2021-2022 seminar Ghalya Saadawi: Capital as a State of Mind

About Ghalya Saadawi

The seminar from month to month 

Participants: Till Langschied, Orestis Giannoulis, Cornelia Isaksson, Zuzana-Markéta Macková, Dakota Guo, Dylan Spencer Davidson, Lacey Verhalen, Miyoung Chang, Vera Mühlebach, Marika Vandekraats.

Thesis Coaching Matches

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. 


Preliminary bibliography:

Adorno, Theodor. Minima Moralia: Refllections on a Damaged Life. London: Verso, 2020. 

Berlant, Lauren. Love/Desire. Brooklyn: punctum books, 2012; or Berlant. Cruel Optimism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011.

Biss, Eula. Having and Being Had. London: Faber, 2020.

Brown, Alfie. Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism. Winchester: Zero Books, 2015.

Buck-Morss, Susan. “Envisioning Capital: Political Economy on Display,” Critical Inquiry 21, nr.  2 (Winter, 1995): 434-467.

Chakravartty, Paula and Denise Ferreira da Silva. “Accumulation, Dispossession, and Debt: The Racial Logic of Global Capitalism—An Introduction,” American Quarterly 64, nr. 3 (Sep 2021): 361-385.

Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. London: Continuum, 2004. (read with help, Aidan Tynan. “The Marx of Anti-Oedipus,” Deleuze and Guattari Studies, Volume 3 (Issue supplement Deleuze and Marx) (2009): 28-52; and Nicholas Thoburn. Deleuze, Marx and Politics. London: Routledge, 2003).

Dufourmantelle, Anne. In Praise of Risk. Translated by Steve Miller. New York: Fordham University Press, 2012.

Goux, Jean-Joseph. Symbolic Economies After Marx and Freud. Translated by Jennifer Curtiss Gage. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990.

Harney, Stefano and Fred Moten. The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study. London: Minor Compositions, 2013.

Konings, Martijn. The Emotional Logic of Capitalism: What Progressives Have Missed. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015.

Marcuse, Herbert. Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud. London: Routledge, 1998.

Marx, Karl (1867, 1978). Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. In The Marx-Engels Reader, Second Edition. Edited  by Robert Tucker. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.

McGowan, Todd. Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets. New York: Colombia, 2016. 

Tomsic, Samo. The Capitalist Unconscious: Marx and Lacan. London and New York: Verso, 2015.  

Toscano, Alberto. “Seeing It Whole: Staging Totality in Social Theory and Art,” The Sociological Review 60 (2021): 64-83.

Toscano, Alberto and Jeff Kinkle. “Filming the Crisis: A Survey.” Film Quarterly 65, nr. 1 (2011): 39-51.