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General Information

Event & Decision: A conference exploring ontology & politics in the philosophies of Alain Badiou, Gilles Deleuze, and Alfred North Whitehead

Date: December 6-8, 2007
Location: Claremont Graduate University (meeting rooms TBA)

The cry of the event,” so Deleuze writes, sounded three times in the history of philosophy: the Stoics, Leibniz, and Whitehead. It was a cry that exclaimed, “Everything is Event!” A radical stance, indeed! What about “things,” “mind,” “matter,” “society,” “culture,” “art,” “the cosmos,” and our daily life? If all is event, what does it say? With Nietzsche, nothing seems to be, everything seems to be a coming-to-be or a becoming without being. In becoming, however, what makes a difference? What is important and what has value if there is nothing permanent, lasting, or stable? What is important and valuable besides the process through which reality is decided?

Event and Decision,” we may say, sounds the cry again after Whitehead in the thought of Deleuze and Badiou. For Whitehead event is the realization of becoming, the actualization of the “groundless ontological ground” of creativity, the process of self-decision on possibilities yet undecided, the aesthetic and ethical impulse of existence; for Deleuze it is the expression of Life without possession, bodies without organs, the virtual or actual reality of singularity and novelty. For Badiou, on the other hand, the event breaks from the situation, in which we always count (reality) as one, multiplicity as united. Making a difference begins with a revolution; it erupts as decision. Badiou, Deleuze, and Whitehead—these thinkers stand in contrast to the ontology of being and a gnoseology of permanence and repetition in order to seek novelty, multiplicity and uniqueness. Consequently, for all three thinkers, this necessitates a radical politics that critiques social bodies, cultures, and art.

In this interdisciplinary conference, the philosophies of Badiou, Deleuze, and Whitehead become sites for reflecting on Ontology and Politics in the many fields of its productive presence and novelty: philosophy, cultural studies, social and political theory, art, literature, and religion. How does the concerted call for the event uncover deep questions and directions of thought in the philosophies of Badiou, Deleuze, and Whitehead? How does an “ontology of decision,” an emphasis on event, multiplicity, and becoming change the framework and landscape in which these disciplines operate?

Call For (Student) Papers

The Whitehead Research Project, in conjunction with the School of Humanities at Claremont Graduate University and Pomona College will be hosting “Event & Decision: Ontology & Politics in Badiou, Deleuze, and Whitehead”. This transdisciplinary conference will include a student session addressing the philosophies of Badiou, Deleuze, and Whitehead, and how their work has become a site for reflecting on ontology and politics. The conference will be focused on the following questions:

  • How does the concerted call for the event uncover deep questions and directions of thought in the philosophies of Badiou, Deleuze, and Whitehead?
  • How does an “ontology of decision”, an emphasis on event, multiplicity, and becoming change the framework and landscape in which these disciplines operate?

Submissions in the fields of process philosophy, social and political theory, political science, religion or cultural studies are welcomed. Submissions should be 20 pages long, presentable in 15 minutes, and must make a philosophical contribution. Please include an abstract of no more than 250 words. All papers and abstracts should be sent to the organizer of the conference, Dr. Roland Faber, no later than August 30th. Submissions should be sent electronically to rfaber@ctr4process.org, and should include:

  1. Your paper (with no identifications of the author within the text)
  2. Abstract (also without identifications)
  3. A separate cover page with your name, paper title, institutional affiliation, telephone number, e-mail address and mailing address.

Submission Deadline: Thurs, August 30, 2007

Submit to: rfaber@ctr4process.org

Download a PDF version of the call for student papers.

Participants

Lecturers

  1. Jeffrey Bell, Southeastern Louisiana University
  2. Bruno Bosteels, Cornell University
  3. James Bradley, St. John’s, Newfoundland
  4. David Brockman, Southern Methodist University
  5. Justin Clemens, University of Melbourne
  6. Roland Faber, Claremont Graduate University
  7. Oliver Feltham, American University of Paris
  8. Catherine Keller, Drew University
  9. Henry Krips, Claremont Graduate University
  10. Graham Livesey, University of Calgary
  11. Helmut Maaßen, European Society For Process Thought
  12. Keith Robinson, University of South Dakota
  13. James Williams, University of Dundee
  14. Adrian Parr, University of Cincinnati

Commentators

  1. Philip Clayton, Claremont Graduate University
  2. Anselm Min, Claremont Graduate University
  3. Masahiro Yamada, Claremont Graduate University

Plenary Address

  1. Marc Redfield, Claremont Graduate University

 

Schedule

Date: December 6-8, 2007
Location: Albrecht Auditorium, CGU

Thursday, December 6th

  6:30—8:00pm     PUBLIC LECTURE I

Justin Clemens, University of Melbourne & Oliver Feltham, American University of Paris
”The thought of stupefaction; or, event and decision as non-ontological and pre-political factors in the work of Gilles Deleuze and Alain Badiou” [Download Paper]

General Introduction: Marc Redfield, Dean
Intro to Conference: Roland Faber and Nichole Torbitzky
Intro to Speakers: Henry Krips

8:00pm   Reception


Friday, December 7th

  9:00—10:30am     DOUBLE LECTURE

Jeffrey Bell, Southeastern LouisianaUniversity
“Fear of Politics: Deleuze, Whitehead, and the Truth of Badiou” [Download Paper]
Keith Robinson, University of South Dakota
“Between the Individual, the Relative and the Void: Thinking the ‘Event’ in Badiou, Deleuze and Whitehead” [Download Paper]
RESPONDENT
Richard Amesbury, ClaremontGraduateUniversity & ClaremontSchool of Theology

  10:30—11:00am Break

  11:00—12:30pm     DOUBLE LECTURE

James Bradley, MemorialUniversity
“The Triune Event: Event Ontology, The Principle of Reason, and Love” [Download Paper]
Helmut Maaßen, European Society For Process Thought
“‘Truth Is a Child of Time’:Practical Philosophy in Badiou and Whitehead” [Download Paper]
RESPONDENT
Anselm Min, ClaremontGraduateUniversity

  12:30—2:00pm   Lunch

  2:00—3:30pm     DOUBLE LECTURE

Catherine Keller, Drew University
“Complicities: Folding the Event in Whitehead and Deleuze” [Download Paper]
David R. Brockman, Southern Methodist University
“Encountering ‘the Event’ as Event: Transforming Christian Theological Reflection about Religious Others” [Download Paper]
RESPONDENT
Luke Higgins, DrewUniversity

  3:30—4:00pm Break

  4:00—5:30pm     DOUBLE LECTURE

Roland Faber, Claremont Graduate University & Claremont School of Theology
“‘Amid a Democracy of Fellow Creatures’—Onto/Politics and the Problem of     Slavery in Whitehead and Deleuze” [Download Paper]
Henry Krips, Claremont Graduate University
“The Politics of Badiou: From Absolute Singularity to Objet-a” [Download Paper]
RESPONDENT
Masahiro Yamada, Claremont Graduate University

  5:30—6:30pm Break

  6:30—8:00pm     PUBLIC LECTURE II

James Williams, University of Dundee
“Love in a time of events: Badiou, Deleuze and Whitehead on Chesil Beach” [Download Paper]

Intro to Speaker: Marirose Lescher

8:00pm        Dinner


Saturday, December 8th

  9:00—10:30am      FOUR STUDENT PANEL

Joseph Weissman, Georgia College & State University
“Politics Beyond Ontology: Hypothesis in Process Philosophy” [Download Paper]
Jeremy Dunham, University of the West of England
“A Politics of the Stars: Event Thinking in Ontology & Cosmology” [Download Paper]
Hollis Phelps, Claremont Graduate University
“Absolute Beginnings…Almost: Badiou and Deleuze on the Event” [Download Paper]
Daniel Pettus, Claremont Graduate University
“Novelty, B.W.O. and The Void: A Political Decision: Instantiation & Infinite Speed” [Download Paper]
DISCUSSION
Brandon Loper, Claremont Graduate University
Christopher Farrish, Claremont Graduate University

  10:30—11:00am Break

  11:00—12:30pm      DOUBLE LECTURE

Adrian Parr, University of Cincinnati
“Memorial Culture and the Univocity of Being” [Download Paper]
Graham Livesey, University of Calgary
“Deleuze, Whitehead, the Event, and the Contemporary City” [Download Paper]
RESPONDENT
Philip Clayton, Claremont Graduate University & Claremont School of Theology

  12:30-1:30pm     Lunch

  1:30—3:00pm      FINAL ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION

Henry Krips, Claremont Graduate University

 

Papers

Jeffrey Bell, Southeastern LouisianaUniversity, “Fear of Politics: Deleuze, Whitehead, and the Truth of Badiou” [Download Paper]

James Bradley, MemorialUniversity, “The Triune Event: Event Ontology, The Principle of Reason, and Love” [Download Paper]

David R. Brockman, Southern Methodist University, “Encountering ‘the Event’ as Event: Transforming Christian Theological Reflection about Religious Others” [Download Paper]

Justin Clemens, University of Melbourne & Oliver Feltham, American University of Paris, ”The thought of stupefaction; or, event and decision as non-ontological and pre-political factors in the work of Gilles Deleuze and Alain Badiou” [Download Paper]

Jeremy Dunham, University of the West of England, “A Politics of the Stars: Event Thinking in Ontology & Cosmology” [paper only available by private request]

Roland Faber, Claremont Graduate University & Claremont School of Theology, “‘Amid a Democracy of Fellow Creatures’—Onto/Politics and the Problem of     Slavery in Whitehead and Deleuze” [Download Paper]

Catherine Keller, Drew University, “Complicities: Folding the Event in Whitehead and Deleuze” [Download Paper]

Henry Krips, Claremont Graduate University, “The Politics of Badiou: From Absolute Singularity to Objet-a” [Download Paper]

Graham Livesey, University of Calgary, “Deleuze, Whitehead, the Event, and the Contemporary City” [Download Paper]

Helmut Maaßen, European Society For Process Thought
“‘Truth Is a Child of Time’:Practical Philosophy in Badiou and Whitehead” [Download Paper]

Adrian Parr, University of Cincinnati, “Memorial Culture and the Univocity of Being” [Download Paper]

Daniel Pettus, Claremont Graduate University, “Novelty, B.W.O. and The Void: A Political Decision: Instantiation & Infinite Speed” [Download Paper]

Hollis Phelps, Claremont Graduate University, “Absolute Beginnings…Almost: Badiou and Deleuze on the Event” [Download Paper]

Keith Robinson, University of South Dakota, “Between the Individual, the Relative and the Void: Thinking the ‘Event’ in Badiou, Deleuze and Whitehead” [Download Paper]

Joseph Weissman, Georgia College & State University, “Politics Beyond Ontology: Hypothesis in Process Philosophy” [Download Paper]

James Williams, University of Dundee, “Love in a time of events: Badiou, Deleuze and Whitehead on Chesil Beach” [Download Paper]

 

Organizers & Sponsors

Organizers

Roland Faber: Roland Faber, Ph.D. is Professor of Process Theology at Claremont School of Theology, and Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Faber is also a Co-Director of the Center for Process Studiess, and the Exectutive Director of the Whitehead Research Project. His fields of research and publication include Systematic Theology; Process Thought and Process Theology; Poststructuralism; Interreligious Discourse, especially regarding Christianity/Buddhism; and Comparative Philosophy of Religion.
Click here to view Dr. Faber's webpage or send him an email.

Henry Krips: Henry Krips is a Professor and Chair of the Cultural Studies Department at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Krips has a Ph.D. in mathematical physics from the University of Adelaide. He has published extensively in the areas of Cultural Studies, History and Philosophy of Science, Theoretical Physics, and Psychoanalysis.
Click here to view Dr. Krips' webpage or send him an email.

Sponsors

The conference is being sponsored by the following organizations:

 

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Offline Contact Information

Whitehead Research Project
Attn: Event & Decision Conference
1325 North College Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 621-5330
Fax: (909) 621-2760

Our office is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST.