GCAS Badiou and Philosophy Series
Starting in October 2014, GCAS will launch the “Badiou and Philosophy Series,” with three seminars on Badiou’s philosophy, including two guest lectures from Alain Badiou.
The series is delivered in English and will serve as a continuation of the “Badiou On Badiou” seminars delivered by Alain Badiou on the key stages of his philosophical project.
The goal of the series is to provide an immersion into the key concepts of Badiou’s thought by looking at his work in relation to his contemporary philosophers and philosophical trends more generally, key themes raised in his work, and ways to apply his thinking to politics, art and other fields.
Seminar 1: Politics, Psychoanalysis and the Subject
In this seminar, we will focus on Badiou’s political and ethical thought in the context of his larger re-formulation of philosophical categories of truth, the subject, universality and logic. Beginning with Badiou’s early, and politically charged philosophical text, Theory of the Subject and on through to his more recent texts on ethics and politics, including St. Paul, the Ethics, this seminar will place Badiou’s politics in relation to the larger turn to political ontology in continental philosophy. The seminar will compare and contrast Badiou’s political and ethical thought in with his contemporaries Deleuze, Derrida, Nancy, Žižek, Meillassoux and Rancière. It will take special focus on Badiou’s political break with Lacan in Theory of the Subject and trace the consequences of this political break with psychoanalysis and its relation to Badiou’s unique theory of the subject. Badiou’s ongoing debates with Žižek, Miller and the larger field of post-Lacanian thought will also be examined in relation to concepts such as the psychoanalytic institution, the drives, politics and desire.
Seminar 2: Inaesthetics: Cinema, Poetry and Art
This seminar will closely read Badiou’s interventions into art, poetry, theater and cinema as a means of exploring his larger philosophical project. Pulling from a wide range of Badiou’s essays and excerpts from his major philosophical texts, we will examine Badiou’s reading of Hölderlin, Mallarme, Pessoa, Beckett and we will examine writings from these authors. This course will develop a core understanding of the relation of art to the Idea, the truth condition of art, and art’s relation to thinking. Students will be asked to write on the condition of art and apply Badiou’s thinking to contemporary topics and themes in the art world, popular culture, cinema, theater etc. A visiting artist and theorist will guest lecture during this seminar to help place Badiou’s ideas on art in relation to new trends in the art world.
Seminar 3: Decision, Act, Event: Philosophy and Antiphilosophy
The category of antiphilosophy has provoked considerable debate and discussions in contemporary philosophy, and Badiou’s seminars on the antiphilosophers St. Paul, Pascal, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein and Lacan have added an important contribution to the topic. What does it mean for the philosopher to stay in close contact with the antiphilosopher? What is the meaning of the decision, act and the event for the antiphilosopher, compared to the philosopher? This course will examine Badiou’s definition of philosophy, the event and truth in relation to antiphilosophy, and will work to develop new understandings around Badiou’s idea and re-definition of philosophy. Readings from Being and Event, Logics of Worlds, Manifesto for Philosophy, Second Manifesto for Philosophy, Conditions as well as excerpts from Badiou’s seminar on antiphilosophy, and other writing on antiphilosophy from Lacan, Boris Groys and Justin Clemens will be required.
April 12th (skip Easter on April 5th)
Lead Instructor: Professor Daniel Tutt
Daniel Tutt is a philosopher, filmmaker and activist. He received his Ph.D. from the European Graduate School, where he studied continental philosophy, media studies and psychoanalysis, and his dissertation examined the concept of community in contemporary continental philosophy through a comparative analysis of four influential thinkers including Alain Badiou (advisor and chair of dissertation), Slavoj Žižek, Ernesto Laclau and Jean-Luc Nancy. His writing has been published in the Platypus Review, the International Journal of Žižek Studies, The San Francisco Society for Lacanian Studies, Berfrois and the Huffington Post. Daniel is a member of the Lacanian Forum of Washington, DC, a psychoanalytic association and a board member of the Neda Institute that works on translating philosophical works into Farsi for the Iranian intellectual community. In 2012 and 2014 his papers won best graduate student paper at the International Žižek Studies conference.
Guest Lecturer: Alain Badiou, President of GCAS
Alain Badiou is widely recognized as a leading philosopher, and taught philosophy at the Ecole normale supérieure and the Collège international de philosophie in Paris. In addition to several novels, plays and political essays, he has published a number of major philosophical works, including Theory of the Subject, Being and Event, Manifesto for Philosophy, and Gilles Deleuze. His recent books include The Meaning of Sarkozy, Ethics, Metapolitics,