2021-22 Speaker Series

Each year The Speaker Series brings in several visiting guest lecturers. Speakers over the years have included Jean Baudrillard, Lauren Berlant, Peter Brooks, Norman Bryson, David Carroll, Anthony Cascardi, Wlad Godzich, Jean-Joseph Goux, Elizabeth Grosz, N. Katherine Hayles, Linda Hutcheon, Martin Jay, Michael Hardt, Agnes Heller, Barbara Johnson, David Farrell Krell, Murray Krieger, Arthur Kroker, Dominick LaCapra, Jerome McGann, J. Hillis Miller, Chantal Mouffe, Christopher Norris, Mark Poster, Richard Rorty, Charles Scott, Thomas Sebeok, Kaja Silverman, Gayatri Spivak, Bernard Stiegler, Samuel Weber, Hayden White, Slavoj Žižek, and many others.

Upcoming speakers:  


December 3, 2021
10:00 a.m. EST
Gavin Mueller

Lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam

Platformisation as Subsumption; or, What Hackers Can Learn from the Luddites 



Contact theory@uwo.ca for Passcode

“Platformisation” is a concept in the political economy of new media used to describe the rise in prominence and power of digital platforms that provide the infrastructure for cultural production and consumption in digital space. This talk proposes that platformisation can be fruitfully understood through the Marxist concept of subsumption, whereby capital reorganizes the means of production in particular ways to erect mechanisms of control and intensification. This process has historically provoked intense social struggles, most infamously the Luddite rebellions at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. How can contemporary battles over platforms -- ranging from their opaque algorithms, to their pervasive datafied surveillance, to their overall monopolistic influence over the cultural economy -- be productively reframed as struggles over subsumption? And how might this reframing illuminate the possibilities and limitations in the development of deep web and blockchain alternatives, loosely grouped together as “Web3”?


March 17, 2022
4:00 p.m. EST
Sayak Valencia Triana

Departamento de Estudios Culturales
El Colegio de la Frontera Norte



Watch some of our previous talks on YouTube

Past Speakers:

Dr. Todd Dufresne
Killing Us With Kindness: On Doomism & 'Utopic Realism'
November 19, 2021

Dr. John Ricco
Solitude and Things in the Time That Remains
April 29, 2021

Dr. Todd McGowan
The Racist Fantasy and Its Vicissitudes
April 23, 2021

Dr. John Ó Maoilearca
A Philosophy of Mysticism or A Mysticism of Philosophy?: Bergson and Laruelle
April 6, 2021

Dr. Arne de Boever
Finance and Friction
February 11, 2021

Dr. Mari Ruti
When the Cure Is That There Is No Cure: Mourning and Creativity
February 5, 2021