17th May 2019 by

Contemporary Theory Group Relaunch – Lineup – (5:15pm, 4th of June)

The Contemporary Theory Group based at Westmere Hub is proud to announce its summer relaunch! ALL PGTs and PGRs ARE WELCOME! The first reading group will take place on the 4th of June, and will start at 5:15pm sharp. We usually meet in the lobby of Westmere, before moving into one of the side rooms. If you are interested in contemporary theory, or just sharpening up on secondary reading for upcoming essays, articles, or presentations, we highly encourage you to attend. Last semester we found that even the most anomalous texts could provide useful new routes into thinking about your own work!

For launch week we will be discussing Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism; a now notorious text of infinite depth, especially if you’re Douglas Lain. We will be reading and referring to the chapters: ‘It’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of Capitalism’, and ‘Capitalism and the Real’, but you are welcome to read as much as you like beforehand. Because this is a relaunch (which marks it out as a special occasion) we’ve also decided to shake up the formula. This week also includes a YouTube video on Fisher’s text by the inimitable Simon Obirek. We will use this video to open discussion, before focusing in on parts of the text which we all find most compelling.

Thanks to the success of our trial run for the group, we also have significantly more structure than we did last semester. Because of this, you can expect weekly updates on the texts we plan to cover posted right here on this blog space, which has kindly been provided by Dorothy Butchard (thank you!). We will however continue to mail out texts via our mailing list every week, so please request to join if you are interested!

To be added to our mailing list for readings and updates please contact: Ben Horn @ bxh873@student.bham.ac.uk

Part of our new structure also involves forecasting texts three weeks ahead of schedule. Because of this, every three weeks we will also provide an updated schedule in our blog post. Please refer to this for any potential changes to sessions.

Current six week line-up of texts:

  • 4th of June (week 1): Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: ‘It’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of Capitalism’, and ‘Capitalism and the Real’ (w/ a video by Simon Oribek) (Full audio book also available here)
  • 11th of June (week 2): Isabelle Stengers, Another Science is Possible/A Manifesto for Slow Science, ”Another Science is Possible’, A Plea for Slow Science’
  • 18th of June (week 3): Eugene Thacker, In The Dust of This Planet, ‘Preface: Clouds of Unknowing’, and ‘1. Three Quaestio on Demonology’ (as much as you like, we realise this is a lot)
  • 25th of June (week 4): Catherine Malabou, ‘The Brain of History or The Mentality of the Anthropocene’
  • 2nd of July (week 5): Aria Dean, e-flux, ‘Notes on Blacceleration’. If you’d prefer to listen to an abridged version of the article by Aria Dean, this can be found here. As a bonus, Aria’s Q&A is WELL WORTH listening to at the end of her video.
  • 9th of July (week 6): Rebekah Sheldon, ‘Form/Matter/Chora: Object-Oriented Ontology and Feminist New Materialism’ (again, as much as you like, this is a long article)

Potential future readings could include a section from Andrew Culp’s Dark Deleuze, and Katerina Kolozova’s Preface to After the “Speculative Turn”: Realism, Philosophy, Feminism.

To help keep this group as open and as dynamic as possible, we are also open to further suggestions for future readings by all attendees. All types and areas of theory are welcome, although we like to keep texts within the last 30 years. We are especially interested in multimedia topics and suggestions. Please keep any ideas for reading as specific and short as possible (10-15 pages is ideal). If you have any ideas for future readings please contact either:

The group also has a Whatsapp chat for on the spot updates (and for PGTs to be able to request entry into the Westmere Hub). Again, if you’d like to be a part of this group please contact one of the above email addresses, or alternatively ask us in person at one of the sessions.

We look forward to seeing you all on June 4th!

Arzu, Ben, & Niall