Reading and Research Circle

Der Fachbereich veranstaltet einen monatlichen Lesekreis mit regelmäßigen öffentlichen Vorträgen und Workshops.

Mehr Informationen auf Deutsch.

More information about our monthly Reading Circle in English.

Alexis Shotwell: "Working or playing at freedom" - Lecture and Discussion (2023)


October 20th 2023, 6-8pm, Hörsaal 2G (NIG), Department of Philosophy (and online)


The Reading Circle of the Research Group “Poststructuralism, Gender Theory, Psychoanalysis” at the University of Vienna cordially invites you to the next public event:


Alexis Shotwell (Carleton University Ottawa)

Working or playing at freedom


Abstract:  Ursula Le Guin thinks of freedom as an ongoing process, a practice rather than an achievement, something to be worked on rather than won. While our freedom can be stolen from us, in her work, it cannot be given to us: we each must manifest it through our unique, specific lives. Such freedom, she argues, is only really available in societies organized around justice and mutual aid. It does not fully exist yet. Perhaps along the way to social relations not organized to benefit some and oppress many, practicing freedom can open more possibilities for us individually and for our collective worlds. Because the work of creating such freedom is ongoing, Le Guin and others conceive of freedom as something we build in an ongoing way – we never stop working on it. The worry about such a accounts: They may reinforce ableist and productivist normative commitments that bolster capitalist value structures. In this paper, I elaborate those worries, and think with Le Guin and others about the connections among freedom, the idea that we each have worth in virtue of our uniqueness, and the promise of idle play as a form of creating beauty.



Register for online participation:


Alexis Shotwell is a professor at Carleton University, on unceded Algonquin territory. She is the co-investigator for the AIDS Activist History Project, and author of Knowing Otherwise: Race, Gender, and Implicit Understanding and Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times.


Since 2021 the Reading Circle PS-GT-PA includes public events additionally to the monthly readings. Lectures and workshops have been held with Brian Massumi, Erin Manning, Avital Ronell, Didier Debaise and Shomo Choudhury.



Upcoming Events 2023: Reading, Lecture and Discussion with Shomo Choudhury


Next dates

April 28th, Friday, 6pm: Reading "Treatise on Nomadology - The War Machine" (second part), A Thousand Plateaus (pp. 380-423), online

May 16th, Tuesday, 5pm: Lecture of Shomo Choudhury (Jawaharlal Nehru University) "Theatre, War and the Limits of Scenario-thinking", online and at Rote Bar/Volkstheater (organized by Arno Böhler).

May 26th, Friday, 6pm: Discussion and Reading with Shomo Choudhury, online


Register here if you are interested to join:



More Information


Shomo Choudhury: "Theatre, War and the Limits of Scenario-thinking"

Abstract: My talk will be called "Theatre, War and the Limits of Scenario-thinking". The talk will start with Deleuze and Guattari' s concept of the "war machine." It will discuss their first main reference in the chapter from A Thousand Plateaus, which is to Georges Dumezil. I will discuss the chapter' Nexum and Mutuum' from Dumezil's book Mitra Varuna. I'll bring up the question of debt, defaulting and clemency as the three moments of the structure of sovereignty, in which the notion of militant clemency from Dumezil will signify the opening on to the concept of the war machine.

After this I will make a historical investigation of Shakespeare's history plays, particularly Richard III, as an example of the war machine, in its political exteriority to sovereignism and its legitimation strategies of the modern age. This will also include a short detour into the notion of Holy War in Theology as a genealogy of legitimization of modern state Warfare.

The third sequence of the talk will involve a reading of Antonin Artaud's theatre and the plague as an extreme theatricalization of the war machine (during a plague) as a theatre of cruelty. The mode of this "cruel" theatre thinking is the scenario. The other reference from Artaud will be his 'Scenario the conquest of Mexico.' This sequence will reach up to present day preoccupation with biowar as well as biopolitics, so much in currency during the COVID period. The last part of my talk will explore the limits of "Scenario-thinking" during the neo-liberal period of Capitalist globalization where all wars are in a sense part of a generalised Capitalist civil war. In this regime, the crisis of legitimization is particularly exacerbated by the extreme relativism of media society where one scenario crosses out another, such that war becomes nearly banal and structural. The particular reading I have in mind for this section is Peter Sloterdijk's Terror from the Air.

In the conclusion I'll take up the example of the Ukraine-Russia war as both the manifestation of crisis of legitimation in contemporary media society as well as a "symptom" of global civil war. 



Shomo Choudhury is Professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics/ Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi). His research practices combine „classic“ philosophy, performance, theatre studies and own theatre productions (as director as well as performer). He follows an intercultural approach that emanates from European as well as Indian artistic and theoretical tradition.

Didier Debaise: "The Earth of the Moderns. How to Inherit Latour's Inquiry into Modes of Existences" - Lecture and Discussion


January 27th 2023, 6-8pm (CET), Zoom

The Reading Circle of the Research Group “Poststructuralism, Gender Theory, Psychoanalysis” at the University of Vienna cordially invites you to the next public event:

Didier Debaise (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

"The Earth of the Moderns. How to Inherit Latour's Inquiry into Modes of Existences"

January 27th 2023, 6-8pm (CET)

Lecture and Discussion (online)

Debaise is currently working on a series of texts around Bruno Latour's thought. Thus, in his lecture, he will present his research: bringing together his interpretation of Whitehead (“Cosmology of the Moderns”), laid out in the book Nature as Event. The Lure of the Possible, with Latour’s Inquiry into Modes of Existence.

Register here to get the Zoom-Link and reference texts:


Didier Debaise is Professor for Contemporary Philosophy at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) and permanent researcher at the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique. His main areas of research are contemporary forms of speculative philosophy, philosophy of nature, and links between American pragmatism and the French contemporary philosophy. He wrote several books on Whitehead’s philosophy (Un empirisme spéculatif, Le vocabulaire de Whitehead and L’appât des possibles), edited volumes on pragmatism (Vie et experimentation), on the history of contemporary metaphysics (Philosophie des possessions), and he wrote numerous papers on Bergson, Tarde, Souriau, Simondon, and Deleuze. Two of his books appeared in English: Nature as Event (Duke University Press) and A Speculative Empiricism (Edinburgh University Press).

Since 2021 the Reading and Research Circle PS-GT-PA (initiated by Arno Böhler) includes public events additionally to the monthly readings. This lecture follows a workshop in December with Erin Manning and Brian Massumi on “The Three Ecologies”.


June 15th 2022, 6-8pm (CET), Zoom

The Reading Circle of the Research Group “Poststructuralism, Gender Theory, Psychoanalysis” at the University of Vienna cordially invites you to the next public event:

Avital Ronell (New York)

"The Many Closures of Deconstruction"

Lecture and Discussion (online)

Register to get the Zoom-Link:



Avital Ronell is Professor for German and Comparative Literature at New York University and one of the most radical thinkers of our time. In her work, she has written extensively about deconstruction, poststructuralism, feminist philosophy, technical philosophy, political theory and psychoanalysis.

Since 2021 the Reading and Research Circle PS-GT-PA (initiated by Arno Böhler) includes public events additionally to the monthly readings. This lecture follows a workshop in December with Erin Manning and Brian Massumi on “The Three Ecologies”.

Workshop-Reihe: Was wird der Poststrukturalismus gewesen sein? (2022)


20.01.22, 11:30–14:30 (CET), online: Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca (Surrey), mit Beiträgen von Joshua Bergamin und Tanja Traxler

21.04.22, 18:00–21:00 (CET), online: Thomas Nail (Denver), mit Beiträgen von Ralf Gisinger und Manu Sharma

20.05.22, 10:00–13:00 (CET), HS 2i NIG: Kas Saghafi (Memphis), mit Beiträgen von Flora Löffelmann und Angelika Seppi (Achtung, Raum geändert!)

Organisation und Moderation: Eva-Maria Aigner, Arno Böhler, Jonas Oßwald

Infos und Anmeldung:

(English Version)


Die Workshop-Reihe geht von dem Befund aus, dass die theoretische Strömung des Poststrukturalismus zwar mit einer konstanten Reihe an Vertreter*innen assoziiert wird, es aber dennoch keinen Konsens über einen inhaltlichen Standpunkt gibt, der von all diesen Vertreter*innen geteilt wird. Das Label »Poststrukturalismus« funktioniert in pragmatischer Hinsicht, obwohl es inhaltlich unterbestimmt ist. Dies spiegelt sich aktuell auch in Debatten zu Post-Truth, in denen Kritiker*innen immer wieder die vermeintliche Verstrickung des Poststrukturalismus behaupten, ohne dabei dessen spezifische Kohärenz benennen zu können.

Ausgehend von dieser Situation unternimmt die Reihe den Versuch einer historischen und systematischen Situierung des Poststrukturalismus, die sich gleichzeitig als eine Art Resümee dieser theoretischen Strömung und als Befragung ihrer Aktualisierungspotenziale versteht.

Wenn die Workshop-Reihe also die, durchaus polemisierende, Frage stellt, was es denn nun gewesen sein wird, was man als Poststrukturalismus bezeichnete, soll das Futur II, das Jacques Derrida als Zeitform eines Sprechens über das Ereignis geprägt hat, sowohl zu einer Historisierung als auch Öffnung auf einen zukünftigen »Poststrukturalismus« einladen. Die Veranstaltung schließt an die Workshop-Reihe 2020/21 an.


17.12.21, 6-8pm (CET), Zoom

We invite you cordially to this public session of the Reading Circle "Poststructuralism-Gender Theory-Psychoanalysis" on Guattari's The Three Ecologies with Erin Manning & Brian Massumi.

Register to get the text and Zoom-Link:



In The Three Ecologies (1989) Félix Guattari outlined his unique concept of ecosophy, a connection of three ecological realms: environmental, social, mental ecology. He pleads for a transversal understanding of ecology and therefore develops an ethico-aesthetic program in times of Integrated World Capitalism (IWC).

In this public workshop of the Reading Circle (Research Group “PS-GT-PA”) we will discuss the text with Erin Manning and Brian Massumi.

Erin Manning (Concordia University) & Brian Massumi (University of Montreal) founded the 3ecologies Project, an autonomous organization for research-creation (following the SenseLab) that explores the active relations between art, philosophy and politics.

The Reading Circle was formed by members of the Research Group "Poststructuralism-Gender Theory-Psychoanalysis" early 2021 under the guidance of Arno Böhler and meets monthly to discuss texts that are in the fields of interest of the researchers. Readings until now were Barad, Simondon, Deleuze/Guattari, Malabou, Althusser, Chakrabarty, Soka. Since October 2021 the new format of the Reading Circle includes public workshops with leading experts on the discussed topics.

Organisation: Arno Böhler, Manu Sharma, Mathias Schönher, Ralf Gisinger

Diskussionsrunde: Resilienzen?


05.03.21, 18:00 (online, Vienna Time)

Organisation: Stefanie Graefe und Kilian Jörg


Meeting-ID: 923 0168 1120

Kenncode: 843994

Weitere Informationen

Jour Fixe

Der nächste Jour Fixe des Fachbereichs wird sich am 04.12. (18:30 Uhr, HS 3D, NIG) mit Spivaks Kritik an Deleuze und Foucault beschäftigen. Geleitet und moderiert wird dieser Lektüre-Workshop von Murat Ates und Christoph Hubatschke. Bei Interesse, bitte eine kurze Mail an für die Zusendung der Texte.

Globart Academy 2019

Jour Fixe