“Dark Deleuze”: A Glossary

Great post from Andrew Culp on the “Dark Deleuze”

Anarchist Without Content


Those who knew Gilles Deleuze consistently note his firm commitment to joyful affirmation and his distaste for the ressentiment of negativity. Beatifying this sentiment, Deleuzians have established a whole canon of joy. But what good is joy in this world of compulsive positivity?

It is time to move from the chapel to the crypt. There is sufficient textual evidence to establish this counter-canon. And from it, we can create a glossary of the “Dark Deleuze.”

Our TaskCreate ConceptionsDestroy Worlds
SubstanceTechno-SciencePolitical Anthropology

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More London activities

perhaps of interest


London Conference in Critical Thought 2014: Goldsmiths, University of London, 27-28 June 2014

Call for Papers

The third annual London Conference in Critical Thought (LCCT) will offer a space for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas for scholars who work with critical traditions and concerns. It aims to provide opportunities for those who frequently find themselves at the margins of their department or discipline to engage with other scholars who share theoretical approaches and interests.

Central to the vision of the conference is an inter-institutional, non-hierarchal, and accessible event that makes a particular effort to embrace emergent thought and the participation of emerging academics, fostering new avenues for critically-oriented scholarship and collaboration.

The conference is divided into thematic streams, each coordinated by different researchers and with separate calls for papers, included in this document. We welcome paper proposals that respond to the particular streams below. In addition, papers may be proposed…

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Memory without organs: denaturalizing repression-heroism

These are the two introductory paragraphs for my final chapter of Between Repression and Heroism: Young People’s Politics in Mexico City After 1968. Some previous writing from the dissertation is posted here. This final chapter follows from an argument in my Chapter Three about activists’ role in the social reproduction of a ‘police state.’ More on that argument can be found on my blog, here. Comments welcome!


Chapter Four: Memory without organs: denaturalizing repression-heroism

“The hero has molar perception which takes in overall aggregates and clear-cut elements, well-distributed areas of fullness and emptiness (this perception is coded, inherited, and overcoded by the walls […])” (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 535 n. 11).


Adherents to Mexico City’s post-1968 student-left have naturalized a timeless world of ritual sacrifice by the dominators of the dominated. They have taken their place in the movement of what Octavio Paz (1970, 114-116) calls Mexico’s “true history” – a saga of self-sacrificing heroism in the face of repression. Their commemorative response to a ‘first erasure’ (i.e., the PRI’s abdication of responsibility for the deaths in Tlatelolco on October 2, 1968) has produced a ‘second erasure’ (i.e., a rigidification of social categories that provide young people a way into ‘politics’ but simultaneously set limits on what can be recognized as such). The student-left’s practices of commemoration have produced a center of resonance around which memory of the past is organized. 1968 is Tlatelolco, is the essence of subsequent activist practice against the repressive state. The student-left commemorates ‘Tlatelolco’ as a proper name that captures not only the whole of 1968 but also subsequent state-civil society relations to which it appears naturally linked. In doing so, the student-left overcodes multiplicity with lines of uninterrupted filiation, creating a “genetic axis” of “organized memory,” which hems in experimentation and imposes a predetermined form on young people’s politics (see Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 12-25). But if some young people in Mexico City understand politics as a question of disrupting the categorical certainties of ‘student movement space,’ through what spatial practices is a world configured which might facilitate their efforts? And if not through the certainties of likeness that are made obvious through adherence to inherited categories that assumes the endurance of a violent ‘true history,’ how can young people pursue linkages and come together in the service of political practice?

This final chapter of my dissertation addresses these two questions through contemporary artistic and literary works that denaturalize the post-Tlatelolco ‘repression-heroism’ framework. The chapter is organized in three parts. The first is methodological. I draw from key thinkers of the intersection of politics and aesthetics (especially Rancière, and Deleuze and Guattari), as well as from a selection of interdisciplinary scholarship, to show how the post-Tlatelolco repression-heroism framework can be denaturalized through ‘memory-work.’ I use ‘memory-work’ to refer to practices that disrupt how the past is popularly known and therefore how it can be reactivated. The second part of the chapter examines three cases of memory-work: Ximena Labra’s Tlatelolco: Public Space Odyssey (2008), Thomas Glassford’s Xipe Totec (2011), and Roberto Bolaño’s Amulet (1999). These three works do not belong together in any obvious sense. They do not represent a ‘movement’ of any kind. But each artist or writer has, in a different way, produced their works in solidarity with young people of the left while at the same time intervening in a political framework that activists have drawn upon to lend post-1968 ‘student activism’ its coherence. Using language from Deleuze and Guattari (1987), I argue that Labra, Glassford, and Bolaño challenge the ‘genetic axis of organized memory,’ with consequences for young people’s politics after 1968. The third part of this chapter connects my analysis of artistic and literary works to my ongoing discussions of vinculación (solidarity exceeding likeness) in young people’s politics. I suggest that, taken together, Labra, Glassford, and Bolaño demonstrate how to configure a world that would facilitate young people’s contemporary efforts to act in excess of inherited categories, and pursue linkages that do not demand likeness. That is to say, these artistic and literary works denaturalize a world in which it is possible only to bring together predetermined groups around a universalized identity, and they thereby create conditions for forging as-yet unknown identities through political struggle. Most generally, Labra, Glassford, and Bolaño expand what can count as politics after 1968. They destabilize the limits of what can be said and done in relation to the past, and by whom.

Evans & Reid – Resilient Life: The Art of Living Dangerously

This looks like an interesting read. Particularly with the traction that resilience currently has in the planning and disaster management community. I had never thought of resilience as a neoliberal concept, in fact many of the examples of resilience that come to my mind are more grass-roots oriented neighbor-to-neighbor or neighborhood/community scale that is consciously outside the state. I also think about lines of flight as examples of the art of living dangerously.

Progressive Geographies


Out soon with Polity Press

What does it mean to live dangerously? This is not just a philosophical question or an ethical call to reflect upon our own individual recklessness. It is a deeply political issue, fundamental to the new doctrine of ‘resilience’ that is becoming a key term of art for governing planetary life in the 21st Century. No longer should we think in terms of evading the possibility of traumatic experiences. Catastrophic events, we are told, are not just inevitable but learning experiences from which we have to grow and prosper, collectively and individually. Vulnerability to threat, injury and loss has to be accepted as a reality of human existence.

In this original and compelling text, Brad Evans and Julian Reid explore the political and philosophical stakes of the resilience turn in security and governmental thinking. Resilience, they argue, is a neo-liberal deceit that works by disempowering endangered…

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Deleuze, Guattari and feminism: The relation between difference and identity

See below, information about an upcoming workshop at the Research centre for Action Research and Critical Inquiry in Organisations (ARCIO) at the University of Bristol.


Deleuze, Guattari and feminism: The relation between difference and identity

A workshop led by Dr. Emma Jeanes, University of Exeter

April 9th 2014, 1.00-5.00pm

Hawthornes Brunel Room at the University of Bristol

Identity politics, broadly defined, is a fundamental concern for many feminist scholars. This can be seen in the tension between essentialism (whether biologically or socially constructed) and post-structuralist approaches. The risks associated with an essentialised subject or the potential loss of the subject in whose name we can speak remains at the heart of much philosophical debate and practical consideration.  Identity (even if contingent and discursively produced) is often the starting point in feminist thinking, and questions of difference are often a matter of differences ‘between’ identities.

Deleuze questions what he sees as the common way of thinking, which he argues is betrayed by its focus on sameness and resemblance.  This is the “image of thought” which he contends prevents us from thinking the true nature of difference. In short, the image of thought he challenges is that which is preoccupied with questions of identity. Deleuze argues that when thinking about difference we should not be thinking of difference between but difference–in-itself. Deleuze places difference prior to identity, and points to differences of nature rather than differences of degree.  He builds on this work in partnership with Guattari, and difference-in-itself is fundamental to their conceptual development.

The work of Deleuze and Guattari has often received criticism from feminist scholars. In this workshop, we will re-examine the work of Deleuze and Guattari in relation to their understanding of philosophy and of difference, and in doing so we will discuss the implications of the relegation of identity for feminist politics.   In order to do this, key readings will be selected from their work. Specifically “An Image of Thought” from Difference and Repetition (chapter 3) in which we explore Deleuze’s approach to philosophical thought (and difference), and “Bodies without Organs” (chapter 6) from A Thousand Plateaus in which we explore how this is manifest in one of Deleuze and Guattari’s well-known concepts, bringing together notions of difference and body.

The workshop will comprise an introduction to the ideas and the selected texts, and then the texts will be discussed in relation to feminist thought, and beyond.  It is expected that participants read the two extracts prior to the meeting.

References (and reading):

G Deleuze and F Guattari (1987) “November 28, 1947: How Do You Make Yourself a Body Without Organs?”, chapter 6 in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans B Massumi, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press (I will be using the 2004 Continuum edition).

G Deleuze (1994) “The image of thought”, chapter 3 in Difference and Repetition, trans P Patton, London: Continuum Publishing. (I will be using the 2004 Continuum edition).

Dr Emma Jeanes is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter Business School and is affiliated to Lund University, Sweden. Emma’s research draws on sociology and philosophy. She co-edited the Wiley Handbook in Gender, Work and Organization (2011) with David Knights and Patricia Yancey Martin, and Men, Wage Work and Family (2012) with Paula McDonald. Emma has published work on Deleuze and creativity, and is currently writing on nomadology and organising.

To reserve a place, contact Mary Phillips: mary.phillips@bristol.ac.uk

The workshop is free of charge and refreshments will be provided.