The opening plenary of the 3rd annual Platypus Affiliated Society international convention, held at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, on April 29, 2011.
Recently, the New Left Review published a translated conversation between the critical theorists Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer causing more than a few murmurs and gasps. In the course of their conversation, Adorno comments that he had always wanted to “develop a theory that remains faithful to Marx, Engels and Lenin, while keeping up with culture at its most advanced.” Adorno, it seems, was a Leninist. As surprising as this evidence might have been to some, is it not more shocking that Adorno’s politics, and the politics of Critical Theory, have remained taboo for so long? Was it really necessary to wait until Adorno and Horkheimer admitted their politics in print to understand that their primary preoccupation was with maintaining Marxism’s relation to bourgeois critical philosophy (Kant and Hegel)? This panel proposes to state the question as directly as possible and to simply ask: How did the practice and theory of Marxism, from Marx to Lenin, make possible and necessary the politics of Critical Theory?
Co-sponsored by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Departments of Art Education, Art History, Liberal Arts, and Visual and Critical Studies, and the SAIC Student Association.
Chris Cutrone, Platypus (School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
Andrew Feenberg (Simon Fraser University)
Richard Westerman (University of Chicago)
Respondent: Nicholas Brown (University of Illinois at Chicago)
A workshop held on May 29th, 2010 at the 2010 Platypus International Convention at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Led by Pablo Ben.
An analysis of how sexuality as a sphere of modern life was formed due to the emergence of capitalism. Sexuality did not exist before the 18th century and it has emerged since then in several parts of the world following the expansion of global capitalism. The analyze follows through a new reading of Foucault from the point of view of Marcuseâs Eros and Civilization. This theoretical framework helps understand some new developments in the historiography of sexuality worldwide,specifically the world history of masturbation, prostitution, homosexuality, and romantic love.
A panel discussion held on May 29, 2010 at the second Platypus International Convention at SAIC.
The late 1960s and early 1970s witnessed the rise of a new militancy and sectarianism on the Left. Whether in the case of the Black Panthers, the Weather Underground, the Gay Liberation Front, or many other currents on the Left, developments from that time did much to shape the New Left's legacy as it comes down to the present. This panel seeks to move beyond the usual antinomies of unity versus fragmentation and idealism versus sectarianism that typically shape the discussion of the political trajectories of the period. Instead, it will attempt to grasp these turn of the decade developments as the results of long-standing problems inherited and confronted, yet ultimately abandoned and left unresolved by the New Left.
At the 1st annual international convention of the Platypus Affiliated Society, in Chicago, June 12-14, 2009, the concluding plenary event, a discussion on Platypus's theoretical stance, its raison d'etre, and where the project will be going.
Richard Rubin speaks on "Four Types of Ambiguity;" Chris Cutrone speaks on "History, Theory;" and Ian Morrison speaks on "What is to be Done?" Audience question-and-answer discussion follows. Held on June 14th, 2009 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Transcript can be found on our website (Click below):