PhD Course on Contemporary conditions of critique: power, value(s), economy

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 to Fri, 22 Sep 2017
PRIO, Hausmanns gate 3, Oslo
PhD Course

In modern thought, critique is invoked as a particular relation to power: critique stands for the empowerment of the enlightened subject holding power to account, a premise continued by the tradition of capitalist critique. Over the last decades, performativity and ANT have emerged as influential alternatives to critique, alleging the modern critic to perform a self-defeating empowerment of the object of contestation. By some these have been experienced as liberation from the foreclosed accusation of anti-capitalism, allowing for change in the small and concrete. Others have accused these of an unwitting alliance with capitalism, and the financial crisis in particular has renewed the prominence of capitalism in theorising and critiquing contemporary relations of power and inequality.

Against the backdrop of the cross-disciplinary debate between critique and anticritique, the course will discuss important contemporary phenomena, such as the changing value of knowledge from an end in itself to a means to societal or economic impact; the crisis in the measure of value and disappearance of traditional grounds of critique associated with contemporary finance; the declining value of evidence in the so-called post-factual reality; and the politicisation of values as normative foundation of critique.

The course does not require a set position of critique but will work with students to refine the explicit and implicit assumptions of their approach. The 3-day course addresses PhD students across the social sciences, law and humanities and will be limited to 12 participants.

The course is organised in collaboration with NordSTEVA and SOURCE

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