Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Modernities Conference Info

The programme and venue information for the Modernities: Radicalism, Reflexivity, Realities conference has finally been posted online. The event will be held at the Graduate Centre at Melbourne University (which, I am told, is in the Gryphon Gallery, 1888 Grattan St. Carlton, near the corner of Grattan and Swanston), on Thursday and Friday this week. The conference programme is available here.

I note with some amusement that the conference organisers have evidently been resistant to updating the title and abstract for my presentation, which was originally intended to address certain themes in Benjamin and Marx (as the programme currently indicates). I’ve since refocussed the talk entirely on Marx, and on a slightly different aspect of Marx than I had originally intended, with only the most gestural reference to Benjamin, and with some additional definitional material and background information about how this fits into an overarching project… This shift happened when I realised that what I had originally intended to present, required quite a lot of prior background for comprehensibility – and that the presentation of this background would itself be difficult within the time constraints of this conference. The updated title was meant to have been “The Phenomenology of Capital: Practising Subjects, Objects and Things in Between” – regular readers of this blog can likely guess what the abstract would have said… ;-P Since I do intend to present the updated version (I hadn’t realised, actually, that the conference organisers intended to overlook the request to update the title and abstract), we’ll hope neither the organisers, nor anyone else in attendance, is too annoyed by this shift…

I will put the talk on the blog after the event – I have a tendency to keep tinkering with these things until the moment I deliver them (as well as a tendency to depart the text fairly quickly into speaking, so there’s often a somewhat random relationship between what I write, and what I say…). I very much doubt this presentation will cover any ground not already familiar to folks who have been reading the blog over the past few months. The point of this presentation is, essentially, to engage in a “cryptic looks” test: I want to see how confused people seem, when I try to deliver a 15-minute version of what I’m trying to do with Marx. The notion is that this will help me figure out how difficult my summer’s writing is going to be… Or convince me that I’ve made a terrible mistake deciding to write on this topic at all… One or the other…

Perhaps I’ll see some of you on Thursday…

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