2015 Wellek Lectures: Catherine Malabou, Metamorphoses of Intelligence - "Like A Pollock Painting"

 Humanities Center     May 22 2015 | 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM 1030 Humanities Gateway

2015 Wellek Library Lecture Series featuring Catherine Malabou
Day 3 | Friday, May 22 - "Like a Pollock Painting"
4:00-6:00 PM
1030 Humanities Gateway

The Critical Theory Institute at UC Irvine presents the Wellek Library Lectures, featuring Catherine Malbou.
Malabou will be giving three lectures on “Metamorphoses of Intelligence.”

These lectures will address how the current domination of neuroscience over three main fields — human sciences, government and management, cybernetics— urges philosophy and critical theory to explore a concept they have always tended to fly away from, deliberately or not: that of intelligence. Intelligence has always been considered the shadow of the mind, of spirit, of understanding. Loaded with a biological and psychological connotation, it has paradoxically never been regarded as the privileged locus of enlightened rationality. The current aknowlegement of the ever growing part that the brain is playing in all fields of activity forces us to reconsider this devaluation, and to ask ourselves what intelligence means at an age when the borders between humanity and animality, natural and artificial cognition, democracy and hypersovereignty are definitely and radically challenged. Countering Bergson’s affirmation of intelligence as a form of life that systematically turns itself against life, thus disavowing constantly its own origin in petrifying it, Malabou will show how intelligence defined as a set of new
crossings between the biological, the technological and the symbolic is revealing a new topology of thinking, freedom and resistance.

Catherine Malabou is Professor of Philsophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, London. Aiming to bring together the continenental traditionof philosophy and psychoanalysis with advances in neuroscience, she has developed the concept of plasticity. Her books include Les nouveaux blessés (2007), Changer de différence, le féminin et la question philosophique (2009), and What Should We Do With Our Brains? Her  forthcoming book La grande exclusion addresses homelessness and social emergency.

Established in 1981, the Wellek lectures have enabled distinguished critics to exchange ideas and defend their work over the course of three lectures. The featured scholars have shaped the direction of contemporary critical theory. Past lead lecturers have included Jean Baudrillard, Étienne Balibar, Edward Said, Jean-François Lyotard, and Jacques Derrida. This event is named in honor of Professor René Wellek, whose corpus of work in critical theory is housed at UC Irvine’s Langson Library. The papers resulting from the Wellek lectures will be published by Columbia University Press.

Wellek Blbiography (powered by Zotero; assembled by Dr. Matt Roberts, Langson Library)

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Michelle Maasz at mmaasz@uci.edu.