Course Archive

Spring School Programme

May-June 2022, Parrhesia, Berlin

Three 10-hour courses taught in person and online May-June 2022

All courses are 10 hours in length and will be taught in person and on Zoom. Significant discounts apply for those enroling in multiple courses. For any questions please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

When: 2 May  – 2 June 2022

Where: Tues/Thurs courses: Gerichtstraße 45, 13347 Berlin Wedding (im Hof);
Wed course: diffrakt - Crellestraße 22, 10827 Berlin Schöneberg. 
All courses are also ONLINE

 

How: All courses will be taught in a hybrid format (in person and on Zoom). Video recordings are made available for those unable to attend. Course readings can be accessed online before the school begins. Links to the Zoom classroom are sent out prior to the course starting. All payment must be made via credit card or Paypal account during enrolment. Also it's worth noting that Berlin (CMT+1) is 10 hours behind Melbourne time and 6 hours ahead of New York.

Enrolment Fees

Courses Waged Unwaged
1 €80 €50 
2 €105 €68
3 €120 €80

 

Each Course runs 2 hours per week for 5 weeks

Tues 1–3 pm

Starts 3 May

New Dawns Beyond Empire: Indigenous Europe and counter-hegemonic rationalities

Lecturer: Dr Anne Dippel, invited guest, artist Joulia Strauss 

Description

Wed 7–9 pm      

Starts 4 May.    

Manifesto of (Counter-)Memory in an Age of Neoliberalism and Decolonization

Lecturer: Dr Gal Kirn

Description

Thurs 7-9 pm  

Starts 5 May

The 'Pathology of Freedom': Colonialism and Psychiatry after Frantz Fanon

Lecturers: Dr Elena Vogman and Dr Marlon Miguel

Description

Solidarity Event

Mon 2 May 8–10 pm

Ukraine   2 May, 8 – 10 pm, Roter Salon
"Freiheit & Würde: Solidarität mit der Ukraine!" series, Roter Salon der Volksbühne.
Ukrainian Activism: Countering Russia’s War
Talk with Vasyl Cherepanyn (Head of the Visual Culture Research Center / Kyiv Biennial), Joulia Strauss (Avtonomi Akadimia, Athens) and Steven Corcoran (Parrhesia, Berlin).
Hosted and moderated by Alexander Karschnia (Völksbühne)
Donations will go to the Kyiv Biennial's Emergency Support Initiative - Paypal acc.: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Description

 

Course Descriptions

Course 1

New Dawns Beyond Empire: Indigenous Europe and Counter-Hegemonic Rationalities

Tuesdays 1-3 pm (3 May, 10 May, 17 May, 24 May, 31 May)

Dr Anne Dippel, invited guest, artist Joulia Strauss.

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Description

Rural space and urban landscapes, river settlements and seashores, deltas and deserts, oases and wastelands, digital spaces and dreams of Mars colonization – humans live with, through and in spite of other living beings, creating infrastructures that can be ethnographically recorded and measured. What is humanity? What is nature, what does culture include or exclude, and what are natures-cultures? Do we live in a universe or is Earth a pluriverse? Through digitalization, humans have created further new dimensions and are shaping network worlds, consuming finite energy sources such as rare earths?’ In this course we will discuss these questions by travelling back in time, thanks to a reading of David Graeber and David Wengrow’s recently published and much-discussed book The Dawn of Everything. Selected chapters will serve to guide us through what anthropology—at the borderlands of philosophy, the humanities and science—can offer our contemporary understandings of the world.

Week 1.  Introduction: Getting together

On Indigenous Europe – Indigeneity as a vector of dissolution of Empire. A discussion with invited guest, artist Joulia Strauss

What is cultural anthropology? And how does it help to orient us politically? The first session opens with a short introduction on the disciplinary thinking specific to cultural anthropology, broached through a discussion between anthropology and art. We aim to discuss the epistemological and politico-artistic scope of concepts such as ‘indigeneity’ and ‘nature’, backdropped notably by the logics of Empire-building at work in the European provinces of the world.

To situate the topics of the next sessions, we end with a summary of the main argument of Graeber and Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything.

Week 2. Chapter 1 of The Dawn of Everything, ‘Farewell to Humanity’s Childhood. Or, why this is not a book about the origins of inequality’.

What does thinking of origins imply? How do we detect inventions of traditions? And how do we analyze complex systems where humans play a pivotal role?

Week 3. Chapter 2, ‘Wicked Liberty. The indigenous critique and the myth of progress. Or, why this is not a book about the origins of inequality’.

What do concepts of indigeneity entail, and what does it mean to relativize and relate culture-specific points of view? Taking this chapter’s historical examples together with contemporary developments, I want to shed light on how dialogue between different cultural and societal orders is possible or made impossible. How did the story of dialogue and critique between indigenous and non-indigenous societies evolve? And how did it happen that at a certain point Western cultures came to perceive themselves as superior to other cultures, and then come to dismiss this view today?

Week 4. Chapter 6, ‘Gardens of Adonis. The revolution that never happened: how Neolithic peoples avoided agriculture’.

This session is devoted to understanding the intersection between theoretical reasoning and practices of agriculture and foraging. How are we to understand foraging and agricultural practices and tools as modes of theoretical reasoning, and what light do the former shed on the latter? 

Week 5. Chapters 8 and 9, ‘Imaginary Cities Eurasia’s first urbanites’ – in Mesopotamia, the Indus valley, Ukraine and China – and how they built cities without kings’ as well as ‘Hiding in Plain Sight: The indigenous origins of social housing and democracy in the Americas’.

What is a narrative and how do they relate to arguments? How do anthropologists weave facts together into a compelling narrative? In this last session we focus on sensibilities towards narratives told and towards those who tell narratives. These last two chapters provide rich examples through which to analyze how arguments are made.

David Graeber and David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity (London: Penguin, 2021)

 

Course 2

Manifesto of (Counter-)Memory in an Age of Neoliberalism and Decolonization

Wednesdays 7 - 9 pm  (4 May, 11 May, 18 May, 25 May, 1 June)

Lecturer: Dr Gal Kirn (Research Associate, Faculty of Arts, Slovenia)

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Image: Partisan printshop Divača (unknown author, 1944). Courtesy of Museum of Contemporary History, Ljubljana

Description

A manifesto is a public statement that religious, political or artistic movements issue to render their intentions or views easy for people to ascertain. The most famous and widely translated manifesto is undoubtedly Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto (1848). This very form was taken on by different political parties and most prominently by avant-garde movements of the twentieth century. More recently, there has been a proliferation of engaged and scholarly texts that carry the word manifesto in their title.

This course aims to set the phenomenon of the manifesto against the field of memory, or rather of counter-memory: since the manifesto and memory evoke a rather contradictory pairing. Where memory is often conceived as that which is concerned with remembering the past, and is at least apt to organize social ties, a collective memory or a sort of ritualization, the manifesto is perceived as the expression of a striving for a (different) future, one that cuts with existing social ties and puts forward a plan about how to change the past and the future. In so doing, it radically redefines the field of its intervention by, for example, destroying/erasing museums, monuments or past canons. 

The course aims to elaborate a set of theses that combine both the manifesto and counter-memory. Counter-memory, in spirit of Deleuze and Guattari, is a specific modality that is occupied with thinking not the duration and spatiality of a nation-state, but rather with formalizing and remembering a rupture. This is not to say that there has been no manifesto of memory. Marx himself established a thesis that linked the memory of violence (yesterday's victims) and the future of these victim's (necessary) victory.

In the course we will articulate a set of theses (approximately two per session) that are inspired by, echo, refract and elaborate on the fragments of Marxian and critical thought concerning counter-memory. We shall go from Karl Marx and Walter Benjamin to the more recent texts of Susan Buck-Morss, Enzo Traverso and Michael Rothberg (multidirectional, beyond perpetrator-), including Todor Kuljić (manifesto for memory of left), Ann Rigney and Anna Reading (memory activism), and calls for 'mnemonic solidarity'.

The course will also examine a few general hypotheses concerning the so-called end of history and touch on the following topics: what might a new subject of memory be? What is the central cohesive element of the culture of memory? Have (counter-)monuments still a role to play? These hypotheses shall be supplemented by various case studies that are most notably related to 'post'-socialism-colonialism. 

Week 1: Short Introduction to the History and Today’s Renewed Popularity of the Manifesto Form.

The first session aims to present a brief history of the manifesto and to explore how memory can be read together with the seemingly opposed idea of a manifesto. A manifesto is often perceived as one of a particular group's most 'originary' moments or documents. As a document, it is often that which functions to promote, organize and disseminate a group's activities. In the second part of the lecture, we will look at selected passages from specific manifestos, notably those that relate to questions of past and future, history and memory (Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto; Benjamin's Theses on History), as well as at manifestos from non-Western contexts (Andrade; Mignolo; liberation manifestos).

Reading:

  • Oswald de Andrade. Anthropophagic Manifesto. 1928 (1991 trans.)
  • Walter Benjamin, ‘On the Concept of History’ Selected Writings, Vol. 4: 1938–1940. Michael W. Jennings  and Howard Eiland (eds) (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2003), pp. 389–400.
  • Karl Marx, Theses on Feuerbach, 18th Brumaire, Communist Manifesto See Marx-Engels Archive online.
  •  Susan Buck-Morss and Emily Jacir, ‘The Gift of the Past’, in DOCUMENTA (13) Catalog 1/3: The Book of Books edited by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Bettina Funcke.
  • Archive/Counter-Archive (https://counterarchive.ca/welcome). 

Week 2: Counter in Post-Times: Counter-Memory-Archive-History

This session will discuss the creation of a new European memory project based on an anti-totalitarian ideology that has excluded and/or demonized revolutionary and anticolonial history. As will become clear, the current predicament has been long signalled by the prefixes 'anti' and 'post' (post-socialism, post-colonialism, post-modernism, etc.). In the lecture's second part, we delve into key theoretical references that inspire our elaboration of counter-memory (Deleuze and Guattari, Rockhill, Kirn, Mirzoeff, Buck-Morss, Benjamin). Taking into account the modality of counter, can we speak of the existence and reconstruction of an alternative, underground or aleatory history? Or of a memory or archive? Or of subversive currents that aim for a living memory of the world that is more inclusive than the prevailing one? 

Reading: 

  • Kwame Anthony Appiah. “Is the Post- in Postmodernism the Same as the Post- IN Postcolonial?” Critical Inquiry, 17, 2 (1991): 336–57
  • Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. What is Philosophy? (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994).
  • Gal Kirn, The Partisan Counter-Archive: Retracing the Ruptures of Art and Memory in the Yugoslav People's Liberation Struggle (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020).
  • Todor Kuljić, Manifest sječanja za levico (Belgrade: Clio, 2022).
  • Gabriel Rockhill, Counter-History (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017).
  • Enzo Traverso. Left-Wing Melancholia: Marxism, History, and Memory. New York City, Columbia University Press, 2017.

Week 3: Further Elements of a Manifesto of Counter-Memory

This lecture will present a short list of (hypo)theses that will form the core of our manifesto. We will look closely at recent proposals (Rothberg, Rigney, Reading, Traverso, Kuljić) and treat the following questions: what is the new subject of memory? What is the central cohesive element of a culture of memory? Our theses will be supplemented by various case studies. 

Reading: 

  • Jie-Hyun Lim, ‘Postcolonial Reflections on the Mnemonic Confluence of the Holocaust, Stalinist Crimes, and Colonialism’, Mnemonic Solidarity: Global Interventions, edited by Jie-Hyun Lim and Eve Rosenhaft (New York: Springer 2021), pp. 15–45.
  • Gal Kirn, The Partisan Counter-Archive: Retracing the Ruptures of Art and Memory in the Yugoslav People's Liberation Struggle (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020).
  • Anna Reading, 'A Manifesto for Activist Memory Studies', Handbook of Memory and Activism. (forthcoming, Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  • Anne Rigney, 'Remembering Hope: Transnational activism beyond the traumatic', Memory Studies, 11, 3, (2018): 368-380. doi:10.1177/1750698018771869
  • Michael Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory (Stanford: SUP, 2009)

Week 4:  Art and Curating in the Age of Decolonization: What Kind of Counter-Memory? Guest lecture by the Nyabinghi Lab

This session will present some recent artistic and curatorial interventions that excavate, reconstruct, defragment and retrieve emancipatory fragments, stories, events, and audio and visual material of the (semi-)forgotten past and present—a past and present related to oppressed, subaltern subjectivities and possible strategies. We will look at examples of the 'partisan counter-archive' (Kirn) and invited guest the Nyabinghi Lab will provide us with a decolonial and art-curatorial perspective.  

  • The Nyabinghi Lab website https://nyabinghilab.com
  • Micheal Rothberg, The Implicated Subject: Beyond Victims and Perpetrators (Stanford: SUP, 2019)

Week 5: Iconoclast events and the legacy of Western Colonialism

Following the political work and protests of Black Lives Matter, various iconoclast events, as well as political and theoretical discussions, have unfolded that focus on the ongoing legacy of European and Western colonial history. This legacy continues to haunt public spaces, museums, statues, and official memory discourses. This session will look at some striking public actions and present some key critical voices (Preciado, Mirzoeff, Scott, etc.)

Reading:

  

Course 3

The ‘Pathology of Freedom’: Colonialism and Psychiatry after Frantz Fanon

Thursdays 7-9 pm  (5 May, 12 May, 19 May, 26 May, 2 June)

Lecturers: Dr Elena Vogman (Bauhaus Universität, Weimar) & Dr Marlon Miguel (Bauhaus Universität, Weimar)

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Description

The publication of Frantz Fanon’s Psychiatric Writings (Writings on Alienation and Freedom, [2015] 2018) marks a turning point not only in the history of critical psychiatry but also in the way we can approach the theory and history of decolonial thought. Reading colonial violence through the prism of mental illness implied for Fanon an understanding of mental illness as a ‘pathology of freedom’. This course explores a series of Fanon’s crucial decolonial concepts in their entanglement with the methods and tools of institutional psychotherapy: a clinical and political movement that emerged in the context of Second World War and the extermination policy aimed at psychiatric patients. Fanon’s collaboration with the resistance fighter and revolutionary doctor François Tosquelles at the Saint-Alban psychiatric clinic in Lozère in 1953 and his subsequent implementation and transformation of institutional psychotherapy in the Blida-Joinville clinic in Algeria both form central ‘scenes’ for our analysis. These scenes will be accompanied and deepened by a close reading of a number of texts and visual materials. We will also explore the role of different media and art practices, such as filming and photography, writing and publishing, drawing and sculpture for the formation of the so-called milieus of healing crucial to the practice of both Fanon and Tosquelles.             

Week 1. Introduction: Decolonial Perspectives on Psychiatry

In this first session, we will introduce Frantz Fanon’s trajectory, from his encounter with the Catalan psychiatrist François Tosquelles and the institutional psychotherapy developed at the Saint-Alban clinic to the work undertaken in Algeria. How do Fanon’s methods relate to institutional psychotherapy and simultaneously displace it against the backdrop of the violence of colonial war?

Reading:

  • Nancy Luxon, ‘Fanon’s Psychiatric Hospital as a Waystation to Freedom’, Theory, Culture & Society 0(0), pp. 1–21, 2021, DOI: 10.1177/0263276420981612

Week 2. Apocalypse and Milieus of Reconstruction: The Tools of Institutional Psychotherapy

François Tosquelles showed how the experience of the apocalypse, or the ‘end of the world’, is recurrent for persons suffering from psychosis. But far from a simple delirium, this experience is an organic psychosomatic reaction that seeks to create a coherent form of life that would enable the individual to endure. Tosquelles, along with Georges Canguilhem, understands himself as part of a tradition extending from Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan that radically challenges notions of the normal and the pathological, of order and disorder.

Reading:

  • Translated excerpts from François Tosquelles

Week 3. Mental Illness as a ‘Pathology of Freedom’ (Fanon)

Fanon adopts from the French psychiatrist Henri Ey the idea that mental illness implies a ‘pathology of freedom’. To understand this statement and grasp the meaning of ‘freedom’, we propose to introduce a constellation of figures (such as Ey, Louis Le Guillant and Marcel Mauss) and concepts (such as ‘milieu’ and ‘atmosphere’).

Reading:

  • ‘Day hospitalization in psychiatry: Value and limits. Part two: doctrinal considerations)’,  Frantz Fanon: Writings on Alienation and Freedom, ed. by Jean Khalfa and Robert J.C. Young, trans. by Steven Corcoran (London: Bloomsbury, 2018), pp. 495-509.

Week 4. The ‘Pathology of Atmosphere’ and How Media Produce Milieus

After having conceptualized mental illness as a ‘pathology of freedom’, Fanon relates it to the ‘bloody atmosphere’ of the colonial war in Algeria. How does mental illness relate to this colonial atmosphere? And what role do media play in reconstructing a ‘healing milieu’? In this session, we will analyze how Fanon reintroduces the media work already practiced in Saint-Alban, and in particular the importance of film for his method. We will also watch a film made in the context of his work with refugees from the Algerian war (J’ai huit ans).

Reading:

  • ‘Colonial War and Mental Disorders’, in Wretched of the Earth, chap. 5, trans. by Richard Philcox (New York: Grove Press, 2005), pp. 181-233.

Week 5. The Two Faces of Violence

Considering 'madness' a 'pathology of freedom', Frantz Fanon never ceased to radically transform the methods of institutional psychotherapy in Algeria and Tunisia, thereby revealing the subjective and objective scarification of colonial violence. In this concluding session we will discuss the different modalities of violence through the prism of Fanon’s case studies as well as through Achille Mbembe’s reading of Fanon. Central to this session will be Christopher Chamberlin’s talk, '"The Conflict is the Patient"': In his late clinical writings, Fanon emphasized the political and ethical value of antagonism in the therapeutic program he instituted in the psychiatric hospital, going so far as to assert that 'the conflict is the patient'. This lecture explores the implications of a practice that treats (in the sense of facilitating) conflict through an analysis of Fanon’s case histories of 'psychosomatic' patients.

Reading:

  • ‘Fanon’s Pharmacy’, in Achille Mbembe, Necropolitics, trans. by Steven Corcoran (Durham: Duke University Press), pp. 117-155.

 

Ukraine   2 May, 8 – 10 pm, Roter Salon
"Freiheit & Würde: Solidarität mit der Ukraine!" series, Roter Salon der Volksbühne.
Ukrainian Activism: Countering Russia’s War
Talk with Vasyl Cherepanyn (Head of the Visual Culture Research Center / Kyiv Biennial), Joulia Strauss (Avtonomi Akadimia, Athens) and Steven Corcoran (Parrhesia, Berlin).
Hosted and moderated by Alexander Karschnia (Völksbühne)
Donations will go to the Kyiv Biennial's Emergency Support Initiative - Paypal acc.: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Maidan (Independence Square), Kyiv, February 2014