The Program in Critical Theory Announces Politics Beyond the Human, a Spring 2014 Workshop on Theory and Contemporary Politics

In the series following-up from last Fall’s Forms of Survival and the Politics of Vulnerability, Politics Beyond the Human continues to address notions of survival and how survival can act as a license to force and at other times a basis for resistance. Politics Beyond the Human expands the scope of inquiry to include discussions of the nonhuman world. Heightened attention to the nonhuman may be necessary for understanding how, not only resources, but exposure to risk are unevenly distributed and managed under late capitalism. Sessions are oriented around four sites of exploration: ecology, infrastructure, animal capital, and forms of embodiment.

Politics Beyond the Human is intended to be a hybrid between a reading group, a safe space for research in progress, and a philosophically inclined support group for those trying to understand capitalism now. Although the workshop is a gathering place for people with different disciplinary and intellectual commitments, those who have a particular interest in critical theory might think of it as an attempt to forge a connection between an established, more familiar tradition of critique and an emerging body of contemporary social research.

Politics Beyond the Human is free and open to the public. Workshop sessions feature discussion of readings and presentations by guest speakers and UC Berkeley faculty and graduate students. Readings are available one week prior to each meeting. Politics Beyond the Human is developed and led by Michelle Ty (Ph.D. candidate, English, Designated Emphasis Critical Theory) and presented by the Program in Critical Theory.

Seating is limited. Please contact critical_theory@berkeley.edu to register by Friday, February 14.

Politics Beyond the Human
Schedule

Political Ecologies
Tuesday, February 18, 5-7 pm
330 Wheeler Hall, UC Berkeley

Toxicity, Animacy, and the Problem of Matter
Samia Rahimtoola, Graduate Student, Department of English, UC Berkeley
Thursday, March 6, 5-7 pm
340 Moffitt Library, UC Berkeley

Transit, Injury, and Infrastructure
Amanda Armstrong, Graduate Student, Department of Rhetoric, UC Berkeley
Paul Nadal, Graduate Student, Department of Rhetoric, UC Berkeley
Thursday, March 13, 5-7 pm
340 Moffitt Library, UC Berkeley

How to Think the Knowing Subject Anew? The Concept of the Distributed Centered Subject: Its Philosophical and Practical Implications
Hélène Mialet, Visiting Scholar, The Program in Critical Theory, UC Berkeley
Wednesday, April 2, 5-7 pm
340 Moffitt Library, UC Berkeley

How We Forgot the Sea
Ashley Dawson, Professor of English, CUNY
Thursday, April 10, 5-7 pm
340 Moffitt Library, UC Berkeley

Climate Change and the Cumulus of History: Spare Thoughts on Accumulation and Redundancy 
Anne-Lise François, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley
Wednesday, April 23, 5:30-7:30 pm
Location TBD, UC Berkeley