Theory Sessions

The Theory Sessions, a student initiative, serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas to promote interdisciplinary research in theory at the Centre and across campus. Students and faculty present their papers and engage in spirited discussions, with contributions from interested Centre scholars as well as faculty and students from other fields and disciplines at Western. Topics have included cannibalism, camp, vaginas, anarchism, bioeconomics, and photography.



The Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism presents

"A Fall to the Depths: Schizophrenic Language and Hysteric Art in Deleuze’s Logic of Sensation"

A Theory Session 
with Jake Norris

Norris-Oct-20.jpgIn the series on “The Schizophrenic and the Little Girl” from The Logic of Sense, Deleuze examines a language that acts directly on the body. When words appear as nothing more than howls, cries, and breaths—pure forces of the depths—one encounters this language. It is particularly operative in the life of the schizophrenic, whose world and concepts, Deleuze argues, are intensely visceral things. Building on the work and lived experience of playwright Antonin Artaud, Deleuze outlines a theory of sensation that will reach its culmination in his monograph on painter Francis Bacon. Subtitled The Logic of Sensation one finds in this later text an affinity between Deleuze’s writing on schizophrenic language and his claims about art and affect. At its core, this connection addresses the relation between language and the body. By charting the lifespan of Deleuze’s engagement with Artaud, and his adoption of the theatre of cruelty and the body without organs, one witnesses the purview of Deleuze’s early philosophy of language upon his later aesthetics. Along with the influence of Artaud, The Logic of Sensation discloses several other influences on Deleuze’s aesthetics (Bergson, Proust, Strauss, Maldiney, Cézanne, van Gogh) and gestures to a few contemporaries with whom Deleuze’s aesthetics can be put in conversation (Lyotard, Derrida). This set of artists and thinkers aid in illuminating Deleuze’s engagement with language, (non)discursive signification, sensation, and the image throughout his writing.   

Friday, October 20th
Somerville House Rm. 2348


Theory Sessions--a student-run initiative hosted by the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism--feature presentations from students and faculty, and are a space for discussion and sharing interdisciplinary research in theory. For those interested in running a session, volunteering to be a respondent, or who would like to chat further about getting involved: please contact Interested students and faculty based outside the Centre, please be in touch as well!

We are now welcoming:
- for those proposing sessions: abstracts (~250-300 words), tentative titles, and an expected window of readiness (i.e. please indicate if, for instance, you are merely doctoring a conference paper or thesis chapter and would be prepared to present in early October, or if you are embarking on a new project you would like to present in the winter term)

- for those interested in responding to sessions: respondents for Sessions do not need to share the presenter's expertise - a relatively meagre patch of common ground can sometimes be the best way to fuel discussion, which is the aim of the respondent. We will likely appeal again for respondents once the topics of the Sessions have been determined, but anyone who would like to be a respondent sometime this year can, at this point, contact us with a short list of interests and we will endeavour to match you up with a presenter

If you would like to give a Session, please feel free to be creative with the format of your talk. Showing a short clip of a film, presenting artwork or poetry, or engaging in a debate with another student are all options. We are happy to field any questions concerning the format or style you are considering, or on anything else about the Sessions.

We look forward to hearing from you!