News & Events


Philosophy Postgraduate Conference


Philosophy PG Conference

The PG conference is a space for PhD students and MLitts to present their current research. It will be held from 10am - 5pm on the 18th of May in HDB G.13.

 Zoe Waters

Caliban, the Witch and the Cuck: Mechanical Philosophy and the Hyper-sexualisation of Women and Black Men in Porn 

10.00 - 10.40 

Nicky Brignell

The Intractable Nature of the Ethical: Adorno on Nietzsche and Nihilism 

10.40 - 11.20 



11.20 - 11.40 

Arne Beswick

Finding Rawls’ Hegel 

11.40 – 12.20 

Holden Rasmussen

The Sound of Death Philosophy: Bataille, Lacan, and the Anxiety that One Is 

12.20 - 1:00 

Dinner break


1.00 - 2.00 


Ignas Zemleckas

Criteria, Judgements and Automated Marking: A Return to Lyotard

2.00 - 2:40 

Jacob Parkin

Stop Making Sense: Autism and Readability in Contemporary French Philosophy 

2.40 - 3.20 




3.20 - 3.40

Fenn Waterston

Between Firestone and Federici: Reproduction, Difference, and Technology 

3.40 – 4.20 

Ben Fricker-Muller

Towards a Critical Medicine: Subject and Healthcare 




Term 2

Wednesday 9th February 2022 - Frank Ruda (Dundee), 'The Immanence of Obscurity'


Term 3

Week 1 —Wednesday 27th April 2022 - Tom Greaves (UEA), ‘The Elemental and the Ephemeral’, 5pm–7pm, HDB3.76

Week 2 — Wednesday 4th May - [POSTPONED] Isabel Millar (Global Centre for Advanced Studies), 'Life in Priapalandia', 5pm–7pm, HDB3.76

Week 4 — Wednesday 11th May 2022 - Arthur Bradley (Lancaster), ‘In the Antechamber of Power: Sovereign Divisibility from Schiller to Schmitt’, 3pm–5pm [n.b. the earlier time], HDB3.76


ABSTRACT: Frank Ruda, 'The Immanence of Obscurity'


In one of his seminars, Michel Foucault makes a passing reference to a peculiar form of sovereign figure that, surprisingly, he sees repeatedly emerging throughout almost the entire history of the Western world: the grotesque sovereign. The lecture will mobilize Foucault’s passing remarks and wager that they might help to elucidate from within the political operativity of obscure times and “obscure subjects” (Badiou).


ABSTRACT: In the Antechamber of Power: Sovereign Divisibility from Schiller to Schmitt

In this paper, I offer a political architectonic of what Carl Schmitt calls the “antechamber of power [Vorraum der Macht]” from Friedrich Schiller, through Franz Kafka, to Walter Benjamin. To summarize,  I seek to argue that the antechamber of power has always been a marginal space within the conceptual imaginary of sovereignty, but Schiller, Kafka, Benjamin, and Schmitt re-imagine it as the privileged space of an originary partage, sharing or division of power. In a series of readings of philosophical, historical, and literary representations of the antechamber, I show how the allegedly private chamber of power occupied by the sovereign alone constitutively divides or exteriorizes itself into a --- potentially infinite --- series of new political antechambers occupied by a new class of political bodies: Schiller’s counsellor, Kafka’s bureaucrat, Benjamin’s clerk.


ABSTRACT: Isabel Millar, 'Life in Priapalandia': [POSTPONED to Autumn 2022] 

Life is pornographic, everything is obscene and there is no longer anything left to secrecy. These were some of Jean Baudrillard’s bold ideas in his last work about the final stage of hyperreality and simulation into which we had entered. Despite the ridicule that Baudrillard’s work has attracted, his ideas were far more nuanced than just outlandish metaphysical proclamations designed to puzzle and shock. In 'Forget Foucault' for example, he draws a parallel between the 'disappearance' of sexuality and the constitution of reality itself.

The inexistence of the sexual relation is the foundational concept of Lacanian psychoanalysis. Each subject only ever experiencing sexuality as mediated through a fantasy structure in which they may take up any position in relation to the object. But where (according to Baudrillard) for psychoanalysis there remains the possibility of a ‘non-relation’, giving rise to various forms of jouissance, even the power of this failed sexual rapport is diminishing as the world becomes more transparent, along with the progressive abstraction of sexual exchange value, and the dissolution of desire replaced by something more akin to compulsion and automatic mimesis. This talk will explore the production of reality and the obscenity of the world according to Baudrillard in relation to Foucault, Lacan and Lyotard.


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Other events that may be of interest:

Representing Nonhuman Animals Conference: University of Durham, Monday 25th April 2022, 12midday onwards.