Slavoj Žižek will present a series of lectures within this course on the topic of “Totality or Assemblage.” These sessions will meet in addition to the regularly-scheduled class meetings from 2:00-4:40 pm on November 8, 9, 15 & 16. The class will meet on these dates in lieu of the regularly-scheduled Friday classes during this two-week period. He will also present a public lecture at NYU on November 13 at 6:00 pm in the Skirball Center. Enrolled students must attend the full semester for course credit. Those wishing to audit only Slavoj Žižek’s lectures for non-credit may do so by emailing email@example.com in advance.
- Assemblage, structure, totality, organism
- Assemblage or overdetermined totality?
- No spirit without mechanism
- In defense of class essentialism
A new philosophical concept is emerging from the interaction of the new trends that grew out of and around Speculative Realism (object-oriented- ontology, action-network theory, New Materialism), the concept of assemblage. Does this concept work, does it do the work it is supposed to do? The stakes are high, ontological and political: assemblage also serves as an instrument to think how to build larger united fronts out of identity politics without falling into class essentialism.
The concept of assemblage will be analyzed in comparison with a series of other concepts it is supposed to replace: structure, organism, and especially totality. The aim of the analysis will not be just to establish which concept is more appropriate but also to discern the practical social experience that each of the concepts relies on. Concepts are not simply right or wrong, wrong concepts are rooted in “wrong” social practice.
Slavoj Žižek, Disparities (London: Bloomsbury 2016), Chapters 1, 2, 8 and 9.
Manuel DeLanda, Assemblage Theory (Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP 2016)
Graham Harman, Immaterialism (Cambridge: Polity 2016).