2021-2022 seminar Ghalya Saadawi: Capital as a State of Mind
Participants: Till Langschied, Orestis Giannoulis, Cornelia Isaksson, Zuzana-Markéta Macková, Dakota Guo, Dylan Spencer Davidson, Lacey Verhalen, Miyoung Chang, Vera Mühlebach, Marika Vandekraats.
INTRODUCTION: Capital as a State of Mind
Asking how capitalism is a state of mind is asking how its impersonal abstractions may be personal. How do we address the contradiction of the impersonal nature of capitalism; its forces not so available to individual attribution? Not only how is it an abstract force that subjugates bodies or persons, but how are these latter themselves abstractions? How capital is a kind of “thinking” that has constructed/destroyed the subject, is a question that still haunts critical theory via psychoanalysis. Moreover, what does it mean that capital has a logic (racial, emotional etc.) and what are its reprecussions on how we are constituted? What is libidinal in the economy and what is the emotional logic of capitalism? But also, what is the consequence of capitalism on emotion? How does it form and inform desire? How does capital both have and inform the unconscious? How does it construct our “selves,” and are we also not in possession of ourselves? How, for example, are operations of exchange, debt, risk, monopoly, austerity, also psychic and interpersonal, as well as “real” and “material” abstractions? In a seminar in two parts over this year and next, we will explore these and other questions.
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