Event this Friday: Mana of Mass Society Panel, 4pm, Gifford Room in Kroeber Hall

18 Apr
Dear Working Group Members,
We write to invite you to join us at this exciting event on Friday, which our working group is sponsoring along with the Department of Anthropology, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, the Grad Assembly, and the Institute for South Asian Studies. Our own Mohamad will be taking part in the panel, and Dr. Mazzarella’s book will be of particular interest to FSWG members due to its engagement with the Frankfurt School’s theorization of mass culture. Read on for full details.
yours,
Erin and Mohamad
  • WHAT: Panel Conversation and Q&A with Professor William Mazzarella on his new book, The Mana of Mass Society (Chicago, 2017)
  • WHEN: Friday, April 20th at 4pm
  • WHERE: Gifford Room, 2nd Floor, Kroeber Hall, UC Berkeley
The session will begin with an introduction by Professor Stefania Pandolfo, followed by a brief introduction of the new book by Prof. Mazzarella. A panel of graduate students from the Department of Anthropology (Valerie Black, Ned Dostaler, Mohamad Jarada, Heather Mellquist Lehto, and Robyn Taylor-Neu) will then offer a set of prepared engagements with the book, to which Prof. Mazzarella will respond. Following this, the floor will be opened for a Q&A.
In The Mana of Mass Society, Mazzarella engages questions around the entanglement of social populism and media(tion)—questions that have become increasingly insistent over the past year. Here and now, this is a terribly important book. As such, it provides an opportunity to bring both intellectual and socio-political concerns to the table. All are welcome, and we hope that many will join, as it promises to be a evocative and stimulating conversation around a new, generative, and thoughtful text.
William T.S. Mazzarella is the Neukom Family Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. His research has attended to the politics of mass publicity and media in the South Asian context. Mazzarella’s scholarship is, however, of broader interest. His work is uniquely situated at the interstices of anthropology, social thought, and critical theory, and invokes diverse intellectual traditions. His books include Shoveling Smoke: Advertising and Globalization in Contemporary India (Duke, 2003) and Censorium: Cinema and the Open Edge of Mass Publicity (Duke, 2013). In his most recent book, The Mana of Mass Society (Chicago, 2017), Mazzarella recoups a handful of “magical” thinkers from the dustbins of social theory and draws out their surprising salience to the contemporary political moment.

 

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Discussion of C. Menke’s “Law and Violence” this Tuesday @ 5:15

7 Apr

Dear Frankfurt School Working Group members,

Please join us this Tuesday at 5:15pm in Kroeber 219 for a discussion of Christoph Menke’s “Law and Violence”. Continuing our theme of the year, the article reads literary tragedy “as articulating [the] paradoxical entwinement between law and violence and uses this tragic insight for a critical discussion of Benjamin’s “Critique of Violence”” (that’s from the abstract).

As usual, we will provide some snacks, and we’re looking forward to seeing you!

yours,

Mohamad and Erin

 

 

Derrida’s “Force of Law” pt 2 — Tuesday, 3/13 @ 5:15pm in Kroeber 219

7 Mar

Dear FSWG members,

Please join us this coming Tuesday, March 13, at 5:15pm in Kroeber 219, for part 2 of our discussion of Derrida’s “Force of Law.” The full essay is available here (please email us to receive a PDF if you have any difficulty with the wordpress file). We look forward to seeing you!

yours,

Mohamad & Erin

Conversation with Anthropologist Rosalind Morris – Tuesday 2/27 @ 5:00 in Dwinelle 3335

24 Feb

Dear Frankfurt School Working Group members,

In lieu of our standard discussion format for the FSWG, we thought that we’d encourage our group to attend a relevant “conversation” with visiting anthropologist Rosalind Morris from Columbia University, which is taking place during our regular meeting time this coming Tuesday, at 5pm, in 3335 Dwinelle Hall.

The following recommended readings from her recent book, The Returns of Fetishism, are available here and here: ‘Excursus: Recontextualizing de Brosses, with Pietz in and out of Africa’ (153-166), ‘Fetishism Against itself: Marx’s Two Fetishisms’ (187-304), ‘Anthropology’s Fetishism,’ ‘Surrealism,’ and ‘Anthropology Redux’ (241-270, 292-309). The event organizers have particularly recommended that people read the book’s final chapter.  A fuller description of Professor Morris’s work is available here: http://criticaltheory.berkeley.edu/?event=rosalind-morris-lecture.

The (undoubtedly) long-awaited second part of our discussion of Derrida’s “Force of Law” will take place two weeks from then, on Tuesday, March 13, at 5:15pm in Kroeber 219. The full essay is available here (please email us to receive a PDF if you have any difficulty with the wordpress file).

We look forward to seeing you!

yours,

Mohamad and Erin

Tuesday, 2/13, Derrida’s “Force of Law” — 5:30pm in Kroeber 219

8 Feb

Hello working group members!

We hope that you’ll join us at the Frankfurt School Working Group’s next meeting this coming Tuesday, February 13th, at 5:30pm in Kroeber 219. We’ll discuss the first half of Derrida’s “Force of Law.” The full essay is available here; for Tuesday, please focus on the portion of the essay before the break on p. 29.

We’re looking forward to seeing you soon!

warm wishes,

Mohamad and Erin

Meeting tomorrow — in Kroeber 219 @ 5:15pm

29 Jan

Dear Frankfurt School Working Group members,

We’re looking forward to seeing some of you tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/30)! We’ll meet at 5:15 in Kroeber 219. Our conversation will focus on Judith Butler’s essay “Critique, Coercion, and Sacred Life in Benjamin’s ‘Critique of Violence’” from Hent de Vries’ Political Theologies — and we’ll sketch out our reading plans for the semester.

yours,

Mohamad and Erin

Tuesday, 1/30 @ 5:15pm: Discussion of Judith Butler on Benjamin’s Critique of Violence

25 Jan

Dear Frankfurt School Working Group Members,

Thanks for filling out the scheduling poll! Our first meeting will be this upcoming Tuesday, Jan. 30th, at 5:15pm. We have not yet finalized a location, so we’ll send an update soon with that information.

This semester, we’ll continue to consider “law and legality” from a Frankfurtish lens. Our first discussion picks up the thread from last semester with Judith Butler’s essay “Critique, Coercion, and Sacred Life in Benjamin’s ‘Critique of Violence’” from Hent de Vries’ Political Theologies.

At the meeting, we’ll also sketch out our semester’s reading plans.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone!

warm wishes,

Mohamad and Erin