Master’s Program in Aesthetics and Politics

Events Archive

This archive lists past events in the MA in Aesthetics and Politics program. Mostly, it is an archive for past events in the Aesthetics and Politics lecture series. But some other events organized in addition to the lecture series are also archived here.

2015 / 2016 WHAP Lecture Series

"The Stakes of Parametricism: Architecture and Politics" A lecture by Matthew Poole and Manuel Schvartzberg 4/8/16.

"The Metaphysics of Sensation" A lecture by Ray Brassier 4/1/16.

"The Photographic Eye, the Cinematic Eye and Moral Aesthetics" A lecture by Claire Colebrook. 3/16/16.

"Fictions and Fabulations of Sentience" A lecture by Steven Shaviro, the DeRoy Professor of English at Wayne State University. 2/19/16.

Presentations by the 2014-2015 MA Aesthetics and Politics candidates, Sept. 25, 2015, at the West Hollywood Public Library Community Room.

2014-15 WHAP Lecture Series

Judith Butler's Lecture: "From Performativity to Precarity / Acts of Resistance" on Jan. 23, 2015, at the West Hollywood Public Library, Council Chambers.

Jacques Rancière's Lecture: "Time, Narration, Politics" on Jan. 20. 2015, at the Community Room of West Hollywood Public Library

Spring 2013 Aesthetics and Politics Lecture Series

Hosted by Martín Plot, the Spring 2013 Aesthetics and Politics Lecture Series focuses on three major themes: the aesthetics and politics of literature and film, the critique of political theologies, and a reading and discussion of the two twentieth-century authors (Hannah Arendt and Claude Lefort) that have most comprehensively developed an “aesthetic” notion of the political.

Political Fictions: Literature and the Political

A panel with Peter Gadol (Otis College of Art and Design) and Martin Plot (CalArts)

Wednesday, January 30th 8:00-9:30pm at the West Hollywood Library

Peter Gadol graduated from Harvard College in 1986. He is the author of six books: Coyote, published by Crown in 1990, The Mystery Roast (Crown, 1993), Closer to the Sun, published by Picador USA in 1996,The Long Rain (Picador USA, 1997), Light at Dusk (Picador USA, 2000), Silver Lake(Tyrus Books, 2009). He has taught at UCLA and CalArts and is now a Full Professor in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Currently Gadol is writing an epic novel about twentieth-century design titled American Modern.

Martín Plot teaches at the Aesthetics & Politics Program and the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts. He is the author ofIndivisible (2011), La Carne de lo Social (2008), and El Kitsch Político (2003). He has also edited and co-edited several books and published inContinental Philosophy Review, Constellations, Theory and Event, Umbrales, International Journal of Communication, Le monde diplomatique, Punto de vista, among other journals and reviews.

Dear Comrade

A documentary essay film (55 minutes). Written and directed by Mady Schutzman (CalArts)

Wednesday, February 27th 8:00-9:00pm, West Hollywood Library

Dear Comrade documents the story of Llano del Rio (1914-18), the most important non-religious communitarian experiment in western American history. Llano is offered as a site to explore the struggles, courage, frustrations, fantasies, and Sisyphean efforts of innumerable idealists who have assumed comparable struggles in spite of tremendous odds. The story is told through archival footage, surreal re-enactments, interviews with ex-colonists, local residents and historians, and the meanderings of a silent nomad through the ruins of the Llano colony in the Mojave Desert. Through the intersection of stories, a seemingly traditional documentary morphs into a montage of parallel universes, political commentary, clownery, and a palpable desire – failings and disappointments notwithstanding – to give idealism and cooperation another try.

Mady Schutzman (MA Anthropology; Ph.D. Performance Studies) is a writer, editor, and theatre artist. She is a renowned practitioner and scholar of the techniques of social activist and theatre director Augusto Boal, and co-edited two books that critically investigate his work (Routledge 1994 and 2006). She has published essays and performance texts in several journals (including The Drama Review, Women and Performance, Theatre Topics,and the American Communication Journal ) as well as in many critical anthologies. Her book The Real Thing: Performance, Hysteria, and Advertising (Wesleyan, 1999) is a feminist analysis of the iconography of the female body in popular advertising. Mady teaches at California Institute of the Arts, USC and Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her current research focuses on forms of political resistance that employ the ambiguous and paradoxical tactics of humor, clownery, and jokes.

Q/A with Mady Schutzman (CalArts) and Martín Plot (CalArts.)

La Huelga

A documentary written and directed by Ken Ehrlich (CalArts and UC Riverside)

Friday, March 15 th, 8:00-9:30pm the screening, West Hollywood Library.

La Huelga is an experimental documentary video that examines a student strike at the largest public University in Mexico (UNAM) in 1999–2000, by juxtaposing participant interviews with a lyrical portrait of the campus architecture.

Ken Ehrlich is an artist and writer whose work focuses on the material, social, and formal dimensions of the built environment. He has exhibited internationally in a variety of media, including video, sculpture, and photography. He is the editor of Art, Architecture, Pedagogy: Experiments in Learning (, 2010), and coeditor (with Brandon LaBelle) of Surface Tension: Problematics of Site (2003); Surface Tension: Supplement, No. 1 (2006); and What Remains Of A Building Divided Into Equal Parts And Distributed for Reconfiguration: Surface Tension, No. 2 (2009), published by Errant Bodies Press. He currently teaches in the School of Critical Studies at CalArts and in the Department of Art at the University of California, Riverside.

James Wiltgen earned his PhD from the University of California Los Angeles, where he wrote his dissertation on the development of television in Brazil. He has written on, among other things, Latin American film, sado-monetarism, Deleuze, and the inhuman. He teaches in the School of Critical Studies at the California Institute of the Arts, where he is working on a project linking post-structuralism to the Cold War, and beyond.

Q/A with Ken Ehrlich (CalArts and UC Riverside) and James Wiltgen (CalArts.)

Permanence of the Theologico-Political?

A panel with Jean Cohen (Columbia University) and Andrew Arato (New School for Social Research)

Introduction by Martín Plot and comments by Victoria Crespo (Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Facultad de Humanidades) and Enrique Peruzzotti (Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.) The event will be the LA book release of Enrique Peruzzotti and Martin Plot -eds- Critical Theory and Democracy: Civil Society, Dictatorship, and Constitutionalism in Andrew Arato's Democratic Theory.

Wednesday, March 20th 8:00-10:30pm at REDCAT.

Some of our significant political concepts are secularized theological ones. Not all of them. What is crucial is that non-theological concepts like territory and population can also be theologized, as in “sacred homeland” or “the People.” Such is the main effort of political theology, the preservation and imposition of concepts and figures of thought in political theory, inherited from monotheism, however transformed. This can only be countered by the further secularization and disenchantment of political concepts, the preservation or the re-establishment of their secular and rational character. Using the example of Carl Schmitt, this panel will address the fact that positive reliance on political theology not only can have a profoundly authoritarian meaning, but is helpful in disguising and misrepresenting that meaning. But taking this topos seriously does not commit a thinker to a political theological posture. As shown by Claude Lefort, political theology can be thematized in order to go beyond it. Conversely, without uttering the word, a political conception can be deeply theological with similar consequences as self-admitted versions. At a time when one can no longer openly argue for dictatorship as Schmitt still could in the 1920s, disguising the authoritarian disguise itself – namely political theology – can preserve its meaning and function. This point will be developed through a critique of populist politics in the version introduced by Ernesto Laclau (Arato) and the critique of political theocrats and defense of political secularism in dealing with the establishment clause (Cohen).

Jean Cohen is the Nell and Herbert Singer Professor of Contemporary Civilization and Political Theory in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University. She has published numerous books and articles, and her works are translated into many languages. Her most recent book,Globalization and Sovereignty: Rethinking Legality, Legitimacy and Constitutionalism was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012.

Andrew Arato is the Dorothy Hart Hirshon Professor in Political and Social Theory at the New School for Social Research and is the chief editor of Constellations. He served as a consultant for the Hungarian Parliament on constitutional issues between 1996-7 and as a U.S. State Department Democracy Lecturer and Consultant on constitutional issues related to Nepal in 2007. His research interests – politics of civil society, constitutional theory, comparative politics of constitution making, and religion, secularism, and constitutions – are grounded in his broader attention to the history of social and political thought as well as legal and constitutional theory. His most recent book, Constitution Making Under Occupation: The Politics of Imposed Revolution in Iraq, was published in 2009. He is currently working on a new theory of constitutional authority and is preparing a volume on the theory and history of dictatorships.

Hannah Arendt and the Space of Appearances

A panel with Geoffrey Derven (“Arendt's Erasure: Giorgio Agamben and the Disappearance of Political Thought,”) Manuel Shvartzberg (“The technocratization of the space of appearance: an Arendtian critique of contemporary architecture,”) and Ella Street (“Tragedy for Modern Times: The Concept of Process in Arendt’s Thought,”) with Martin Plot introducing and moderating.

Tuesday, April 30th 8:00-9:30pm at the West Hollywood Library

Geoffrey Derven is a writer, researcher, and recent graduate of the MA program in Aesthetics & Politics at California Institute of the Arts. In 2011, he completed his BA studying philosophy at Sarah Lawrence College. As an undergraduate, Geoffrey was co-founder of VANGUARD, an annual publication and colloquium series highlighting students’ interdisciplinary work in the humanities. His most recent projects include a series of essays on contemporary Islamic thought and Participatory Life, an ongoing collaboration with multimedia artist Kameron Christopher. Geoffrey's research interests include religion, political thought, comparative literature, and phenomenology.

Manuel Shvartzberg studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and is a registered architect in the UK. He has worked, among others, for OMA/Rem Koolhaas, and was project architect for David Chipperfield in London, leading the design team for the critically acclaimed Turner Contemporary gallery (2006-2011). In 2008 he founded the RIBA award-winning experimental practice Hunter & Gatherer, and he has lectured in diverse international institutions on questions of art, architecture, and critical theory. In 2012 he completed the MA in Aesthetics and Politics program at CalArts. He is a practicing architect, writer, and teacher currently serving as adjunct faculty at CalArts and Woodbury University.

Ella Street is a doctoral student in political theory at the University of Toronto. She received a B.A. in political theory and philosophy at Colorado College and an M.A. in Government at Georgetown University. She studies the history of political thought; her interests include ancient political philosophy, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French political thought, and continental thought.

Claude Lefort, Thinker of the Political

A panel with Bernard Flynn (New School for Social Research) and Claudia Hilb (Universidad de Buenos Aires)

The event will serve as the launching of Martin Plot (ed.) Claude Lefort. Thinker of the Political.

Wednesday, May 1st 8:00-10:30pm at REDCAT

French philosopher Claude Lefort died on October 3rd, 2010. His œuvre—a term dear to him—developed over a period of six decades and is now, more than ever, an institution: it faces a closure that is also an opening. It is impossible to overstate the way in which Lefort’s notions of “power as an empty place” and “the modern dissolution of the markers of certainty” have influenced political and social theorizing during the past three decades. From Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s early work on hegemonic struggle to Slavoj Zizek’s Lacanian ontology of the political, and from Jacques Rancière’s aesthetic understanding of politics to Andrew Arato and Jean Cohen’s studies of civil society and post-sovereign constitution making, Lefort’s thought has become both radical and liberal democracy’s obligatory reference and unparalleled knot of confluence. This panel will debate his phenomenological style and legacy in contemporary thought as both a political theorist and a literary critique.

Bernard Flynn is an adjunct faculty at the Graduate and the Undergraduate New School For Research. He has published on contemporary thought, notably Political Philosophy at the Closure of Metaphysics (London: Humanities Press, 1992), The Philosophy of Claude Lefort (Evanston: Northwestern, 2006) and co-edited Merleau-Ponty and the Possibilities of Philosophy (Albany: SUNY Press, 2009) Also he has published many articles on contemporary continental philosophy and on the history of philosophy. Currently he is writing a book entitled The Adventures of the Event.

Claudia Hilb is a Professor in Political Theory at the University of Buenos Aires, and a researcher at the National Council of Scientific and Technological Research (Conicet) in Argentina. She has obtained her B.A., Master and DEA in Sociology and political studies at the Universities of Paris VIII and Paris III, where she attended during several years Claude Lefort´s seminar at the EHESS, and her PhD in Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires. Her research is centered on modern political theory, and on theoretical-political problems concerning recent argentinian political history. She has recently published the books Leo Strauss. El arte de leer (2005), Gloria, miedo y vanidad: el rostro plural del hombre hobbesiano (en colab., 2007), El político y el científico. Ensayos en homenaje a Juan Carlos Portantiero (comp., 2009), Silencio, Cuba. La izquierda democrática frente al régimen de la Revolución Cubana (2010), and edited a reader on Leo Strauss, Leo Strauss. El filósofo en la ciudad (2011).

Fall 2012-Spring 2013 The Commons

Curated by MA alumns Linette Park and Manuel Shvartzberg, "The Commons" marks a (friendly) student take-over of Theory Tuesdays. The series was moved to Thursday, to coincide with CalArts Commons time.

Michelle Dizon

Thursday, September 27th, Tatum

Gala Porras-Kim

Thursday, October 18th, 4pm, Tatum

Gala Porras-Kim was born in Bogotá, Colombia and lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her BA from UCLA (2007), her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (2009), and she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2010). Her work has been included in exhibitions at Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles, CA; La Central, Bogotá, Colombia; FOXRIVER, Singapore, Singapore; Dobaebacsa HQ, Seoul, Korea, and most recently at 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica, CA. Her most recent project includes notes that led to the production of the LP Whistling and Language Transfiguration, which uses the tonal qualities of the Zapotec language to translate stories of the Tlacolula Valley in Oaxaca into its whistled form. The artist will discuss objects resulting from her research into the Zapotec culture and politics, its tonal language, and the variations of dialects contained within the region, as well as whistling used as the hidden transcript and a strategy of dissent. Thursday, October 18th, 4pm at Tatum Lounge.

Amanda Beech

Thursday, November 15th, Tatum

The title of Amanda’s presentation will be Statecraft. Amanda Beech’s work in video, sculpture, drawing and writing investigates the condition of contingency and its manifestation in scientific, political, literary and philosophical paradigms that include: noir-ish narratives of TV shows like 24, CSI and real political events. Her work includes the solo shows Sanity Assassin, Spike Island, Bristol with the publication of the same name (Urbanomic, 2010); The Church, The Bank, The Art Gallery, Banner Repeater, London, 2012; and she has upcoming solo projects at Lanchester Gallery Projects, Coventry, UK and HaGamle Prestagard, Stavanger, Norway. Group shows include: The Real Thing, Tate Britain, (2010); Greetings Comrades the Image Has Now Changed its Status, Occular Lab, Melbourne (2009), and Commonwealth , MGK127, Toronto, (2009).

Graham Cairns

Thursday, February 7th, Tatum

A&P visiting scholar Graham Cairns about architecture, media and politics.

Ken Ehrlich

Thursday, March 21st, Butler Building (#BB4)

"Antagonism of the Commons"

Kate Marshall

Thursday, May 2nd, Tatum

The Commons lecture series welcomes: Kate Marshall on Thursday, May 2nd, 4 pm, at Tatum lounge (CalArts). The title of Kate’s talk will be “Novels by Aliens.” In Kate Marshall’s first book, Corridor: Media Architectures in American Fiction (forthcoming U of Minnesota P, 2013), she shows how the banal circulation technologies underlying modern life--such as corridors, plumbing systems, duct work, and highways–become dynamic media forms in the modern American novel. Marshall’s research project “Novels by Aliens” examines how contemporary experiments in nonhuman narration and theoretical debates in the category of the nonhuman have an important and overlooked history in the old, weird American fiction of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Spring 2012 Theory Tuesdays

Warren Neidich

April 24th, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube)

François Noudelmann

April 17th, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube)

Stathis Gourgouris

April 10th, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube)

Birk Weiberg

March 13th, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube)

Jaspar Joseph-Lester

February 28th, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube)

Kate Elswit

January 24th, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube)

Fall 2011 Aesthetics and Politics Lecture Series

Hosted by Douglas Kearney, the Fall 2011 lecture series will focus on the thorny concepts of “post-blackness” and “post-race” that (during Obama's presidency in particular) have come to circulate not just in the artworld but also in public discourse at large. But what do these concepts mean? What is the appetite to be “after blackness” all about, and who is actually hungry for it? Beyond that area of focus, the speakers will address notions of post-gender, post-humanity, and even the posthumous.

All lectures are open to the public. For further information, please contact the lecture series organizer.

Ernest Hardy, "Post Post-Blackness/Queerness in the Visionary 90s"

Tuesday, October 4th at CalArts (LANGLEY), 7:30-9pm.

Ernest Hardy writes about film and music from his home base of Los Angeles. His criticism has appeared in the LA Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, Vibe, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, the Source, Millennium Film Journal, Flaunt, Request, Minneapolis City Pages, and the reference books 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Classic Material: The Hip-Hop Album Guide, among others. He’s written liner notes for Chuck D Presents: Louder Than a Bomb, the box-set Say It Loud: A Celebration of Black Music in America, Curtis Mayfield: Gospel; the box-set Superstars of Seventies Soul; and the Luther Vandross box-set, Love, Luther; he is the winner of the 2006 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for excellence, honoring his liner notes for the Chet Baker CD, Career 1952-1988. A Sundance Fellow and a member of LAFCA (Los Angeles Film Critics Association), he’s sat as a juror for the Sundance Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival and Los Angeles Outfest. He’s also co-programmed the FUSION Film Festival in Los Angeles. Blood Beats: Vol. 1, Hardy’s first collection of film and music criticism, won a 2007 PEN/Beyond Margins Award. Blood Beats: Vol. 2, published February 2008, is his second volume of film and music criticism.

Darby English, “Emmett Till in the Present Tense”

Thursday, November 3rd at REDCAT, 8:30-10pm.

Darby English is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, where he has taught modern and contemporary art and cultural studies since 2003. He is also affiliated faculty in the Department of Visual Arts; the Center for Gender Studies; and, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. English is the author of How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness (MIT Press, 2007) and co‐ editor of Kara Walker: Narratives of a Negress (MIT Press, 2003; republished Rizzoli, 2007). He has received grants and awards from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Creative Capital Foundation, the College Art Association, the Getty Research Institute, the National Humanities Center, and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. In 2010 he was a recipient of the University of Chicago’s Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the nation’s oldest award of this kind. In 2010‐ 2011, English was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study. He just submitted to press a book manuscript, titled The Public Life of Color: Social Experiments with Modernism, which tracks some of late modernist art’s uncharted affinities with radical politics.

Kyla Wazana Tompkins, "Eating The Other and the Other, Eating: Race, Commodity Citizenship and Chromolithographic Trade Cards in the Nineteenth Century"

Tuesday, November 15th at CalArts (LANGLEY), 7:30-9pm.

Kyla Wazana Tompkins is Associate Professor of English and Gender Studies at Pomona College. A former journalist and food critic, her first book, entitled Racial Indigestion: Eating bodies in the Nineteenth Century, is due out this spring from NYU Press.

Sianne Ngai, "The Zany Science: Gender and Post-Fordist Performance"

Tuesday, December 6th at CalArts (LANGLEY), 7:30-9pm.

Sianne Ngai is Professor of English at Stanford University and the author of Ugly Feelings (Harvard University Press, 2005). Her second book,Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, and Interesting, is also forthcoming from Harvard in 2012. A new essay on Juliana Spahr’s The Transformation will be appearing in the essay collection American Literature’s Aesthetic Dimensions, forthcoming this year from Columbia University Press. Titles of other essays published include “The Cuteness of the Avant-Garde” (in Critical Inquiry), “Black Venus, Blonde Venus” (in the Duke anthology, Bad Modernisms); and “‘A Foul Lump Started Making Promises in My Voice’: Race, Affect, and the Animated Subject” (in American Literature). Ngai is a member of the advisory boards of Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory; Postmodern Culture; and Studies in American Fiction. Her next project will be on the forms of late twentieth-century and contemporary female homosociality.

Fall 2011 Theory Tuesdays

Andrea Fontenot

November 15th, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube)

Frédéric Worms

November 1st, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube)

Christian Hite

September 20th, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube)

We apologize for the quality of the recording...

Spring 2011 Aesthetics and Politics Lecture Series

For more information about the lecture series course, please consult the course website created by Chandra Khan.

ALI BEHDAD, “The Orientalist Photograph”

February 8th, Tuesday, 7:30 pm, Langley at CALARTS

Ali Behdad is John Charles Hillis Professor of Literature and Chair of English Department at UCLA. He has published widely on a broad range of topics, including travel, immigration, and Orientalist photography. He is the author of Belated Travelers: Orientalism in the Age of Colonial Dissolution (Duke 1995) and A Forgetful Nation: On Immigration and Cultural Identity in the United States(Duke, 2005). He is currently completing a manuscript on Orientalist Photography in the 19th century.

For the rest of the lecture, click here.

GAYATRI CHAKRAVORTY SPIVAK, “Double Bind of Translation”

March 17th, Thursday, 6 pm, Ahmanson Auditorium at MOCA Grand Avenue

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak is Avalon Foundation Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University, where she used to direct the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. She specializes in 19th- and 20th-century literature; Marxism; feminism; deconstruction; poststructuralism; and globalization. Her many books include Myself Must I Remake: The Life and Poetry of W. B. Yeats (1974), Of Grammatology (translation with critical introduction of Jacques Derrida, De la grammatologie, 1976), In Other Worlds: Essays in Cultural Politics, Selected Subaltern Studies (ed., 1988), Other Asias (2005), and An Aesthetic Education in the Age of Globalization (forthcoming). She is also an activist in rural education and feminist and ecological social movements since 1986.

ANANYA CHATTERJEA, “In Search of Choreographies of Resistance”

April 19th, Tuesday, 7:00 pm, Langley at CALARTS

Ananya Chatterjea is Associate Professor and Director of Dance at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She envisions her work in the field of dance as a “call to action” with a focus on the bodily production of knowledge. Her most recently completed choreographic project is Kshoy! Decay!, which launches a quartet of works exploring how women in global communities of color experience and resist violence. She is the author of Butting out! Reading cultural politics in the work of Chandralekha and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and other essays published in the anthology Worlding Dance, and Celebrating India: Dance and Performance.

This event will be preceded by an afternoon performance/presentation co-sponsored by the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance.

Fall 2010 Aesthetics and Politics Lecture Series

The Fall 2010 lecture series were hosted by Arne De Boever.

TIMOTHY MORTON, “Hyperobjects”

October 7th, Thursday. 7:30pm, CAFÉ A at CALARTS.

Timothy Morton is Professor of Literature and the Environment at the University of California, Davis. His interests include ecotheory, philosophy, biology, physical sciences, literary theory, food studies, sound and music, materialism, poetics, Romanticism, Buddhism, and the eighteenth century. He has published nine books, the most recent of which are Ecology Without Nature and The Ecological Thought.

For the rest of the talk, please click here.

CATHERINE MALABOU, “Plasticity: Looking For New Political Modes of Being”

November 9th, Tuesday. 7:30pm, Ahmanson Auditorium at MOCA Grand Avenue.

For directions, please consult

Catherine Malabou teaches philosophy at the University of Paris X-Nanterre and is Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at the State University of New York, Buffalo. Her work articulates the notion of plasticity at the crossroads of philosophy and neuroscience. Her publications in English include The Future of Hegel, Counterpath (with Jacques Derrida), What Should We Do With Our Brain?, and Plasticity at the Dusk of Writing.

For the rest of the talk, please click here.

BONNIE HONIG, “Antigone, Interrupted: Greek Tragedy and the Future of Humanism”

December 2nd, Thursday. 7:30pm, CAFÉ A at CALARTS.

Bonnie Honig is Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University. She is also Senior Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation and appointed (courtesy) at Northwestern Law School. She is the author of Political Theory and the Displacement of Politics, Democracy and the Foreigner, and Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy. Her current project is about Sophocles’ Antigone.

For a video of the first part of the lecture, click below. The rest of the lecture is available through the CalArts library.

Spring 2011 Guest lecture

Bernard Stiegler

April 12th, 6-9pm, Langley.

Spring 2011 Theory Tuesdays

Douglas Kearney

April 28th, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (BB4).

We cannot post a video of Doug's talk due to the copyrighted audio-material that was used in the presentation. The video is archived in the CalArts library and can be consulted there. More info about Doug's many projects can be found on his website.

Norman Klein

March 22nd, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube).

Nancy Wood

February 22nd, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube).

Matthew McGarvey

January 25th, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube).

Fall 2010 Theory Tuesdays

Arne De Boever

November 16th. 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube).

Chandra Khan

October 12th. 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube).

Bruce Bégout

October 5th. 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube).

Martín Plot

September 14th, 12n-1:30pm, Butler Building (Cube).

Spring 2010 Aesthetics and Politics Lecture Series

Greg Tate

May 4, 2010. At 8:30pm at REDCAT

The longtime Village Voice cultural critic, pioneer of hip-hop journalism, and adventurous music director gives an illuminating talk that locates a crisis today in black creative self-conception and representation—an exigency now being countered by new black theater, Afropunk and young black visual artists. Tracing a history of the recent past, Tate’s incisive analysis connects the depoliticization and disenchantment of black performative expression to the hypercapitalist mass-marketing of black cultural output that boomed in the 90s.

Manuel Castells

April 13, 2010. At 7:30pm at CalArts (Langley)

Manuel Castells is University Professor and the Wallis Annenberg Chair in Communication Technology and Society at the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles. He is Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and holds joint appointments in the Department of Sociology, in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, and in the School of International Relations. He is, as well, Research Professor at the Open University of Catalonia in Barcelona, and Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, where he was Professor of City and Regional Planning and Professor of Sociology from 1979 to 2003 before joining USC. He is the author of 22 academic books and editor or co-author of 21 additional books, as well as over 100 articles in academic journals. His trilogy The Information Age: Economy, Society, and Culture was published by Blackwell in 1996-98 in the first edition and in 2000-2003 in its second edition. It has been reprinted in English 18 times, and translated into Spanish (Spain and Mexico), French, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Chinese (in complex characters in Taipei, in simplified characters in Beijing), Russian, Swedish, German, Italian, Korean, Parsi, Croatian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Danish, Lithuanian, Turkish, Polish, and Catalan, and is in the process of translation in Japanese, Ukranian, and Arabic.

Fred Moten

March 9, 2010. At 7:30pm at CalArts (Langley)

Moten’s lecture “Jurisgenerative Grammar: /ForAlto_, / For Black Studies” examines Anthony Braxton and the figure of the black student. It serves as an appendix to “The External World (When a Stranger Appears),” a recent paper regarding Hannah Arendt’s later work. Moten works at the intersection of black studies, performance studies, poetry and critical theory. He is author of Arkansas, In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, I ran from it but was still in it., Hughson’s Tavern, and B Jenkins.

Brent Hayes Edwards

February 16, 2010. At 7:30pm at CalArts (Langley)

Brent Hayes Edwards is a Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. His areas of expertise include African American literature, theories of diaspora, the history of colonialism, surrealism, 20th-century poetics, and jazz. He is the author of the award-winning The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism. He is currently working on a cultural history of “loft jazz” in downtown New York in the 1970s.

Fall 2009 Aesthetics and Politics Lecture Series

Marc Cooper

December 15, 2009. At 8:30pm at REDCAT

Prolific journalist and cultural critic Marc Cooper, a contributing editor to The Nation and formerly the writer of the LA Weekly’s popular “Dissonance” column, is joined by Norman M. Klein and Martín Plot for a provocative discussion about shifting cultural patterns in a time of crises global and local.

Michael Bielicky

November 17, 2009. At 6:30pm at CalArts (Langley)

Over the past twenty-five years, Michael Bielicky has participated in many international exhibitions, festivals and symposia, presenting projects that experiment with navigation, video-communication, virtual reality and data visualization technologies, often developed in collaboration with ZKM Karlsruhe, Ars Electronica Linz, High Tech Center Berlin-Babelsberg etc. Exhibited in Centre Pompidou, Paris, MOMA New York, National Gallery Prague, Kunsthaus Zurich, ZKM Karlsruhe, Ars Electronica Linz etc.

Karen Piper

October 20, 2009. At 6pm at CalArts (Langley)

Karen Piper's research focuses on globalization, colonial/neo-colonial discourse, and the rhetoric of "development." With a Master's degree in Environmental Studies and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (University of Oregon, 1996), she has always pursued interdisciplinary projects focusing on resource scarcity and distribution. Her first book, Cartographic Fictions: Maps, Race, and Identity (Palgrave Macmillan 2006), looks at the evolution of mapping technology in the British colonies--from triangulation to GIS--as a way to gain distance and control over local populations. Her second book, Left in the Dust: How Race and Politics Created a Human and Environmental Tragedy in L.A., examines the environmental justice issues surrounding water pollution and scarcity in Los Angeles. Currently, she is a visiting research professor at Carnegie Mellon, where she is working on a book about World Bank rhetoric regarding water privatization, including in India, South Africa, Bolivia, and Iraq, as well as the mass protests movements emerging around the world against the privatization, or corporate control, of water. She has also published in journals and books including Cultural Critique, the American Indian Quarterly, MELUS, and Postcolonial Literatures: Expanding the Canon. She received the Sierra Nature Writing Award, a National Endowment of the Humanities grant, and a Huntington fellowship.

Spring 2009 Aesthetics and Politics Lecture Series

Samuel Weber

May 14, 2009. At 8:30pm at REDCAT

Introduced and moderated by Sande Cohen and James Wiltgen. Professor Weber studied with Paul de Man and Theodor W. Adorno, whose book, Prisms, he co-translated into English. The translation of, and introduction to Theodor Adorno's most important book of cultural criticism helped define the way in which the work of the Frankfurt School would be read and understood in the English-speaking world. Professor Weber has also published books on Balzac, Lacan, and Freud as well as on the relation of institutions and media to interpretation. In the 1980s he worked in Germany as a “dramaturge” in theater and opera productions. Out of the confrontation of that experience with his work in critical theory came the book, Theatricality as Medium, published in 2004 by Fordham University Press. In 2005 he published Targets of Opportunity: On the Militarization of Thinking, also at Fordham. His most recent book is Benjamin's -abilities, published by Harvard UP. That book, as well as several others, are currently being translated into Chinese and will be published by Beijing University Press. His current research projects include “Toward a Politics of Singularity” and “The Uncanny.”

Adam Berg

March 31, 2009. At 8pm at REDCAT (lounge)

A conversation with CalArts’ faculty, philosopher, and visual artist Adam Berg. Introduced and moderated by Douglas Kearney and Martín Plot. Followed by a reception in honor of Adam Berg’s book release.

Hans Haacke

February 10, 2009. At 8:30pm at REDCAT

German born visual and political artist Hans Haacke in conversation with CalArts’ faculty, historian and writer Norman Klein and Lacma curator Stephanie Barron.

Alain Badiou

February 6, 2009. At CalArts at 6pm (Main Bldg – F200).

Alain Badiou was a student at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in the 1950s. He taught at the University of Paris VIII (Vincennes-Saint Denis) from 1969 until 1999, when he returned to ENS as the Chair of the philosophy department. He continues to teach a popular seminar at the Collège International de Philosophie, on topics ranging from the great 'antiphilosophers' (Saint-Paul, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Lacan) to the major conceptual innovations of the twentieth century. Much of Badiou's life has been shaped by his dedication to the consequences of the May 1968 revolt in Paris. A leading member of Union des jeunesses communistes de France (marxistes-léninistes), he remains with Sylvain Lazarus and Natacha Michel at the center of L'Organisation Politique, a post-party organization concerned with direct popular intervention in a wide range of issues (including immigration, labor, and housing). He is the author of several successful novels and plays as well as more than a dozen philosophical works.

Fall 2008 Aesthetics and Politics Lecture Series

Ashley Hunt

December 9, 2008. At 7pm, at REDCAT

Please join us for a discussion and tour of the exhibition 9 Scripts from a Nation at War with Ashley Hunt, Martin Plot and current students in the CalArts MA in Aesthetics and Politics program.

Jeffrey Goldfarb

November 11, 2008. At 7pm, at REDCAT

Noted media, cultural, and political sociologist Jeffrey Goldfarb visits REDCAT for a post-election conversation with CalArts’ Martín Plot. The Michael E. Gellert Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research, Goldfarb weighs in on the transition between the Bush administration and the newly elected president, and the cultural and political meanings it may hold.

Ernesto Laclau

October 16, 2008. At 8:30pm at REDCAT

Argentine political theorist Ernesto Laclau, one of the most influential thinkers of our time, is on hand to expound on his latest works and their relationships with contemporary political processes in a conversation with fellow political theorist Martín Plot.

Spring 2006 Event

Christopher Hitchens and Andrew Arato

April 4, 2006. At 8:30pm at REDCAT

What did the invasion of Iraq do to Iraq? What did the invasion of Iraq do to America? Cultural critic and Vanity Fair columnist Christopher Hitchens debates political theorist Andrew Arato of the New School for Social Research on the war in Iraq and its impact on the present and future of America. Introduced by Martín Plot of the CalArts School of Critical Studies and moderated by Stacy McGoldrick of Cal Poly Pomona.

Last edited by sblake on May 04, 2016
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