A series of lectures I have organised at Goldsmiths College. Click title for details.
Lecture given on Thursday 11 January 2018, 5.00-7.00pm, in The Stuart Hall Building, LG02, Goldsmiths College, University of London. Hope always exceeds what we know. In this paper, I argue that hope is a subjective attitude towards the present before being an attitude towards the future and that it relies on a blessing (a good word) that allows us to persevere, especially when there is no more reason to hope. This paper brings together readings of the Bible, the work of Emmanuel Levinas and the Marxist thinker Ernest Bloch. Catherine Chalier is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris. She is the author of over thirty books written at the intersection of Hebrew Studies and philosophy. Her latest books in English are What Ought I to Do? (2011) and Reading the Torah (2017). This paper was presented as part of the Department of Visual Cultures' Public Programme for Spring 2018: A Fearless Look at the Unspeakable Series convenors Jean-Paul Martinon & Jorella Andrews A Fearless Look at the Unspeakable: During this five-week programme of talks, we will dare to address what is often considered either obsolete and therefore unworthy of philosophical and art-theoretical debate or, more radically, as anathema and therefore vigorously to be opposed: 'faith', not in the sense of a belief in the doctrines of a religion, but as an effort to persevere in the face of what cannot readily be verbalised. The aim for this series of talks is not to resuscitate and/or revisit old theological turns in western thought or return to a transcendental narrative against the prevailing materialist and immanentist status quo of today, but to hazard a look at how we interact with what stubbornly presents itself as already beyond words and is therefore consistently dismissed as unreal, fictitious, hypothetical, irrational, dangerous, or false. The argument for this series is that contemporary forms of incredulity with respect to faith are historically, culturally, and ideologically embedded within modern logocentric paradigms. We argue instead for the urgency of entering a broader field of awareness and endeavour in which 'faith' is understood as part of a number of perceptual, corporeal, and ritualistic ways of engaging with what knows no proper rationalization.
What subjective space remains in art and theory today, for a thought of the ‘non-Western’ world? Exploring two different working definitions of secularism in the writings of Jean-Luc Nancy and Talal Asad, I trace where a Muslim subjectivity might emerge at the intersection of philosophical and artistic practices. These two thinkers allow me to engage three philosophical traditions simultaneously: European, Islamic and American or analytic philosophy. Deriving an ethical framework from Louis Massignon’s engagement with Islam and the legacy of the 10th century mystic and revolutionary Mansur al-Hallaj, I argue that ‘difference’ cannot be preserved as such, but can only be maintained in the act of desiring the other, even at the risk of reducing, exoticising or violating their otherness. Overall, this paper provides an argument against the staging or fetishisation of difference and hybridity in intercultural artistic and curatorial practices – and attempts to think the possibilities of an altogether more confrontational, situated universalism. Adnan Madani is a Pakistani artist and writer. He is most strongly associated with the critical practices that emerged at the beginning of Pakistan’s social and media liberalization in the 2000s, and he has consistently explored emerging paradigms of globalized art. His recent research examines the place of religious belief and practice in the formation of contemporary culture.
Professor Grant Farred's presentation explores the 1976 Soweto student uprising. It argues, on this 40th anniversary, that Soweto 1976 is, in Alain Badiou's terms, an entirely dislocated event. That is, contrary to contemporary South African logic, the event of 1994 (the historic democratic elections) is not the culmination but the betrayal of Soweto. Grant Farred is Professor of Africana Studies and English at Cornell University. His most recent work includes Martin Heidegger Saved My Life (Minnesota, 2015), In Motion, At Rest: The Event of the Athletic Body (Minnesota, 2014), What’s My Name? Black Vernacular Intellectuals (Minnesota, 2004), Phantom Calls: Race and the Globalization of the NBA (Prickly Paradigm, 2006) and Long Distance Love: A Passion for Football (Temple, 2008). He served as General Editor of the Duke University-based journal, The South Atlantic Quarterly, from 2002 to 2010. His is currently at work on projects that include Conciliation (Temple), and The Condemned: Lio Messi, Luis Suarez and the 2014 World Cup (Indiana) and Negro: An Essay on James Baldwin.
The Rwandan Philosopher Isaïe Nzeyimana interviewed by Jean-Paul Martinon on the 27 January 2012 at his home in Butare, Rwanda. Isaïe Nzeyimana is a Rwandan philosopher. He is the founder of the Université Source du Nile (Butare) and a lecturer at the National University of Rwanda and at the Grand Séminaire Philosophicum in Kabgayi. He is also the founder and director of the Association Rwandaise pour la Philosophie. His main philosophical contributions are in the field of education and political theory. His books are used as textbooks by Rwandan students in the humanities and social sciences. He is currently working on a major new thesis that will take the shape of a political and philosophical dialogue. He runs a philosophical café every first Thursday of the month in Kigali. Selected Works include: Isaïe Nzeyimana, Finalités de l’éducation: Essai d’une philosophie anthropologique de l’éducation au Rwanda (Butare: Editions de l’Université Nationale du Rwanda, 2000). —. ed., Rwanda, idéologie et développement: idées piliers d'une idéologie nationale de développement: actes du Colloque de Butare, 13-15 juin 2002 (Butare: Editions de l'Université nationale du Rwanda, 2003). —. Philosophie et Rationalités: Philosophie de la Connaissance et des Sciences, de l’Homme et de la Société (Butare: Editions du Dômes, 2010). —. & Josias Semujanga, Faustin Rutembesa, Évariste Ntakirutimana, eds., Le Manifeste des Bahutu et la diffusion de l'ideologie de la haine au Rwanda, 1957-2007 (Butare: Éditions de l'Université Nationale du Rwanda, 2010).