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Winter 2020 Seminar Descriptions and Dates:

Cen­ter for Crit­i­cal Thought (CCT) and INSTITUTE FOR THE RADICAL IMAGINATION (IRI)

1. Hegel and After: Reason, Revolution and Regression with Michael Pelias

This six week lec­ture and inter­ac­tive sem­i­nar will engage in a read­ing of the sec­tions in Hegel’s Phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy of Spir­it on Rea­son, Spir­it and Reli­gion in the light of con­tem­po­rary strug­gles as the world his­tor­i­cal spir­it unfolds. In par­tic­u­lar, we will try to trace the “cun­ning of Rea­son” from the age of Rev­o­lu­tion to the reac­tionary spir­it of the mid­dle 19th cen­tu­ry through the ten­den­cies of State rea­son to the rea­son and rights to rebel­lion. Poet­ic chal­lenges to the Hegelian sys­tem by Rim­baud and Mal­larme as well as the mate­ri­al­ist inver­sion and over­turn­ing of the “ide­al­ist” sys­tem by Marx and Engels. The ques­tion of Sub­jec­tiv­i­ty and dialec­ti­cal rea­son will con­sis­tent­ly be empha­sized in the course and in this con­text a very care­ful read­ing of the “Eth­i­cal Order” will be encoun­tered with the nec­es­sary cor­re­la­tions to Antigone.

The first lec­ture on the 23rd will be a reca­pit­u­la­tion of the first four parts of the Phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy of Spir­it and intro­duce the itin­er­ary of the Hegelian after­math and fall­out of the owl of Min­er­va from dawn to dusk.


James Bald­win High School
Room 317
351 West 18th St
New York, NY 10011

(6:30 – 8:30pm): a six week course start­ing Thurs­day, Jan­u­ary 23rd — $15 per ses­sion or $75 for all six sessions.


Hegel, G.W. F. Phe­nom­e­nol­o­gy of Spir­it trans, by A.V. Miller. Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press

Schelling, F.W.J. Philo­soph­i­cal Inves­ti­ga­tions into the Essence of Human Freedom

**There will be some hand­outs giv­en in class as well includ­ing Marx’s cri­tique of Hegel’s dialectic.

Pur­chase all ses­sions of Ger­man Ide­al­ism and its Aftermath:

$75.00Add to cart

* It is also pos­si­ble to pay per ses­sion in per­son. Please RSVP to if you would like to attend on a per ses­sion basis.

2. Left-Legalism and the Antinomies of Resistance: From the Jewish Question to the Mueller Report 

In the face of the ongo­ing right­ward shift in pol­i­tics, much
of the resis­tance that has arisen on the nom­i­nal left has focused on for­mal and
legal­is­tic efforts. From the impeach­ment of Don­ald Trump to the attempts to out­law
hate speech and estab­lish hous­ing and health­care as ‘rights’, the efforts to
over­come the cur­rent polit­i­cal impasse imag­ine exist­ing polit­i­cal insti­tu­tions
and norms as capa­ble of pro­vid­ing a solu­tion to the very same polit­i­cal
real­i­ties that char­ac­ter­ize them. This class will review Marx­ist legal and
polit­i­cal the­o­ries with a focus on bet­ter under­stand­ing the lim­i­ta­tions and
antin­o­mies of cur­rent efforts to resist the right through the lan­guage and
insti­tu­tions of law. Does left-legal­ism func­tion to strength­en the very
insti­tu­tions and norms that con­sti­tute the cap­i­tal­ist state? What forms of
resis­tance would be nec­es­sary for break­ing the exist­ing polit­i­cal hege­mo­ny and
cre­at­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a demo­c­ra­t­ic soci­ety? Read­ings will include Louis
Althuss­er, Wendy Brown, Karl Marx, Anto­nio Negri, Evge­ny Pashuka­nis and
Jean-Paul Sartre.

Peter Brat­sis is asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of polit­i­cal sci­ence at Bor­ough of Man­hat­tan Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege and the Grad­u­ate Cen­ter, City Uni­ver­si­ty of New York. His pub­li­ca­tions include the books Every­day Life and the State (Rout­ledge) and, with Stan­ley Aronowitz, Par­a­digm Lost: State The­o­ry Recon­sid­ered (Min­neso­ta), as well as essays in numer­ous jour­nals includ­ing Social TextHis­tor­i­cal Mate­ri­al­ism, and Inter­na­tion­al Jour­nal of Urban and Region­al Research. He is a found­ing mem­ber of the edi­to­r­i­al col­lec­tive for the jour­nal Sit­u­a­tions: Project of the Rad­i­cal Imag­i­na­tion and is cur­rent­ly work­ing on a book, Twen­ty Years of Bore­dom: Veg­an­ism and the Cul­tur­al Log­ic of Late Lib­er­al­ism, which exam­ines the rise of veg­an­ism and the giv­ing of human names to dogs as symp­toms of cap­i­tal­ist alienation.

A four week course with Peter Brat­sis Begin­ning Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 8th, 3 ‑5 p.m. at 350 West 31st Street, Suite 404, law offices of Lewis, Clifton and Nico­laidis – $15 per class or $50 for the entire seminar.

Pur­chase all ses­sions of Left-Legal­ism and the Antin­o­mies of Resistance: 

$50.00Add to cart

* It is also pos­si­ble to pay per ses­sion in per­son. Please RSVP to if you would like to attend on a per ses­sion basis.

3. What Is and What Is Not with Bruno Gulli

IIn fall 2019, we exam­ined the begin­ning of the Pre­so­crat­ic tra­di­tion up to Her­a­cli­tus and Par­menides. Start­ing from Par­menides again and end­ing with the Atom­ists, our con­cep­tu­al focus will once again be on the ontol­ogy of indi­vid­u­a­tion, sin­gu­lar­i­ty, and unrest. We will again con­sid­er the first ques­tion asked by the Pre­so­crat­ics, What is it? We will go back to Par­menides’ cen­tral ques­tion, Is it or is it not? We will prob­lema­tize his dis­cov­ery of what-is and the exclu­sion of what-is-not. Most impor­tant­ly, we will appre­ci­ate the idea that what-is is essen­tial­ly what-can-be, name­ly, real­i­ty is poten­tial­i­ty: with Par­menides, just like with Her­a­cli­tus, a sub­ter­ranean and nev­er-end­ing fire, or unrest.

James Bald­win High School
Room 317
351 West 18th St
New York, NY 10011 

(6:30–8:30pm): a four week course begin­ning Tues­day, Jan­u­ary 21st, 2020 at 6:30 – $15 per class or $50 for all four sessions.


Patri­cia Cur­d’s Read­er of Pre­so­crat­ic Philosophy

John Bur­net’s Ear­ly Greek Philosophy

Mar­tin Hei­deg­ger’s Ear­ly Greek Thinking


Pur­chase all ses­sions of The Pre­so­crat­ics and their Con­tem­po­rary Relevance:

$50.00Add to cart

* It is also possible to pay per session in person. Please RSVP to if you would like to attend on a per session basis.

4. TRANSFORMATIONS OF THE AMERICAN LEFT from 1900 to the Present With Stanley Aronowitz

In recent times, left schol­ars, mil­i­tants, and the­o­rists have returned to Marx in the hope of find­ing the rev­o­lu­tion­ary truth. Although the study of Marx and his immense pro­duc­tion of crit­i­cal analy­sis is nec­es­sary and demand­ing, it alone can­not replace the more cur­rent the­o­ret­i­cal inter­ven­tions of the mid­dle twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry through the first two decades of the 21st cen­tu­ry. This course will focus on three of the most orig­i­nal con­tem­po­rary ver­sions of Marx­ism which have tak­en into account cur­rent con­di­tions. We will encounter and focus on the exem­plary and orig­i­nal work of the Frank­furt School, Hen­ri Lefeb­vre, and Anto­nio Negri. The hope is to think in our times with new con­cepts and cat­e­gories need­ed for under­stand­ing and mak­ing rad­i­cal change.

*This sem­i­nar will be held at: 244 Madi­son Ave. #10‑A ( between 37th and 38th Sts.)

(12–2pm): An eight week sem­i­nar with Stan­ley Aronowitz begin­ning Sat­ur­day, Feb­ru­ary 1st at 12:00 – $15 per ses­sion or $100 for the entire seminar.


$100.00Read more

* It is also possible to pay per session in person. Please RSVP to if you would like to attend on a per session basis.

5. Dialectical Thought in the Modern Period: Paths of Inquiry with Arto Artinian

Much has been said about “dialec­tics” in the con­text of left­ist think­ing about pol­i­tics, yet often the con­ver­sa­tion is often vague on the specifics of what is it that dialec­tics in think­ing actu­al­ly means? What is gained by deploy­ing “dialec­ti­cal thought”? To counter this ten­den­cy, we will trace spe­cif­ic artic­u­la­tions of dialec­ti­cal move­ment in thought, with the aim of gain­ing a clear­er under­stand­ing of the fun­da­men­tal con­cepts, ideas and meth­ods that relate to this mode of thinking.

Our focus is on build­ing a ground­ing in think­ing about every­day life that seeks (rather than avoids) con­tra­dic­tions, and is capa­ble of sur­viv­ing (as Hegel said) the ten­sions that arise with­in it.

Read­ings will begin with a dis­cus­sion of sec­tions from Hegel’s stud­ies of log­ic and specif­i­cal­ly, his devel­op­ment of the syl­lo­gism. We will then pro­ceed to a dis­cus­sion of Hegel’s log­ic and its trans­for­ma­tion by Marx in Vol­ume 2 of “Cap­i­tal”, via a close read­ing of David L. Harvey’s sem­i­nal essay “The Log­ic of Com­mod­i­ty Cir­cuits”. Through­out the course, we will also inte­grate Sovi­et philoso­pher Evald Ilyenkov’s fun­da­men­tal inves­ti­ga­tions of dialec­ti­cal log­ic. The goal is to unlock a sen­si­tiv­i­ty towards dialec­ti­cal thought, as well as approach­es to writ­ing and think­ing sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly in this tradition.


James Bald­win High School
Room 317
351 West 18th St
New York, NY 10011 

(6:30–8:30pm): An eight week sem­i­nar with Arto Artin­ian begin­ning Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 22nd at 6:30 – $15 per ses­sion or $100 for the entire seminar.



Hegel: “The Syl­lo­gism”, Sec­tions #181–193” (“Ency­clo­pe­dia of the Philo­soph­i­cal Sci­ences in Basic Out­line: Part I — Sci­ence and Log­ic”, Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2010).

David L. Har­vey: “The Log­ic of Com­mod­i­ty Cir­cuits” (The Philo­soph­i­cal Forum Quar­ter­ly, Vol. XV, #3, Spring 1984, pg. 280–323).

Marx, selec­tions from “Cap­i­tal Vol. 2”.

Pur­chase all ses­sions of On Meth­ods of Inquiry:

$100.00Add to cart

* It is also possible to pay per session in person. Please RSVP to if you would like to attend on a per session basis.