Center for Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Studies

The Automaton of Capital, Philosophy and Patriarchy:

On the Tautological Universe of Value and Sign

International Summer Academy with Prof. Katerina Kolozova
August 13
th - 16th

Application deadline: June 15th

Guest Lecturer: Prof. Katerina Kolozova

Submission Information

The aim of the 2018 Summer Academy is to examine the epistemic and historical limits of poststructuralist feminism. Have we reached a point when we need to vindicate the use of the notions of the real, the stable and the one, as the constitutive oppositions of fiction, mobility, and multiplicity, in order to reinvigorate feminism as an international struggle? We shall also pose the question of whether this struggle is fundamentally a socialist one. In order to tackle these and a number of other related questions, we challenge in a close reading of the works of Luce Irigaray, Dona Haraway, Karl Marx, Francois Laruelle, Judith Butler and Michel Foucault.

Phallus, as a symbol taken from Lacanian psychoanalysis and Irigaray’s flection of it, holds a position similar to that of Capital in the market exchange system. Commodities or women-as-femininity – not real women as they precede value – are the relay of value or sign communicating with value and sign, autoreferenitally and according to the equation M-C-M which yields in M-M. The heteronormative chain of signification is a perpetual repetition of the automaton P(hallus)-P(hallus). The capitalist and patriarchal universe of the value exchange automaton or the automaton of signification engenders masculinity and reaffirms it as the only reality. Femininity remains the currency or the general equivalent that enables the endless multitude of the same tautology. Love caught up in the patriarchal-capitalist automaton of signification will remain atavistic regardless of the interventions of technology which neither guarantees nor implies transcendence of women’s status as commodities and resource. Only a political reversal of the underlying automata of capitalism and patriarchy can enable change in input for the “post-human” or “non-human” agencies of pleasures and the trauma called love. Such political reversal cannot avoid coming to grips with the questions of subject and object, physicality and its opposites, the one and the multiple and, finally, the real and the fiction.