Deleuze Reading Group 2014: From Biopolitics to Neuropolitics

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Date(s) - 26/03/2014
04:00 - 06:00

Universiteit van Amsterdam

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The aim of this reading group is to theoretically reflect upon the cinema as well as the cinematic through the writings of Gilles Deleuze. We cordially welcome MA students, PhD researchers and other interested scholars whose work deals with classical cinema, avant-garde audio-visual artistic practices, television, new media, film sound, film theory, and film-philosophy.   

Gilles Deleuze wrote two books on cinema, The Movement-Image and The Time-Image. His rich taxonomy of the cinematographic image in these volumes outreaches the confines of pure technics or pure aesthetics. His analysis sheds light on the ontological, epistemological and political meanings of certain image cultures. Very broadly, Deleuze travels from film to philosophy and in his foreword to the Movement-Image, he explicitly equates filmmakers with thinkers.[1] Accordingly, in his analysis, he takes the film as a philosophical system that triggers a new way of thinking, or being in the world.

Yet Deleuze’s film-philosophy extends far beyond his seminal two-volume study. From ‘conceptual personae’ in What is Philosophy? to ‘faciality’ and ‘refrain’ in A Thousand Plateaus, from ‘fold’ in The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque to the ‘image of thought’ in Difference and Repetition, it is possible to find many concepts that may enrich not only our understanding of film but also the ontological, epistemological and political aspects of cinematic aesthetics. With this reading group, we would like to seek such productive encounters.

Last year, the reading group focused on the concepts Deleuze borrows from Henri Bergson. We traced such crucial concepts as perception, affect, image, and movement back to Bergson’s own writings and tried to analyse Deleuze’s own formulation of them.

This year, we would like to focus on the biopolitical orders and neuropolitical structures in the contemporary image culture. Taking the body as “a centre of indetermination”, we would like to analyse the aesthetics of a cinema of the body as well as a cinema of the brain. In the transition from the time-image to neuro-image as the most dominant type of image, what has changed in terms of cinematic aesthetics? What kind of transitions or relations exists between cartographies of body and cartographies of mind? How does cinema partake in or produce emergent regimes of time?

This year, ASCA Deleuze Reading Group and ASCA Workshop co-organise a masterclass with John Protevi in April. We are also happy to announce that a one-day DRG Mini-Conference will take place in early June. The details and calls for both events will be announced later.

Participants are welcome to suggest readings. However, we strictly would like to reserve the close reading to the texts penned by Deleuze, or Deleuze & Guattari. Participants, wishing to discuss a particular object of their research, may also add other texts and media to sessions.

The reading group meets on a monthly basis, each fourth Wednesday of the month. Participation is open to all members of ASCA, and guests are welcome to register. The first meeting is scheduled for October 23, please register for further announcements.

For enrolment, or any questions, please e-mail Nur Ozgenalp (



Nur Ozgenalp

Asli Ozgen-Tuncer

[1] Gilles Deleuze, The Movement-Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (London: Continuum, 2005), xii.