Rhetoric Spring Colloquium: Brian Massumi

Colloquium | March 14 | 5-7 p.m. | 315 Wheeler Hall

 Brian Massumi, Professor of Communication, Université de Montréal

 The Program in Critical Theory, Department of Comparative Literature, Department of English


The concept of intensity is a keystone of process-oriented philosophies, including those of Bergson, Whitehead, Deleuze/Guattari, and Simondon, and often figures prominently in contemporary work classified under the label of affect theory. A currently widespread critique of the concept holds that it individualizes and interiorizes, in ways compromised, if not entirely tributary to, contemporary capitalism’s commodification of experience. This talk will delve into the concept of intensity, emphasizing its connection to the allied concepts of affirmation and immanence. It will be argued that intensity, re-situated in its proper process-philosophical frame, is in fact a site of perpetual resistance to and collective escape form the quantifying captures at the core of capitalism’s dynamic, making a focus on it a necessary component of post-capitalist politics.

With Suzanne Guerlac, Professor of French, UC Berkeley, as Discussant.

Co-sponsored by the Program in Critical Theory, the Department of English, and the Department of Comparative Literature.

 CA, 5106421328