As you know, Friday March 27th will be the first joint seminar we will be having between the two PH.D programs RA and C/K.
We have invited as our guest the political theorist Ernesto Laclau who will be spending the day with us. The plan was to begin with a presentation on his contemporary reworking with Chantal Mouffe, of the concept of 'hegemony' from 11 to 1.30 . Then after lunch we were going to look at a few concepts from his recent writing on 'Populism' and from his most recent book 'Emancipations'. As one of Laclau's most significant contributions has been the ability to think semiotics in relation to discourses of power not vis their communicative legitimation, we thought this might be a focal point of the afternoon. This is also an aspect of his work that links most broadly with research projects in both of the groups.
We thought we would break the afternoon session at about 4.30 to give people a bit of time off to clear their heads, and then go the the Amersham Arms to have some drinks and some food at about 6 - 6.30. As we were hoping to have some kind of joint discussion, we thought that afterwards, we would pick up themes from the day's discussion with Laclau, he most likely will have left by then, in relation to the projects being pursued by members of the two seminars. Not a presentation but simply a few words of connection which might make the day's discussions more active or alive in people's work.
The texts have gone up on the site, I would suggest looking closely at 3 of them, the rest might be more contextual ; 1. Antagonism and Hegemony 2. On Populist Reason - Floating Signifiers 3. Why do Empty Signifiers Matter to Politicians ?
If you'd like to open up some aspect of your research in relation to Laclau's ideas and the directions we might take them in, could you please get in touch with Eyal and myself ?
Looking forward to seeing you again, its been a long break for me, and hoping we have an interesting joint session.