Month: November 2012

Polylog Colloquium in Berln

Polylog, which used to run an excellent journal for intercultural philosophy, still puts on colloquia in that area:


12 to 14 December 2012, ‘polylog: Forum for Intercultural

Philosophy’ is organising its 3rd Intercultural Interdisciplinary
Colloquium, in cooperation with the Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin
and the Forum Scientiarum at the University of Tübingen.
The topic of the colloquium is:

Comparing Postcolonial Experiences and Critiques Across Regions

Over the last two decades or so, theoretical discussions of
postcolonial experiences in diverse parts of the world have developed
and grown into veritable discursive subfields according to different
regional clusters and patterns of connections that in part can be
mapped out in terms of transregional networks, links or affiliations
that have grown out of shared histories, or periods of shared
experiences, or the like. Some regions of what is called the ›Global
South‹ have been far more influential or featured more prominently in
terms of visible (or internationally acknowledged) theory-building
while corresponding debates in other regions have either not been
taken on board or developed differently. Some thinkers have followed
a tendency to generalise about ›postcolonialim(s)‹ while others have
taken care in tracking and tracing specific social and historical
experiences empirically before building regionally specific or
transregional analytic models on such grounds.

The idea of our Colloquium is to get specialists of, and participants
in, these different regional and/or transregionally linked debates
into a fruitful exchange, in interdisciplinary and intercultural
discussions that look closely at social experiences in different
contexts, and that draw creatively from philosophy, anthropology,
history, and postcolonial theory, among others, in order to discuss
them. An important common interest will be the link between
experience and theory (and theorising), and the ways in which
localities, places, languages and social settings underpin or
influence thinking and debates, within wider frameworks and
parameters that are shaped, and partly recast and reflected, by power
relationships, both within the different regions as well as between

The programme of the colloquium can be downloaded here:

English and German (there will be no translations)

Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO), Berlin (Germany)

Kai Kresse (Berlin) and Niels Weidtmann (Tübingen)

Website of the Colloquium:

Quantification and the Vote

Pollsters face a myriad of problems: so many people not using landlines, so many people (less than 10%) actually answering the phone for pollsters, that you’d have to think one of these years–this year above all, given that many of those that voted (especially the younger voters that upped their vote in the US) are those least likely to answer the phone they don’t have (the old landline) or respond to a robocall—the pollsters would have it wrong, perhaps not by a lot, but by a few points to make a difference. Perhaps that’s what Romney let himself believe, but after much work when I was doing a Public Policy M.A. and an undergrad on statistical models, it’s still amazing, despite the above seeming major problems, all the models got them right. Except the Republican “wishing makes it happen” model, which keeps failing them on a quite regular basis.

Jockey Club and JIm Bradley Talk this week at Memorial

From Gil Shavel:

The weeks slotted for ‘The Bradley Memorial Lectures in Speculative Philosophy’, visiting speakers will, generally, also introduce a paper for the Jockey Club on that Friday. The next lecture will be this Thursday, November 15, given by Prof. Dr. Guenter Zoeller of the University of Munich., ‘Church and State: Schelling’s Political Philosophy of Religion’. 
Again, that is Thursday, Nov. 15, 7:00 – 8:30 PM,  AA-1046.  If you have not yet had a chance to look at the Lecture Series schedule, it is available here:
For Jockey Club on Friday, Nov. 16Professor Zoeller has chosen a piece byBenjamin ConstantThe Liberty of the Ancients Compared With That of the Moderns.” (Speech given at the Athenee Royal, Paris 1819).  [Taken from, Benjamin Constant, Political Writings, Cambridge University Press, 1988] We are meeting at the Peter Easton Pub, 5:00 PM.
PDF of the essay has been uploaded and is available for viewing/printing here:
We have had a great couple of recent meetings at the Peter Easton Pub, and it will interesting to see what our speakers in the JMB series and our George Storey Award speaker, Stuart Elden, choose for discussion at the weekly (quite informal) Jockey Club. This is a great year for talks at Memorial, not including many of our own who will be speaking in the Winter Colloquium Series, which is a weekly set of talks this year around the question “What is Metaphysics?” It’ll be a busy year at Memorial on campus, particularly the winter, but this is the kind of “busy” one can only hope for.

Bill Martin Scholar’s Panel

Last week I recorded the session on Bill Martin‘s work. Here is the link to the audio. I presented my paper, “An Apocalyptic Anti-Apocalypticism: Thinking What Will Have Been of Bill Martin’s Ethical Marxism,” followed by a response by him that is pure Bill. He gives his own intellectual trajectory, talks a bit of the effects of a bike accident that almost took his life last year, and then discusses where he thinks his work is going. My own task was to pull the red thread on Bill’s thinking of the future as it works its way from his earliest work to his last, which I then end by discussing the central sections of Ethical Marxism (2008) on the plight of the animal.

Bill and I plan to do an interview soon for Society and Space‘s open site and there I’ll do a better job of giving an overview of his intellectual trajectory, before turning to crucial questions his work continues to raise. Bill was my teacher and one of my readers for my dissertation, and it’s a rare but wonderful opportunity in academia to get to discuss the ways someone important to you has, well, been important to you.

And given the theme of my talk and Bill’s love for Yes, here’s a youvideo to go along with the lecture: