Professor Marsha Rosengarten

Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London

The Plural and Unfinished Process of “Time Is Money” In The Life of Biomedicine

Date and time: Thursday 21 April 2016 15:00-17:00

Venue: University of Tampere, Pinni B, 3rd floor, Rm B3032

Abstract: According to Michel Serres, there are three kinds of time: mechanistic/repetitive time (clock time), thermodynamic time moving forward toward disorder and ultimate end (aging and death) and evolutionary/ generative time (creation and novelty), which intermingle in the constituting of experience. In this paper I draw on the typology provided by Serres’ to reflect on the manner in which biomedical research does time as a singular and hence exclusionary cost and resource to be weighed against the possibility of a finite outcome. Bearing in mind calls for faster modes of generating research data and the problems of doing so in response to the Ebola and Zika epidemics that, in themselves, suggest that time is not money per se but a pluralist reality of life, I draw on what Isabelle Stengers terms an indifference by science to what it deems ‘unscientific.’ Stengers’ work along with that of Serres assists me to query the entrusting of science to an instrumental mechanistic mode of time in light of other time realities and the manner in which cost is, itself, the production of verification. By focusing on how a plurality of times are folded into and then foreclosed in the promise of an efficacious commodity for evidence-based medicine—for instance, a pill, vaccine, surgical intervention—I provisionally ask what an attentiveness to time in the spirit of Alfred North Whitehead’s speculative philosophy might offer to its the unfinished costs evidenced in the emergence of novel phenomena disruptive to the biomedical investment of finites.

Respondent: Liu Xin, University of Tampere

Download RETHINKING ECONOMIES Rosengarten and Savransky Poster

Article: Connective adventures in the work of Ebola: Science and Speculation

 

 

Dr Martin Savransky

Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London

“The Word ‘Or’ Names a Genuine Reality”: Capitalist Realism and The Experimental Politics of Reality

Date and time: Thursday 21 April 2016 15:00-17:00

Venue: University of Tampere, Pinni B, 3rd floor, Rm B3032

Abstract: In this paper I seek to explore some aspects of the relationship between capitalism and realism, and to rethink the role and responsibility of philosophy and the social sciences in response to it. Capitalism, we are told by an increasing number of voices in the critical left, has managed to make reality coincide with itself, and in so doing it has evacuated the future. Striving to realise Thatcher’s ‘there is no alternative’, neoliberal capitalism has become the reigning form of economic and political realism, one whose social and psychological consequences seemingly make it easier to imagine the end of the world than to experience the possibility of an post-capitalist world. I explore the hypothesis that while it is indeed the case that late capitalism has adopted realist gestures as effective ways of disqualifying alternatives, the apocalyptic paralysis haunting much of the critical left (and much of economic sociology) stems not only from the actual efficacy of capitalist realism but also from their anti-realist forms of critique. I will suggest that, rather than a form of critique that seeks to debase and denounce the (un)reality of capitalism, a counter-apocalyptic and more productive response demands that one trusts reality, and dares experiment with realism again. A form of experimentation that, by taking realities seriously, and by affirming reality as a plural and unfinished process, can simultaneously come to terms with the reality of capitalist captures as well as with the reality of possibles that political events and practices create as alternatives. This, I argue, assigns to philosophy and the social sciences a different task, and a different responsibility– not just that of working critically to reveal the invisible processes and effects of capitalist capture, but of working speculatively to expand, dramatise, and make resonate, the reality of the many “or”s that events and practices bring into existence.

Respondent: Liu Xin, University of Tampere

Article: Worlds in the making: social sciences and the ontopolitics of knowledge

Article: On the Problem of Attachment: Living Economies and the Ecology of Late Capitalism

 

Dr Jane Elliott

English, King’s College London

The Microeconomic Mode

Date and time: Thursday 11 February 2016 15:00-17:00

Venue: University of Tampere, Pinni B, 3rd floor, Rm B3032

Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between the microeconomic model of human behaviour and dominant trends in contemporary popular aesthetics. My analysis works in two directions: first, I suggest that the microeconomic imagination of individual subjectivity is both manifested and interrogated in what I call the microeconomic mode, a ubiquitous 21st-century cultural formation defined by a combination of abstraction and extremity. From Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to the Hunger Games franchise, this mode represents individuals making life-and-death choices in radically minimal or highly codified settings. Second, I read out from the microeconomic mode in order to consider what we might make of its fixation on self-preservation as the ur-form of action in one’s own best interest. Ultimately, I argue that the microeconomic mode registers an ongoing shift in political subjectivity that has otherwise escaped notice.

Respondent: Mona Mannevuo, University of Turku

Download RETHINKING ECONOMIES Elliott Poster

Article: Suffering Agency: Imagining Neoliberal Personhood in North America and Britain

 

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