Category Archives: Miniseminars

news of the weird

For reasons of both pleasure and overwork, humanities nerds often long to upload archives directly to our brains — but does the fantasy go the other direction? When will tech host the first uploaded human mind? What are the frontiers of AI and their consequences for mental labor (of academic stripes and otherwise)? How does science fiction work out hypotheses about the human and the machine?

InterCcECT is delighted to host an in-person miniseminar with special guest Professor Gerry Canavan to probe these weird frontiers. We’ll read this short story (composed in the form of a wikipedia article), along with “Bioethics and Transhumanism,” a recent article by Allen Porter.

Join us Tuesday 9 November, 4pm, at UIC, University Hall Room 2028 (20th floor, 601 S Morgan St; Blue Line: UIC Halsted).

Contact us for PDFs.

As always, InterCcECT welcomes proposals for workshops, reading groups, field trips, and more.

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Modernity’s Original Sin

How can theology enrich the historicization of race and racialization? Find out at a special session with Professor Adam Kotsko! We’ll read the chapter “Modernity’s Original Sin: Toward a Theological Genealogy of Race” from his new collection What is Theology? Christian Thought and Contemporary Life, out now from Fordham University Press. Contact us for PDFs.

Join us Tuesday 28 September, 4pm, at Sheffield’s Beer and Wine Garden (outdoors; CTA Belmont on Red, Brown, Purple lines).

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Walking After Midnight [Cowboy]: the Trauma of Desire and the Stakes of Interpretation

The newly translated Seminar VI of Lacan, “Desire and Its Interpretation” exposes interpretation as at once intimately co-implicated in, and incommensurable with, desire.  Groundbreaking work by Kevin Floyd in The Reification of Desire situates this knot within the capitalist dynamics of reification and totalization, with an assist from Midnight Cowboy and queer aesthetics.   Join InterCcECT for a miniseminar on this conjuncture.


Special guest Earl Jackson leads us Wednesday 30 October, 5pm, UIC, 2028 University Hall, 601 S Morgan St (Blue Line: UIC Halsted).

Readings: “The Dialectic of Desire” (Seminar VI pages 357-406) and “On Capital, Sexuality, and the Situations of Knowledge” (Reification pages 1-38), with extra focus on Floyd’s reading of Midnight Cowboy (154-194).

Contact us for pdfs.

Earl Jackson is Chair Professor in Asia University, Taiwan, and Associate Professor Emeritus, University California Santa Cruz, as well as the Co-director of the Transasian Screen Cultures Institute in Seoul. He is the author of Strategies of Deviance: Studies in Gay Male Representation; the co-editor (with Victor Fan) of Nang#7, The Scent of Boys; and numerous essays on queer theory, and Japanese and Korean cinemas. He is currently completing a monograph, Critical Conditions: Theory and Practice in Japanese Cinema.  Jackson has worked in the Korean independent film industry as line producer, film editor, screen writer, and actor.


As always, like us on facebook for frequent links and commentary, and get in touch to propose events!

On our calendar:

15 Oct 20th Anniversary release date Fight Club

1 Nov “After Fiction” University of Chicago

15 Nov Tanya Agathocleous “Civility, the Civilizing Mission, and the Colonial Public Sphere”

18 Nov Monuments of Omission 


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political sentences

Any completed utterance runs the risk of being ideological.   

–Roland Barthes

What are sentences? Why do we place so many conflicting demands on them? To what extent does our claim to be viable social or political beings rest on our ability to articulate “correct” sentences? This miniseminar will explore these questions, focusing on what is at stake ideologically in the ambition to reshape the sentence form or even to dispense with it entirely.  Readings include brief selections from Adorno’s Minima Moralia, Barthes’ The Pleasure of the Text, Bhabha’s The Location of Culture, and Stein’s Patriarchal Poetry.

Join InterCcECT for a mini seminar with special guest Jan Mieszkowski, author of Crises of the Sentence, Weds 7 August, 5pm-7pm, at Ambassador Public House (Blue Line: UIC/Halsted), back room.

Contact us for pdfs.

As always, like us on facebook for frequent links and commentary, and get in touch to propose events!

On our calendar:

18 July, Go Down Moses

29 July InterCcECT Too Real Abstraction

8 August, NASSR

26 August, V21 Collective  “The Planet” 


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the new narcissism


The ancient myth of Narcissus found elaboration in psychoanalytic theories of the late 19th and mid 20th centuries. How must the theories stretch to illuminate ego orthodoxies of the i-media age?

Join us for a miniseminar with special guest and InterCcECT resident summer Lacanian Professor Chris Breu, Thursday 30 May, 5pm, Red Lion Pub. 2446 N Lincoln (Red, Brown, Purple Lines: Fullerton)

Readings include Sigmund Freud, On Narcissism, and selections from Jacques Lacan, the seminar book 1: Freud’s Papers on Technique. Contact us for pdfs.

Summer! Our collectively driven events amp up the pace in warmer months, so send us proposals and we’ll get rolling!

On our calendar:

The Marxist Literary Group Institute for Culture and Society 21-26 June
V21 Collective summer reading groups June, July, August
“Political Sentences” InterCcECT miniseminar with special guest Jan Mieszkowski 7 August

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the devil is in the dollars

pyramid_on_dollar For almost a century, “Political Theology” has named a set of inquires into the secular ideologies that legitimate power and secure social cohesion.  How should these inquiries adapt to the specificity of late late capitalism, and what light can their answers shed on the superglue sustaining the preposterous contradictions of the present?

InterCcECT presents a mini-seminar on these and other issues at the intersection of politics, economy, and religion with Professor Adam Kotsko. We’ll read selections from his latest book Neoliberalism’s Demons: On the Political Theology of Late Capital (Stanford UP, 2018).

Join us Tuesday 30 October, 5pm, at the UIC Institute for the Humanities (Stevenson Hall, 701 S. Morgan; Blue Line: UIC Halsted).

Contact us for the readings or to propose events!  Like us on f*cebook for frequent links and commentary.

On our calendar:

Oct 12-13 Political Futures 

Oct 19 1968 Decentered


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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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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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speculation upon speculation

What does the financial crisis of 2007-2008 and our ongoing catastrophe have to do with the recent surge of scholarly interest in speculative philosophy?  How do proliferating materialisms engage with, or symptomatize, toxic collateralized debt obligations?  What is the shared terrain of speculative action, and where does political action intervene to remake that terrain?

InterCcECT is pleased to welcome Josh Robinson (Cardiff University) for a special works-in-progress session on Speculative Capital, Thursday 6 October.  Join us at 4pm at the UIC Institute for the Humanities, 701 S Morgan St (Blue Line: UIC/Halsted).  Pre-circulated paper available by request to interccect at gmail.

Josh will also be at the Poetry&Poetics workshop at UofC on Monday 10 October.

Also on our fall calendar:

Arendt’s The Promise of Politics, 3 October

Jodi Dean at UIC, 20 October

Etienne Balibar and Veronica Gago at 3CT, 28 October

Debt Dialogues at Northwestern

Aaron Schuster at InterCcECT, 28 November (ditto)

Knox Peden at UIC, 2 December (ditto)


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Anxiety, the seminar, Depression, the album

ingrid-bergman-02InterCcECT allays summer angst with a special session on Jaques Lacan’s recently translated Seminar X: Anxiety, led by Professor Chris Breu.  We’ll focus on the first section (chapters 1-6); readings available by request to interccect at gmail.  Join us Thursday, 11 August, 5pm, at Volumes Bookcafe (back room),  1414 N Milwaukee Ave (Blue Line: Damen).


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