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X-Factors: Terrestriality, Reinscription,
Memory Regimes

A Workshop on 'Climate Change' and the Archive

April 4-6, 2008

X-Factors

University at Albany
State University of New York

The 'X-Factors' -- global warming, species extinction, waning biodiversity, exhausting reserves -- are unplanned for impositions upon 21st Century 'global modernity'. Through these 'X-Factors' human history becomes condensed against geological and climatic timelines, rendering anthropocentric definitions of limit, war, memory, and 'live as we know it' inadequate. The X-Factors Conference calls together a diverse, international group of scholars to explore the prospective import of these 21st century horizons, posing the preliminary question:

How do 21st century cultural, material and epistemological models stand to mutate in the era of 'climate change' with the latter's implied turn away from the anthropocentric mode to an 'other'?


Keynotes

Claire Colebrook, University at Edinburgh
Time and Autopoiesis: Why the Organism has no Future

Claire Colebrook is currently Professor of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. A leading expert on feminist thought and Deleuzian philosophy, she is the author of New Literary Histories (1997), Ethics and Representation (1999), Gilles Deleuze (2002), Understanding Deleuze (2002), Irony in the Work of Philosophy (2002). She is currently writing books on the contemporary interface between the cognitive sciences and contemporary critical thought.

Bernard Stiegler, Pompidou Center, Paris
The Three Structural Limits of Hyperindustrical Capitalism
(A propos de trois limites structurelles du capitalisme hyperindustrial)

Bernard Stiegler is Director of the Department of Cultural Development at the Center Georges-Pompidou and one of the leading philos0phers in contemporary France. He is Director of the Institut de recherche ed d'innovation (IRI), which was created at his initiative in April 2006, and was previously director of IRCAM. His best known work in English translation are Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus and Echographies of Television, with Jacuqes Derrida.

Huan Saussy, Yale University
Viability

Huan Saussy is professor of Comparative Literature at Yale University, whose specialization include Chinese culture in an international era and the "globalization" of comparativist studies. His books include The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic (1994), Great Walls of Discourse and Other Adventures in Cultural (2002), Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization (2006), Sinographices: Writing in China (2008). He compiled the American Comparative Literature Association's 2004 report on the state of the discipline and is current working on a book about the concept of rhythm in psychology, linguistics, literature and folklore.

Sam Weber, Northwestern University
Climate Change: The Question of Prognosticating?

Samuel Weber is Avalon Foundation Professor of Humanities at Northwester and co-director of its Paris Program in Critical Theory. Professor Weber is one of the most influential of critical theorists of recent decades working in American and continental traditions. He has published books on Balzac, Lacan, and Freud, as well as on the relation of institutions and media to contemporary politics. His most recent books include Theatricality as Medium (2004), Targets of Opportunity Benjamin's-abilites (2008).


Speakers

Gil Anidjar, Columbia University
Hematologies

Gil Anidjar is Associate Professor in the Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. He is the author of "Our Place in Al-Andalus": Kabbalah, Philosophy, Literature in Arab Jewish Letters (2002) and the editor of Jacques Derrida's Acts of Religion (2002). His latest book is entitled Semites: Race, Religion, Literature (2007).

Jennifer Bajorek, Goldsmiths C0llege, University of London
Against a Resource War for the Image

Jennifer Bajorek is the Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College. She has written and published on a broad range of topics in the areas of literature and philosophy, text and image, and critical and social theory. Her book Counterfeit Capital: Poetic Labor and Revolutionary Irony is forthcoming from Stanford University Press.

Tom Cohen, University at Albany
'Critical Climate Change' and the Archive

Tom Cohen is Professor of English at the University at Albany, SUNY, and co-founder of IC3. His books include Ideology and Inscription (1998) and Hitchcock's Cryptonymies: War Machines (2005).

Mark Hansen, University of Chicago
On the Insufficiency of Time-Consciousness Given the Heterogeneity of Physical Time: from Computation to Cosmology

Mark Hansen is Professor in the Departments of English and Visual Arts at the University of Chicago. He is a leading expert on new media theory. His current work focuses on the coupling of the human and the technical. His recent publications include Critical Terms for Media Studies (2008), Newcybernetic Emergence: New Essays in Second Order Cybernetics (2008), Bodies in Code: Interfaces with New Media (2006).

Laurel Kernes, Drew University
Reinscribing Religions' planetary context: Is the climate changing?

Laurel Kearns is Associate Professor of Sociology of Religion and Environmental Studies at Drew University. Her research is focused on religious involvement, particularly Christian ecological issues and movements in the U.S. and Australia, nature spirituality, and religious responses to global warming. Her most recent books is Ecospirit: Religions and Philosophies for the Earth (2007).

Kyoo Lee, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
On a "From in the Pond"; Or a Pond in the Frog as a Metaphor for "This" World

Trained in Continental philosophy and literary theory in the UK, Kyoo Lee writes in the intersecting fields of aesthetics, critical theory, post-phenominology and translation. Her academic essays have appeared in Angelaki, the Comparatists, Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-century Thought, How to talk to Photography, Mythos, and Logos, Parallax, Philosophical Writings, Poetry Review, SOAS Literary Review and Social Identities. Currently, she is working on a monograph that reads Descartes as post-Cartesian.

James Lilley, University at Albany
Allegory and Apocalypse: notes Toward a new Aesthetics of Belonging

James Lilley is Assistant Professor English at the University at Albany. His work traces the genealogy of modern systems of belonging by exploring how the singular is collected into the common in various cultural and political discourses. His current book projects examines aesthetic transformation that, during the 18th and 19th century, made community conceivable in terms of a series of peculiar and interrelated common things: genre, feeling event, voice, and race.

Randy Martin, New York University
After Autonomy: Weathering the University

Randy Martin is Professor of Art and Public Policy at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He specializes in ethnography, cultural and political theory, performing arts, labor, and social movements. His latest book is An Empire of Indifference (2007).

He Qinglian, Princeton University
The Role of Local Governments in China's Environmental Pollution

He Qinglian holds a degree in Economy from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. She left China to be able to pursue her critique of ecological developments there, and her monograph The Pitfalls of Modernization has been widely read in China and won acclaim from both the public and economists.

Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, University at Albany
Genocide and Complicity: Soundings From a Long Century

Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya is is a writer-in-residence at SUNY, Albany. His first novel, The Gabriel Club, a meditation of the fall of communism, was published in sixteen countries in eleven languages. His forthcoming trilogy of novels -- The Desert of Love, CIty of Dreams, and A Small War -- is set in the contemporary Muslim world. He is currently at work on a non-fiction book of essays, Meditations an Meditation Genocide.

Henry Sussman, University at Buffalo
Atmospherics of Mood, 1

Henry Sussman is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University at Buffalo and Visiting Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Yale University. Among his many books of literary criticism and critical theory are: Idylls of the Wanderer: Outside in Literature and Theory (2007), The Task of the Critic: Poetics, Philosophy, Religion (2005), Acts of Narrative (2003), and The Aesthetic Contract: Statutes of Art and Intellectual Work in Modernity (1997). Professor sussman is the co-director of the Institute on Critical Climate Change.

McKenzie Wark, New School of Social Research
Spectacles of Disintegration

McKenzie Wark is Associate Professor in Culture and Media at the New School for Liberal Arts. He is one of today's most inventive thinkers of media studies, materialist theory, cinema, music, and visual art. His recent books include GAM3R 7H3oRY (2006), A Hacker Manifesto (2004), and Dispositions (2002).

Krzysztof Ziarek, University at Buffalo
Which Other, Whose Alterity?: The Human after Humanism

Krzysztof Ziarek is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University at Buffalo. He is a renowned expert on continental philosophy and contemporary aesthetics. His books include The Historicity of Experience: Modernity, the Avant-Garde, and the Event (2001), and The Force of Art (2004). Most Recently, he is the co-author of Adorno and Heidegger: Philosophical Questions (2007).


Respondents

Catherine Perret, University of Paris

Catherine Perret is professor of modern and contemporary aesthetics and theory at Nanterre University (Paris X). Dr. Perret is the directory of the Art Exhibition Department at Paris X. She is a recipient of the prestigious title Chevalier des Palmes académiques and author of an important book on Benjamin and Lacan.

Ewa Ziarek, University at Buffalo

Ewa Ziarek is Park Professor of Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo and recent Director of the UB Humanities Institute. She teaches feminist theory, modernism, continental philosophy, ethics, and critical theory. She is the author of An Ethics of Dissensus: Feminism, Postmodernity, and the Politics of Radical Democracy (Stanford 2001); and editor of Gombrowicz's Grimaces: Modernism, Gender, Nationality (SUNY, 1998); and a co-editor of Revolt, Affect, Collectivity: The Unstable Boundaries of Kristeva's Polis (forthcoming) and Intermedialities: Philosophy, Art, Politics (forthcoming).

 

"X-Factors: A Workshop on Climate Change and the Archive" is made possible by the generous support of the University at Albany's Office of the Provost, Academic Affairs; Imagining America; John Lowe, Esq.; and the Department of English.

 

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