Volcanic Lines: Deleuzian Research Group
Statement of Aims and Objectives
‘Depth is like the famous geological lines from NE to SW, the line which comes diagonally from the heart of things and distributes volcanoes: it unites a bubbling sensibility and a thought which “rumbles in its crater”.
Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition
‘It's the mouth of a volcano. Yes, mouth: and lava tongue. A body, a monstrous living body, both male and female. It emits, ejects. It is also an interior, an abyss. Something alive that can die. Something inert that can become agitated, now and then. Existing only intermittently. A constant menace. If predictable, usually not predicted. Capricious, untameable, malodorous.’
Susan Sontag, The Volcano Lover
Volcanic Lines: Deleuzian Research Group is based in the University of Greenwich Philosophy Department. The department is located on the Maritime Greenwich campus of the University in one of the baroque courts that make up the Old Royal Naval College, a World Heritage Site on the banks of the River Thames. The launch of the Research Group in Autumn 2006 followed the success of The Work of Gilles Deleuze International Conference in July 2006. Its aim is to organise events focusing on a diverse range of philosophers.
The Deleuzian inspiration is to stage encounters between different figures and test the limits of this approach. It will not be restricted to considering only the encounters Deleuze himself staged and developed. It will seek to continue his approach of seeking more challenging encounters and indeed questioning whether his own work was either too narrow, in excluding figures such as Hegel, or too broad in its range to be effective. Does it make sense to talk about encounters if they can produce anything and involve any thinker? The research group will also have an interdisciplinary edge, tapping into Deleuze research in departments other than philosophy. In this way it will be both radical and boundary breaking whilst being rigorous and critical in testing the limits and depths of the Deleuzian practice of encounter.
To achieve this the group will seek to extend a broad range of encounters and pursue their depth and productivity in each case. This will involve much consideration of what is learnt about the other partner in the encounter and not only about Deleuze’s philosophy. This should ensure a balance between the partners and stretch the capacity of encounter to produce something new and productive given all the differences involved. This should provide a rigorous testing ground for Deleuze’s reading of different thinkers and for his capacity to encounter those he neglected or who have come after him. It will test the limits of their influence upon his thought and the capacity of both sides to survive the rigor and violence of encounter. Thus we ask, is the encounter ever exhausted? Is it ever unproductive? The range of thinkers will extend to contemporary concerns with the limits of Deleuze’s thought in areas such as political resistance.
Colloquia will feature the presentation of a paper relevant to Deleuze studies although it may focus upon another thinker and potential partner in encounter and in this way allow the depth of this alternative to be considered on its own terms. Online discussions of papers will be designed to extend the question session at the end of the paper.
Colloquia organised by the research group:
Michael J. Olson (Villanova), Matt Lee (Greenwich) and Edward Willatt (Greenwich), 'Kant, Deleuze and the "Great Outdoors" of Speculative Realism', 24 June 2009
John Protevi (Louisiana), 'Water', 11th December 2007
Mick Bowles (Greenwich), 'Understanding: Spinoza, Kant, Deleuze', 7th June 2007
Darren Ambrose (Warwick), 'Deleuze and Francis Bacon: The Diagrammatic', 13th January 2007 -
Brian Smith (Dundee), 'The Limits of the Subject in Badiou's Being and Event', 7th November 2006
Reading group workshops will be focused workshops. They will involve short presentations or short papers to provide the themes of each session. These will not be papers to be discussed and the sessions will not be chaired. Rather the intention is to provide the focus to get through the text in a limited time frame and to allow conclusions to be reached about particular themes. Workshops will either meet over a number of weeks with sessions held on a particular evening every week or will be one day workshops with several sessions.
One day workshops organised by the research group:
On 'Foucault' - A Workshop on Gilles Deleuze's book 'Foucault', 18th April 2009
Integrations #1 - 'An Introductory Workshop on Deleuze and the Differential Calculus', 14th April 2007
Weekly reading group workshops organised by the research group:
Anti-Oedipus: A Six Week Reading Group, October-December 2007
On The Essays of Gilles Deleuze, Winter/Spring 2007
On Alain Badiou's Deleuze: The Clamour of Being, November-December 2006
Conferences will provide the time to stage an encounter with a number papers and discussions involving scholars from further afield.
Conferences organised by the research group:
'The Strange Encounter of Kant and Deleuze', University of Greenwich, 7th July 2007
'The Work of Gilles Deleuze', University of Greenwich, 1st July 2006
Further details and reports of our events can be viewed here.
An edited collection of essays will be published by Continuum Press under the title Thinking Between Deleuze and Kant. For further details click here.
The deleuze at greenwich website exists to provide information about Deleuze related events, calls for papers and publications at Greenwich and beyond. Anyone wishing to contribute information or suggested links is most welcome to e-mail these to volcaniclines[at]hotmail.com
The dialogues at greenwich blog allows for reports on events to be posted and for discussion begun at these to be continued and developed. We would also like to invite people to post their work in progress or pre-prints for discussion. If you are interested in contributing pieces we’d be delighted to hear from you and will send you details about posting. Please feel free to contribute to any discussion in the comments box at the bottom of each post. We hope this will provide a valuable terrain for testing ideas and readings for those who cannot make the events at Greenwich as well as developing and making available the work done at these events. Online publishing should allow the research group to make a contribution to the wider research community by disseminating contributions to key debates and trajectories in Deleuze studies and to the study of (potentially) related thinkers.
Further reading groups and colloquia are planned that will test the limits and depths of the Deleuzian encounter. The blog will be regularly updated with details of these. Unless you are a member of Greenwich University registration is necessary for each event attended because of security measures in place at Maritime Greenwich campus. When registering please state each event that you plan to attend (volcaniclines[at]hotmail.com).
Members of The Volcanic Lines Research Group attend events at Greenwich and contribute to conference, colloquium and workshop discussions and to online discussions. There is also the opportunity to contribute colloquia papers, workshops presentations and conference papers. Members are drawn from different faculties at Greenwich and from a number of other Universities. There are no membership fees and becoming a member of the research group simply involves registering for one of our events.
Events are organised by Matt Lee, Lecturer in Philosophy, Edward Willatt, who recently completed a PhD in philosophy at Greenwich, and other members of the Philosophy Department at The University of Greenwich.
E-mail the research group organisers at volcaniclines[at]hotmail.com