MATTERS OF LIFE and DEATH
Prof. Rosi Braidotti & Dr. Rick Dolphijn
Deleuze Seminar 2018-2019
Academic year 2018-2019 Time: Tuesday afternoons, 13.00-16.00 Location: Stijlkamer van Ravensteijn, Kromme Nieuwe Gracht 80, Utrecht University. Organised by: The OSL (Onderzoekschool Literatuurwetenschap) Convened by: Professor Rosi Braidotti with Dr. Rick Dolphijn (Utrecht University) For more information about Deleuze seminars and other activities please consult the website of the Deleuze Circle: https://deleuzecircle.wp.hum.uu.nl/
PRESENTATION OF THE YEAR’S THEME
The focus of this year’s seminar will be on Deleuze’s approach to death, pain and madness, under the combined influence of psychanalysis, notably Melanie Klein, and the works of Maurice Blanchot and Spinoza. We will study and discuss the relationship between Deleuze’s neo-materialist, vital ethics of affirmation and its implications for complex issues around the lived experiences of pain, madness, resistance, suffering and dying. How does the neo-Spinozist notion of endurance foster the project of constructing an affirmative ethics? How can one live an affirmative ethical life and endure the pain?
Throughout his working life, Deleuze devoted spent a lot of time rethinking ‘ways to die’. This emphasis intensified towards the end of his life and was addressed explicitly in his final text. It is key to understand that Deleuze’s affirmative vitalism or his emphasis on life and joy does not mean that Deleuze’s thinking is about happiness or a search for a happy life. Enduring the pain, or living the wound, means, especially in our times, that we have to rethink issues like death, pain and madness thoroughly.
These issues are especially relevant for posthuman subjects situated between the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Sixth Extinction? In the brutal context of the Anthropocene and climate change, of rising populism, growing poverty and inequality? How does Deleuze’s ethics help us to deal affirmatively with these challenges?
To discuss these crucial issues in a balanced manner, the seminar will also look at some of the most common objections moved against affirmative ethics and try to assess them. It will also connect ideas like affirmation and endurance to the philosophical tradition of neo-stoicism, and to Deleuze’s re-reading of it.
Always starting from the active participation of all of its participants, this close reading seminar aims at making Deleuze’s ideas productive in many (unforeseen) aspects of academic research and artistic practice. This means we aim (jointly) to include your research projects in close reading. Thus, we find out how Deleuze’s take on death, madness, destruction, the Stoic tradition, the non-human and whatever we read in these texts, matters in the world today.
We are delighted that the annual Deleuze symposium will return to Delft in May 2019 and will focus on Life and Death in Architecture.
The seminar consists of 9 three-hour sessions in English which will run throughout the academic year 2018-2019 in Utrecht. Research masters and PhD students, as well as staff members, are welcome to participate. Each session of the three-hour seminar will consist of an in-depth reading of a text by Gilles Deleuze (with or without Felix Guattari), sometimes alongside secondary texts by other theorists or philosophers. Participants are expected to acquire the literature themselves, but wherever possible we will make pdf files available.
Requirements for credits (RMA students only):
RMA students are welcome to join the seminar throughout the year, and there are two ways to make this a credit bearing course (via the OSL):
2 EC (no grade, only pass or fail):
Attendance and active participation in 4 seminars
Preparation of readings of 4 seminars
Short presentation during seminar session
5 EC (grade, based on presentation and paper 30/70):
Attendance and active participation in 5 seminars
Preparation of readings of 5 seminars
Short presentation during seminar session
Paper (2500 words)
Please send an e-mail, including a biographical text of up to 100 words stating your affiliation and motivation for the seminar, to Professor Braidotti’s assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are an RMA student and this is a credit bearing course for you, register at the Onderzoeksschool Literatuurwetenschappen (OSL) via Paul Koopman; email@example.com
ASSESSING AFFIRMATIVE ETHICS and VITAL POLITICS (Braidotti & Dolphijn) 18 September 2018 The opening session will focus on listing and discussing the most frequently raised objections to the project of affirmative ethics. Participants are invited to bring their own counter-texts and counter-arguments and to present them, so that we can set up a level playing field for the next sessions. The basic reference texts are listed below.
– Deleuze, Gilles. 1988. Ch.2: “On Difference between the Ethics and a
Morality”; Ch. 3: “The Letters on Evil” (correspondence with Blyenbergh);
– Ch. 6: “Spinoza and Us”. In: Spinoza: Practical Philosophy. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1988. (Originally published in 1970, by Presses Universitaires de France.)
– R. Braidotti: Nomadic Theory, New York: Columbia University Press, 2011. Ch. 11: “Sustainable Ethics and the Body in Pain”: 299-324.
– R. Braidotti: Tanners Lectures 2017: https://tannerlectures.utah.edu/Manuscript%20for%20Tanners%20Foundation %20Final%20Oct%201.pdf
SESSION 2: REGIMES of MADNESS and the QUARREL with PSYCHOANALYSIS (Braidotti & Dolphijn) 9 October 2018 Reading Material:
– Gilles Deleuze: Proust and Signs. Conclusion to part 2: “Presence and Function of Madness”; “The Spider”.
– Gilles Deleuze: Two Regimes of Madness Chapters 1 “Two Regimes of Madness” and Chapter 2: “Schizophrenia and Society”.
– Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: Anti-Oedipus, Chapter 2: “Psychoanalysis and Familialism: the Holy Family”; section 1 “The imperialism of Oedipus”; section 2 “Three texts by Freud”; section 6 “A Recapitulation of the three syntheses”; section 7 “Social repression and psychic repression”; section 8 “Neurosis and psychosis”; section 9 “The Process”.
SESSION 3: MASOCHISM and the QUARREL with PSYCHOANALYSIS (Braidotti & Dolphijn) 27 November 2018 Reading material:
– Gilles Deleuze: Masochism. Coldness and Cruelty. Zone Books, New York, 1991.
– Jean Laplanche: Life and Death in Psychoanalysis, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1976. Chapter 1: “The Order of Life and the Genesis of Human Sexuality” and Chapter 5: “Aggressiveness and Masochism”.
SESSION 4: WHY THE DEATH DRIVE ? (Braidotti & Dolphijn) 18 December 2018 Reading Material:
– Braidotti, R. Transpositions, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2006. Chapter 5 “Transcendence. Transposing death”
– Laplanche: Life and Death in Psychoanalysis, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1976. Chapter 6: “Why the death drive?”.
SESSION 5: SPINOZA ON DEATH (Braidotti & Dolphijn) 22 January 2019 Reading Material:
– Gilles Deleuze: Lemma on Death In: Spinoza: Practical Philosophy. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1988. (Originally published in 1970, by Presses Universitaires de France.).
– Gilles Deleuze: Expressionism in Philosophy, New York: Zone Books, 1992. Ch. 15: “The Three orders and the Problem of Evil”
– G. Lloyd: Part of Nature, Cornell University Press, 1996. Chapter IV on “Intuitive Knowledge and the Eternity of the Mind”.
SESSION 6: THE LEGACY OF STOICISM (Braidotti & Dolphijn) 19 February 2019 Reading Material:
– Michel Foucault.: The Hermeneutics of the Self, chapters 22, 23, 24; pp. 437-477 on stoicism
– Gilles Deleuze: Logic of Sense. London: Athlon Press, 1990. 18th Series Of the Three Images of Philosophers” and 19th Series Of Humor 20th Series On the Moral Problem in Stoic Philosophy
– Sellars, J. (2006): “An Ethics of the Event. Deleuze’s Stoicism”. Angelaki 11:3, 157-171
SESSION 7: EXPERIMENTING with INTENSITY: THE SECOND LAST STEP (Braidotti & Dolphijn) 26 March 2019 Reading Material:
– Gilles Deleuze: Logic of Sense. London: Athlone Press, 1990. 21st Series Of the Event 22nd Series Porcelain and Volcano 23rd Series Of the Aion
– Braidotti, R. Transpositions, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2006 Chapter 5 “Transcendence. Transposing death”
– Dan Smith: “A Life of Pure Immanence, Deleuze’s Critique and Clinique Project”, Introduction” to Gilles Deleuze: Essays Clinical and Critical
SESSION 8: TWO SUICIDE NOTES (Braidotti) 23 April 2019 Reading Material:
– Woolf, V. On Being Ill. Richmond, Hogarth Press, 1930.
– Virginia Woolf’s suicide note
– Gilles Deleuze: Pure Immanence: Essays on A life. New York: Zone Books, 2001.
ANNUAL DELEUZE SCHOLARSHIP CONFERENCE #8 21 May 2019 ARCHITECTURES OF LIFE AND DEATH TU Delft, May 21, 2019 Conveners: Dr.ir. Andrej Radman and Dr.ir. Stavros Kousoulas (More details to follow)