On the notion of the political in postmarxist theory.

Lectures

06.12.2012
Miguel Abensour
Is there a proper way to use the voluntary servitude hypothesis?

05.12.2012
The Transformation of Structural Causality in Late Modernity 

Propositions on Subject and History

05.06.2012
Filippo del Lucchese
The symptomatic relationship between law and conflict in Spinoza 

Jura communia as anima imperii

06.05.2012
Warren Montag
Althusser and the Question of Origin
Hegel sive Spinoza

06.10.2011
Jacques Rancičre
On the political and theoretical effects of Althusserian Marxism
Althusser's Lesson

24.05.2011
Michael Löwy
Romanticism and Zivilisationskritik
Walter Benjamin

08.04.2011
V. Desclaux, K. Diefenbach M. Dolar, D. Hoens, A. Kukuljevic,
Deleuze, Guattari, Lacan II
The impossible encounter

07.04.2011
Michaela Ott
Reading Spinoza with Nietzsche
Deleuze's affective “thinking with”

07.04.2011
Emiliano Battista, Vanessa Brito, Jack H. Fischer
Book presentation
Becoming major, becoming minor

04.03.2011
Sara Farris, Peter Thomas
Counter-politicisation of the non-political
The theory of politics in the young Marx

08.11.2010
Lars T. Lih
The Unifying Theme of his Political Career
Lenin's Scenario of Class Leadership

05.10.2010
Rodrigo Nunes
The politics of Badiou and Deleuze/ Guattari
Subject, event, separation

04.10.2010
Rodrigo Nunes
Politics, poetics + popular culture in Brazilian cinema 1962-1979
'Stronger are the powers of the people' I

08.04.2010
Thomas Seibert
Reading Badiou with and against his postmarxist contemporaries
Politics unbound

05.03.2010
Kathrin Thiele
Nietzsche with Deleuze II
The thought of becoming

03.12.2009
International conference
Becoming-major, becoming-minor

02.12.2009
Marina Gržinić
Global capitalism, necropolitics and contemporary art

01.12.2009
Roberto Esposito
The dispositif of the person

09.10.2009
International Conference
Encountering Althusser

09.10.2009
Conference material: schedule, abstracts, articles
Encountering Althusser

03.09.2009
Antke Engel
Queer/ing Images of Sexuality and Economy
The Surplus of Paradoxes

02.09.2009
Matteo Mandarini
Negri's encounter with Guattari: the elision of Lenin
Communists like us

01.09.2009
Ruth Sonderegger
A cinematic diagnosis of biopolitics
The cinema of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

16.06.2009
Christian Kerslake
The specter of an unsolved problematic
The Meanings of Immanence in Deleuze's Philosophy

19.05.2009
Luca Basso, Vittorio Morfino
A French Marx
The singular, the trans-individual and the common

07.04.2009
Pier Vittorio Aureli, Andrea Cavaletti, Katja Diefenbach, Mark Purcell, Miguel Robles-Duran, Lukasz Stanek, Roemer van Toorn, Peter Trummer, Sven-Olov Wallenstein
State-space symposium no. 1
Biopolitics of scale

09.03.2009
Paul Hegarty, Vanessa Theodoropoulos, Jean Louis Violeau
Against the economic: Reading Baudrillard with Bataille, Lacan, Marx, and Debord
A Workshop on Baudrillard

03.02.2009
Lecture of Tom Rockmore at the International Institute for Research and Education, Amsterdam
Is Marx a Fichtean?

04.12.2008
Martin Saar
Negri on Power
Political Spinozism

03.11.2008
Steve Wright
The Refusal of Labor
Tronti's Legacy

05.06.2008
Massimo De Angelis, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Anne Querrien
The production of commons, subjectivity and space
Communists like us

05.12.2007
A. Auerbach, K. Diefenbach, S. Dillemuth, M. Vishmidt
The politics of bohemia

08.11.2007
Maria Muhle
From Foucault to Rancičre
Politics, police and power

07.11.2007
Manfred Hermes
Narrative strategies of subjectivisation in Fassbinder’s "Berlin Alexanderplatz"
In the figurative sense

05.10.2007
Serhat Karakayali
On political hegemony and militant becoming: Gramsci and Deleuze
The poetics of knowledge

29.06.2007
Ruben Martinez, Jaron Rowan, Marina Vishmidt, Katja Diefenbach
The cultural producer as model of the post-fordist worker
In the mood for work

05.04.2007
Grahame Lock
The actuality of Althusser's thinking
Dictatorship of the proletariat as political science

04.04.2007
Judith Hopf
The imposition of creative work
Hey production!

08.03.2007
Raul Zelik
Notes on asymmetric warfare and governance
Sovereign police

International Conference
Encountering Althusser

The work of Louis Althusser and his associates constituted an important attempt to rethink the political and philosophical potential of Marx’s thought, in tension with its ‘orthodox’ reading in Stalinism. In his work in the 1960s and 1970s, Althusser proposed to negate the metaphysical categories of subject, substance, telos, and end. He further explored these themes in the late 1970s and 1980s in terms of the event, the encounter and contingency. The late Althusser’s “materialism of the encounter” both provides many points of contact for a productive dialogue with thinkers associated with post-structuralism, while at the same time seeming to maintain a stronger connection to the Marxist tradition, particularly in terms of his continuing affirmation of the dictatorship of the proletariat. One of the purposes of this conference will be to attempt to gain an overview of the development of Althusser’s thought and to pose the question of its legacy for contemporary debates in radical political thought.

It is not only the legacy of Louis Althusser that will be of our interest here, however, but rather how to encounter and deal with the more unrecognised or suppressed points in his thought that remain enigmatic, and at the same time productive for further research in politics, economy, philosophy (and ideology). Many contemporary discussions ranging from Badiou and Zizek to Balibar, Laclau and Butler revolve around some topics that were traced or started by Louis Althusser, mainly on ideology, linking Althusser to Lacan or politics. In this conference, we would like to focus on some points that have not yet been discussed or have not yet been given the attention they deserve.

In the Althusserian spirit of philosophy working by attacking established positions on an occupied Kampfplatz, we outline four different fields of investigation to which panels will be dedicated: ruptures in philosophy, politics, political economy and politics and philosophy in the late Althusser. In each field, we intend to subject established interpretations of Althusser’s thought to critique and to attempt to determine productive areas for future research. Beyond such scholarly and philological debates, however, our guiding concern will be to pose the question of the extent to which an encounter with Althusser today has the potential to promote critical energies and perspectives that are capable of intervening effectively in the contemporary conjuncture.

1) Ruptures in philosophy: dis/continuities in Althusser's thought

Chair: Peter Thomas

Speakers: G. Michael Goshgarian, Caroline Williams, Giorgos Fourtounis

Continuities and discontinuities in the development of Althusser’s thought have constituted a theme of much critical commentary and debate. Following the publication of his late writings in the 1990s, one current attempted to argue for a break or even Kehre in Althusser’s thinking, which abandoned completely the theoretical structure of For Marx and Reading Capital. More recently, another interpretation has emphasised continuities and attempted to demonstrate an ongoing break in Althusser’s thought, within and against itself, in an act of self-critical immanent redefinition. This panel will focus upon the theme ‘rupture’ as an organising concept of Althusser’s development, which will enable us to discuss the nature of Althusser’s ongoing break with himself as constitutive of the most productive elements of his thought. Themes will include the development of Althusser’s thought, his readings of Spinoza and Machiavelli, the changing status of theoretical anti-humanism and notions of structure and conjuncture at different stages in his thought.


2) The primacy of politics: singularity, dictatorship of proletariat, class struggle

Chair: Gal Kirn

Speakers: Ozren Pupovac, Slobodan Karamanić, Mikko Lahtinen

A binary opposition has been established in terms of thinking about Althusser's position on politics. On the one hand, many poststructuralist authors have argued that Althusser is only a thinker of 'structure with dominance'; in other words, Althusser's thinking is functionalist and prevents us from thinking agency. On the hand, a more sympathetic and contemporary current has claimed that there exists an Althusser of the conjuncture, an Althusser of the aleatory. Althusser is thus conceived as a thinker of the encounter, focusing in particular on his reading of Machiavelli. This panel will attempt to attack these established interpretations and to outline an alternative, more productive understanding of the centrality of politics in all of Althusser’s thought. Our focus will be on the questions of social formation, class struggle and the primacy of politics.

3) The critique of political economy and the legacy of Louis Althusser:

Chair: Sara Farris

Speakers: Marko Kržan, Timm Ebner/ Jörg Nowak, Frieder Otto Wolf

If Zizek formulated a good critique of the post-Marxist French philosophical school (Balibar, Rancičre and Badiou) it is precisely on the point of avoiding and leaving the terrain of political economy. Albeit in a complicated form, Althusser never left this terrain; an insistence that seems a necessary step in the world of theoretical poverty and ideologies of managerialism and economic liberalism. Is value theory really dead, and should it be drastically reformulated as some post-Marxists try to convince us? What are the implications of regulationist theory and how it is linked to Althusser(ianism)? Does Althusser offer productive perspectives for re-Reading Capital today?

4) Politics and philosophy in the late Althusser: the philosophy of the encounter and aleatory materialism

Chair: Katja Diefenbach

Speakers: Vittorio Morfino, Katja Kolšek, Panagiotis Sotiris, Jason Read

The late Althusser’s proposal of the philosophy of the encounter or an aleatory materialism has constituted one of the most fertile fields of investigation in Althusserian studies in recent years, giving rise to divergent and sometimes opposed readings. This panel will focus upon the different formulations of the relationship between politics and philosophy in the late Althusser’s writings. Our emphasis will be both to assess the internal coherence of the late Althusser’s (incomplete) texts, identifying productive research fields that emerge from them, and to attempt to compare them to his earlier positions. Furthermore, given that Althusser’s reflections from the 1970s and 1980s have been symptomatically absent from many recent discussions (even, notably, among many of his one-time students who currently enjoy a certain prestige in radical political theory), this panel will try to establish a dialogue between the themes of aleatory materialism and contemporary debates in political theory and philosophy. In other words, can the philosophy of the encounter be interpreted and proposed as an intervention into the Kampfplatz of contemporary radical thought?