Deleuze Seminar


Academic year 2011-2012, Tuesday afternoons, 14.00-17.00, Location: Stijlkamer van Ravensteijn, Kromme Nieuwe Gracht 80, Utrecht University.
Organised by the OSL (Onderzoekschool Literatuurwetenschap) with the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University
Chaired by Professor Rosi Braidotti (Utrecht University) and Professor Anneke Smelik (Radboud University Nijmegen)

The seminar consists of six sessions in English which will run throughout the academic year 2011-12 in Utrecht. Research masters and PhD students, as well as staff members, are welcome to participate. Students can get credits for their participation by attending regularly and writing a final paper. Each session of the three-hour seminar will consist of an in-depth reading of a text by Gilles Deleuze (with or without Felix Guattari), sometimes alongside secondary texts by other theorists or philosophers. This year the theme will be Deleuze’s ‘aesthetics’ from the angle of cultural studies. A Thousand Plateaus will be the guideline reference text throughout the seminar.

Participants are expected to acquire the literature themselves, but wherever possible we will make pdf files available.

27 September, 2011: Introduction
Rosi Braidotti: “Approaching Deleuze’s texts: methodological insights”.

Please note: this is an introductory class for new participants; people who have attended the seminar in the past few years may want to skip this session, or come prepared to make their own contribution.

Reading material:
G. Deleuze, Negotiations (New York, Columbia University Press, 1995):
Section on : “On A Thousand Plateaus” pp. 25-34;
Extracts from C.V. Boundas (ed) The Deleuze Reader (New York, Columbia University Press, 1993): “Rhizome versus Tree” pp. 27-38 ; “A Theory of the Other”, pp. 59-68 ; “Language; Major and Minor”, pp. 145-151; “Minor Literature; Kafka”, pp. 152-164; “Nomad art” pp 165-172.

11 October, 2011: TBA
Guest seminar with Prof. Gregg Lambert (Syracuse University,USA)
Reading material:
G. Deleuze, Proust and Signs, chapter on “The Image of Thought”
G. Deleuze & F. Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus. The first chapter, “Rhizome”.
Gregg Lambert is the Director of the Centre for the Humanities at Syracuse University and the author of Who’s Afraid of Deleuze and Guattari? (New York and London: Continuum Books, January 2007); The Return of the Baroque in Modern Culture (New York and London: Continuum Books, January 2005); The Non-Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze (New York and London, Continuum Books, 2002).

29 November, 2011: Performance Studies
Guest seminar with Prof. Maaike Bleeker (Utrecht University)
Reading material: (to be announced)

7 February, 2012: Fashion Studies
Anneke Smelik will discuss the possibilities of using deleuzian concepts for the study of fashion.
Reading material: Texts from The Fold, ATP and the Cinema Books.

13 March, 2012: TBA
Guest seminar with dr Birgit Kaiser (UtrechtUniversity)
Reading material: (to be announced).

24 April, 2012: On Music
Rosi Braidotti will discuss the notion of the ‘ritournelle’( the refrain)
Readingmaterial: ATP


Public Lecture by Prof. Michael Hardt (Duke University, USA)
Thursday 26 January, 10:30 – 12:00
Title: “What to Do in a Crisis”.
Place: Utrecht University, Drift 21: room 0.05/Sweelinckzaal
Abstract: The lecture will take as point of departure some of the forms of resistance that have emerged in the current economic crisis, such as the defense of labor union rights inWisconsin and the occupations ofMadrid’s Puerta del sol and Athen’sSyntagma Square in Spring 2011. The ultimate goal is to recognize some of the ways that it is changing what it means to be ‘the Left’.
This lecture is part of the Intensive Programme of the Utrecht School of Critical Theory on “Risk Societies and Cosmopolitanism.
Michael Hardt is a political philosopher and literary theorist currently based at Duke University, North Carolina. His most famous works were written in collaboration with Antonio Negri: Empire (2000); Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004) and Commonwealth. Michael Hardt is also the author of Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy (1993) and The Jameson Reader (with Kathi Weeks, 2000).

National Symposium on Deleuze Scholarship:
“Lines of Flight in the Lowlands”

May 15, 2012. Conveners: Rosi Braidotti and Rick Dolphijn
The purpose of this study day is to assess the state of current Deleuze scholarship in our region, with strong emphasis on new directions of study and new generations of scholars. One session will be dedicated to the topic of ‘geo-philosophy and globalisation’; another session will be open and subject to a call for papers. Short papers will be presented with ample space reserved for discussion.
Invited speaker: to be announced.


Hermes Summerschool: Literature and Intervention

HERMES seminar 2012
Literature and Intervention: The Relevance of Literature in a Changing World

Amsterdam, June 11-15, 2012
Annual International Post-Graduate Seminar in collaboration with the HERMES Consortium for Literary and Cultural Studies.

Key note speaker:

Over the last decades, the study of literature has changed drastically. These changes are the result of (inter)disciplinary developments as well as the consequence of societal changes.

The increasing interdisciplinarity of literary studies, to begin with, has brought literary scholars into an intense discussion with philosophy, aesthetic theory, cultural sociology, political theory, popular culture studies, et cetera. As a result, literary scholars of today study a wide variety of cultural phenomena.

Furthermore, literary theorists and sociologists have charted a number of socio-cultural developments that have had quite an impact on the work of writers, readers and literary professionals. One can think of the diversification of culture (high vs. low, new media, ethnicity…), the increase in cultural production, the loss of humanist ideals, the growing dominance of information technologies, the (assumed) vanishing of print culture, and so on. Literary culture, in other words, is changing rapidly and drastically.

These (and other) academic and socio-cultural transformations seem to undermine, or at least transform, the ways in which researchers used to think of literature and literary culture. The paradox is that they, by doing so, contribute to the renewed topicality of very basic, but crucial questions, such as: What is literature? What is literary experience? How is literature perceived, discussed, viewed, structured? Where, how and why do people have an interest in literature? How is literature transformed by the changing society of today, and how can literature transform society? The impact and relevance of literature and literary studies, in other words, are on the agenda again.

The Hermes 2012 seminar invites participants to reflect on the impact of and interventions by literature – from any historical era – in the context of the cultural and political transformations of our time. Participants are encouraged to address these issues by exploring notions as literary impact and literary intervention from a wide variety of approaches. Issues to be discussed might include, but are not restricted to:

  • Ethical, political, public interventions by literary authors
  • Literature and commitment
  • Relevance of analyzing author X in historical era Y
  • Responsibility and literary research
  • Impact of literature in the public sphere
  • Beyond postmodern relativism?
  • Didactic or therapeutic aspects of literature
  • Specific relevance (or lack thereof) of particular genres, discourses, and media
  • Diachronic perspectives on the relevance of literature

Call for Papers

If you are interested in participating, please send a proposal for a paper of max. 300 words and a biographical note of max 150 words, to the OSL office at before March16th 2012. Note: the HERMES seminar is open to PhD students associated with one of the participating research schools and universities.

The Hermes Consortium is a collaboration of:

  • Faculty of Arts and Humanities at University College London
  • Giessener Graduiertenzentrum Kulturwissenschaften of the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen
  • Faculty of Humanities at Aarhus University
  • Faculty of Arts at the University of Leuven University
  • Centro de Estudos Comparatistas (Faculdade de Letras) at the University of Lisbon
  • Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
  • The Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies
  • Stanford University
  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Bologna

 More information:

Dr. Gaston Franssen (staff member OSL)
Dr. Eloe Kingma (managing director OSL)
Prof. dr. Thomas Vaessens (academic director OSL)