Second Term, September–December 2019
Thoguht and Reciprocity: Seminar led by Marina Garcés. Five sessions between October and November 2019.
Seminar with Carmen Romero Bachiller: Four sessions in October 2019.
Seminar with Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui: Seven sessions in October 2019.
Cultural Ecologies. Entropy, Aesthetics and Discomfort. From the Utopia of the Society of Work to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Seminar led by Jaime Vindel. Three sessions in November 2019.
Writing Workshop: Led by Val Flores, in November 2019.
Writing Workshop: Led by María Salgado, in November 2019.
Six work sessions per group (distributed between September, October and November 2019).
Third Term, January-April 2020
Teaching Thought: Five sessions between January and March 2020.
Seminar: Alternative Modernities: Led by Daniel Inclán. Four sessions in January 2020..
Body and the Construction of Sexual Difference II: Led by Lucía Egaña. Three sessions in February 2020.
Workshop: Pigs Self-Management: Three sessions in February 2020.
Cultural Ecologies III. Nature and Culture. From Darwin to Ameridian Perspectivism: Three sessions in January led by Jaime Vindel.
Seminar with Emilio Santiago Muiño: Three sessions in February 2020.
Seminar with Yayo Herrero II: TThree sessions in March 2020.
Seminar with Athenea Athanasiou: Three sessions in March 2020.
Seminar with Ana Longoni: Three sessions between January and April 2020.
Six work sessions per group (distributed between January, February and March 2020). Shared discussion among all groups: four sessions at the end of March.
Shared discussions of individual research projects in January. During this term, there are more frequent group and individual advisement sessions to discuss personal projects.
Fourth Term, April-May 2020
Seminar with Germán Labrador. Four sessions in April
- April: advisement.
- End of May: personal research projects due.
- Mid-June: presentation of individual research projects.
First Term, April-June 2019
Body and Thought
Seminar led by Marina Garcés.
Six sessions between April and May 2019
One of the great fallacies of Western hegemonic thinking is that we only think with our minds. That is not true: we think with our entire bodies. This is not a new discovery, although contemporary thought has strongly defended corporality. In this seminar we will work with a number of texts that break with the body/mind duality from different philosophical and cultural traditions, and we will discuss the challenges posed today by a non-dualist conception. Key authors will include Lucretius, Spinoza, Diderot, Nietzsche, Merleau-Ponty, Arendt, Deleuze and Judith Butler.
Methodology: creative reading. The seminar will centre mainly on texts, which we will attempt to understand and analyse: in discussion with participants, we will share the questions suggested by the texts and the thoughts they evoke.
Dérives in Barcelona
Three sessions in April 2019. Tours of Barcelona, from the city centre to the periphery.
Pedagoges and Emancipation
Seminar led by Pablo Martínez y Yera Moreno
Five sessions in April 2019
Based on collective readings and through methodological experimentation, this seminar presents an approach to some fundamental texts from the pedagogical tradition that has its roots in a critique of the model of Enlightenment education and that delves into the possibilities of pedagogy as a political practice and a practice of liberation. In that sense, the fixed categories in education will be questioned, as well as the idea of learning as the accumulation of knowledge and the preparation of professionals within the framework of cognitive capitalism. The goal of the seminar is to answer the questions: “What do we want to learn together?” and “What are the possible new avenues for social emancipation?”
Methodology: reading and creative discussion. The seminar will take place in different spaces and will incorporate dérives, food and drink as possible tools to explore the meaning of independent study.
Body and the Construction of Sexual Difference
Seminar led by Lucía Egaña
Two sessions in April 2019
This seminar explores questions such as “When does someone begin to have a body, a gender?” and “What are the bodies of experimentation, the bodies of feminism?”
We will analyse some of the devices that affect the body’s construction and its sexed condition. Through the concept of gender technologies, tied in with representation (Teresa de Lauretis), we will address the effects and paradigms of machinic and capitalist technologies in the construction of our sexuality and everyday life. The limits between the human, the animal and the machinic (Donna Haraway) will be discussed, along with the different connections and possible relationships between body and technology.
Cultural Ecologies I. Culture, history and nature. From Gramsci to populist post-Marxism
Seminar led by Jaime Vindel
Two sessions in May 2019
This first seminar will focus on the relationships between Marxism, culture and the concept of nature in the span of time that runs from the interwar period up to the present. With this aim, the figure of Antonio Gramsci, central to the cultural redefinition carried out by Western Marxism, will serve as our guide. In the first part we will analyse the re-reading of his idea of the philosophy of praxis in the work of anthropologists like Ernesto de Martino or filmmakers like Pier Paolo Pasolini, for whom the towns of southern Italy represented a form of resistance to capitalist modernization, articulated through a series of shared imaginaries and rituals that conjured the potential revolutionary aspect of tradition. The cultural ecology of these communities, not without their ambiguities, harboured a relationship with nature based on a cyclical conception of time, deeply rooted in farming cultures, which contrasts with the arrow of time we associate with the advent of modernity. Straining against that tradition, Gramsci’s historicist rationalism attempted to incorporate those cultures into a moral reform project intended to expand the popular base of the communist revolution. The second part of the seminar will revisit some of the key points of Gramsci’s project through its impact on cultural studies, Spanish heterodox communism or populist post-Marxism. The discussion that will guide us will focus on how the cultural emphasis from Gramsci’s conception of the class struggle can be reconciled with a political project that centres on the current dimension of the eco-social crisis.
Second Term, September–December 2019
Thought and Reciprocity
Seminar led by Marina Garcés
The entirely of the history of thought is permeated by the border between “us” and “them”. It is not only a cultural division, but a geophilosophy based on conceptual domains that have excluded certain ways of thinking and left them out. Who are the “others” of thought? And what does it mean to think, in conjunction, based on this geography of exclusion? In this seminar we will address this problem and its different responses, attempting to move past the opposition between universalist positions and those positions that defend particular identities. In the global world, is it possible to conceive of ourselves based on a reciprocal universal? The references for this course will mainly be texts from non-Western philosophy.
Methodology: discussion. The seminar sessions will centre on the preparation of philosophical dialogues based on conflicting notions. The resources for preparing these dialogues may be texts, artistic materials, personal experiences, etc.
Cultural Ecologies II. Entropy, Aesthetics and Discomfort. From the Utopia of the Society of Work to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Led by Jaime Vindel
Three sessions in November 2019
This second seminar will propose a critical reconstruction of the impact of thermodynamic theory on the imaginaries of work from the mid-19th century to the present. The metaphor of the human body as the motor of modern industry—based on its capacity for work—was originally supported by the first law of thermodynamics, which describes the processes of energy conversion in the universe. By contrast, the law of entropy pointed to the equally universal tendency toward the dissipation of energy, which is increasingly less available for the performance of useful work. Entropy thus threatened the realization of the society of work and was manifested in the bodies of manual and intellectual workers in the form of syndromes such as fatigue or neurasthenia. Beginning from this historical context, the seminar will analyse the impact of the images of protein energy and entropy on the approaches of aesthetic theory and contemporary artistic practices, from the technocultural productivism of Walter Benjamin to the visual entropology of Robert Smithson. At the same time, it will trace the changes that have taken place in the relations between work, culture and discomfort due to the decline of the image of the human motor (Anson Rabinbach), the automation and computerization of production, the crisis of the society of work, and the spread and diversification of psychosocial disorders such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, bipolar disorder or attention deficit disorder.
Third Term, January–April 2020
Seminar led by Marina Garcés
Five sessions between January and March
Thinking is not writing, but a large proportion of the traditions of thought we are familiar with involve writing, at least in part. Artistic production also, increasingly, incorporates moments of writing. The mastery of theoretical writing and the standardization of academic writing are making us forget, however, that writing can happen in many ways and that without trial runs (in the etymological sense of an “essay”), in the active and experimental sense, there is no writing in thought. In this seminar we will address different types of essays and written expressions (personal, collective and anonymous) and we will also try out different ways of writing and thinking. We will bring our ideas into play, experimenting with how they emerge in writing.
Methodology: writing exercises. We will examine different types of textuality in which thought takes on form, rhythm and varied textures, and we will engage in exercises putting them into practice.
Body and the Construcion of Sexual Difference II
Seminar led by Lucía Egaña
Three sessions in February
Cultural Ecologies II. Nature and culture From Darwin to Amerindian Perspectivism
Three sessions in January led by Jaime Vindel
This third seminar will focus on how different authors and critical discourses have contemplated the relationships between nature and culture. The discussion will begin with a brief genealogy of the materialist tradition that fuelled the radical reconsideration of the concept of nature in the field of evolutionary biology and social theory during the 19th century, particularly by looking at the approaches to the work of Darwin and Marx by authors such as E.P. Thompson, Richard Lewontin, Richard Levins, Stephen Jay Gould and John Bellamy Foster, among others. This proposal will help reveal the lines of continuity and discontinuity between nature and culture, unravelling the received ideas that persist in how both concepts are considered. In turn, the seminar will discuss the worldviews that establish an abrupt division that completely separates the domains of nature and culture: the ones that tend to reduce nature to a cultural construction (from the Frankfurt School to Timothy Morton’s ecology without nature) or those that obviate the specificity of the historical-cultural constitution of human societies (as in some of the approaches of new materialisms). In this context, we will analyse contributions from decolonial anthropology, such as Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s work on Amerindian perspectivism or Philippe Descola’s proposal to overcome the naturalist paradigm based on the nature/culture binomial.
Fourth Term, April–May 2020
Seminar led by Germán Labrador
Germán Labrador is an associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures at Princeton University. His interests include cultural and literary history, memory studies, poetry, social movements and urban cultures. His main research area is modern and contemporary Iberian cultures. His many publications include Raptured Letters: Chemical Poetry during the Spanish Transition to Democracy (Devenir, 2009), about a group of underground poets from the 1970s and their relationship with the psychedelic utopias of 1968 and heroin consumption in the 1980s, and Guilty of Literature. Political Imagination and Counter-Culture in the Spanish Transition to Democracy (1968–1986) (Akal, 2017) on the importance of alternative movements in the transition to democracy, with their defence of a break with the Franco regime, and citizen participation. In March 2018 he gave the lecture Ephemeral Lights. Civil Aesthetics and the Neoliberal Order in the context of the PEI.