CPCT Research Seminar 2021-22: What is Global Critical Theory?

mschonbrun Events

Time: Wednesdays, 4:00-6:00 pm (BST)
Venue: Online
[Zoom registration link: https://gold-ac-uk.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_t5RX4pGtQEiGxD9VthSSGg]

Autumn: 13, 27 October; 10, 24 November; 8 December 2021
Spring: 26 January; 9, 23 February; 9, 23 March 2022
Summer: 27 April; 11, 25 May; 8 June 2022

CPCT’s annual research seminar meets on a bi-weekly basis and is open to centre members, graduate affiliates, and other interested staff and students. It aims to serve as a forum for philosophical work and dialogue at Goldsmiths.

The history of critical theory is one of migration and displacement of ideas – of travelling and exiled theory – but to date it has all too often been written as a story of the afterlife of the European Enlightenment. There is a growing research interest in the global reach of critical theory but its emphasis has often been skewed towards the applicability of ideas to local contexts, or to regional and area studies of specific social and political phenomena. This seminar seeks to begin to pose the problem of a ‘global critical theory’ by undertaking a series of soundings of conceptual debates emerging in different locales and conjunctures that foreground the non-Western genesis of crucial problems of contemporary critical theory, as well as the situated problematisation of the forms of historical difference and unevenness that mark the travels of critical theory. The seminar will touch, inter alia, on Caribbean and Latin American debates on the short-circuits, ‘misencounters’ (desencuentros) and misplacements between critical concepts in Europe and the Americas, and their aesthetic figurations in the periodisation of the Baroque and the conceptual persona that is Caliban; explore the uptake by Levantine Marxist intellectuals of Said’s Orientalism; investigate the oft-overlooked contributions of Vietnamese philosophers Trần Đức Thảo to postwar phenomenology and deconstruction, and Nguyễn Khắc Viện to global Marxism; and inquire into the critical theories of fascism originating in interwar Japan.

For a detailed session plan including further readings and links to texts, please visit https://cpct.uk/2021-2022/.

Convened by Alberto Toscano [a.toscano at gold.ac.uk]