Global judgements and ideas.
4th March 2016,Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Westminster, 32-38 Wells Street, London, W1T 3UW
Tickets here Eventbrite
12 – 2 Plenary panel: David Chandler, Felicity Colman, Nicholas Kiersey, Phoebe Moore.
2.30 – 5.30 Speakers: Helen Palmer, Paul Rekret, Daniela Tepe–Belfrage, Michiel van Ingen. Discussant: Christian Fuchs
In response to a perceived prioritization of ‘mind over matter or culture over nature’ in the humanities and cultural studies, contemporary philosophers Braidotti and DeLanda separately named a shift in research that brings attention to the body or corporeal and explores immanence over transcendence in ontology as new materialism (or neo-materialism) in the 1990s. Since then, feminist, poststructuralist, historical materialist, science and technology, geography and critical realist researchers have begun to explore what it means to move away from the confines of discourse analysis and research that is limited to analysis of the cognitive, introducing research on human subjectivity as embodied, denying quantification of the affective field, rethinking categories of agency and causality and taking seriously questions around what it means to be human. New materialism is a critical ontological position that transcends thought traditions and advances studies that transgress mind-body dualism from the side of the mind and rejects research that eliminates possibilities for lived experiences except as efficient, rational, managed subjects.
The workshop ‘What is new in new materialism?: Marxisms, new materialisms and the nature/culture divide’ serves partly as an introduction to new materialism and partly as a space to critique and develop nascent work in this emerging area. We will ask, what is the difference between immanent, transcendental approaches and materialist ontology? Where do historical materialists stand on questions of nature and culture? What new questions of the human can we pose and what is the promise of the posthuman? Is this arena one where Marxist and poststructuralist agendas harmonise? What is the difference between mechanical materialism, historical materialism and new materialism? And, what is at stake in the connection between the human and materialism?
Dr Nicholas Kiersey, Ohio University
3rd March 2016, 4 – 6 pm
Location: College Building Board Room room C219
Nicholas will present a paper that is linked to his forthcoming book NEGOTIATING CRISIS: NEOLIBERAL POWER IN AUSTERITY IRELAND (Rowman &
Littlefield 2016). His talk will identify some of the key issues of distributive justice prompted by Ireland’s recent economic history, demonstrating a theoretical interpretation of the stakes of this reading in terms of the concept of precarity. Starting with a brief review of current debates surrounding the concept of precarious life and its relationship to indebtedness, the paper proceeds to elaborate the Irish case as an exemplary model of a debt economy (Lazzarato, 2012). Offering a brief history of Irish economic development, the research focuses on the nation’s total failure to develop a meaningful social housing policy, the decision of successive generations to ignore indigenous industrial development, and the embrace in its place of a strategic dependency on a low corporate tax rate in order to attract foreign direct investment.
Next the paper addresses the evolution of ‘social partnership,’ the country’s practice of staging periodic centralized wage negotiations. While the latter practice has functioned historically to stabilize industrial unrest in the country, its success has been won at the expense of strategies to develop a meaningful social wage and, in the context of the current crisis, has constituted a seriously distorted metric for assessing the impact of austerity on distributive justice. Finally, Nicholas’s work examines the emergence of debt as a key problematic in the ‘Tiger’ years, and its status in relation to public life today. While popular accounts continue to replicate the official government line of a ‘homegrown’ crisis, the emergence of indebtedness suggests lines of affinity with crisis-prone dynamics of neoliberal finance elsewhere.
Bio: Nicholas Kiersey (PhD, Virginia Tech) is Associate Professor in Political Science at Ohio University. His work focuses on the place of crisis and subjectivity in the reproduction of capitalist power. Recently published articles of his can be found in Global Society, Global Discourse, and Capital & Class. He recently co-edited the volume Battlestar Galactica and International Relations with Iver Neumann (Routledge, 2013). His current book project is entitled Negotiating Crisis: Neoliberal Power in Austerity Ireland, and is set to be published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2016.
Organised and Chaired by Dr Phoebe Moore.