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Sovereignty and the Human: Exploring Bataille’s Accursed Share Project

[Again] and UWE Philosophy, Bristol,

April 25th 2014


Keynote speakers confirmed:


Prof. Howard Caygill (CRMEP Kingston University)

Prof. Scott Wilson (Kingston University)

Georges Bataille is surely one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century – drawing attention from notable figures such as Heidegger (who once remarked that Bataille was ‘one of France’s best minds’) as well as influencing Foucault, Deleuze and Derrida. Today his impact is still explicit in the work of Giorgio Agamben and Jean-Luc Nancy, with their respective works on sovereignty and community. Bataille’s three volume Accursed Share project, which can be perhaps designated as the most systematic presentation of his thought, is an outrageously enigmatic and ambitious series of texts. It traverses a variety of disciplines, including sociology, psychology, anthropology, political theory, cultural studies, and of course, philosophy. This conference aims to explore some themes from the texts and to cultivate the continuing discussion concerning Bataille’s thought.

We welcome papers on any themes that emerge from within the three volumes of The Accursed Share. We are particularly interested in ambitious papers that pertain to contemporary issues – be they political, cultural, philosophical, technological, etc. Each paper will last for approximately 20 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes for questions.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

–       Bataille’s relationship, within the text, with the history of philosophy. E.g. Ancient Greek philosophy, German Idealism, etc.

–       Bataillean political philosophy – his concern for community and collective activity.

–       Bataille’s metaphysics and Bataille’s use of science.

–       Bataille’s ethics, and his concepts of value, utility and utilization.

–       Bataillean approaches to film and literature.

–       Issues in contemporary philosophy that utilize Bataillean categories and concepts (knowingly or not).

Please send 500 word abstracts, and any questions, to:

Abstracts due: January 18th.

Admission: free


3 comments on “Sovereignty and the Human: Exploring Bataille’s Accursed Share Project

  1. Keith Harris
    November 19, 2013

    Reblogged this on My Desiring-Machines.

  2. groundworkphilosophy
    November 19, 2013

    Thank you that’s very kind 🙂

  3. luchte
    January 8, 2014

    It is good to see Bristol exploring Bataille! Well done!

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