Category Archives: Reading Groups

the material real

In his forthcoming Lacan and the Concept of the Real, Tom Eyers argues that “by rooting our understanding of the Real within the logic of the signifier we may begin to recognise the materiality of the immaterial, and the stubborn opacity of the material itself. Lacan’s claim that it is through the signifier that this materiality is revealed to us should not be taken as a concession to any standard brand of anti-realism or hyper-textualism; on the contrary, Lacan’s aim is to render superfluous any neat separation of the ideal from the material, from the representative to that to which it ostensibly refers.” Psychoanalysis thus makes it possible, in a different idiom than deconstruction, to question philosophical binaries like material / ideal and subject / object.

Eyers puts this “weird materialism” to work in his project to rethink the opposition life / structure in contemporary French thought. “Living Structures: Canguilhem, Deleuze, and the Question of Life”, tomorrow 6pm, Gallery 400.

InterCcECT puts it to work in our ongoing Lacan reading group on Seminar 3: The Psychoses. Next up: Chapters 3 and 4, 5pm 14 June, at our salon in Bucktown. PDF available upon request.

Questions? Proposals? Other materials? Write us!

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“for there is a flaw in the order of things”: Schreber and the symbolic


InterCcECT invites you to the second session of our new regular reading group on Lacan’s Seminars, Thursday 31 May. We’ll be continuing with Seminar 3: The Psychoses, focusing on Chapter 2, with the additional text of Freud’s commentary on Daniel Paul Schreber, “Psychoanalytic Notes Upon an Autobiographical Account of Paranoia,” and with the recommendation to add Schreber’s “Memoirs of My Nervous Illness” to taste.

For a different negation of the social order than that represented by the psychotic, we’ll soon be reading Adam Kotsko’s Why We Love Sociopaths: A Guide to Late-Capitalist Television and holding a book discussion with the author at 57th Street Books. Slavoj Zizek recently praised Kotsko’s argument in this lecture.

Join us for Lacan, Freud, and Schreber at 5pm at our salon in Bucktown. Write us for more details, or to propose other summer fun. InterCcECT takes its shape from you!

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Lacan’s Seminar III: The Psychoses — an InterCcECT reading group

The study of psychotics led Jacques Lacan to engage with Freud; the psychotic’s distinctive relation to the symbolic order was a crucial element of Lacan’s elaboration of the psychoanalytic approach to the unconscious and to clincial structures. InterCcECT invites you to a newly convened regular Lacan reading group, commencing with Seminar III: The Psychoses. The first session will entail a close, text-based exploration of a short selection, Chapters 1 and 2, along with planning for future readings and session logistics.

Thursday 17 May at 6pm at the InterCcECT Salon in Bucktown. Write us for details and a PDF (specify English or French or both).

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Le Corbusier, Locke, Deleuze, Sociopaths

Join us for several upcoming events at which we’ll investigate the origins of aesthetic philosophy, the vicissitudes of vitalism, and negations of the social bond – perhaps even simultaneously!

InterCcECT presents:
10 May Viv Soni holds a works-in-progress session, “The Vanishing Place of Judgment between Empiricism and Aesthetics: The Case of Locke’s Essay” at the InterCcECT Salon, 5pm ( request the paper and details)
4 June Tom Eyers gives a talk, “Living Structures: Canguilhem, Deleuze, and the Problem of Life” 6pm, Gallery 400
16 July Adam Kotsko discusses his latest book Why We Love Sociopaths: A Guide to Late-Capitalist Television at 57th Street Books, 6pm

InterCcECT recommends: (a few selections from our calendar – which includes details)
19 April Anthony Vidler, “Modernist Montage: Film Culture from Eisenstein to Le Corbusier” at Northwestern
20 April Sunil Agnani “Hating Empire Properly: Adorno, CLR James, and the legacy of the Enlightenment” at UIC
24 April Plastic Crimewave at MCA
3-4 May Fred Moten poetry and poetics at U of C
11 May Graham Harman’s Guerilla Metaphysics book discussion

We welcome your event announcements, project proposals, reading group suggestions, and more: write us !

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Everything is Production


“For the real truth of the matter – the glaring, sober truth that resides in delirium – is that there is no such thing as relatively independent spheres or circuits: production is immediately consumption and a recording process, without any sort of mediation, and the recording process and consumption directly determine production, though they do so within the production process itself. Hence everything is production: production of productions, of actions and of passions; productions of recording processes, of distributions and of co-ordinates that serve as points of reference; productions of consumptions, of sensual pleasures, of anxieties, and of pain.”

In preparation for our very special production by Alberto Toscano on 1 March, “Desiring Abstraction: The Place of Capital in Post ’68 French Thought,” join InterCcECT for a reading group session on selections from Anti-Oedipus and a response by Badiou. 5pm, Thursday 23 February. Request PDFs and details.

As always, contact us to propose projects; sign up for updates via RSS or check back here regularly for announcements including our own special events in April, May, and June with Kiarina Kordela, Viv Soni, and Tom Eyers.


Highlights from our calendar:
24 February, Bonnie Honig, “Antigone versus Oedipus: Feminist Theory and the Turn to Antigone” at DePaul
28 February, Bruce Robbins, “The Beneficiary: Cosmopolitanism and Inequality” at UIC
2 March, Sianne Ngai at UIC
2-3 March, Cavell’s Aesthetic Criticism at U of C
6 March, Lawrence Grossberg, “Is There a Place for Intellectuals in the New Radicalism?” at Columbia College

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New year, new thought: materialism, aesthetics, and more

As school starts anew, InterCcECT looks forward to new conversations and new elements in our circle. In two short weeks, on 24 Jan, join us for the previously scheduled reading group on Quentin Meillassoux’s Divine Inexistence. Contact us for PDF and details.

Shortly thereafter, meet us at UIC for Aesthetics and German Philosophy, a conference sponsored by the American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, featuring Robert Pippin, David Wellberry, Karl Ameriks, and Elizabeth Millan. 10 Feb, 9:45am-5pm at UIC Student Center East, 570 S Halsted, Room 302.

Check the calendar for other upcoming events, and let us know: what are your theory goals for the new year?

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remember, remember, in early November

This month, InterCcECT’s reading series on sovereignty encircles the city.

3-5 Nov, French Theory in Translation centers on Derrida’s final seminars on sovereignty and the death penalty.

16 Nov, UIC’s Publics, Cultures, Practices of Differences working group meets to discuss Achille Mbembe’s On the Postcolony.

On a different frequency:

For those who missed the Zizek lecture at UIC, a webstream is now available.

4-5 Nov, UofC’s 3CT stages a conference with which the ECT model has some affinity, on “experimental critical attention.”

As always, check the InterCcECT calendar regularly and be sure to  send us any events you’d like to announce or propose.

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The Flesh and The Beast

InterCcECT reminds you of our very special upcoming event with Eric Santner, The Philip and Ida Romberg Professor in Modern Germanic Studies at The University of Chicago, discussing his recent work The Royal Remains: The People’s Two Bodies and the Endgames of Sovereignty”, this Monday, 24 October, at 6pm.  Contact us for directions.

Sovereignty reigns supreme as theme of theory events around town: beginning 3 November, check out the multi-day, cross-town extravaganza French Theory in Translation. Roundtables, film screenings, and discussions by numerous dignitaries celebrate the publication of Jacques Derrida’s late seminars on sovereignty, The Beast and the Sovereign and The Death Penalty.

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October Rising

This month, InterCcECT directs your attention to several exciting events around Chicago, including our own very special reading group session with Professor Eric Santner. From Foucault to Zizek, psychoanalysis to sovereignty, we hope to see you around town:

14-15 Oct: French-American Conversations on Psychoanalysis at U of C

18 Oct: Foucault Colloquium at DePaul

19 Oct: Class Dismissed – Zizek Reading Group at UIC

21 Oct: Zizek at UIC

24 Oct: InterCcECT reading group, with Eric Santner discussing his work The Royal Remains

26 Oct: “Ghost, Text, Play: Living Within and Without Black Politics” lecture at UIC

And, the ongoing critical experiment: Occupy Wall Street Chicago and beyond.

As always, check the InterCcECT calendar regularly and be sure to  send us any events you’d like to announce.

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Thoughts on Sovereignty

InterCcECT exhorts you to mark your calendars and open your books: two upcoming events will focus on questions of the state in our time. First, an InterCcECT reading group on Wendy Brown’s Walled States, Waning Sovereignty, in which the renowned feminist political theorist tackles the paradox of proliferating walls in an era of eroding nation-statehood. Second, a companion reading group convened by UIC’s Forum for Research on Law, Politics, & the Humanities, on Democracy In What State?, a recent volume from Columbia University Press that includes reflections by Wendy Brown, Badiou, Ranciere, Zizek, Nancy, Agamben, and Kristin Ross.

We’ll open our doors for Walled States on Tuesday, 23 August, 4pm. The FRLPH group meets Wednesday, 5 October, 3pm, UIC Institute for the Humanities.

Check out the InterCcECT calendar for other upcoming events as the school year commences, and be sure to  contact us with events you’d like to announce.  

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