Interview with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o 500 300 domonda

Interview with Ngugi Wa Thiong’o

The work of Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o includes novels, plays, short stories, and essays, ranging from literary and social criticism to children’s literature.

Venice, 05/04/2018

The Center for the Humanities and Social Change at Ca‘ Foscari University of Venice co-sponsors a dedicated session at the Venice international literature fest Incroci di Civiltà (Crossroads of Civilizations) where world-renowned Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o, one of Africa’s leading voices, will be interviewed by the Center’s director, Shaul Bassi, and by one the Fellows, writer Igiaba Scego.

Details on the Festival can be found here.

5 April, 6 p.m., at Auditorium Santa Margherita, Dorsoduro 3689, Venice
Event in English, Italian translation available

International Summer School Critical Theory 2018: Re-Thinking Ideology 500 300 domonda

International Summer School Critical Theory 2018: Re-Thinking Ideology

Why do people often accept, and even embrace, social and political conditions that seem to run counter to their own interests? How is it possible that we sometimes support forms of domination with our ways of behaving and thinking without intending or even realizing it?

Berlin, 15-20 July 2018: Summer School Critical Theory.

One answer to these questions refers to the notion of ideology. Ideologies are more or less coherent systems of practices and beliefs that shape how individuals relate to their social reality in ways that distort their understanding of what is wrong with that reality and thereby contribute to its reproduction.

The summer school will seek to clarify the meanings and theoretical roles of ideology, as the concept has been prominently developed from the writings of Marx via Critical Theory in the tradition of the Frankfurt School to more recent debates in feminism and analytic philosophy. Key contemporary protagonists of ideology critique like Sally Haslanger, Robert Gooding-Williams, Axel Honneth, Alice Crary, Karen Ng, Titus Stahl, Robin Celikates, Martin Saar and Rahel Jaeggi will be present at the summer school and facilitate debates both of key texts from canonical authors and of their own systematic positions.

Instructors: Robin Celikates (University of Amsterdam), Alice Crary (Oxford/New School), Robert Gooding-Williams (Columbia), Sally Haslanger (MIT), Axel Honneth (Columbia/IfS), Rahel Jaeggi (HU Berlin), Karen Ng (Vanderbilt), Martin Saar (Goethe University Frankfurt), Titus Stahl (Groningen).

Organizers: Rahel Jaeggi, Eva von Redecker, Isette Schuhmacher (Humboldt University Berlin), Robin Celikates (University of Amsterdam), Martin Saar (Goethe University, Frankfurt) in cooperation with the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and the New School for Social Research.

The application deadline for participants has already closed, but there will be two panel-discussions on the evenings of Monday 16th and Thursday 19th which are open to the public.

International Workshop: Afropean Bridges. Identity, Representation, Opportunities 1024 576 domonda

International Workshop: Afropean Bridges. Identity, Representation, Opportunities

Afropean Bridges aims to open a discussion about the achievements of the Africa-EU partnership and to address social and cultural issues related to the post-colonial relationship between European and African countries.

Venice, 20/04/2018

The international workshop is organized by the Center for the Humanities and Social Change at Ca‘ Foscari University of Venice in partnership with the NGO Progressi.

Full program and more information here

A new edition of Afropean Bridges is in the making for March 2019. Stay tuned.

April 20th, 2018 – 10 a.m – 6 p.m.
Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Aula Baratto (2nd Floor)
Dorsoduro 3246, Calle Larga Foscari

Alice Crary: Inside Ethics, Book Presentation (invitation only) 500 300 domonda

Alice Crary: Inside Ethics, Book Presentation (invitation only)

We have come to think of human beings and animals as elements of a morally indifferent reality that reveals itself only to neutral or science-based methods.

Berlin, 31/05/2018.

This little-commented-on trend, which shapes the work of moral philosophers and popular ethical writers alike, has pernicious effects, distorting our understanding of the difficulty of moral thinking. Inside Ethics traces the roots of existing views to tendencies in ethics, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind. Crary underlines the moral urgency of revisiting our approach in ethics so that, instead of assuming we confront a world that itself places no demands on moral imagination, we treat the exercise of moral imagination as necessary for arriving at an adequate world-guided understanding of human beings and animals. The result is a commanding case for a reorientation in ethics that illuminates central challenges of moral thought about human and animal lives, directing attention to important aspects of these lives that are otherwise hidden from view.

Organized by the chair for social philosophy (Rahel Jaeggi) and the social philosophy research Colloquium.

31st May 2018 6-9pm (Invitation Only) in Berlin

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.