Saturday and Sunday: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 112 S. Michigan Ave.
The Platypus Affiliated Society is proud to announce its second annual international convention, What is Left, and where to begin? Platypus has organized four days of activities. Starting on Wednesday May 26th with a film screening at University of Chicago’s Woodlawn Collaborative and Thursday with theater and poetry performances at Decima Musa in Pilsen. On Friday May 28th, the Platypus Affiliated Society will convene for the panel discussion on The Question of Imperialism in the 20th Century at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). On Saturday May 29th, Platypus will host a selective series of workshops and panel discussions at SAIC (112 S. Michigan Ave.) Activities will focus on political and cultural issues that have shaped the Left historically and today. Sunday May 30th, Platypus members will be leading a series of talks on The Platypus Experience: Perspectives from three generations and The origins of today’s Left in the 1970s New Left. Saturday and Sunday spaces are limited and require registration. Click here to register.
Tuesday, May 18th 8:00 PM
5710 S. Woodlawn
Featuring a presentation by Chris Cutrone on Juliet Mitchell’s “Women: The longest revolution” (1966)
Join us for dinner and discussion
“Socialism will be a process of change, of becoming. A fixed image of the future is in the worst sense ahistorical. . . . As Marx wrote: ‘What is progress if not the absolute elaboration of humanity’s creative dispositions . . . unmeasured by any previously established yardstick[,] an end in itself . . . the absolute movement of becoming?’ . . . The liberation of women under socialism will [be] . . . a human achievement, in the long passage from Nature to Culture which is the definition of history and society.”
-- Juliet Mitchell
Juliet Mitchell’s groundbreaking essay, “Women: The longest revolution” (1966), brilliantly anticipated the feminist critique of Marxian socialism. But Mitchell found feminism, too to be lacking. Far from dismissing Marxism as a retrograde, patriarchal theory, Mitchell embarked on an effort to reconstruct Marxism as a philosophy of freedom that could orient political activists' efforts to overturn male dominance and establish the equality of the sexes. Unfortunately, feminism after Mitchell's essay failed to heed her call to attend critically to history to help get a better grasp and clarity about the pursuit of gender and sexual liberation, and abandoned the utopian possibilities of socialism in favor of the politics of established social identities. Join us to reconsider the paths not taken out of 1960s radicalism, and work towards reformulating a theory of sexual freedom that answers the needs of the present.
The Platypus Affiliated Society at Woodlawn Collaborative present...
When:Saturday, May 8 1:30pm - 3:00pm.
Where: Woodlawn Collaborative 6400 S. Kimbark Ave., John Knox Hall.
The German Marxist critical theorist Theodor W. Adorno (1903-69) is known, along with his friend and mentor Walter Benjamin, for the critique of mid-20th century art and culture. What is less well understood is the specific character of Adorno’s Marxism, how his political perspective related to his philosophical concerns. This workshop will address several aspects of Adorno’s Marxism that relate to his critique of Leftist politics, in both periods of his early and late life, in the Old Left (1920s-40s) and New Left (1960s), and how Adorno remains relevant to issues and problems of Leftist politics today.
Recommended background readings:
Max Horkheimer, “The Little Man and the Philosophy of Freedom” (1926)
Adorno, “Imaginative Excesses” (1944)
Adorno, “Marginalia to Theory and Praxis” (1969)
Adorno, “Resignation” (1969)
Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, correspondence on the German New Left (1969)
ATTENTION, LOCATION CHANGE: Tisch Hall, 40 W. 4th St. (4th and Mercer, on the South side of the street) Lower Level 2, Room. LC11.
A teach-in on labor, human rights and prospects for a Left in Iran with Ervand Abrahamian
The Platypus Affiliated Society, in collaboration with United for Iran, Amnesty International and the Network of Iranian Unions (NILU) has organized a teach-in on Iran for May 2nd, from 1-5pm at the Tisch Hall, 40 W. 4th St. (4th and Mercer, on the South side of the street) Lower Level 2, Room LC11. The keynote speaker for the evening will be historian on Iran and outspoken voice on the recent events, CUNY professor Ervand Abrahamian. The day will consist of an opening informational (1-2pm) panel, a workshop (2-3pm), a break with refreshments provided (3-3:30pm) and the keynote address with Ervand Abrahamian followed by an audience Q&A (3:30-5pm).
We would like to raise questions about the direction of the Green movement in Iran, with an especial, though not exclusive, focus on labor organization in Iran, the role it's playing and what it may achieve in the future. This teach-in will produce political discussion around these questions and inform students, faculty, and the public at large of the ongoing events in Iran. We would like to brainstorm (during the workshop especially) what kind of political response would further possibilities in our time for a progressive leftist movement.
This event was organized by the platypus affiliated society with the help of united for iran, amnesty international and the network of iranian labor unions (NILU).
25 april7:00 pm
Kimmel center, room 908
(60 washington square south)
The term 'autonomy' has crept into the lexicon of contemporary art discourse for reasons that are not self-evident. But there is a curious lack of historical consciousness. The aesthetic, social, and political implications of autonomy continue to haunt us, but, perhaps, only as farce. For the once restless non-identity between art and politics that Leon Trotsky and Theodor Adorno attempted to register seems to have become one or another false reconciliation. This discussion will attempt to lay a groundwork for comprehending autonomy from a historical perspective. And thus it asks: Is art still a form of self-consciousness? Can it be so without the Left, whose historical mission was to bring the modern world to self-consciousness through overcoming capitalism?
Led by Bret Schneider, editor of 491 and assistant editor of the Platypus Review.