My interview about Agamben on Against the Grain

While I was in San Francisco this summer, C.S. Soong of KPFA’s Against the Grain invited me to record an interview about Agamben’s work, which has now aired and is archived here for your enjoyment. If you’re a Facebook person, please consider visiting the show’s Facebook page and expressing your approval in the appropriate way.

A big thanks to C.S. for inviting me! I enjoyed recording it, and I hope you’ll enjoy listening to it.

Audio of Blnkt Talk

I recently was asked to speak with Gordon Faylor at an event here in Philadelphia hosted by Blnkt, an art and theory series. I don’t know why but I am always more nervous to speak in front of artists, writers, and poets than I am philosophers and scholars of religion. But this was a really good group of people and it was good for me to see some of this scene in Philly, since most of my existence consists of walking through my rough neighborhood, sitting on a train, and walking through another rough neighborhood before teaching my students who are all talking my courses as a requirements and so less than thrilled. It was nice to be reminded that people like to think and that they write interesting things.

Anyway, I gave a talk, which I realized upon sitting down was untitled and so I decided to call it, in this iteration, “On Translation and Gingivitis”. You can download the audio of the talk. I talk about it there, but this is essentially one of my recent aborted articles that I had to give up. But the tone isn’t academic as such and so I like parts of it. There are a few good lines and that ain’t bad.

Audio for Two Dublin Lectures on Laruelle

I just got back to Philadelphia after a visit to London and Dublin. The DUST event was really edifying and I am looking forward to seeing what Paul, Michael, and Fintin do in the future with that forum. The Mystical Theology: Eruptions from France was also interesting; the papers from Marika Rose on Zizek and rupture, Alex Dubilet on Bataille and Eckhart, and Catherine Tomas on the semiotic and symbolic were incredibly good.

Those who are interested can listen to audio of my lecture “Faux Amis?: François Laruelle and the Speculative Turn” and the paper I delivered at the conference, “Rejecting the World in the Name of Man: François Laruelle’s Gnostic Mysticism”.

Thinking the Absolute Conference: Absolute Mysticism Audio

While I was in the UK finishing up the Principles of Non-Philosophy translation with Nicola Rubczak I took a short break to attend the Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion‘s Thinking the Absolute conference, hosted at Liverpool Hope University. It was an overwhelming experience for me because of all the old friends, new friends, and associated folk it brought together into one place. I won’t go into specifics of keynotes, which a few others have already done, but just say that it was overwhelming for me to hear people engaging with my work, the work of my friends, and to have such engaging conversations about a variety of different topics with people outside the usual orthodoxies we usually have to deal with at similar conferences. It was also an absolutely surreal experience to watch François Laruelle participate in a black mass. When a friend, Jessie Hock, explained to him in French that what was happening was “a sin”, he leapt up to receive the unholy host. Words fail to capture this event!

You can listen to to the panel that I was part of, along with Daniel Colucciello Barber and Nicola Masciandaro, entitled Absolute Mysticism, either by streaming it on this site (sorry the embed code won’t take in WordPress and Soundcloud doesn’t like the file for some reason) or downloading the MP3 directly from my DropBox. The file contains all three of our papers and the questions. A note on the quality, while I think the whole thing is listenable, you need to turn the volume up higher for Daniel’s and Nicola’s papers, since I just used my iPad to record, which I read my paper off of and so was speaking directly into it. Next time I’ll take my fancy mic and record with my iPhone. Both their papers are simply incredible, with Nicola’s moving a few us near to the point of tears. I hope you enjoy them.

Laruelle Podcast

François Laruelle delivered a workshop presentation followed by a public lecture last week in London. As some of you know I came to London to participate and to get some other Laruelle-related work done. Part of that, it turned out, was producing a translation of his public talk over the course of about five to six hours alongside of Marjorie Gracieuse and Nicola Rubczak. You can listen to a podcast of the lecture and download a pdf of the translation at Backdoor Broadcasting Company. If you haven’t come across this website before I would recommend bookmarking it, as Réne Wolf has created an amazing service there, recording and broadcasting pretty much every interesting talk and event in the London area.

As for the lecture itself, it bears the funny title “Why do philosophers need to use an ethics?” and develops some of what the ethical implications of his recent work in quantum theory. It’s actually rather polemical, though that polemic is mostly coded for those who have ears to hear it, and the upswing of the talk appears to be advocating something like an ethics that can produce ethics but can’t proscribe that ethics. It thinks from little events, rather than big objects.

“To Have Done With Life” Conference Audio

Martin Hägglund has alerted me that audio files of the recent conference “To Have Done With Life: Vitalism and Anti-Vitalism in Contemporary Philosophy” in Zagreb have been posted. Along with Hägglund, participants included Catherine Malabou, Adrian Johnston, and Ray Brassier, and the entire thing has been thoroughly documented, including individual papers, question and answer sessions, and two roundtables.

Audio of “From the Fractured One of Shi’ism: On a Speculative Theory of Concealment and Dissimulation”

I expect that there will continue to be relatively little from me on the blog until I’ve finished my dissertation (the tentative hand-in date is July 1st). On Wednesday, though, I took time out to present a paper on some of the work in Islam I’ve been doing for the “Speculative Philosophies and Religious Practices: New Directions in the Philosophy of Religion and Post-Secular Practical Theology” workshop co-organized by Daniel Whistler. The event was good and it was interesting to speak with practical theologians whose concerns are very different than my own. My talk, “From the Fractured One of Shi’ism: On a Speculative Theory of Concealment and Dissimulation“, was a mix of the personal, reflecting on the environment in which my interest in Islam has grown, as well as the beginnings of some of my speculative re-working of certain Islamic practices. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t really like giving very technical papers and this is the second polemic I’ve given, but I hope to bear out the argument more intentionally in its future written form.