This June marks a special anniversary for the Inter Chicago Circle for Experimental Critical Theory: ten years of conversations and conviviality, readings, lectures, field trips, workshops, and experiments. One decade of cross-city wild thought, of crowds and parties, of cinema, television, hysteria, and so many dialectics. Our deepest gratitude to the many many theorists of many many persuasions who’ve linked the circle together!
In celebration, including in cyclical return to the politics of literature, join us for an extra festive experiment in speculative fiction: for next time we’re reading Dr. Kim Stanley Robinson’s Ministry of the Future, a big novel of big ideas and big states.
Decadent Decadeversary Salon
RSVP for more deets; we’ll continue outdoor venue-ing.
It seems the circumstances might allow us to reconvene in person! And what better way to honor haptic social idea-making than readings in wild thought, reason unbound, conceptuality on the move? University of Chicago press just put out a new translation of Claude Levi-Strauss’sLaPensée Sauvage, the magisterial study of intellection outside disciplines and beyond the west-east divide. We’ll read the first chapter, “The Science of the Concrete,” see if anybody remembers how to do a reading group, and air desires for collective summer endeavors with this or other works.
Join us for Wild Thought Thursday 27 May, 4pm. Since venues are operating with constraints about groups, we’ll meet at our Bucktown salon, outdoors among the wildflowers. Contact us for the reading and address.
Though interlocking and worsening crises continue to prevent normal InterCcECT events, the time has come to fail better. Tracking the present emergency conscripts us to sociology, but we need speculation “now more than ever.” Join us Weds 2 December, 4pm CST, to discuss a text that stages this contradiction, Gillian Rose’s Hegel Contra Sociology. Focus on the first chapter, with the option to continue the book in subsequent weeks as a kind of structure for mitigating the deficits on z00m. Contact us for PDFs and meeting link. Wishing everyone well.
Virtualization is piteous, as is oligarchic nihilism. But InterCcECT did ok with a first virtual session and will try again. We’re reading Sigmund Freud’s “Thoughts for the Times on War and Death,” along with “Remembering, Repeating, and Working Through.” Join us Monday June 1, 4pm. Contact usfor pdfs and virtual deets.
For 9 years, InterCcECT has been a deliberately off-line circle, taking strength in ad-hoc conversations in para-institutional spaces around Chicago. Yet day 46 of isolation here, with a new order for at least 33 more, spools us off in to the ether. Thus an experiment – perhaps ill-fated, perhaps inspiriting – in virtualizing our collective.
Achille Mbembe’s recent Necropolitics is surely a book for pandemic time. Join us Thursday 14 May, 4pm, no customary El stop needed. Contact us for deets. (We’ll focus on intro-chapter 4.)
Are all political identities fictions? And if not, shouldn’t they be? What is constructed and what is material in the subjectivities, experiences, bodies invoked by “feminist” moments, and how does feminist theory itself produce the opposition of “constructed” and “material”? The Marxist Feminist Sylvia Federici offers bracing correctives to many contemporary debates around biopolitics, performativity, and sexual identity with the weight of decades of feminist praxis; her new book Beyond the Periphery of the Skin: Rethinking, Remaking, and Reclaiming the Body in Contemporary Capitalism centers reproductive labor and boldly reaches for a collective body.
Join InterCcECT for a reading session on selections from Skin: Thursday February 20th, 4pm at Half Sour, 755 S. Clark (Red Line: Harrison; Blue Line: LaSalle). Contact us for pdfs.
Have theory new years resolutions? Propose events, topics, field trips, and happenings! Like us on social media for frequent links and commentary.
Alexandre Kojève’s lectures on Hegel are the crossroads through which German philosophy passes into French theory. What happens to our current theoretical projects—especially those that want to claim Hegel for the emancipatory Left—when we acknowledge Kojève’s mediation? Or does Kojève’s humanist dialectic take us away from the Hegel we desire most?
Readings include the introduction to Kojève’s Introduction to the Reading of Hegel, Bataille’s “Hegel, Death, and Sacrifice” and “Letter to X, Lecturer on Hegel,” and Žižek’s “Lacan: at What Point is He Hegelian?”. Contact us for pdfs.