Monday, 26 January 2015

Call for Applications

Second BPPA Masterclass of 2015
In association with the
University of Liverpool School of the Arts,
the Badiou Studies Journal and Mind

University of Liverpool,
Department of Philosophy,
School of the Arts,

Call for Applications

Set Theory Ontology and the Philosophy of the Event
2nd – 3rd October 2015

Deadline for applications:
9 a.m. 23rd March 2015

Oliver Feltham, the American University of Paris
Andrew Gibson, Royal Holloway University of London
Anindya Bhattacharyya, Independent Researcher
John McSweeney, Independent Researcher

Masterclass Description:
Set theory ontology and the philosophy of the event marks a recent and innovative means through which ‘Continental’ and ‘Analytic’ philosophical currents can construct a dialogue between their disparate perspectives. Such debates and developments have been influential in Continental philosophy for over two decades, yet have seen little impact upon the Anglophone philosophical community. In recent years, there has been an intensification in the curiosity of Anglophone philosophers working within the Continental tradition. In 2012 the Badiou Studies journal was established as an English-language forum to facilitate these debates and create a presence within the Anglophone philosophical world. However, despite the philosophy’s suitability for cross-traditional discussion and the journal’s attempts to harbour this, the impact has remained largely within the remit of pre-existing Anglophone continental philosophers, whilst the Analytic community’s engagement with Badiou has been minor.

The second BPPA Masterclass of 2015 will bring together researchers with an interest in all areas of Badiou’s philosophy in order to appraise its relevance to contemporary philosophy. As set theory and its immediate ontological ramifications forms the core of Badiou’s philosophical approach, the masterclass will be primarily focused on this in order to be approachable to those without sufficient previous engagement with Badiou. The masterclass committee welcomes applications from postgraduate and early career researchers from all areas of philosophy who have an interest in learning about set theory ontology as well as those who wish to develop upon their knowledge.  Up to fourteen free places are available.

The aims of the masterclass are threefold:

Principally, the two day event aims to encourage interest in Badiouian ontology within the next generation of British Analytic philosophers with a view to establishing a constructive dialogue between the two philosophical communities. This conference will, therefore, be organized in a masterclass structure in order that it may be accessible to all postgraduate-level philosophy students.

The conference will begin with talks from Oliver Feltham (the English language translator of Badiou’s Being and Event) and Anindya Bhattacharyya who will work closely with the participants in the form of open-lectures. These open-lectures will provide contextual information and explanations of principles which underlie Badiou’s ontology, such as set theory, category theory and Heyting theory.  These lecture sessions will reinforce and develop the knowledge – gained from the participants’ preparatory reading – to the level of proficiency required to understand the later speakers and participants’ papers as well as take part in the debate.

The secondary aim of the conference is to facilitate and assist those participants with pre-existing knowledge of set theory ontology in deepening their engagement with Badiou through exploring the nuances and implications of his philosophical approach. The second day of the masterclass will, therefore, focus on critical engagements with Badiou as well as discussion linking his philosophy with other French thinkers. Andrew Gibson and John McSweeney will present open-lectures on the instability of Badiou’s ontology and its relation to political subjectivity, respectively.

The third conference aim is to establish a setting for those participants with an existing engagement with Badiou to discuss their own readings and criticisms of Badiou’s ontology amongst other engaged postgraduate students as well as the ‘masters’ of the field. Sessions of participant papers will, therefore, be interspersed between the main speaker sessions so that a select number of participants – eight or so - will be able to present short papers on various elements of Badiou’s ontology. Accepted papers will be submitted for a special addition of Badiou Studies in Autumn 2016 (subject to double-blind peer review).

Application Process:
The organising committee welcomes applications from postgraduate students and early career researchers from all areas of philosophy with an interest in Badiouian ontology and set theory. Please submit a two-page academic C.V. and a single-sided statement of interest to Ruthie Miller – – by 9 a.m. on Monday 23rd March 2015. Please be sure to include details of: previous engagement with set theory ontology and/or the philosophy of the event, details of why you feel you would benefit from attending the masterclass, as well as an outline of the proposed participant’s paper. Abstracts will be requested subsequent to acceptance onto the masterclass. Participants will be selected to ensure a comparable representation of those with little or no experience of set theory ontology together with those who are already working within the area. An interest in set theory ontology is essential, but not a prior engagement with it.

Funding Information:
The masterclass will be free for participants. In addition, lunch, dinner and tea breaks will be provided for all participants, as well as accommodation for up to 14 participants. Travel bursaries are tbc.

Masterclass Organisers:

Oliver George Downing
Head of Committee and Program Coordinator
University of Liverpool

Richard Shield
Treasurer and Publicity Coordinator
University of Liverpool

Ruthie Miller
Applications Coordinator
University of Liverpool

Michael J. Kelly
Co-Editor of Badiou Studies and Publication Coordinator
University of Leeds

Arthur Rose
Co-Editor of Badiou Studies and Publication Coordinator
University of Leeds