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Politics of Negativity

Launching of the First Issue of the Journal Stasis

Jan 17, 19:00, 2014

How is it possible to say “no” – to contradict, oppose, reject or deny something? Philosophy of the last two centuries draws attention to the paradox of negation, which cannot help but reaffirm what it pretends rejecting. Nevertheless, at least since Hegel, “negativity” became an essential ingredient of Modernity to the point that all major concepts of Modern thought – such as subjectivity, freedom, and revolution – seem to necessarily imply a positive evaluation of the negative.

20th century philosophy may also be read as a desperate search for absolute negativity, one that would not have anything positive in it and would therefore represent a pure act of disjuncture. However, such an absolutely negative attitude displays a troubling melancholic side too: instead of negating something, the epoch of negativity may end up simply “willing nothing”. What happens then when negativity goes awry? The first issue of Stasis reflects on the possibility of rehabilitating the virtues of the negative as an antidote to resist political melancholia and turn it into new revolutionary theories and practices.

Stasis is a peer-reviewed bilingual journal (English/Russian) in social and political theory, which is published by the European University of Saint-Petersburg. Stasis means at once a particular position, an interrupting suspension, and an uprising. The First Issue included articles by Ray Brassier, Sami Khatib, Vitaly Kosykhin, Artemy Magun, Jamila Mascat, Gregor Moder, Benjamin Noys, and Oxana Timofeeva.

 

Invited speakers:

Artemy Magun is Professor of Political Theory of Democracy and Dean of the Department of Political Science and Sociology at the European University of St Petersburg.  His last book is Negative Revolution: Modern Political Subject and its Fate After the Cold War (Bloomsbury 2013).

Oxana Timofeeva is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Science (Moscow) and Humboldt Fellow at the Institut für Slawistik of the Humboldt Universität Berlin. Her last book is History of Animals: An Essay on Negativity, Immanence and Freedom (Jan Van Eyck 2012).

Sami Khatib is a Lecturer at the Institute for Media and Communication Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. He is the author of Teleologie ohne Endzweck. Walter Benjamins Ent-stellung  des Messianischen [Teleology without End: Walter Benjamin’s Dis-location of the Messianic] (Tectum 2013).

Daniel Colucciello Barber is a Fellow at the ICI Berlin. He is the author of Deleuze and the Naming of God: Post-Secularism and the Future of Immanence (Edinburgh UP 2014) and On Diaspora: Christianity, Religion, and Secularity (Cascade 2011).

Gregor Moder is a researcher at the Philosophy department of the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana. He recently published  "Hegel und Spinoza. Negativität in der gegenwärtigen Philosophie" (Turia+Kant, 2013).

 

The event was organized in co-operation with Stasis by

Jamila M. H. Mascat, Fellow at the ICI Berlin and author of Hegel a Jena. La critica dell’astrazione [Hegel in Jena: The Critique of Abstraction] (Pensamultimedia 2011).

 

Flyer (PDF)

Time: Friday, 17 January 2014, 7 pm

Venue: ICI Berlin


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