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Nina Rismal

Zeynep Gambetti 150 150 Nina Rismal

Zeynep Gambetti

Zeynep Gambetti

Fellow, Berlin Center

Spring 2018


Zeynep Gambetti

Political scientist Zeynep Gambetti’s work focuses on contemporary political theory, ethics, social movements, and public space. She has written extensively on Hannah Arendt; her work includes research on matters of subjectivity, violence in the neoliberal system, and the decolonization of urban spaces. Space as a vector of relationality plays a signifi cant role in her work on the transformation of the conflict with the Kurdish movement. Zeynep Gambetti is Associate Professor of political theory at Boğaziçi University. She is currently engaged in writing a book on labor, action and ethics through the perspective of Arendt, Marx and Deleuze.

Summer Institute in Venice – Fact And Value In Public Life 1024 768 Nina Rismal

Summer Institute in Venice – Fact And Value In Public Life

Summer Institute in Venice:

Fact And Value In Public Life

Plural Cultures, Media, and the Academy Today


Venice, June 25th-29th, 2018

The value of „facts“ in public life today, as well as related notions of truth, authority, and institutional legitimacy, stand in serious question. Two major institutions that are, in principle, defined by the investigation, analysis, and promulgation both of facts and of their value–journalism and the university–currently find themselves not only destabilized but even under attack by sweeping political, cultural, economic, and technological forces.

Contemporary societies, pressured by the crisis of neoliberalism and global political instability, and challenged by unprecedented migration waves, constantly re-negotiate the coexistence and interaction of multiple, competing, and often conflicting value-systems across diverse linguistic, cultural, and religious fault-lines.

The extremes of spiritual vacuum and ideological fundamentalism threaten the democratic ideal of an open, plural, and just society.

Sponsored by Humanities and Social Change, this five-day gathering will bring together leading figures from the worlds of media and the academy not only to assess the current crisis regarding the value of facts–and the fact of values–in contemporary societies but also to articulate constructive responses to that crisis.


Read the follow-up report of the Summer Institute here.

Trajectories of Spirit 500 300 Nina Rismal

Trajectories of Spirit

Trajectories of Spirit

Three events with philosopher Hans Ruin
Professor at Södertörn University, Stockholm and author of Being with the Dead: Burial, Ancestral Politics, and the Roots of Historical Consciousness (Stanford U. Press, forthcoming)

Monday, April 30 2018, 4:00 PM

Public Lecture: “The Hearing Eye: Weber and Husserl on Science as Spiritual Calling”
This lecture discusses Max Weber’s 1917 lecture “Science as a Vocation” and compares it with Edmund Husserl’s 1911 essay “Philosophy as Rigorous Science,” attempting for the first time to develop the deeper underlying similarities between their approaches to theoria as also a listening to a call, and the parallel attempts to give science in the modern era a spiritual foundation.


Tuesday, May 1 2018, 3:30 PM

Seminar: “Pneumatology in St. Paul and Kierkegaard”
A seminar discussion of Professor Ruin’s essay “Anxious Spirits – Pneumatology in Heidegger, Paul, and Kierkegaard,” in Topos 1 (2014): 39-52. The text is an attempt to interpret the Pauline concept of pneuma as a category of historical life, and as a metaphor for the transmission of tradition.


Thursday, May 3 2018, 3:30 PM

Seminar:“Being with the Dead”
A seminar discussion surrounding the main ideas of Professor Ruin’s forthco- ming book with Stanford University Press, Being with the Dead. Suggested reading: “Speaking to the Dead – Historicity and the Ancestral,” Danish Yearbook of Philosophy 48-49: 115-137. By comparing literature and history as two ways of depicting a journey to the land of the dead, it gives a new perspective on the birth of historical writing.


Location for all three events: Room 4080, Humanities and Social Sciences Building, University of California, Santa Barbara

Copies of the readings may be requested at

PROVOCATIONS | Session #1 | What do we owe to trolls and Nazis? 500 300 Nina Rismal

PROVOCATIONS | Session #1 | What do we owe to trolls and Nazis?

What do we owe to trolls and Nazis?

Community Discussion Group PROVOCATIONS | Session #1

March 16th, 2018, 6-8 p.m.

SBCAST @ 513 Garden St., Santa Barbara


How do democratic virtues change as our civic life increasingly moves online? Should we try to reason with Nazis? Must we show respect to trolls? Drawing on case studies and participants’ own experiences, this workshop will ask hard questions about democracy and citizenship in the digital age. We will listen to Lindy West’s story, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, SAY IT IN ALL CAPS,” and read excerpts from Angela Nagles’ Kill All Normies to consider what the evolution of online communi- ties and the “culture wars” might mean for American democracy.

The event will be followed by a reception.

Stanley Cavell and Emersonian Perfectionism 807 459 Nina Rismal

Stanley Cavell and Emersonian Perfectionism

Stanley Cavell and Emersonian Perfectionism

A Seminar with Andrew Norris (UCSB) & Sandra Laugier (Panthéon Sorbonne)

February 13th, 2018, 2-5 p.m.

Board Room @ Mosher Alumni House, University of California, Santa Barbara

Liberals like John Rawls often argue that perfectionism is incompatible with democracy, as it entails establishing criteria of human perfection or self-realization that are at best restrictive of individual autonomy and at worst discriminatory towards lesser, “imperfect” forms of life. Stanley Cavell, in contrast, argues that perfectionism as it is understood by Ralph Waldo Emerson is an essential moment in democratic politics. In this special seminar, open to the entire UCSB community, two scholars of Cavell will draw out and defend this claim and attempt to clarify its implications. Following up on Professor Sandra Laugier’s February 12 public lecture, “The Politics of Voice,” the February 13 seminar will focus on the Introduction and fifth chapter of UCSB Professor Andrew Norris’ recent book, Becoming Who We Are: Politics and Practical Philosophy in the Work of Stanley Cavell (Oxford, 2017), along with Stanley Cavell’s “Aversive Thinking: Emersonian Representations in Heidegger and Nietzsche.”

Copies of the readings may be requested at

The Politics of Voice 500 300 Nina Rismal

The Politics of Voice

The Politics of Voice


with Sandra Laugier
Author of Recommencer la philosophie: Stanley Cavell et la philosophie en Amérique (Vrin, 2014) and Why We Need Ordinary Language Philosophy (Chicago, 2013)

Discussant: Pierre Fasula (PhD Paris 1) Postdoctoral Fellow, Humanities and Social Change Santa Barbara Center

February 12 2018, 4:00 PM
Alumni Hall @ Mosher Alumni House, University of California, Santa Barbara

In this talk I defend an “ordinary conception of politics” that stems from Wittgenstein, Cavell, and Emerson. In place of ideal forms of government and abstract definitions of the principles of democratic politics, I show that living in a given state endows individuals with practical knowledge about the political order. Community is what gives me a political voice and what can just as well take it away from me, disappoint me, or deceive me to the point that I no longer want to speak for it or let it speak for me. This introduces skepticism and self-reliance into politics and political activism.


Copies of the readings may be requested at

Animals, Contradictions and Value 500 300 Nina Rismal

Animals, Contradictions and Value

Animals, Contradiction, and Value

Dinesh Wadiwel, University of Sydney
Author of The War Against Animals (Brill, 2015), co-editor of Foucault and Animals (Brill, 2016), and convenor of the Human Animal Research Network (HARN)

Discussant: Jan Dutkiewicz
The New School /UCSB

January 29 2018, 4:00 PM
Mosher Alumni House, University of California, Santa Barbara

Animals are neither objects nor machines, and yet they appear on balance sheets and super market shelves like any other commodity. Whereas animal rights theory has traditionally argued for greater moral recognition as an antidote to this contradiction, this paper reaches to Karl Marx to explore the unique structural position of animals under capitalism and to conceptualize political change.