Myself and fellow PhD student Tom Roberts are hoping to organise a session at the annual AAG conference next April to explore ideas surrounding Spinoza and the body. If you’d like to take part then we would love to hear from you! Details as follows:
Call for papers, AAG Chicago 21-25 April 2015
Spinoza and Us
Session abstract: It is well-attested that there exist many ‘Spinozas’; the abominable atheist, the vital materialist, the romantic pantheist and the political radical. It is these rich theoretical starting points which ensure that Spinoza’s work has had an enduring relevance to philosophical and geographical thought, particularly in relation to conceptions of politics and ethics.
Geographers have previously mobilised Spinoza’s thought through concepts such as affect (Deleuze 1988; Dewsbury 2011; Massumi 2002; McCormack 2008), vitalism (Bennett 2010; Roberts 2012), politics (Connolly 2002; Hardt and Negri 2005; Ruddick 2010) and naturalism (Sharp 2011; Grosz 2011). In this session we want to address a concept that runs transversal to all of these themes: the body.
“A body can be anything; it can be an animal, a body of sounds, a mind or an idea; it can be a linguistic corpus, a social body, a collectivity.” – G. Deleuze (1988, page 127).
We feel that Spinoza’s concept of the body holds particular relevance in light of recent trajectories which explore the constitutive role of the nonhuman in political and social life. These include, but are not limited to: object-oriented ontology, speculative realism, new materialism, post-phenomenology, ‘more-than-human’ methodologies and new forms of participation.
In this session we hope to encourage a focussed engagement with Spinoza’s philosophy as a means of re-situating bodies, and what they can do, within contemporary human geography.
We would like to invite contributions that address or relate to:
– The status of ‘the human’ in human geography
– Technological bodies and the agency of nonhuman objects
– Incorporeal bodies and affects
– Ethology and Power
– Nature and Spinoza’s ‘naturalism’
– The politics and ethics that emerge in the processes of composing bodies
Participants will be contacted by 21st October and will be expected to register and submit their abstracts online at the AAG website by 31st October 2014 ahead of a session proposal deadline of 5th November 2014. Please note that registration fees will apply and must be paid before the submission of abstracts to the AAG online system.