Debate: Is Psychoanalysis Relevant to Neuroscience? @ Cantor Film Center
May 3 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm


Cristina Alberini (NYU, Neural Science)
Heather Berlin (Mt. Sinai, Psychiatry)
Mark Solms (Cape Town, Neuropsychology)
Robert Stickgold (Harvard, Psychiatry)

Workshop on German Aesthetics @ Lowenstein, Plaza View Room (12th Floor)
Jun 26 all-day

Session I – Chair: Michael Begun (Fordham)

10:00 – Samantha Matherne (Harvard University)

“Rethinking Kantian Aesthetic Normativity”

11:30 – Wiebke Deimling (Clark University)

“Kant’s Theory of Tragedy”

1:00 – Lunch Break

Session II – Chair: Daryl Tress (Fordham)

2:30 – Melissa Zinkin (SUNY Binghamton)

“Aesthetic Judgment, the Generation of Concepts, and Cognitive Mastery in Kant”

4:00 – Jay Bernstein (New School for Social Research)

“Kant and Adorno on Mind and World: From Wild Beauties to Spiral Jetty


Sponsored by the Fordham Philosophy Department’s German Philosophy Group

Contact: Reed Winegar (

Democracy and the Division of Labor. Axel Honneth (Columbia) @ Columbia U Philosophy Dept. 302
Oct 4 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The New York German Idealism Workshop will be having its second session of the semester Friday, October 4th from 4:00-6:00 pm (please note time change) at Columbia University (302 Philosophy Hall). Axel Honneth (Columbia) will be presenting a paper entitled “Democracy and the Division of Labor” and Aminah Hasan-Birdwell (Furman/Columbia) will be providing comments.

For non-Columbia guests, please note that room 302 is located past the glass doors by the elevator; it requires a Columbia graduate/faculty/staff ID to enter, but people routinely enter and exit and you should be able to slip in very easily.

New Materialist Approaches to Sound @ Music Department, Columbia U
Oct 19 – Oct 20 all-day

Scholars working under the broad umbrella of New Materialism have offered compelling reappraisals of the ways in which we know, interact with, and exist in the world. This scholarship also intersects with recent work on music and sound, which raises rich sets of questions regarding human agency, material, ethics, aesthetics, embodiment, and the subject/object dichotomy, among other issues.

We invite scholars working in the humanities, arts and sciences to submit proposals for papers and performances that engage with the themes of sound and new materialism, broadly construed.  We welcome work that adopts historical, technological, analytical, philosophical, materialist, and creative vantage points, among others. Overall, this conference will direct these diverse disciplinary and methodological perspectives towards convergent and critical issues, creating new, interdisciplinary lines of enquiry and generating original research.

The one-day conference will consist of panels that comprise of papers with short reflections by a moderator, as well as an evening concert that includes opportunities for discussion. The concluding concert of work that engages with these themes from creative perspectives will afford attendees with an opportunity to consider and discuss issues concerning sound, material, and agency in a forum that contrasts with, but also complements, our events during the day. Conference participants are strongly encouraged to attend both the daytime and evening portions of the conference.

Proposals are called for:

Paper presentations of 20 minutes with 10 minutes of Q&A.

Artistic presentation of 20 minutes with 10 minutes of discussion

Submission: Proposals of no more than 500 words (300 words for artistic presentation) should be submitted as a PDF by August 14th 2019 to

and include “NMAS Submission” in the subject line. If you’re applying for an artistic presentation please include three representative 2 minute audio/video examples. Please also include the title of your proposed paper and anonymize your submission.  Include your name, affiliation, and contact information in the body of the email, and also nominate any audio/visual requirements for your paper or performance.

The Ethics of Immigration. Andrea Sangiovanni @ CUNY Grad Center, rm 9205/6
Oct 29 @ 6:15 pm – 8:00 pm

Presented by the Center for Global Ethics & Politics, The Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies

Andrea Sangiovanni, European University Institute

Freud: An Intellectual Biography. Joel Whitebook @ Wolff Conference Room, D1106
Oct 31 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Dr.Joel Whitebook, Philosopher and Psychoanalyst will discuss his book Freud: An Intellectual Biography

As Hegel observed, the “Objective Spirit” never stands still — an observation that is especially true today. As a result, members of every generation have to return to the classics and reappropriate them for themselves. This is what Joel Whitebook has done in his recently published intellectual biography of Freud (Cambridge University Press) that we will be discussing in this workshop.

Cutting through the tired clichés of the “Freud Wars,” the author presents us with a radically new portrait of the founder of psychoanalysis. Because Whitebook is a philosopher as well as a psychoanalyst, he has been able to integrate many of the profound transformations that have taken place in psychoanalytic theory and practice, infant research, gender studies, philosophy, and critical theory since Ernest Jones and Peter Gay published their canonical studies in the last century. Whitebook thereby succeeds in creating an account of Freud’s achievement that speaks to our cultural situation.

Furthermore, in addition to presenting the unfolding of Freud’s thinking in the context of the developments in his personal life and in the society at large, Whitebook has also succeeded in bringing this iconic man to life in compelling fashion.  Where Freud often tried to protect himself by hiding behind the forbidding mask of an authoritarian patriarch and unbending rationalist, we come to see him as the vulnerable, complex, and all-too-human person that he was.

Presented by The New School for Social Research and Philosophy Department and it is co-sponsored with the Ferenczi Center.

Transnational Feminism. Serene Khader @ CUNY Grad Center, rm 9207
Nov 18 @ 6:15 pm – 8:00 pm

Presented by the Center for Global Ethics & Politics, The Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies

Serene Khader, Brooklyn College

The Power of Art. Markus Gabriel @ Wolff Conference Room, D1106
Nov 21 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

We live in an era of aesthetics. Art has become both pervasive and powerful – it is displayed not only in museums and galleries but also on the walls of corporations and it is increasingly fused with design. But what makes art so powerful, and in what does its power consist?

According to a widespread view, the power of art – its beauty – lies in the eye of the beholder. What counts as art appears to be a function of individual acts of evaluation supported by powerful institutions. On this account, the power of art stems from a force that is not itself aesthetic, such as the art market and the financial power of speculators.  Art expresses, in a disguised form, the power of something else – like money – that lies behind it. In one word, art has lost its autonomy.

In his talk, Markus Gabriel rejects this view.  He argues that art is essentially uncontrollable. It is in the nature of the work of art to be autonomous to such a degree that the art world will never manage to overpower it. Ever since the cave paintings of Lascaux, art has taken hold of the human mind and implemented itself in our very being.   Thanks to the emergence of art we became human beings, that is, beings who lead their lives in light of an image of the human being and its position in the world and in relation to other species. Due to its structural, ontological power, art itself is and remains radically autonomous. Yet, this power is highly ambiguous, as we cannot control its unfolding.

Markus Gabriel holds the chair for Epistemology, Modern and Contemporary Philosophy at the University of Bonn and is also the Director of the International Center for Philosophy in Bonn as well as the director of the Center for Science at Thought at Bonn.

Presented by The New School for Social Research and Philosophy Department and it is co-sponsored with the Liberal Studies Department.

Conversion Disorder: Listening to the Body in Psychoanalysis. Jamieson Webster & Adrienne Harris @ Wolff Conference Room, D1106
Dec 5 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

“Being dragged into the orbit of Webster’s mind is like entering the Magic Mountain: you go in as a visitor, and stay as a patient”

– Tom Mcarthy, author of Remainder and Satin Island

“Jamieson Webster’s new work reflects upon that aspect of hysteria—or conversion disorder—that has eluded the attention of most commentators: the indifference of the subject at the very moment that the symptom is most clearly enacted. This point of departure allows Webster to think about what the body contains but also what traverses the body at a level that is prior to speech, that is perhaps the condition of speech itself. This incisive and unsettling meditation gives us a form of psychoanalytic writing that tracks the transference as bodily transformation and impasse. It is written in and for our times, when the courage and difficulty of the slow labor of psychoanalysis provides a perspective that eludes the certitudes of dogma and the exhilarations of false promises. Webster’s book asks us to stay within the domain of difficult exchange where what registers and shifts at the level of the body lets us know more about what we can expect of life and what our own living carries of the lives of others. Beautifully written, theoretically brave, and disturbing in all the best ways”.

– Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature and Critical Theory, University of California, Berkeley

From the book:

Conversion disorder—a psychiatric term that names the enigmatic transformation of psychic energy into bodily manifestations—offers a way to rethink the present. With so many people suffering from unexplained bodily symptoms; with so many seeking recourse to pharmacological treatments or bodily modification; with young men and women seemingly willing to direct violence toward anybody, including themselves—a radical disordering in culture insists on the level of the body.

Part memoir, part clinical case, part theoretical investigation, this book searches for the body. Is it a psychopathological entity; a crossroads for the cultural, political, and biological in the form of care; or the foundation of psychoanalytic work on the question of sexuality? Jamieson Webster traces conversion’s shifting meanings—in religious, economic, and even chemical processes—revisiting the work of thinkers as diverse as Benjamin, Foucault, Agamben, and Lacan. She provides an intimate account of her own conversion from patient to psychoanalyst, as well as her continuing struggle to apprehend the complexities of the patient’s body. When listening to dreams, symptoms, worries, or sexual impasses, the body becomes a defining trope that belies a vulnerable and urgent wish for transformation. Conversion Disorder names what is singular about the entanglement of the fractured body and the social world in order to imagine what kind of cure is possible.

Presented by The New School for Social Research and Philosophy Department and it is co-sponsored with the Ferenczi Center.

The Immortal Spirit in Classical Chinese Aesthetics. Paul Goldin (UPenn) @ Columbia University Religion Dept. 101
Dec 6 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

This will be the third (and, time permitting, some material from the fourth) of a series of lectures that I aim to write up formally as a book.  We will begin with a brief review of the most familiar theory of Chinese aesthetics: works of art are the products of sensitive human beings who cannot suppress their sincere responses to emotional stimuli.  If art is understood as a sincere statement of this kind by a great genius, it stands to reason that, by correctly interpreting the work, one can communicate with that genius’s mind (xin 心) even after his or her death–and, likewise, that an artist today can communicate with audiences yet unborn.  Art is thus timeless and offers the possibility of incorporeal immortality.  If there is extra time, I will also survey two interrelated phenomena that I call meta-criticism and meta-writing (since there are no technical terms for them in Chinese).  Meta-criticism, i.e. criticism of criticism, is a major feature of Chinese theories about art.  Meta-criticism must be related to meta-writing, or the practice of writing about writing while exemplifying the very styles and techniques that one recommends: for example, artfully rhyming a couplet about rhyming.

With responses from: SANDRA SHAPSHAY (Hunter College, CUNY)

The Fall dates for the Comparative Philosophy seminar:

September 20 – Justin Tiwald (San Francisco State University)
October 11 – Richard Kim (Loyola University, Chicago
November 8 – Sungmoon Kim (City University of Hong Kong)
December 6 – Paul R. Goldin (University of Pennsylvania)

More details (such as titles, abstracts, and respondents) to follow. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Hagop Sarkissian
Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Philosophy, The City University of New York, Baruch College
Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, CUNY Graduate Center 
Co-Director, Columbia Society for Comparative Philosophy