“Critique(s) of Violence” Online Event Series


The Philosophy Department of the University of Amsterdam, the Philosophy & Public Affairs Group, the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis (NICA), and the Goethe-Institute Amsterdam invite you to three events of the series “Critique(s of Violence“: two evening lectures and one afternoon workshop.

“For with mere life, the rule of law over the living ceases” – sacrificial partisanship
Banu Bargu, Santa Cruz
February 4th, 2021, 18.00 h
Online, to receive the Zoom link, send an email to Daniel Loick, d.loick@uva.nl.

Banu Bargu is Associate Professor of History of Consciousness at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on the uses of the body in political and social struggles both as an object and as a subject of violence directed at itself. Drawing on different examples from around the world, she examines the implications corporeal politics holds for modern conceptions of agency, citizenship, and democracy. She is currently a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Among her many publications is Starve and Immolate: The Politics of Human Weapons (Columbia University Press, 2014).

“An upheaval that this form of strike not so much causes as consummates” – forms of social transformation
Eva von Redecker, Verona
March 4th, 2021, 18.00 h
Online, to receive the Zoom link, send an email to Daniel Loick, d.loick@uva.nl.

Eva von Redecker is a critical theorist and public philosopher writing about social
change, moral judgement, modern property, and sometimes even life and death. Eva holds a Marie-Skłodowska-Curie-fellowship at the University of Verona, where she pursues a research project on authoritarianism (PhantomAiD). Previously, she has worked as research associate at Humboldt-University, Berlin (2009 to 2019) and acted as deputy director of the Berlin Center for Humanities and Social Change. Eva’s latest book, Praxis and Revolution (Campus 2018/Columbia UP 2021) proposes an interstitial model of radical change; its general-audience sequel Revolution für das Leben (S.Fischer 2020) applies this model to a critique of capitalist devastation in light of contemporary social movements.

What does it mean to abolish state power flyer What does it mean to abolish (state power)?
Robin Celikates, Avery Gordon, Robyn Maynard, Christoph Menke, Praveen Sewgobind, Vicki Squire, and Mathijs van de Sande
March 12th, 2021, 14.00-19.30
Online, register here

Concluding the series “Critique(s) of Violence” is a workshop on the question: What does it mean to abolish something? And in particular: How is it possible to overcome state-inflicted violence? The occasion for this series is the 100th anniversary of the writing and publication of Walter Benjamin’s essay “Critique of Violence”. After analyzing a number of distinct forms of legal violence, the essay, in its final paragraph, calls for “the deposition of law and the violence it depends on, finally therefore the abolition of state power”. This event, like the whole series, is not “about” Benjamin in the narrow philological sense. It rather asks international scholars and activists to address the question of abolition from the perspective of their own research, field of expertise, political practice, and the theoretical tradition they situate themselves in. This way, the workshop hopes to create a panorama of insights, examples and experiences that shed light on this difficult question and thus to connect philosophical inquiry with contemporary social struggles and actual politics.

All times are local Amsterdam time.

14.00 Daniel Loick (Amsterdam): Introduction
14.20 Robyn Maynard (Toronto): Abolish the Carceral State
14.40 Discussion
15.00 Mathijs van de Sande (Nijmegen): Prefigurative Politics
15.20 Discussion

15.40 Break

15.50 Vicki Squire (Warwick): Unruly Migrations
16.10 Discussion
16.30 Robin Celikates (Berlin): Migrant Solidarity
16.50 Discussion

17.10 Break

17.30 Praveen Sewgobind (Amsterdam), title tbd
17.50 Discussion
18.10 Avery Gordon (Santa Barbara), title tbd
18.20 Discussion
18.40 Christoph Menke (Frankfurt): Is there nonviolent action?
19.00 Discussion
19.20 Final Discussion and Farewell

19.30 End