#TETH (The Euphoria The Humdrum, January 13, 2019):
Are you in (deep) passionate love? Or, have passions calmed down? Do revolutions happen spontaneously, & what maintains them? How do we keep various commitments? Do you imagine yourself as an object? What bores you? Could we, sometimes, experience boredom in a deep kind of way? Can human relationships be authentically mediated by objects? Is consumerism itself a revolution? Do most of us not have a systematic view of the world? Do (only) individuals fall in love? Do we become more revolutionary merely if we suffer more? What role do narratives play? What is the future of – the idea of – pure love? ‘Should’ a sense of moral duty be invoked to keep marriages together? Would anything be lost if we are found to be superficial beings? Is the appeal for individualized consumption less in societies that have collective social aims? Does consumerism work because it taps into our ability to love? Do consumer culture and religiosity go together? Do we need both theory and memory? Would the sites of boredom keep changing? &, would the notion of commitment become more flexible in the future, even as we continue to fall in love? But why? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from cultural theory & intellectual history (Prof. Craig Brandist, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield), philosophy (Prof. Raja Halwani, SAIC, Chicago), & sociology (Prof. Sanjay Srivastava, IEG, New Delhi).
SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TETH show.
Prof. Craig Brandist (culture theory, intellectual history) is Professor of Cultural Theory and Intellectual History, and Director of the Bakhtin Centre, at The University of Sheffield, UK. He has also earlier taught at The Elizabeth Johnson Organization (UK), Haywards Heath Sixth Form Collegen (UK), ‘WOLFRA’ language school (Warsaw, Poland), Centre for Studies in the Humanities (St. Petersburg, Russia), & St. Antony’s College (Oxford, UK). His research interests are Russian and comparative literature, early Soviet intellectual history and other aspects of cultural theory. He is currently working, with Peter Thomas of Brunel University, on a book about Antonio Gramsci’s time in the USSR, and is pursuing research on interactions between Soviet and Indian intellectuals in the period following the Russian Revolution. Prof. Brandist received his B.A. (English Literature) from Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology (1987, now Anglia Ruskin University). He then went to University of Sussex, to receive his M.A. (1988, English Literature, Critical Theory) & his D.Phil (1995), where his thesis was titled, ‘Dialectics and Dialogue: The Politics of Ideological Struggle in the Work of the Bakhtin School’. He has published more than 100 articles, and his books include ‘Carnival Culture and the Soviet Modernist Novel’ (1996), ‘The Bakhtin Circle: Philosophy Culture and Politics’ (2002), ‘Politics and Culture in the USSR 1917-1938’ (with Katya Chown, 2010), and ‘The Dimensions of Hegemony: Language, Culture and Politics in Revolutionary Russia’ (2016). His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as, Theory, Culture and Society, Radical Philosophy, & Studies in East European Thought.
Prof. Raja Halwani (philosophy) is professor of philosophy in the Liberal Arts Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (USA), where he has been working and teaching since 1997. His research interests are philosophy of art, ethics, controversial moral issues, political philosophy, philosophy of love and friendship, philosophy of sex, philosophy of religion, philosophy of death, LGBTQ studies, and animal ethics. He obtained his B.A. (1988, economics) from the American University of Beirut (Lebanon), and his M.A. (1995) & Ph.D. (1996) in Philosophy from Syracuse University (USA), where he wrote his dissertation on artistic intentions and the interpretation of art. His research is mostly focused in the philosophy of sex and in moral philosophy, especially in virtue ethics, and on the intersection between these two fields. He has published numerous books and articles. Among others, he is the lead editor of ‘The Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings’ (7th edition, Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), the author of ‘Philosophy of Love, Sex, and Marriage: An Introduction’ (now in its second edition, Routledge, 2018), and is the co-author with Tomis Kapitan of ‘The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Philosophical Essays on Self-Determination, Terrorism, and the One-State Solution’ (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008). He has also recently started blogging on topics such as vegetarianism, standpoint theory, an dmicroaggressions. The blog is titled Raja’s (Sometimes Philosophical) Musings and Confusings. He is also the Associate Editor at the Journal of Philosophical Research.
Prof. Sanjay Srivastava (sociology) is the Professor of Sociology, Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) and India-based Director, MS Merian-R. Tagore International Centre for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Delhi. He has also served as the Visiting Professor at Centre for South Asia in Stanford University (USA, 2016), Institute for Developing Economies in Tokyo (Japan, 2014), & University of Goettingen (Germany, 2013). He received his Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Sydney (1994). His research interests include ethnographic approaches to social change, globalization & culture, social theory, urban cultures, new forms of work, and youth cultures. Prof. Srivastava has published eight books as an author, co-editor & contributing editor, including, ‘Entangled Urbanism: Slum, Gated Community and Shopping Mall in Delhi and Gurgaon’ (OUP, 2014), ‘Passionate Modernity. Sexuality, Class and Consumption in India’ (Routledge, 2007), & ‘Asia: Cultural Politics in the Global Age’ (co-author, Allen and Unwin, 2001). He has published ~40 articles/ research papers in peer reviewed journals, such as, Economic and Political Weekly, International Encyclopaedia of Men and Masculinities, & Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute. Prof. Srivastava has also released three short ethnographic films, ‘Sudden Selves’ (2017, film on new forms of work and youth culture in the global south), ‘Kotla Walks: Performing Locality’ (2006), & ‘Doon School Chronicles’ (2000). He has received multiple grants from institutes such as JNU, ICSSR, Wenner-Gren, Australian research Council, The Japan Foundation Asia Center, & Charles Sturt University.
Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.
#TETH mentions: Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky, Antonio Gramsci, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, & Sergei Eisenstein, among others.