Occupy Wall Street, Part Two

Originally posted on Nomad Scholarship:

This is part two of my reflections on the relevance of Deleuze & Guattari’s political philosophy to the Occupy movement: the first one was on war machines; this one is on ahistorical becomings.  Part One ended with a discussion of Deleuze & Guattari’s quip that, in a sense, “May ’68 did not take place,” suggesting that in a similar way “Occupy” could be said not to have taken place – inasmuch as neither event had the kind of historical impact or uptake we would have wished for.  Part Two starts by explaining the notion of “historical uptake) behind such claims.

Ahistorical Becomings

In order to better understand the sense in which Deleuze and Guattari can say that May 1968 did not take place and yet call it a pure event, we must learn, along with them, to distinguish between history and becoming, that is to say, between linear history and the potential alternatives to historical development they…

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Bataille on Literature and Evil (1958)

Thanks to Linda Stewart for posting this on Facebook! You can see the original Open Culture article here or watch the video below.

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Nomadology of Institutions revisited

Originally posted on Nomad Scholarship:

Toward the end of Part Two of this essay, I suggested that institutions embody what Lyotard calls “language-games” – institutions, in other words, include what Deleuze & Guattari refer to as collective assemblages of enunciation.  One of the critical advantages of Deleuze & Guattari’s formulation is the distinction they draw between two forms of collective enunciation or language-games: the oedipal or state-form and the anti-oedipal or nomadic form of the war-machine. One instantiation of this distinction is the ethological differentiation of herds from packs.

Herd animals form an undifferentiated mass, and they all follow a single leader; this for Deleuze & Guattari is the epitome of the State form of social relations. Pack animals such as wolves interact very differently: for wolves on the hunt, there is a significant degree of role specialization, and the pack operates via the collective coordination of members’ activities rather than via obedience to a single leader…

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Occupy Wall Street from a deleuze-guattari perspective

Originally posted on Nomad Scholarship:

Although I will be posting further installments of my series on “Nomad Citizenship revisited” devoted to developing a nomadology of institutions, I was asked to reflect on the relevance of Deleuze & Guattari’s political philosophy to the Occupy movement – and will share those reflections here in a series of three posts (including this one), on war machines, ahistorical becomings, and the minor.

Given that their first collaborative work, Anti-Oedipus, emerged at least partly as a reflection on the unanticipated political events of May 1968, it would be very surprising indeed if Deleuze and Guattari’s perspective turned out not to be relevant to the equally unforeseen resonance of the Occupy Wall Street movement throughout the United States (and indeed around the world) some forty years later. And it is the unforeseen quality of both these political movements that leads into the first two of the three topics under consideration in…

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Life in the Accelerated Academy: anxiety thrives, demands intensify and metrics hold the tangled web together

Originally posted on Progressive Geographies:

Interesting piece at the Impact of Social Sciences blog by Mark Carrigan.


The imagined slowness of university life has given way to a frenetic pace, defined by a perpetual ratcheting up of demands and an entrepreneurial ethos seeking new and quantifiable opportunities. Mark Carrigan explores the toxic elements of this culture and its underlying structural roots. As things get faster, we tend to accept things as they are rather than imagining how they might be. But the very speed of social media may act as a short-circuit. The limited investment necessary means that social media can allow the imagination to thrive. 

When questioned by a friend in 1980 as to whether he was happy at Princeton, the philosopher Richard Rorty replied that he was “delighted that I lucked into a university which pays me to make up stories and tell them”. He went on to suggest that “Universities permit one to read books and…

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Deleuze’s first seminar, “What is Grounding” (1956-7), is now available

&&& (Triple Ampersand) just released an English translation of  a “near-complete transcription/ lecture notes taken by a student enrolled in the earliest recorded course offered by Gilles Deleuze, What is grounding? (Qu’est-ce que fonder?).” It is free and open-access; all you need to do is provide your email address to receive a download link.

It is the first text to be released as part of &&&’s MÉMOIRES INVOLUNTAIRE series, whose mission, as the editors describe it, is:

“interven[ing] in the prevelant (sic) understandings of cultural, theoretical, and other literary canons by renewing texts of the past in the present, for the construction of alternate futures. By disturbing collective memories that have either forgotten about such works or were never aware of them originally, the series not only invigorates memory, but also intensifies imagination.”

Very exciting news!

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Interview with Frédéric Lordon: Les zélés du désir

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