13 February 2017

Start of the CMT Seminar for the second half session 2017

This term's seminar will start on Tuesday, 14 February. We will discuss Donna Haraway's Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (Duke, 2016) and Joan Copjec's Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists (Verso, 2015).

We would like to invite all interested university staff and post-graduate students to the Centre for Modern Thought Seminar for the second half session 2017.

After a preliminary meeting on Thursday 9 February, those present agreed on two texts which we would study this half session: Donna Haraway’s Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (Duke, 2016) and Joan Copjec’s recently reprinted Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists (Verso, 2015). These are very different texts and may appeal to different group members.

The meetings are open to all university staff and post-graduate students.

The CMT is intended to be an interdisiciplinary space where we can read new texts together as part of a reflective community of scholars. It is by no means the only place in the university focusing on modern thought, but it should be a place where we can come together to share perspectives.

For the most part, meetings will be weekly and in Taylor A8. While a different member of the group will introduce the session each week, the intention is that time is spent sharing thoughts and ideas on the texts from our various disciplinary perspectives.

If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact Eddie Campbell.


Dates of meetings

Tuesday 14 February, 1.00-2.30pm, Haraway, chapter 1

Thursday 2 March, 1.30-3.00pm. Haraway, chapter 2

Tuesday 7 March, 1.00-2.30pm, Copjec, chapter 1

Tuesday 14 March, 1.00-2.30pm, Haraway, chapter 3

Tuesday 21 March, 1.00-2.30pm, Copjec, chapter 2

Thursday 30 March, 1.30-3.00pm, Haraway, chapter 4


The Readings

1. Author: Donna Haraway

Title: Staying with the Trouble. 


Published: 2016

Description: In the midst of spiraling ecological devastation, multispecies feminist theorist Donna J. Harawayoffers provocative new ways to reconfigure our relations to the earth and all its inhabitants. She eschews referring to our current epoch as the Anthropocene, preferring to conceptualize it as what she calls the Chthulucene, as it more aptly and fully describes our epoch as one in which the human and nonhuman are inextricably linked in tentacular practices. The Chthulucene, Harawayexplains, requires sym-poiesis, or making-with, rather than auto-poiesis, or self-making. Learning to stay with the trouble of living and dying together on a damaged earth will prove more conducive to the kind of thinking that would provide the means to building more livable futures. Theoretically and methodologically driven by the signifier SF—string figures, science fact, science fiction, speculative feminism, speculative fabulation, so far—Staying with the Trouble further cementsHaraway's reputation as one of the most daring and original thinkers of our time.

About The Author: Donna J. Haraway is Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the author of several books, most recently, Manifestly Haraway.


2. Author: Joan Copjec

Title: Read My Desire: Lacan Against the Historicists

Verso Books; Reprint edition, (Radical Thinkers) Paperback (9 Jun. 2015)

In Read My Desire, Joan Copjec stages a confrontation between the theories of Jacques Lacan and Michel Foucault, protagonists of two powerful modern discourses psychoanalysis and historicism. Ordinarily, these discourses only cross paths long enough for historicists to charge psychoanalysis with an indifference to history, but here psychoanalysis, via Lacan, goes on the offensive. Refusing to cede historicity to the historicists, Copjec makes a case for the superiority of Lacans explanation of historical process, its generative principles, and its complex functionings. Her goal is to inspire a new kind of cultural critique, one that would be literate in desire, that would be able to read what is inarticulable in cultural statements.


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