unwaged labors of love

Service economy, helping professions, care work, affective labor.  For at least two hundred years, feminist and marxist theories of social reproduction have underscored the unwaged, unvalorized, unappreciated exertions that make the quotidian happen, that uphold the infrastructures of the present for the future, that give life. Now the contemporary finds that labor not only unofficial, but delegitimized, not only under-compensated but over-burdened to the point of disaster.  Whence arises the image of the lazy greedy feminine public employee, welfare queen, unfireable teacher?  How long can dystopia hold?

This International Women’s Day, InterCcECT invites you to commune with us over feminist words.  We’ll read Tithi Battacharya’s Social Reproduction Theory primer, and selections from Sara Ahmed’s Living a Feminist Life, and discuss Thursday April 19th, 5pm-7pm, at Ambassador Public House (back room), 310 S Halsted (Blue Line: UIC Halsted).  Contact us for PDFs.

As always,  send us proposals for events, field trips, works-in-progress, techniques of survival.

On our calendar:

10 March The Withering of the State, with Corey Robin keynote

16 April Eduardo Cadava, Learning to See

18 April Maria Acosta and Fanny Soderback, Underrepresented Groups in Philosophy 

photo: Amy De’Ath


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racial capitalism, year 2018

In an era of racist violence and economic refeudalization and their entwinement, what lessons can be drawn anew from  reconstruction, the black radical tradition, and the early twentieth-century political novel?

Join InterCcECT for a reading group on Cedric Robinson’s Black Marxism, Monday 15 January, 2018, 4pm-6pm at O’Shaughnessy’s Public House (Brown Line: Montrose).   We’ll focus on Part 3: “Black Radicalism and Marxist Theory.” Contact us for PDFs.  Special guest Andrew Leong will facilitate discussion.


Please note:  online conversations about Parts 1 and 2 of Black Marxism will be held on Wednesday, January 10, 5-7pm (CT), and Friday, January 12, 5-7pm (CT). For participants outside the Chicago area, an online conversation on Part 3 will be held on Monday, January 15, 5-7pm (CT). Please contact Andrew Leong at andrew.leong@northwestern.edu by January 8 if you would like to participate in any of these conversations, or require PDFs of the reading. Participants may also find it fruitful to read the online articles in the African American Intellectual History Society’s roundtable on Black Marxism (http://www.aaihs.org/announcement-aaihs-online-roundtable-on-cedric-robinsons-black-marxism/).

The January 12 and 15 online conversations will be facilitated by Lisa Hofmann-Kuroda (http://ealc.berkeley.edu/people/hofmann-kuroda-lisa)

The January 10 conversation will be facilitated by Andrew Leong.



As always, like us on Facebook for frequent links, and get in touch to propose events.

What’s on your new year theory calendar?

A bit of ours:

12 January The Mana of Mass Society

16 January Chicago Works


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field trip: The Hysterical Material

What unites the contemporary American multimedia artist Bruce Nauman with the nineteenth-century sculptor Auguste Rodin?  Literary and aesthetic theorists Mieke Bal, Anita Chari, Ankhi Mukherjee, and Geof Oppenheimer argue in their work “The Hysterical Material” that these artists share a fascination with the body as an agent of speech, expression, and representation distinct from rational communication and intellection.  How does the body talk?  How does language speak us?  How does discourse take the body as raw material?  “The Hysterical Material” conjoins these questions posed by art to similar concerns in the phenomenon of hysteria charted by Sigmund Freud.

Join InterCcECT for a lunch hour field trip to the Smart Museum’s Nauman/Rodin exhibition (as always, free and open to the public) with conversation about the works and the catalogue, Friday 10 November, 12:30-1:30pm.  Then keep the ideas going at that afternoon’s psychoanalytic theory workshop, What is Sex?

Also on our calendar:

Gwendolyn Brooks: A Centenary Celebration,  8 November

Critique in German Philosophy,  9-11 November

Avery Gordon book discussion: The Hawthorn Archive: Letters from the Utopian Margins,  30 November



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formation, structuration, dialectic

Exactly sixty years ago, Jacques Lacan conducted his 5th seminar, Formations of the Unconscious, treating the phallus, castration, and jokes, and presenting the first version of the graph of desire.


One year ago, InterCcECT conducted a mini-seminar with Professor Chris Breu on the newly released Seminar 10: Anxiety.  Join us this year for a reprise, with the newly released Seminar 5: Formations of the Unconscious.  We will focus on the sections on “The Dialectic of Desire and Demand” – contact us for pdfs.

Monday, 14 August, 4pm, Volumes Bookcafe (Blue Line: Damen)

As always, write interccect at gmail dot com to propose events, and like us on Facebook for frequent links and commentary.


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October in June

Amidst its present Russian turmoil, 2017 is also distinct as the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Karl Marx’s Capital, Volume 1.

Join InterCcECT for 2 linked sessions on what is to be done.

Session 1 reads the novelist/critic China Mieville’s new narrative history of the Russian revolution, October (excerpts) alongside Lenin’s The State and Revolution (chapters 1 and 5).

Session 2 reads Capital (Chapters 25 and 26) alongside William Clare Roberts’s recent brilliant polemic
Marx’s Inferno: The Political Theory of Capital.

Thursday 15 June, 4pm, HandleBar 2311 W North Ave

Wednesday 12 July, 4pm, Parts&Labor

Contact us (interccect at gmail) for the readings, like us on the facebooks for frequent links, and, as always, send proposals for group endeavors!


On our calendar:

26 May, Psychoanalysis and Deconstruction

28 May, Mieville himself at Seminary Coop

9 June, Poems, Prose, & Possibility

15 June, Summer of Cage

21 June, The Political Conscious

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The Philosophy of Complaining

The outraged traveller, the disappointed gourmet, the lazy tweeter, the postoffice grouser: there are as many complainer genres as there are varieties of neurosis or flavors of potato chips. Everyone’s a critic, but what possible theory can unite these diverse types? What could carping and griping, lamenting and whining, tell us about subjectivity itself?

InterCcECT welcomes Aaron Schuster to lead a mini-seminar on the art, science, and pleasure of the complaint. We’ll read selections from his book The Trouble with Pleasure: Deleuze and Psychoanalysis, and his recent essay “Primal Scream, or Why Do Babies Cry? A Theory of Trump,” along with an excerpt from InterCcECTer Adam Kotsko’s book Awkwardness.

Join us Tuesday 18 April, 4:30-6:30pm at Volumes BookCafe 1474 N Milwaukee Ave (Blue Line: Damen). Coffee, booze, and snacks available amid the great indie book selection.

To request the readings, contact us.

Also on our calendar:

11 April “Designing Infrastructure”
13 April Jared Hickman, “Black Prometheus”
21 April Rodolphe Gasche

As always, get in touch to propose events, and follow us on facebook for frequent links and updates.

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the theory of desire in the era of id

When the unconscious is engaged in “work,” a favorite of Freud’s conceits, what is it producing? What sort of value is the value that is enjoyment? Who might articulate a labor theory of the unconscious, and what would it offer the analysis of regulated desire, social cohesion, and ideology under capitalism run amok?
Join InterCcECT for a discussion of Samo Tomsic’s The Capitalist Unconscious: Marx and Lacan Tuesday February 21st, 5pm, at The Newberry Library (red line:Chicago).

Drop at line to interccect at gmail dot com to request the readings.

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