We Should Put Divestment on the Table at VU

The student movement at Stanford has succeeded in forcing the university to divest: more here.

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CFP: Queer Badiouian Feminism

Here’s the link. Abstracts by August 1 and full paper by October 1, for Badiou Studies.

Thought it may appeal to some in the crowd.

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Belated Proposal: The Passion of Compassion: Arendt, Castoriadis, and the Imaginary Institution of Solidarity

At risk of drawing attention to the belatedness of this proposal, I’m posting it here anyway in hopes of suggestions/comments/feedback…

The Passion of Compassion: Arendt, Castoriadis, and the Imaginary Institution of Solidarity

This paper explores the phenomenon of solidarity. As the affective element of political and revolutionary activity, solidarity entails feeling with others. The upsurge of excitement generated by protest, the bursts of outrage generated by injustice, the sense of elation generated by liberation, these affective experiences depend upon a sense of collectivity. The awareness, in other words, that a feeling is shared intensifies the feeling itself, and this is especially important in the affective elements of revolutionary and political activity.

It is this feeling together, this compassion, that is the source of the possibility of solidarity according to the formulation of it in Hannah Arendt’s work. In On Revolution Arendt tells us that solidarity arises from compassion and yet makes possible a dispassionate community of interest.This claim calls into question the role that passion has to play both in revolutionary practices and in political action more broadly.  We might, at first glance, see Arendt’s insistence on solidarity as a dispassionate political community as a kind of Enlightenment relic, positing reason over emotion, mind over body, etc.  But if this is the case, then we might also ask how solidarity, as a tie that binds individuals to one another, can be free from passion at all.   There seems to be a tension, in other words, between an account of solidarity as arising from our capacity for compassion on the one hand and an account of solidarity as founding a dispassionate community of interest on the other.

The paradoxical role that “passion” plays in politics is mirrored in a similarly paradoxical relation between passion and knowledge. Cornelius Castoriadis treats this paradox in Figures of the Thinkable. Castoriadis, following Piera Aulinger, formulates passion as the movement whereby an object of pleasure becomes an object of need, passion is the development of the relation to something without which life is not worth living.

This paper aims at developing an account of solidarity that brings together the work of Hannah Arendt and Cornelius Castoriadis. Both Arendt and Castoriadis turn to Kant in their formulation of the relation between passion, knowledge, and politics. The positive account of solidarity formulated out of this project, articulates solidarity as a Kantain regulative ideal.

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Guidelines for Final Projects

Rough drafts are due
Please upload your draft as a Google Document, and share it with me and the students officially enrolled in the course (please let me know if I have overlooked anyone!): jbly1@villanova.edu; kborrowm@villanova.edu; dcunnin1@villanova.edu; egurer@villanova.edu; aholmes@villanova.edu; dmesing@villanova.edu; jmulaj01@villanova.edu; crupert@villanova.edu; jwalla14@villanova.edu; dwood6@villanova.edu; sbray3@villanova.edu; tuc41518@temple.edu; irorek.dombrovsky@gmail.com‎; gabriel.rockhill@gmail.com

Virtual research symposium

Please provide tracked comments on at least two papers shared with you via Google Document. To make sure that everyone receives comments, you have been alphabetically assigned to comment on one other paper (see below). For the second set of comments, you can choose any of the papers, and you should feel free to select a paper that overlaps significantly with your own research and/or interests.
Regarding your comments, please concentrate on providing constructive criticism and reasonable suggestions in order to help your peers improve the final versions of their papers.

List of assigned papers:
Bly comment on Borrowman
Borrowman comment on Bray
Bray comment on Cunningham
Cunningham comment on Dombrovsky
Dombrovsky comment on Gurer
Gurer comment on Holmes
Holmes comment on Mesing
Mesing comment on Mulaj
Mulaj comment on Rupert
Rupert comment on Wallace
Wallace comment on Ward
Ward comment on Wood
Wood comment on Bly

Final papers due

Please e-mail them to me
If you like, you can also feel free to post them on the blog in order to share them with everyone else

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Dissertation Defenses that Overlap with Class

“Power, Life and the Art of Government: Foucault’s Genealogy of Modern Politics”


Neil Brophy
Wednesday, April 30th 2014 ~ 3pm to 5pm

St. Augustine Center, DeLeon room 300
Reception to follow in The Philosophy Department Lounge



“Marx and the Metaphysics of Production”


Sarah Vitale
Friday, May 2nd 2014 ~ 3pm to 5pm

St. Augustine Center, DeLeon room 300
Reception to follow in The Philosophy Department Lounge

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May 1st March Route

Hey everyone! Gabriel posted the invitation for May Day already, I wanted to add this map to his post but couldn’t find a picture upload as a comment. Well, anyways, this is better visibility wise anyways. Here is the route May 1st march will take:

May 1st March Route

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CFP—Enlightened Anarchism

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