Gregynog Hall

Gregynog Hall

08 July 2013


Gregynog Ideas Lab II


Gregynog Ideas Lab, 15-20 July 2013

Gregynog Ideas Lab Summer School 2013

Politics of Truth: Political Spirituality, the Courage of Truth (Parrhesia), and Revolts of Conduct
Michael Dillon

‘There is no first or final point of resistance to political power other than the [indefinite] relationship one has with oneself.’
(Michel Foucault, The Hermeneutics of the Subject: 252)

These three seminars afford me the opportunity of pursuing themes raised in my forthcoming essay for Millennium that figures here, with Chapter 9 from The Order of Things and some background on key terms such as periodisation and  ‘factical finitude’, as the prolegomena to the course. The background is, however, less the death of God, which is the title of the Millennium special issue in which the essay will appear, than the death of Man and of Life. Along with ‘Life’, God and Man are understood to be what Foucault would have called strategic figures that seek to provide a measure of strategic coherence to the many changing veridical apparatuses and dispositifs of modern power relations. The themes at issue concern political spirituality, the courage of truth and revolts of conduct, as Michel Foucault developed these in his Cours au Collège de France. Albeit largely preoccupied with developments the Greco-Roman period, and progressively also Christianity, those lectures are read as integral to Foucault’s pursuit of the history of the present, to his preoccupation with power and ultimately also to his exploration of the allied problematics of politics and freedom as an ethics (askesis) of the self.

One of the single most important insights to be gleaned from Foucault’s work is that, since all politics of truth are idiomatic (historically conditioned) and since every rule of truth is simultaneously also a truth of rule, the conditioning of any specific rule regime of truth and rule may be transformed by the conditions to which it in turn gives rise.  To apply that insight today is to recognise, for example, that whatever the conditioning to which the terms modernity and modernization have given expression, the experience of modernization has itself transformed the conditions of the present. It is our modern politics of truth that therefore sets the condition that intrigues these seminars.

Specifically, the seminars will pose three questions:

1.             I take it to be an unassailable empirical fact, as well as an expression of the philosophical aporia explored by Foucault in The Order of Things that conditioned and continues to govern our modern politics of truth, that neither the governors nor the governed know, or can know, what is going on politically. How, then, can there be a ‘courage of truth’ when the politics and theatrical economies of modern truth telling have rendered political truth radically opaque to the modern political subject of truth – governors and governed alike?
2.            What did Foucault mean by spirituality in general and by political spirituality in particular especially when he used the latter expression to describe aspects of the insurrection that precipitated the Iranian revolution in 1978?
3.                  What does spirituality have to do with the courage of truth, the parrhesia whose career Foucault explored as it migrated through the Hellenistic into the Roman and Christian worlds? Can there be a courage of truth under the conditions obtaining in our modern politics of truth, and if so what would that demand in terms of political spirituality and the askesis of a political self capable not simply of saying no to rule but of governing itself differently?

Michael Dillon, ‘Afterlife: Living Death to Political Spirituality,’ in, Millennium: Journal of International Studies Forthcoming Special Issue on The Death of God and International Relations.
Michel Foucault, The Order of Things, ‘Chapter 9, Man Doubles’.
Francois Raffoul and Eric Sean Nelson, eds., Rethinking Facticity, ‘Introduction’ 
Kathleen Davis, Periodization and Sovereignty, ‘Introduction’

Seminar One: Political Spirituality and Revolts of Conduct: Iran 1978 to Paris 1981-1982
Primary Readings
Foucault Iran Reports in the Appendix to Janet Afary and Kevin Anderson, Foucault and the Iranian Revolution.
Michel Foucault, The Hermeneutics of the Subject, Cours au Collège de France, 1981-1982 Introduction and Lectures 2, 4-7, 19 and 24.
Supplementary Readings
Michel de Certeau, The Mystic Fable. Volume One. The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Chapter 3, ‘The New Science’.
Amy Hollywood and Patricia Beckman, eds., The Cambridge Companion to Christian Mysticism, ‘Introduction’ and ‘Chapter 5 Apophatic and Cataphatic Theology’.

Seminar Two: Parrhesia: A Genealogy of the Courage of Truth
Primary Readings
Michel Foucault, Lectures on the Will to Know, Cours au Collège de France, 1981-1970-1971 Introduction, and ‘Lecture 13 Lecture on Nietzsche,’
Michel Foucault, The Government of Self and Others, Cours au Collège de France, 1982-1983 Introduction, Lectures 3, 4 11, 16-19
Michel Foucault, The Courage of Truth Cours au Collège de France, 1983-1984 Introduction, Lectures 1-4, 9, 12, 18
Supplementary Readings
Edward McGushin, Foucault’s Askesis, ‘Introduction’ and ‘Truth as a Problem’
David Webb Foucault’s Archaeology of Knowledge, ‘Introduction’ and ‘Chapter One To What Problem Does the Archaeology of Knowledge Respond?’, ‘’Conclusion’ and ‘Closing Remarks’.

Seminar Three: Theatrical Political Economies of Truth
Primary Readings
Michel Foucault, Lectures on the Will to Know, Cours au Collège de France, 1981-1970-1971 ‘Oedipal Knowledge’.
Supplementary Readings
Giorgio Agamben, The Kingdom and the Glory, Chapter One, ‘The Two Paradigms,’ Chapter 8 ‘The Archaeology of Glory’ and, ‘The Appendix’.
Walter Benjamin, The Origins of German Tragic Drama, ‘George Steiner Introduction,’ and, ‘Trauerspiele and Tragedy.’
Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle.

Words and Pictures / Stories and Photographs
Jenny Edkins

These seminars will attempt a meditation on photographs: what they do or might do politically. Participants should read Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida (1) beforehand. Our discussions will draw on Jacques Rancière’s aesthetic politics (2) and Cathy Caruth’s reading of trauma (3). We will consider the temporality of the photograph and its connection with trauma time. Taking inspiration from John Berger’s ‘Stories’ (4), David Levi-Strauss’ discussion of documentary photography (5) and my discussion (6) of Chris Marker’s La Jetée, (France: 1962), 29 mins., which we will watch in class, we will look at the still photo and narration with still photos. We will talk about a number of examples of aesthetic politics in the photograph, which may include the work of Alfredo Jaar (particularly his Rwanda sequence of works), Jean-Luc Nancy’s photo-essay ‘Georges’, the use of the photo in the work of W G Sebald’s Austerlitz, and the documentary photography of Sebastião Salgado. Participants are encouraged to bring their own examples to discuss.* Finally, if there is time, we will consider the face in the photograph—what might be special about the portrait, and sets of portraits in particular—drawing on the work of Jean-Luc Nancy. 
*We will hopefully be working in a room with powerpoint, so you can bring images on pen drives etc.

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida. Translated by Richard Howard (London: Vintage, 1993) 119pp.
Jacques Rancière, ‘The Distribution of the Sensible: Politics and Aesthetics’, in Jacques Rancière, The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible. Translated by Gabriel Rockhill (London: Continuum, 2004), 12-19. [8pp]
Cathy Caruth, ‘Trauma and Experience: Introduction’, in Cathy Caruth, ed. Trauma:  Explorations in Memory (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), 3-12. [10pp]
John Berger, ‘Stories’, in John Berger and Jean Mohr, Another Way of Telling (New York: Vintage Books, 1995), 277-289. [12pp]
David Levi Strauss, ‘The Documentary Debate: Aesthetic or Anaesthetic?’, in David Levi Strauss, Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics (New York: Aperture, 2003) 3-11. [9pp]
Jenny Edkins, 'Reflections on Memory and the Future: Time and Trauma in Chris Marker's La Jetée'. Memory Studies Forthcoming (2014). [12pp]
[Extracts 2-6—around 50 pages of reading in all—will be made available to participants in advance of the School; participants are advised to buy Camera Lucida, available for around £5-£6/$11-$12]

For reference
Ulrich Baer, Spectral Evidence: The Photography of Trauma (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT, 2002).
David Campbell, “Salgado and the Sahel: Documentary Photography and the Imaging of Famine”, in Rituals of Mediation: International Politics and Social Meaning, edited by Francois Debrix and Cynthia Weber (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003), 69-96.
Cathy Caruth, Unclaimed Experience:  Trauma, Narrative, and History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).
Marguerite Duras and Alain Renais, 'Hiroshima Mon Amour', (1961).
Jenny Edkins, 'Exposed Singularity'. Journal for Cultural Research 9, no. 4 (2005): 359-86.
Jenny Edkins, 'Politics and Personhood: Reflections on the Portrait Photograph'. Alternatives: Local, Global, Political 38, no. 2 (2013) forthcoming.
Jenny Edkins, 'Time, Personhood, Politics', in The Future of Trauma Theory: Contemporary Literary Criticism, eds. Gert Buelens, Sam Durrant and Robert Eaglestone (London: Routledge, 2013) forthcoming.
Adrian Kear, 'Traces of Presen7ce', in International Politics and Performance: Critical Aesthetics and Creative Practice, eds. Jenny Edkins and Adrian Kear (London: Routledge, 2013) forthcoming.
Chris Marker, La Jetee: Cine Roman (New York: Zone Books, 1992).
Jean-Luc Nancy, 'The Look of the Portrait', in Multiple Arts: The Muses II, ed. Jean-Luc Nancy (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006), 220-47. [Originally published as Jean-Luc Nancy, Le Regard Du Portrait (Paris: Galilee, 2000).]
Jean-Luc Nancy, ‘Georges’, in Multiple Arts: The Muses II, ed. Jean-Luc Nancy (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2006), 131-142.
Jay Prosser, Light in the Dark Room: Photography and Loss (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005).
Jacques Rancière, The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible. Translated by Gabriel Rockhill (London: Continuum, 2004).
Sebastiao Salgado, The Children: Refugees and Migrants (New York: Aperture, 2000).
Eric L Santner, On Creaturely Life: Rilke, Benjamin, Sebald (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2006).
W. G. Sebald, Austerlitz. Translated by Anthea Bell (London: Penguin, 2001).
David Levi Strauss, ‘A Sea of Griefs is not a Proscenium: The Rwanda Projects of Alfredo Jaar’, in David Levi Strauss, Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics (New York: Aperture, 2003) 79-105.

Time and Politics: Encountering the ‘Event’ in Poststructural Thought
Tom Lundborg

The poststructural challenge is in many respects a challenge to think differently about time. It is a challenge to think beyond assumptions about the eternal cycles of cosmic movements, beyond the limits of a progressive understanding of history, and beyond theological conceptions of time as eschatology. The poststructural challenge is, moreover, a challenge to engage seriously with the uncertainty and contingency of events, which, in their singularity elude teleology and calculability. In this seminar series we will discuss what the poststructural challenge of time and the event entails in more detail, and how it can be used in order to construct a politics of time. Our primary focus will be on key texts by Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault – philosophers who in different ways have explored the concept of the event and its relevance for thinking about time and politics.

First seminar:
Deleuze, G., The Logic of Sense (London: Continuum, 2004). ‘First Series of Paradoxes of Pure Becoming’, ‘Second Series of Paradoxes of Surface Effects’, ‘Tenth Series of the Ideal Game’, ‘Eleventh Series of Nonsense’, ‘Twelfth Series of the Paradox’, ‘Fifteenth Series of Singularities’, ‘Nineteenth Series of Humor’, ‘Twenty-First Series of the Event’, ‘Twenty-Third Series of the Aion’, ‘Twenty-Fourth Series of the Communication of Events’.
Deleuze, G., ‘Control and Becoming’, in Negotiations: 1972–1990, trans. Martin Joughin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), 169-176.

Second seminar:
Derrida, J., ‘Différance’, in Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), 1-28.
Derrida, J., ‘Signature Event Context’, in Margins of Philosophy, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984), 304-330.
Derrida, J., ‘Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourses of the Human Sciences’, in Writing and Difference, trans. Alan Bass (London: Routledge, 2005 [1967]), 351-370.
Derrida, J., ‘The Deconstruction of Actuality’, in Negotiations: Interventions and Interviews 1971-2001, translated and edited by Elizabeth Rottenberg (Stanford: Stanford University Press), 147-198.

Third seminar:
Deleuze, G., Negotiations: 1972–1990, trans. Martin Joughin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), Part 3 – Michel Foucault.
Foucault, M., ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’, in Language, Counter-memory, Practice: Selected Essays and Interviews, trans. D. F. Bouchard and S. Simon, (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977), 139-164.
Foucault, M., ‘Truth and Power’, in The Essential Works of Foucault, 1954-1984. Vol. 3: Power (London: Penguin, 2002), 111-133.
Foucault, M., ‘Interview with Michel Foucault’, in The Essential Works of Foucault, 1954-1984. Vol. 3: Power, (London: Penguin, 2002), 239-297.

Unthinking IR: Culture, Capital and Modernity
Himadeep Muppidi

If colonial frameworks are constitutive of conventional ways of thinking international relations, how does one re-world it from an anti-colonial perspective? In this seminar, we will seek to move beyond certain dominant and oppressive imaginations of global politics by thinking and talking together, differently, about questions of culture, capital and modernity as these come together to structure our multiple worlds.

Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, University of Minnesota Press, 1996.
Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference, Princeton University Press, 2000.
Amitav Ghosh, In an Antique Land: History in the Guise of a Traveler’s Tale, Vintage Books, 1992.
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Death of a Discipline, Columbia University Press, 2003.
Bernard Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India, Princeton University Press, 1996.
Ranajit Guha, History at the Limit of World-History, Columbia University Press, 2002.

Michael J Shapiro’s three lectures

1) War Crimes
This lecture is based on the first chapter in my war crimes book project. I begin with a passage in Mathias Énards novel Zone a long reflection by his protagonist, Mirkovic, after seeing his former Croatian commander, Blaškić, on trial at The Hague. Heeding Mikovic’s reflection on the knowledge practices and apparatuses related to justice, I elaborate the war crimes-related justice dispositif, treating not only the moment that is addressed in the cited passage from novel (but also the complex apparatuses involved in the contemporary war crimes justice “circuses” and other relevant events (and non-events), especially the forces involved in global arms trafficking (I will have some images to show with this lecture, two of which are from the film, Lord of War).

2) Borderline Justice
This lecture is about the “war on drugs” as it is carried out in the U.S. – Mexico border areas. The lecture treats literatures and films that have provided what I call a “poesis of narco-trafficking” (and a genealogy of artistic responses to borderline justice). Much of my emphasis is on the way artistic texts challenge governmental “truth weapons,” the most significant one, which I analyze at length being Gerardo Naranjo’s film Miss Bala. I end with a reflection on how to conceive justice, given the facts of complicity between the justice dispositif, constituted by the official war on drugs, and the crime dispositif, as it unfolds in the process of narco-trafficking and contrast my mode of analysis with the rationalistic, justice-as-fairness doctrines that have emerged from the work of John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin justice comes from a model of equality in which a political arithmetic is the primary analytic. Finally, I contrast their abstract individual with Bolivian President Evo Morales’ coca grower. (I will show some footage from the film, Miss Bala with this lecture).

3) Justice and the Archives
This lecture has as its primary texts a novel, Laszlo Kraznihorkai’s War & War and Linda Hatendorf’s documentary film featuring a Japanese street artist, The Cats of  Mirikitani.  In the case of the former text, the main protagonist is a self-described archivist who is bringing a found (or invented) manuscript on war to the “center of the world,” New York City in order to give it a permanence by loaded it onto the Internet. In the later, the protagonist, Jimmie Mirikitani, turns out to have been a victim of the U.S.’s internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry during WW II (while some of his family were victims of the bombing of Hiroshima). His drawings are about both historical episodes. The primary analytic of the lecture is base on Gilles Deleuze’s lecture, “The Method of Dramatization.” The Lecture ends with reflections on the genres and temporality of the Archives. (I will show some footage of the Cats of Mirikitani with this lecture).

Charles Bowden’s text on the US-Mexico drug war, Dreamland.
Gilles Deleuze’s lecture, “The Method of Dramatization” (available on the web).
Mathias Enard’s novel Zone.
Michel Foucault’s lectures on The Birth of Biopolitics.
Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s novel War & War.
Don Winslow’s novel The Power of the Dog.

Other ‘Foucaults’ and the politics of (scholarly) practice
Erzsebet Strausz

How to read Foucault? And perhaps even more importantly, why ask this question? These seminars engage with the politics of (scholarly) practice through taking a closer look not only at what Foucault says in his diagnoses of the present (such as what he identifies as the operations of e.g. biopolitics, governmentality or sovereign power), but also what his scholarly practice expresses, performs and produces within the same discourses and epistemic structures of modernity, also as potential responses to such diagnoses. Turning Foucault’s notion of productive power back on his own scholarly work we will explore what vistas of resistance, sites of intervention and modes of ethical relating to world, self and others may emerge from the ways in which Foucault writes, reads, thinks and sees? The three seminars seek to draw out and draw inspiration from three possible (and in equal part, imaginary) portraits of Foucault – a topologist, a vitalist and someone who cares for himself - that is, ‘Foucaults’ that are other both to the usual frames of disciplinary thinking and perhaps, also to themselves. Our aim is to attempt to rethink politics of the present through the poetics of practice and the actuality of what we do and how we are right here, right now.

Seminars are structured around two core readings (the essential one highlighted) and suggested readings that provide additional context to the discussions. Participants are encouraged to think about what is political, what is poetic about their (academic) practices in everyday life.

First Seminar: Working with space / Foucault as topologist
Core readings:
Foucault, Michel, “Las Meninas” in The Order of Things (London: Routledge, 2009), pp. 1-18.
Foucault, Michel, Speech Begins after Death, Philippe Artières ed., (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013), 25-81. (Some excerpts will be provided)

Suggested readings:
Foucault, Michel, “Preface” in The Order of Things, (London: Routledge, 2009), pp. xvi-xxvi.
Foucault, Michel, “Different Spaces” in Aesthetics, Method, And Epistemology: Essential Works Of Foucault, 1954-1984, Volume 2, James D. Faubion ed., (London: Penguin, 1994), 175-185.
Deleuze, Gilles, Foucault, (New York: Continuum, 2006).
Foucault, Michel, Manet and the Object of Painting (London: Tate, 2010).

Second Seminar: Working through life / Foucault as vitalist
Core readings:
Foucault, Michel, “Lives of Infamous Men” in Power: Essential Works Of Foucault, 1954-1984, Vol 3, James D. Faubion ed., (London: Penguin, 1998), pp 157-175.
Foucault, M. “The Mesh of Power” (lecture), available at OR
"Method" Chapter from the History of Sexuality I, (London: Penguin, 1998), pp. 92-102.

Suggested readings:
Foucault, M. “Governmentality”, in Power: Essential Works of Foucault, 1954-1984, Volume 3, James D. Faubion ed., (London: Penguin, 1994), pp. 201-222.
Foucault, M. “The Order of Discourse”, in Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader, Robert Young ed., (London: Routledge, 1981),
Foucault, Michel. “Interview with Michel Foucault”. In Power: Essential Works Of Foucault, 1954-1984, Volume 3, edited by James D. Faubion, 239-297, (London: Penguin, 1994), pp 239-297

Third Seminar: Working on subjectivity / Foucault’s care for himself
Core readings:
Foucault, Michel, “My Body, This Paper, This Fire” in Essential Works: Aesthetics, Vol 1, (London: Penguin, 1998), pp- 393-417.
Foucault, Michel, “The ethic of care for the self as a practice of freedom: An interview” in The Final Foucault, Bernauer and Rasmussen eds, (Cambridge, MA:MIT, 1988), pp 1-20.

Suggested readings:
Foucault, Michel, The Government of Self and Others: Lectures at the Collège the France 1982-1983, (New York: Picador, 2010).
Foucault, Michel, The Courage of Truth: Lectures at the Collège the France 1983-1984, (New York: Picador, 2010).
Foucault, Michel, The Use of Pleasure: The History of Sexuality 2, (London: Penguin, 1992).

Biopolitics, thanatopolitics, zoopolitics
Nick Vaughan-Williams

These sessions explore the biopolitical turn in social and political thought, and consider some of the implications for the study of international politics. We begin by examining the concept of biopolitics as paradigmatically outlined by Michel Foucault. From here we assess prominent engagements with the Foucauldian frame along both ‘negative’ and ‘affirmative’ lines, as found in the work of Giorgio Agamben and Roberto Esposito. Finally, we turn to Jacques Derrida’s critique of biopolitics and his zoopolitical alternative. Our discussions will focus on questions relating to sovereignty, subjectivity, and borders (particularly the human/animal distinction). We will investigate these questions against the backdrop of participants' own research interests.

G. Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Trans. D. Heller-Roazen (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998). ‘Introduction’; Part Two: ‘1 Homo Sacer’, ‘3 Sacred Life’; Part Three: The Camp as Biopolitical Paradigm of the Modern’.
J. Derrida, The Beast and the Sovereign: Volume 1 (2001-2), Trans. G. Bennington (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2008). December 12, 2001; January 16, 2002; March 13, 2002; March 20, 2002; March 27, 2002.
R. Esposito, Bíos: Biopolitics and Philosophy, Trans. T. Campbell (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2008). ‘Introduction’, ‘1 The Enigma of Biopolitics’, ‘2 The Paradigm of Immunization’.
M. Foucault The Will to Knowledge: The History of Sexuality Volume 1, Trans. R. Hurley (London: Penguin, 1998). ‘Part Five: Right of Death and Power Over Life’.
M. Foucault Society Must be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-76. (London: Allen Lane, 2003). Chapter 11 (17 March 1976).

Additional suggested reading
C. Blencowe, Biopolitical Experience: Foucault, Power, and Positive Critique (London and New York: Palgrave, 2011).
T. Campbell, Improper Life: Technology and Biopolitics from Heidegger to Agamben (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2011).
M. Coleman and K. Grove, ‘Biopolitics, Biopower, and the Return of Sovereignty’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 27(3) (2009), pp. 489-507.
E. Dauphinee and C. Masters (Eds) The Logics of Biopower and the War on Terror: Living, Dying, Surviving (London and New York: Palgrave, 2007).
F. Debrix and A. Barder, Beyond Biopolitics: Theory, Violence, and Horror in World Politics (London and New York: Routledge, 2011).
M. Dillon and L. Lobo-Guerrero, ‘The Biopolitics of Security in the 21st Century’, Review of International Studies, 32(2) (2008) pp. 265–92.
M. Dillon and J. Reid, The Liberal Way of War: Killing to Make Life Live (London and New York: Routledge, 2009).
J. Edkins, V. Pin-Fat, and M. J. Shapiro, Sovereign Lives: Power in Global Politics (London and New York: Routledge, 2004).
F. Lentzos and N. Rose, ‘Governing Insecurity: Contingency Planning, Protection, Resilience’, Economy and Society, 38(2) (2009), pp. 230–54.
T. Lundborg and N. Vaughan-Williams, 'There’s More to Life than Biopolitics: Resilience, Critical Infrastructure Planning, and Molecular Security’, International Political Sociology, 5(4) (December 2011), pp. 367-383.
C. Masters, ‘Femina Sacra: The War on/of Terror’, Women, and the Feminine’, Security Dialogue, 40(1) (2009), pp. 29–49.
A. Mbembe, ‘Necropolitics’, Trans. L. Meintjes, Public Culture 15(1) (2005), pp. 11-40.
C. Minca, ‘Giorgio Agamben and the New Biopolitical Nomos’, Geografiska Annaler, 88B(4) (2006), pp. 387-403.
J. Reid, The Biopolitics of the War on Terror: Life Struggles, Liberal Modernity, and the Defence of Logistical Societies (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006).
N. Shukin, Animal Capital: Rendering Life in Biopolitical Times (London and Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009).
N. Vaughan-Williams, ‘The Shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes: New Border Politics?’, Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 32(2), (April-June 2007), pp. 177-195.
N. Vaughan-Williams, ‘The Generalised Biopolitical Border? Reconceptualising the Limits of Sovereign Power’, Review of International Studies, 35 (2009), pp. 729–49.
C. Wolfe, Before the Law: Humans and Other Animals in a Biopolitical Frame (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013).

Critique and the International
Rob Walker

“Critique” has become both fashionable and elusive, in claims about international relations as in many social sciences and humanities more generally. Consequently, I would like to engage participants in discussion about (i) what they understand critique to mean in various intellectual/political traditions, (ii) what they think the effect of claims about critical theories of international relations has been, (iii) whether they think the international poses any specific problems/opportunities for critique, and (iv) whether they think prevailing understandings of what it means to be critical remain persuasive.

No specific pre-reading is required, but participants will be expected to have examined the various ways in which the claim to critique has been deployed in various literatures, both in international relations theory and in contemporary social, cultural and political theory more generally. As most forms of critique acknowledge a debt to Kant’s resistance to dogma and his concern with the limits of human knowledge, it will also be useful to have some sense of Kant’s significance -- positive and negative -- as a canonical and still provocative thinker.

Obscene Politics: Eroticism, the Body and the Visual as a Method
Andreja Zevnik

These sessions will engage with the ‘obscene’ aspects of politics; those, which remain unrepresented, abandoned, discarded or are for their traumatic potential tabooed. We will look into conceptual frameworks of obscenity and ask questions such as how and why is something deemed obscene, how is one to study obscenity and how can ‘obscene’ operate as a method. First we will look into discussions about the body as a scape with the capacity to re-write political boundaries negotiated on the binaries of inclusion/exclusion, self/other; then we will move on to look at what is at stake when these boundaries are contested and transgressed; and finally we will finish by considering ‘obscenity’ as a method of transgression.

Participants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the work of performance artist Marina Abramovic; artist and painter Marlene Dumas and photojournalist Stanley Greene. Examples of their work will be brought in class for discussion, however some prior knowledge/awareness of their work will be welcomed. Participants are also encouraged to bring their own work or work they consider relevant for the discussion.

Suggested pre-reading
Giorgio Agamben, The Open: Man and Animal (Stanford: Stanford University press, 2004).
Georges Bataille, Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927 – 1939 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985). See the following essays: The Use Value of DAF de Sade; Sacrifices; The Sorcerer’s Apprentice; The Practice of Joy before Death; The College of Sociology. They can all be accessed on line from different sources.
n   Story of the Eye (London: Penguin Books, 2001).
Jean Baudrillard, The Conspiracy of Art (New York: Semiotext(e), 2005): 25 – 35; 43 – 87; 181 – 211.
Jacques Lacan, Écrits, Bruce Fink ed. (London and New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2006). See: ‘Kant with Sade’, 645 – 70; and ‘Science and Truth’, 726 – 744.
Pierre Legendre, ‘Introduction to the Theory of the Image: Narcissus and the Other in the Mirror’, Law and Critique, Vol, VIII, no. 1 (1997): 3 – 35.
Michael J. Shapiro, Studies in Trans-disciplinary Method: after the aesthetic turn (London: Routledge, 2012).
Kaja Silverman, ‘Fassbinder and Lacan: A reconsideration of gaze, look and image’, Camera Obscura, 1989: 54 – 84.
Linda Williams, ‘Film Bodies: Gender, Genre and Excess’, Film Quarterly, vol. 44, nr. 4 (1991): 2 – 13.

Further suggested reading:
Giorgio Agamben, The Man Without Content (Stanford: Stanford University press, 2004).
Georges Bataille, Erotism: Death and Sensuality (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1986).
Maurice Blanchot, Lautreamont and Sade (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004)
Gilles Deleuze, ‘Coldness and Cruelty’ in Masochism (New York: Zone Books, 1991): 15 – 135. (Any edition)
Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger: an analysis of pollution and taboo (London: Routledge, 2002).
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: the birth of the prison (London, Penguin: 1991).
§    The History of Sexuality: The Care of the Self  Vol III (London: Penguin Books, 1990).
Jean-Luc Nancy, The Ground of the Image (New York: Fordham University Press, 2005).
Antonio Negri, Art and Multitude (London: Polity Press 2011)
Pierre Klossowski, Sade My Neighbour (Quartet Books, 1992).
Santner. Eric, The Royal Remains: the people’s two bodies and the endgames of sovereignty (University of Chicago Press, 2011).
Scarry, Elaine, The body in pain: the making and the unmaking of the world (Oxford Paperbacks, 1988).
Kaja Silverman, ‘Masochism and Male Subjectivity’, Camera Obscura, vol. 6, nr.2, 1988: 30 – 67.
Sontag, Susan Against Interpretation and Other Essays (Penguin Classics, 2009).
Leopold, Von Sacher Masoch, Venus in Furs (Dover Publications, 2013).

Linda Williams, Figures of Desire: a theory and analysis of surrealist film (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981): Chapter 1: The Image. (can be accessed online)