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Seminar Archive:


Technology, Technics, and Time: Where are “We”? with Michael Peilas

Donald Trump: The Most American President in History? with Peter Bratsis

The Subversive Weber: Two Seminars on Max Weber's Teaching with Carlos Frade

Slackers, Sabotage, and Syndicalism: Irish Soul and American Labor with Kristen Lawler

Overcoming Servitude? Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus with Michael Pelias

Plato for Revolutionaries: Justice and Power, Then and Now with Michael Pelias

Bernard Stiegler: Critical Interventions with Michael Pelias

On Methods of Inquiry: From Aristotle to Evald Ilyenkov with Arto Artinian

The Presocratics and their Contemporary Relevance with Bruno Gulli

German Idealism and its Aftermath: Philosophical and Poetic Reactions with Michael Pelias

Marxism after Marx with Stanley Aronowitz

What Does it Mean to be Left? with Stanley Aronowitz

Freud and Philosophy: Overcoming the Self and its Aporias with Michael Pelias

The Age of Anxiety Co-taught by Peter Bratsis and Michael Pelias

The Frankfurt School and the Paradoxical Idea of Progress with Stanley Aronowitz

Marx, Marxism and Philosophy Today with Michael Pelias

Democracy and Marxism with Peter Bratsis

Time after Time: A contemporary reading of Heidegger’s “Being and Time” with Michael Pelias

Introduction to Dialectics and Dialectical Thinking with Stanley Aronowitz

Under the Spell of Sympathy: Forging Concepts for a Radical Society with José Eisenberg

The Institute for the Radical Imagination presents:

Technology, Technics, and Time: Where are “We”? with Michael Peilas

A ten week seminar, beginning November 1, 2021
Mondays 7 to 9 PM EST

Michael Pelias presenting and facilitating

About this Seminar:

This 10-Week Seminar organized by the Institute for the Radical Imagination and the Left Forum intends to explore our contemporary liminal and psychic position(s) in relation to the onslaught of technological overload and its determinate domination over our everyday lives. Through selected readings from Heidegger’s Question Concerning Technology and the Age of the World Picture to Benjamin’s seminal and often optimistic take on technical reproduction, we will frame some modern thinkers’ (Stiegler and Kittler) response to the problematic of the metaphysical and epochal thinking of Heidegger and the historical materialist approach of Benjamin.

A series of serious questions will be addressed: In the pandemic era, are we now passively resigned to the new order of the Screen and its new deals, or can we forge a liberatory response through original engagements with the “wired” economy? Can we find a line of flight from ensnarement and enframing so pervasive and encompassing in our everyday lives?

Is a new avant-garde of thinking as (and) acting a real possibility and what categories need to be overturned in order for this emergence to occur? What new weapons are needed for interpretation, understanding, and concurrently (and most importantly) transformation?

*The single fee of $175-$225 covers registration for the entire 10-Week Course*

Readings will include:

Heidegger, Martin. “The Age of the World Picture”

Heidegger, Martin. “The Question Concerning Technology”

Benjamin, Walter. “The Work of Art in the Age of Technical Reproduction”

Stiegler, Bernard. Technics and Time, Volume 3: Cinematic Time and the question of Malaise

Stiegler, Bernard. “The Automization of the super-Ego and the passage of Desire as Original Diversion of Libidinal Energy” in The Lost Spirit of Capitalism

Kittler, Friedrich. Optical Media

To Register for the full seminar, Click Here!

Donald Trump: The Most American President in History?

The Institute of the Radical Imagination presents:

Donald Trump: The Most American President in History?

A one day seminar on Saturday, April 24th from 1 to 3 p.m. (USA East coast “diabolical time”) with Peter Bratsis presenting and facilitating.

Donald Trump is very often understood as someone who is out of step with the cultural values and political ethics of the United States. Some present him as a Russian 'asset', a foreign agent who is attempting to subvert the United States from within. Others prefer to think of Trump as psychologically deranged, a pathological figure who ended up as president by accident and has perverted and greatly damaged the political integrity of the United States. This one-day seminar will examine the thesis that what makes Trump such a dangerous and destructive political leader is precisely the opposite, Trump's remarkably extreme Americaness. From his love of diet Coke and well-done steaks to his arrogance, dedication to competitive individualism and self-interest, belief in conspiracy theories, hucksterism, conspicuous consumption, and attempts to aggrandize presidential power, it is the ways that Trump exemplifies American values that explains why he was able to mobilize such a large fraction of the population and why, even if Trump were to disappear tomorrow, the Trumpist tendency in American politics seems unlikely to end any time soon.

Suggested contribution: $15*

* Sliding scale registration

* Zoom details will be emailed shortly before the class starts

The Subversive Weber: Two Seminars on Max Weber's Teaching with Carlos Frade

The Institute of the Radical Imagination presents:

Two Seminars on Max Weber's Teaching

April 11 and 18, 2pm EST.

That there is a subversive Max Weber may go unrecognized even by Marxist scholars who may be appreciative, if critically, of Weber, to say nothing of mainstream Weber scholarship. This is not because mainstream Weber scholars try to conceal that subversive side, but rather because they entertain no desire whatsoever to see it – indeed it is this lack of desire to see any subversive aspect in Weber’s thought that defines the ‘Weberology’ they practice. That the subversive side of Weber’s thought lies in his figure of subjectivation or stance, a stance of world confrontation, may seem a very surprising claim to make. Yet, it is precisely this claim what the first seminar seeks to probe by undertaking an in-depth analysis of that stance so as to delineate its pure form and bring out the Weberian subject. In doing so we will see how Weber’s social science is both summoned by this subject and specifically suited to study it.

The second seminar will focus on Weber’s impressive sociology of domination, a political sociology which upset Leo Strauss and other conservative political thinkers who saw in the famous three types of legitimate rule-domination an attempt to do away with the traditional language and categories of political philosophy concerning political regimes (democracy, aristocracy and monarchy) and their endless circulation through its degenerated forms (anarchy, oligarchy and tyranny). Yet, Weber’s political sociology has serious problems of its own, all arising from the impossibility of the theory to deal with forms of politics which deny rule-domination and even affirm non-rule (i.e. emancipatory forms of politics). We will study the architecture of the Weberian political sociology and its impasses, paying particular attention to how Weber was haunted by that problem, as shown by his references to, but lack of engagement with, a category of non-domination and his attempts late in his career to theorise a fourth type of legitimacy.

$30 Suggested Contribution for both Seminars*

* Sliding scale registration

* Zoom details will be emailed shortly before the class starts

Slackers, Sabotage, and Syndicalism: Irish Soul and American Labor

The Institute of the Radical Imagination presents:

Slackers, Sabotage, and Syndicalism: Irish Soul and American Labor

This 5-Week course will map out the role of the refusal of work in American working class history.

Five week session: 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/9, 4/16

Fridays, 6:30 – 8:30 PM

This course will map out the role of the refusal of work in American working class history. We will focus especially on its Irish rebel roots, and its implications for questions of identity, class power, and radical strategy today. Over five sessions, the group will consider four related themes:

Session 1: Theoretical introduction: the refusal of work

Session 2: Sabotage and industrial unionism

Session 3: Culture, counterculture, and worker power

Session 4: Anti-imperialism and refusal

Session 5: Collective project work and presentations

In addition to doing readings and participating in conversations, course comrades will work together to produce a piece of creative digital scholarship that uses the radical imagination to consider and to broadcast the political themes of the course in film and text. Specific outlines and roles of the collective project to be determined by the group.

Excerpts from the following texts will be circulated before the sessions in which they are discussed:

(Nietzsche, The Genealogy of Morals), (LaFargue, The Right to be Lazy), (Marcuse, Eros and Civilization), (Negri, Marx Beyond Marx), (Davis, The Stopwatch and the Wooden Shoe), (Flynn, Sabotage), (Lens, The Labor Wars), (Terkel, Working), (Negt and Kluge, History and Obstinacy), (Rosemont, The Rise and Fall of the Dil Pickle), (Brundage, From Bughouse Square to the Beat Generation), (Rosemont, Joe Hill and the Making of a Revolutionary Counterculture), (Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism), (Said, Yeats and Decolonization), (Robinson, Black Marxism), (Marx, On the Irish Question), (Connolly, Labour in Irish History), (Moten, In the Break)

* Sliding scale registration, if you cannot pay the full registration email leftforum@leftforum.org

* Zoom details will be emailed shortly before the class starts

$75-125 for all 5 Sessions – Register Here!