Monthly Archives: February 2018

Conference on performatives, bodies, gender, and Tina Chanter’s work

An important event in London in case anyone is around. And a book launch for a book by Tina Chanter:


Sat 10 March 2018

09:30 – 18:00 GMT

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Swedenborg House, 20-1 Bloomsbury Way



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Exploring the performative: Corps, Corpus, Gender, Genre, Race


This symposium aims to explore the idea of the performative within multiple contexts, including, but not limited to, écriture feminine, where the notion of the ‘feminine’ is understood as open to queer enactments, and a poetics of raced bodies. The symposium begins at 9.30am and ends at 6pm. Speakers are as follows:

Diran Adebayo (novelist & Lecturer in Creative Writing, Kingston University) ‘Patriot. How sporting aesthetics helps to shape allegiance’
Tawny Andersen (SSHRC fellow) ‘Towards a Theory of Écriture Féminine Performative’
Vikki Chalklin (Goldsmiths University) & Helen Palmer (Senior Lecturer in English/Creative Writing, Kingston Univ)
‘Bodies ad absurdum: queer clowning as performative disruption’
Zena Edwards (Poet/Performer)
Title to be confirmed
Kélina Gotman (Theatre & Performance Studies, King’s College) ‘Appearing / a Peering: Rethinking Intimate Forms’
Freddie Haberfellner (Film & Drama, Kingston Univ.) Screening of Lunch Time, a short film exploring eating disorders
Jacob V. Joyce (Performer)
Title to be confirmed
Dacy Lim (Poet & MFA student, Kingston Univ.) ‘Never (Not) Identifying: A Poetic Exploration of My Self in Relation to the Korean Diaspora’
Romy Opperman (Philosophy PhD student) ‘From Black Performance to Black Ecology: Subject, Environment and Event after Fanon’
Daniela Perazzo Domm (Senior Lecturer in Dance, Kingston University) ‘Duets and (self-)portraits: Jonathan Burrows’s (im)personal choreographies

Wine Reception & book launch of Tina Chanter, Art, Politics and Rancière: Broken Perceptions

Durham Philosophy Events

Durham University will be hosting two Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures later this term as detailed below.

15th February 2018

Professor David Cockburn (Wales, Trinity Saint David)

Title: Fatalism; thoughts about tomorrow’s sea battle


In recent discussions, ‘fatalism’ has been understood as the thesis that it is a logical or conceptual truth that no one is able to act other than she in fact does. But there is another view, which may have more right to the label, and that merits discussion: the view that nothing that we do will make any difference to how things turn out. It is this view that is central to Aristotle’s discussion of tomorrow’s sea battle, and, while it may face decisive objections, there are things to be learned from it. I will argue that philosophical ‘fatalism’ in both its forms characteristically rests on a picture of our situation that has deep roots in contemporary philosophy: a picture in which thought aimed at determining how things are has primacy over deliberation about what I should do; and, following from this, one in which our idea of ourselves as agents in the world stands in need of a metaphysical grounding. These roots are expressed in the place that the notion of a ‘proposition’ (or of a ‘thought’) has in much current philosophical thinking. It is a striking fact that the great majority of recent responses to the standard fatalist reasoning move within this same basic framework of ideas.

This lecture will be held in the Birley Room, Hatfield College, Durham. Refreshments will be available from 5pm with the lecture commencing at 5:30pm

21st February 2018

Professor Lisa Bortolotti (Birmingham)

Title: Does optimism lead to success?


Does optimism lead to success? Although optimistic beliefs are said to contribute to fitness, good functioning, productivity, resilience, and even altruistic and caring behaviour, it is controversial whether they are conducive to success, intended as the fulfilment of the agent’s goals in a given domain. Sceptics argue that people who are optimistic can be unprepared for setbacks, fail to react constructively to negative feedback, feel disappointed when their performance does not match their expectations, disengage from their goals, and put themselves at risk due to underestimating threats.

So, when are optimistic beliefs linked to success? Here I rule out two influential views, that optimistic beliefs are linked to success when they accurately represent reality or when they boost the agent’s mood. Based on the results of psychological studies about attitudes towards romantic relationships and health prospects, I suggest that the optimistic beliefs linked to successful performance are not necessarily realistic and do not always boost the agent’s mood, but are instrumental to agents persevering in the pursuit of their goals at critical times. Beliefs supporting the sense that people are competent and efficacious agents and that their goals are both desirable and attainable sustain motivation and, indirectly, goal fulfilment.

This Lecture will be held in the Williams Library, St Chad’s College, Durham. Refreshments will be available from 11:30am with the lecture commencing at 12Noon.

A map to help you find either location can be found here:

Nietzsche conference, Newcastle

FNS 2018: Call for Abstracts

24th International Conference of the Friedrich Nietzsche Society

“Nietzsche and the Politics of Difference”

Newcastle University, UK

20-21 September, 2018


Andrea Rehberg, Newcastle University, UK

Plenary Speakers

Vanessa Lemm, University of New South Wales, Australia

Jill Marsden, University of Bolton, UK

Barış Parkan, Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Ashley Woodward, University of Dundee, UK

Call For Abstracts

Traditionally, difference is understood as that which pertains between given entities or identities but, starting with Nietzsche, the thought of an originary difference that is irreducible to identity and, moreover, constitutive of identity gains traction. At the same time the affirmation of difference as plurality or multiplicity goes hand in hand with difference as an ontological issue. The Nietzschean thought of difference thus marks the intersection of the ontological and the political.


Given that today we are faced with a host of political challenges of domination and resistance, the question we want to raise in this conference is how Nietzsche helps us to think through and to address some of the problems with which we are faced today but also how his writings complicate our desire for swift solutions to seemingly intractable problems: how to resist slavishness in thought and action, how to maintain hard-won civil liberties and rights in the face of encroaching hegemonic discourses, practices and forces, or how to counteract global environmental degradation, in short, how to oppose ‘totalitarian’ movements of homogenisation, universalisation, equalisation, and instead to affirm, both politically and ontologically, a culture of difference.


Although on the one hand Nietzsche was deeply critical of politics and politicians, on the other hand he advocated a ‘grand politics’ and frequently expressed his admiration for great statesmen such as Napoleon. Although, on the one hand, he questioned the value and implications of democracy and the ideal of equality it involves, on the other hand later thinkers, e.g., Jean-Luc Nancy, have recently extracted a Nietzschean sense of democracy from his writings. In fact, it has often been noted that Nietzsche’s thought contains – or at least implies – a complete political ontology, and this has been teased out by a host of twentieth-century post-structuralist thinkers, above all by Derrida, Deleuze, Foucault, Irigaray, Lyotard, Nancy and those who come after them. They, and we, are grappling with thorny questions of the possible intersections between political theory and political engagement, how to envisage forms of resistance without agency, what ateleological action looks like, and how to maintain a sense of the political without relapsing into the intellectual co-ordinates provided by a substance metaphysical framework and its purported grounds.


At the intersection of ontology and the political, Nietzsche’s thinking beyond subject, substance, telos or ground, and in terms of differentials of forces and impersonal events and processes, induces us to examine our traditional ways of thinking and our cherished anthropocentric investments. Given these strictures, the question is, in what ways does Nietzsche’s thought harbour the resources for a contemporary politics of difference and a thought of difference equal to it? These are some of the most intractable, yet at the same time most urgent questions facing anyone aiming to think with Nietzsche in these dark times. This is not to suggest that these are completely new questions – they have been asked in a variety of texts for many decades – but they have taken on a new urgency, given the perilous state the world is in at present. And since Nietzsche is arguably one of the most rigorously post-metaphysical thinker, if we pay close attention to what he says, we might be able to reinvigorate our political thinking beyond modes supported by the established consensus.


Some of these questions might be put as follows:

Can contemporary political phenomena be interpreted in terms of Nietzsche’s understanding of reactive and active forces? If so, how?

What is the role of slave morality in the constitution and operations of recent political movements and trends? Are there any pockets of nobility left in the political realm? If so, where?

What is a thought of the political beyond substance metaphysics?

Can the Nietzschean sense of agon serve as a viable model for contemporary political thought?

Beyond utility and calculative rationality, can Nietzsche’s thought mobilise a political activism?


We invite established academics, junior researchers, doctoral students and independent scholars in the fields of philosophy, politics, political theory, sociology, German studies, literary studies etc. to contribute to this conference.


Possible areas of investigation for a Nietzschean thought and politics of difference, although these are just suggestions:


·       Nietzschean nihilism and a politics of difference

·       Will to power and a politics of difference

·       The political dimensions of eternal recurrence as principle of selection and affirmation

·       Nietzsche’s perspectivism and a politics of difference

·       Identity and alterity in Nietzsche’s works

·       A Nietzschean democracy?

·       Political and ontological difference in Nietzsche’s works

·       Politics and the political in Nietzsche’s thought

·       An ethics and a politics of difference

·       Nietzsche’s critical theory of knowledge as a prelude to political theory

·       Foundationalism and anti-foundationalism in relation to Nietzschean difference

·       Nietzsche’s concepts of the herd, the slave, the last man and a politics of difference

·       Nietzsche’s idea of the ‘pathos of distance’ and a politics of difference

·       Nietzsche and feminism

·       Nietzsche in relation to the question of the animal

·       Nietzsche and Deleuze

·       Nietzsche and Derrida

·       Nietzsche and Foucault

·       Nietzsche and Irigaray

·       Nietzsche and Lyotard

·       Nietzsche and Jean-Luc Nancy


Applications for 30-minute papers with abstract are invited by 30 April 2018. Please send abstracts (max. 500 words) by email to: andrea.rehberg(at) as a pdf attachment prepared for blind review. Please include a title in the body of the abstract. Please name the file with the following format when you save it FNS2018ABSTRACT_YOURLASTNAME

In the body of the email, please state:

·  the title of the paper

·  your name and institutional affiliation

·  your preferred email contact address

In the subject line of the email, please state only the following:


We aim to inform delegates of the outcome of their submission in early June 2018. If you have a particular pressing reason to request earlier notification of abstract acceptance, please contact andrea.rehberg(at)