Forms-of-Life

What is the reasoning, perceptive, ‘singing’ monad that is only in the passions, affection, and perceptions that it expresses?

Claire Colebrook suggests it’s a queer passive vitalism. Consider this:

In concrete terms, we might begin by thinking of gender. Active vitalism, at least in the form that Deleuze and Guattari trace back to Kant, regards all concepts and categories as originally imposed by the subject upon an otherwise meaningless life. Active vitalism might regard gender as one of the ways in which life or the social ‘constructs’ categories that differentiate an otherwise general or undifferentiated humanity: so the criticism of stereotypes (as clichés or rigid forms imposed upon life) would lead to an overthrow of rigid categories in favour of what we really are (as unique individuals) or would expose that there are no such things as individuals, only effects of gender as it is represented. Genders and kinds are known in the vague and general opposition between male and female, distinctions that are imposed upon life and that need to be reactivated by being traced back to their social and familial origins. By contrast, for Deleuze and Guattari’s passive vitalism genders, kinds and stereotypes are not categories imposed upon life that might be overcome or criticised in the name of a universal and self aware humanity; instead, it is life as a multiple and differentiating field of powers that expresses itself in various manners. Continue reading “Forms-of-Life”

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PhD Exam Reading List

Area 1: Non-linear Historical Materialism Continue reading “PhD Exam Reading List”

Civil War?: Spivak on Derrida on Schmitt

I’ve been thumbing through the recent translation of “Introduction to Civil War” but haven’t given it a systematic read.  As I’ve discussed, I’m reticent to accept Schmitt’s notion of politics which seems to be a rejoinder to the ongoing depoliticization produced by the abstract machine ‘Empire’.  I haven’t done a close read yet, so I’m not sure if the text explicitly advocates a re-politicization (or by what means) or if it’s merely ‘obvious’ in the sense that Jason’s paper noted the ‘ontological obviousness of communism.’

Continue reading “Civil War?: Spivak on Derrida on Schmitt”