Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism

2014-2015 Speaker Series

Each year The Speaker Series brings in several visiting guest lecturers. Speakers over the years have included Jean Baudrillard, Lauren Berlant, Peter Brooks, Norman Bryson, David Carroll, Anthony Cascardi, Wlad Godzich, Jean-Joseph Goux, Elizabeth Grosz, N. Katherine Hayles, Linda Hutcheon, Martin Jay, Michael Hardt, Agnes Heller, Barbara Johnson, David Farrell Krell, Murray Krieger, Arthur Kroker, Dominick LaCapra, Jerome McGann, J. Hillis Miller, Chantal Mouffe, Christopher Norris, Mark Poster, Richard Rorty, Charles Scott, Thomas Sebeok, Kaja Silverman, Gayatri Spivak, Bernard Stiegler, Samuel Weber, Hayden White, Slavoj Žižek, and many others.

This year's speakers include:


Norman Franke

"Chronotopoi of the Good Life: Bakhtin and Bloch on Goethe’s Bildungsroman and the Carnivalesque"

March 3 @ 4:30pm


On the strengths of his Bildungsromane, Goethe was a towering figure in the literary pantheon of Mikhail Bakhtin and Ernst Bloch, yet both were also interested in forms of the carnivalesque. In this paper I explore the parallels and differences in their writings about the bourgeois novel, as well as their anarchic charades, with a view to assessing how their interest in these very different artistic and social practices can be understood in the wider context of their utopian thinking and their political eschatologies. I argue that both cultural philosophers understand ‘high art’ and ‘popular art’ as complementary forms of reflection of and agents for social and cultural transformation.

Dr Norman P. Franke is the convenor of the German Programme at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. He has published widely about German Enlightenment and Romanticism (Novalis, Lessing) as well as German-speaking exile literature (Albert Einstein, Ernst H. Kantorowicz, Else Lasker-Schüler, Karl Wolfskehl) and Albert Schweitzer. Norman has been invited to give guest lectures in Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and the USA. He also works as a documentary film maker (Past Present - the Poet and Environmentalist Peter Dane; together with Elaine Bliss) and translator. Norman’s poetry has been broadcasted on NDR radio and published in anthologies in Germany and New Zealand.

David Ferris

(University of Colorado at Boulder)

“Politics of the Useless: The Question of Art in Benjamin and Heidegger”

March 5 @ 2:30pm
Weldon Library 259


The lecture examines the conflict around the significance of art in its relation to the political in two seminal essays by Walter Benjamin and Martin Heidegger written at approximately the same time in the 1930s. In particular, the lecture will focus on the recourse to uselessness in art as the means to define the political.

Gary Genosko

(Professor of Communication, University of Ontario IT)

"Discourse Is (Not) the Enemy: Félix Guattari and Pathic Understanding"

March 19 @ 6pm


Richard Doyle

(Penn State University)

"By The Way, Which One's Pink? On the Minimal Conditions for a Transmission of Philip K. Dick's Valis Event(s)"

April 8 @ 12pm

Past Speakers:

Rosi Braidotti
Four Theses on Posthuman Feminism
February 6, 2015

Sean McGrath
Principles of Schellingian Analysis
February 5, 2015

Eric Cazdyn
The Non-Coincidence of the Future
November 27, 2014

Frances Dyson
Sound, Sense, and Sensing
November 11, 2014

Françoise Meltzer
The Ethics of Ruins: Berlin 1945
October 29, 2014

Andre Pietsch Lima
On creative processes (Simondon/Deleuze)
October 15, 2014

Nick Srnicek
The Eyes of the State
April 9, 2014

Alenka Zupančič
Power and Comedy
April 4, 2014

Claire Colebrook
Exceptional Disaster
March 26, 2014

Brett Buchanan
What is called behaviour?
Ethological articulations of bodies in contemporary continental philosophy
March 13, 2014

Simon Critchley
The Problem with Levinas
March 6, 2014