2018 Reading Group: New Rationalism

Prelude Session: Dialectic of Enlightenment

Reading: Jay, M. (1996) The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research, 1923-1950 (California: University of California Press), p. 256-261 + Brassier, R. (2007) Nihil Unbound: Enlightenment and Extinction (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), p. 34-39.

Watching: Starship Troopers (Paul Verhoeven, 1997)

Session 1: The Trauma of Scientific Disenchantment

Reading: Veal, D. (2009) Collapse V: The Copernican Imperative (Falmouth: Urbanomic), p. 3-16 + O’Shea, J. (2007) Wilfrid Sellars: Naturalism with a Normative Turn (Cambridge: Polity Press), p. 10-22.

Session 2: The Normative Vector of Reason (Freedom)

Reading: O’Shea, J. (2007) Wilfrid Sellars: Naturalism with a Normative Turn (Cambridge: Polity Press), p. 17-22 (reread) + Brandom, R. (2009) Reason in Philosophy: Animating Ideas (Cambridge: Harvard University Press), p. 1-13.

Session 3: The Social Vector of Reason (Reasoning)

Reading: Simon Laden, A. (2014), Reasoning: A Social Picture (Oxford: Oxford University Press), p. 1-40.

Session 4: The Revisionary Vector of Reason (Functionalism)

Reading: Negarestani, R. (2015) ‘Revolution Backwards: Functional Realization and Computational Implementation’, in Alleys of Your Mind: Augmented Intelligence and Its Traumas, p. 139-154.

Session 5: Prometheanism and the Plasticity of Being

Reading: Brassier, R. (2014) ‘Prometheanism and Its Critics’, in #Accelerate: The Accelerationist Reader, p. 469-487.


Summer 2017 Reading Group: From Capitalist Realism to New Accelerationism

Session 1: Capitalist Realism – Saturday 24/6 12-3pm

Reading: Fisher, M. (2009) Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (Winchester: Zero Books), Ch. 1, 2, 4 + 5.

Session 2: Popular Modernism and Hauntology – Tuesday 25/7 6-9pm

Reading: Fisher, M. (2014) Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures (Winchester: Zero Books), p. 2-29 + 98-108.

Listening: Rufige Kru – ‘Terminator’ (Reinforced Records, 1992) + Rufige Kru – ‘Ghosts of My Life’ (Reinforced Records, 1993) + Burial – Untrue (Hyperdub, 2007) + V/Vm – The Death of Rave: A Partial Flashback (History Always Favours the Winners, 2014).

Session 3: New Accelerationism – Tuesday 15/8 6-9pm

Reading: Srnicek, N. and Williams, A. (2013) ‘#Accelerate: Manifesto For an Accelerationist Politics’ + Srnicek, N. and Williams, A. (2015) Inventing the Future: Post-Capitalism and a World without Work (London. Verso Books), p. 1-23.

Session 4: Speculative Design and Platform Thinking – Wednesday 30/8 6-9pm

Reading: Singleton, B. (2013) ‘(Notes Towards) Speculative Design’ + Singleton, B. (2013) Maximum Jailbreak + Srnicek, N. (2017) Platform Capitalism (Cambridge: Polity Press), p. 43-50 + Dryhurst, M., Herndon, H., and Williams, A. (2016) ‘Re-Engineering Hegemony’ (Conversation with Glass Bead)  + Fader (2015) ’10 Radical Ideas That Inspired Holly Herndon’s Platform’.

Listening: Holly Herndon – Platform (4AD, 2015).

Bonus Winter Session 5: Consciousness Raising and Acid Communism – Tuesday 19/12 6-9pm

Reading: Gilbert, J. (2017) ‘Psychedelic Socialism: The Politics of Consciousness, the Legacy of the Counterculture and the Future of the Left’.

Spring 2016 Reading Group: Capitalist Realism and New Accelerationism

Session 1: Capitalist Realism – Thursday 2016-03-17, 7-10 pm (UK-time)

Reading: Fisher, M. (2009) Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (Winchester: Zero Books) + Fisher, M. (2014) ‘Do You Miss The Future?’ + Fisher, M. (2014) ‘Good for Nothing’.

Session 2: Postmodernism – Thursday 2016-04-07, 7-10 pm (UK-time)

Reading: Jameson, F. (1991) ‘The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism’, in Jameson, F., Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press), p. 1-54 + Fisher, M. and Reynolds, S. (2010) ‘You Remind Me of Gold’.

Session 3: Accelerationism – Thursday 2016-04-28, 7-10 pm (UK-time)

Reading: Srnicek, N. and Williams, A. (2014) ‘#Accelerate: Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics’, in A. Avanessian and R. Mackay, eds. (2014) #Accelerate: The Accelerationist Reader (Falmouth: Urbanomic), p. 347-362 + Fisher, M. (2012) ‘Postcapitalist Desire’ + Fisher, M. (2013) ‘“A social and psychic revolution of almost inconceivable magnitude”: Popular Culture’s Interrupted Accelerationist Dreams’.

Session 4: Accelerationist Aesthetics/Post-Cinema – Thursday 2016-05-12, 7-10 pm (UK-time)

Reading: Shaviro, S. (2010) ‘Post-Cinematic Affect: On Grace Jones, Boarding Gate and Southland Tales’, in Film Philosophy 14.1, p. 1-11 and p. 64-94.

Watching: Kelly, R. (2006) Southland Tales.

Session 5: Semio-Capitalism and the Cognitariat – Thursday 2016-05-31, 7-10 pm (UK-time)

Reading: Berardi, F. (2009) Precarious Rhapsody: Semio-Capitalism and the Pathologies of the Post-Alpha Generation (London: Minor Compositions), p. 30-46, 84-89, 97-103 + 109-121.

Session 6: Markets and Anti-Markets – Thursday 2016-06-09, 7-10 pm (UK-time)

Reading: DeLanda, M. (1996) ‘Markets and Anti-Markets in the World-Economy’ + DeLanda, M., Protevi, J., Thanem, T. (2005) ‘Deleuzian Interrogations: A Conversation with Manuel DeLanda, John Protevi, and Torkild Thanem’, p. 12-16 + 22-36.

Session 7: Cold Intimacies – Thursday 2016-06-23, 7-10 pm (UK-time)

Reading: Illouz, E. (2007) Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism (Cambridge: Polity Press), p. 40-73 + 108-114.

Watching: Curtis, A. (2002) The Century of the Self, Episode 3: There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads; He Must Be Destroyed.

Session 8: The Communist Manifesto – Tuesday 2016-07-26, 7-10 pm (UK-time)

Reading: Engels, F. and Marx, K. (2011) The Communist Manifesto (New York: Signet Classics).