Everyday Analysis and Politactics with Dan Bristow

Time: 4 May 2017, 1-3pm and 4-6pm (main event 4-6pm)

Location: University Library – Belle van Zuylenzaal, Singel 425 Amsterdam

Short description: Talk and masterclass linked to the Everyday Analysis book and blog project, and its most recent publication, Politactics (2016), organised by Ben Moore (Department of English) with guest speaker Dan Bristow (co-editor of Everyday Analysis), hosted by ASCA and NICA. The masterclass will focus on Lacanian approaches to cultural analysis.

Full description: From 2012 to 2016 the Everyday Analysis collective ran a successful blog and website (https://everydayanalysis.com) dedicated to exploring everyday life, culture and politics from the perspective of literary and cultural theory, taking inspiration from earlier projects such as Roland Barthes’ Mythologies. A wide range of contributors from the UK and beyond produced short articles on topics ranging from Zombies and The Hunger Games to train journeys and social media, drawing on an array of theoretical heavyweights such as Lacan, Žižek, Bachelard, Jacqueline Rose, Kierkegaard and Althusser. The project has led to three volumes of collected articles with Zero Books (2014, 2015, 2016), including most recently Politactics: Political Conversations from Everyday Analysis, which registered a turn towards more explicitly political commentary and debate. The project has been characterised by the wish to take seriously the ephemeral experiences of the everyday, and to comment on them in a form that is both appropriate to the modern media landscape and accessible to non-academic as well as academic readers, without compromising the complexity of its theoretical sources. Politactics adds to this general goal the particular project of carving a middle path between conventional ‘Politics’, understood narrowly as the work of political parties, movements etc. and the broad academic insistence that all culture and social action is ‘political’. The book is organised to promote open-ended discussion around this topic, comprising a collection of themed articles from a range of writers along with responses from other contributors that build on or reinterpret those articles.

The talk will explore the origins and philosophy of Everyday Analysis, and will present extracts from Politactics selected for their relevance to recent (and ongoing) political development in Europe and America. Presenting will be Dan Bristow, co-editor of Everyday Analysis and author of Lacan and Joyce: Reading, Writing and Psychoanalysis (2016), along with Ben Moore (Department of English), a regular contributor. There will be time for questions and discussion.

Preceding the talk is a masterclass aimed at master students, which will explore ways of engaging with the work of Jacques Lacan (and psychoanalysis in general) as a tool of cultural analysis, taking as case studies a selection of pieces from Everyday Analysis and Bristow’s work in progress on 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968). Scenes from the film will be shown on the day, and readings will be provided in advance for registered participants. The session will revisit and interrogate key Lacanian concepts such as the cut, das Ding, and the barred subject.

To register for the masterclass, please contact Eloe Kingma at nica-fgw@uva.nl, mentioning your programme and affiliation.