“Intervals of Resistance: Being True to the Earth in Light of the Anthropocene” with Janae Sholtz

Next up in the series: Intervals of Resistance: Being True to the Earth in Light of the Anthropocene” with Dr. Janae Sholtz, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Alvernia University and the Coordinator of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

Details: Friday, February 12, 12-1PM, Arts-Based Research Studio (Ed North 4-104).


“Intervals of Resistance: Being True to the Earth in Light of the Anthropocene”

Rather than abiding by the catastrophic or fatalistic visions that so often accompany the invocation of the Anthropocene, this presentation operates from the assumption that thinking the conditions of the anthropocene, where those conditions also necessitate the relinquishment of any Promethean aspirations of human technological overcoming of the Anthropocene, may present us the opportunity to imagine a different future and entirely new ways of inhabiting this planet. This presentation develops the need for an ontological shift in consciousness towards a new sensitivity to affective and intensive engagements as necessary pedagogical tools in our attempts to navigate the epoch of the Anthropocene. Influenced by the work of Deleuze and Guattari, this ontological shift is figured as a move from the earth to the cosmic, where the cosmic exposes the illusionary wholeness and substantiality that has undergirded our concept of the earth, and indicates the necessity of thinking through the indices of our modern era of capitalist deterritorialization in order to engage these processes in more productive directions. What is called for is the de-centering of our selves in order to be true to the earth. This is the potential that we want to explore. It would require (1) developing a sensitivity to the level of force and intensity by which the cosmic arises and operates – what I am going to call a sensibility to affect and immanence; and (2) the invention of practices and ways of being that allow for or precipitate this development – which I am going to explore through the invocation of the creative potential of art to produce an experience of the ontological level of the cosmic that then becomes the basis for a new philosophical thought, to infuse philosophy with affects that produce intervals and slowness. As Deleuze and Guattari imagine, this will become the work of the cosmic artisan, to reframe the indices of modernity, which is to say the powers revealed through Capitalist capture and proliferation of the cosmic, in an affirmative manner, and to produce new subjectivities that do not deny the present but do not succumb to it either.


Paul Klee, Magic Garden (Zaubergarten), 1926

Speaker Information:

Dr. Janae Sholtz is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Alvernia University and the Coordinator of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. She was recently awarded the prestigious Neag Scholar Award for excellence in teaching and research. She received her PhD from University of Memphis and MA from New School for Social Research. She is the author The Invention of a People, Heidegger and Deleuze on Art and the Political, Edinburgh Press (2015), in which she contemplates the potential for new political futures by re-conceptualizing ontology through the imaginative, creative paradigms opened through the aesthetic considerations of Heidegger and Deleuze. Her research focus is Twentieth Century and Contemporary Continental Philosophy, avant-garde art and Contemporary Aesthetics, and Feminist Theory.  The intersectional aspect of her work is directed towards envisioning how different forms of expression and (aesthetic) activities generate new modes of thinking. Her current research interests include the structure of transgression, immanence as related to the ethics of the event, the influence of Stoicism in Deleuze’s philosophy, the intersection of art and the political, political ontology, and the potential of art as a form of resistance. 


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