BxNU Prefigurative Reading Groups is a series of reading groups that tackle texts that have influenced contemporary thought and practice. They require no previous experience of their subject, just a willingness to bring an open mind, experiment with ideas, dispute contentions, and leave space and time for each other to express themselves. The group will take place online across six sessions, beginning 8 December 2020.
No.1: Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (1980)
Book your place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Sessions will continue on a bi-weekly basis in January 2021.
A Thousand Plateaus, the second part of Capitalism & Schizophrenia, was written collaboratively by the (anti)philosopher Gilles Deleuze and the (anti)psychotherapist Felix Guattari as a ‘nonlinear’ and ‘rhizomatic’ exercise in both writing against the grain of modernist philosophy(with its oedipal relationship to narratives of history, modernity and colonialism) and the writing of a book as a rhizome, in which chapters are replaced by ‘plateaus’ that can be rearranged and recycled.
Whilst the book has been criticised, in particular by feminist and postcolonial actors, for its machismo and thus contradictory claims, it remains an important text of prefiguration – in that the formally revolutionary ideas it contains significantly influenced postmodernism and still reverberate today, perhaps particularly for our purposes in artistic, architectural and ecological thought.
This Reading Group will begin to unpack some of the book’s core ideas(we cannot read it all…). In the later sessions we will focus on some criticisms of the book and its impact. It has been organised in dialogue with Jasper Llewellyn (current PhD candidate, Northumbria University).
The first session (Tue 8 Dec) will begin with the first plateau: Introduction: Rhizome.
BxNU Prefigurative Reading Group No.2:
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (1952). Beginning March 2021.
Anyone can propose a text and help organise a BxNU Prefigurative Reading Group, contact Andrea by email: email@example.com