken up Derrida in more substantial–or I guess less substantialist—ways). I won’t comment much more here, since I don’t wish to re-open a weird debate that happened on other blogs last year.

    But I would say that the idea that Derrida “only” dealt with texts is a strange anachronistic claim to see made by Vitale. (See this reply to Bryant on this point, though I should note that Bryant’s view seems to have shifted since this post.)