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Cosmopolitics and Cosmopoetics

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Organizer: Gabriel Trop

Co-Organizer: Bryan Norton

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Recent responses to the intensifying urgency of political, economic, cultural, and existential crises have turned to cosmological thinking as an experimental site in which to initiate a wholesale revaluation of the practices propelling humanity toward catastrophe. In many of these contributions, poetic and aesthetic form plays a surprisingly central role: Donna Haraway calls for “tentacular thinking” to cultivate an earth where multiple species can flourish, writing “we must change the story; the story must change.” Bruno Latour and Isabelle Stengers approach Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis as the source for a new mythology, a narrative-driven representation of distributed agency. Drawing on Immanuel Kant’s cosmopolitics, Yuk Hui turns to Chinese cosmologies to emphasize the multiplicity of worlds created through technological practices. What Hui calls cosmotechnics disrupts the apocalyptic analysis of technology in the west, making room for a new mode of thinking he calls planetary. Coupled with interrogations of the colonial structures endemic to the Anthropocene (Dipesh Chakrabarty), this new mode of planetary thinking gives way to a novel relationship between politics and form.

This seminar seeks contributions that interrogate this planetary exchange, which can express itself in the form of neural art, contemporary philosophy, digital poetry, or speculative interventions in an established canon. This seminar poses the following question: how might cosmopolitical thinking help us produce new concepts and more imaginative interfaces with the world and each other? How might poetic and artistic form help visualize a planetary redistribution of agency, and how might thinking in terms of cosmopoetics cast a new light on the multiple crises endemic to the Anthropocene? We would especially like to initiate a dialogue that spans diverse genres, different moments in time, and cultural locations. From the Huarochirí Manuscript to Lucretius’ On the Order of Things, from Pasolini’s poems to Chinese philosophy, our aim is to create a forum for speculative encounters in which resonance and divergence can take place.

Co-organized by Sonja Bertucci, Bryan Norton, and Gabriel Trop

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