SEPtember 2021

Since the 2021 annual conference of the Society for European Philosophy and the Forum for European Philosophy has been postponed to 2022, SEP has decided to dedicate September to a series of online events.

To register, please send an email to the addresses detailed below.

Organised by
Evrim Bayındır | Moritz Gansen | Jakub Kowalewski | Andrés Saenz de Sicilia | Hannah Wallenfels


Please note: The date for 2 Violence and History, has been changed. The new date is:

10 September 2021, 4-6 pm BST


1 Apocalypse and Philosophy

Apocalypticism has become part and parcel of contemporary rhetoric surrounding the environmental crisis. A quick online search for “climate apocalypse” (or its cognates: “environmental apocalypse” or “eco-apocalypse”) results in pages after pages – including a whole Wikipedia article – equating climate change with the apocalypse.

What is less clear however is the meaning of contemporary eco-apocalypticism. What does it mean to be “apocalyptic” today? Is it another name for fatalistic catastrophism, whose only effect is hopelessness? Or is it, on the contrary, a secularised version of dangerous messianism which craves for destructive changes? Furthermore, what is the theoretical status of apocalypticism – is it possible to generate a philosophy of “the end of the world” capable of addressing the contemporary (eco-)apocalypse?

“Apocalypse and Philosophy” will attempt to tackle the above questions across two events. Both events will take place online with limited participation.

1.1 Reading Jacob Taubes’s Occidental Eschatology
31 August 2021, 4-6 pm BST

Workshop with
Agata Bielik-RobsonOle Jakob Løland | Tommy Lynch

During the workshop, we will read fragments of Jacob Taubes’s Occidental Eschatology – a fascinating but difficult book which traces the philosophical history of apocalypticism from ancient times to modernity. Introduced by three Taubes scholars: Agata Bielik-Robson, Ole Jakob Løland, and Tommy Lynch, the text will allow us to ask: what, if anything, is the relationship between contemporary apocalypticism and its earlier historical guises?; and what, if anything, can today’s apocalypticism learn from its predecessors?

In order to register for the workshop and receive the reading materials, please send an email to apocalypse.sep21@gmail.com with the title “Workshop.”

1.2 The Environmental Apocalypse
2 September 2021, 4-6.30 pm BST

Panel with
Marita FurehaugTimothy Secret | Simon Thornton | Naomi Zack

The panel will focus directly on the theme of “the environmental apocalypse.” The speakers, drawing on the resources afforded by philosophy, psychoanalysis, literature, and Islamic theology, will offer various – sometimes contradictory – ways of conceptualising the climate apocalypse. In so doing, they will shed the light on metaphysical, ethical, and political commitments of eco-apocalypticism. The panel will be followed by Q&A from the audience.

Marita Furehaug – “Apocalypticism in Islamic Environmental Thought”

Simon Thornton – “‘Guilty?”/“Not Guilty?’ Kierkegaardian Reflections on Carbon Ideologies

Timothy Secret – “‘Father, Can’t You See I’m Burning’: Apocalypse, Anxiety and Death in Freud and Derrida”

Naomi Zack – “Fasten Your Seat Belts! Eco-Apocalypse Skepticism and Democratic Regress Optimism”

In order to register for the panel, please send an email to apocalypse.sep21@gmail.com with the title “Panel.”


2 Violence and History
10 September 2021, 4-6 pm BST

Panel with
Roderick Campbell | Oxana Timofeeva

Online Zoom panel discussion followed by Q&A.

Oxana Timofeeva – “The Nonhuman Violence”

Roderick Campbell – “Transformations of Violence in Ancient China”

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqdeiurzIpHd2oaBhAtrCH_nYt6UjYLE5c
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


3 Opening Wide the Door to the Uncanniest: New Discussions on Philosophy and Nihilism

The journey of nihilism in philosophy has undergone remarkable alternations beginning from its first detection in the 18th century as the corollary of idealism (Jacobi) to its determination as the degeneration of life (Nietzsche), and finally, to its recent positive reformulation as a strictly realist project for investigating the death of thinking and the non-correlational in-itself (Brassier). However, although the history of nihilism in philosophy presents to us an increasingly complex and heated picture, it has been a long time since the initial shock wave that it created in the idealist circles has disappeared, and it is debatable how much Nietzsche’s provocation to overcome nihilism is relevant today since it has gradually become a mere academic standard for political correctness and lost its status of an ambitious project as found in the examples of Heidegger and Deleuze. The realist appropriations of nihilism, on the other hand, presents an unexpectedly refreshing late rejoinder to nihilism’s initial idealist roots and a thought-provoking challenge to continental philosophy’s obsolescent anti-nihilism. Nevertheless, it needs more confrontation with topics as diverse as power, domination, state philosophy, violence, ressentiment, representation, patriarchy, life, birth, body, sexual difference, time, history, value, and meaning – topics that have undergone substantial transmutations through continental philosophy’s attacks on nihilism.

In this context, this panel brings together various perspectives on nihilism in order to rethink issues such as the overcoming of nihilism, its relationship with current power relations, its potentials for new intellectual discoveries, the possibility of its self-annihilation, and the contemporary import of its essential “uncanniness” that was characterised by Nietzsche as a visitor standing at the door.

Papers will be precirculated. To receive the papers and more information on how to attend, please send an email to nihilism.sep21@gmail.com.

Zoom link for both events: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6595660923

3.1 – 15 September 2021 5-7pm PM BST

Panel with
Andrew Culp | Jill MarsdenAshley Woodward

Andrew Culp – “Afro-Pessimism and Non-Philosophy at the Zero Point of Subjectivity, History, and Aesthetics”

Jill Marsden – “Nietzsche, Nihilism, and the Orientation of the ‘Near’ in Contemporary Thought”

Ashley Woodward – “Nihilism and Information”

3.2 – 16 September 2021 5-7pm PM BST

Panel with
Anna Longo | Daniel Sacilotto | Nathan Widder

Anna Longo – “How the True World Finally Became Virtual Reality”

Daniel Sacilotto – “To Come into Being: Hegel, Deleuze, and the Theater of Movement”

Nathan Widder – “Nothing New Under the Sun: Nihilism and the Time of the Event”


4 Philosophy as a Collective Practice
22 September 2021, 4-7 pm

Workshop facilitated by
Moritz Gansen

What are the conditions of philosophical production? Despite frequent and ongoing critique, the romantic image of the solitary thinker, the philosopher-genius, persists and is even reinforced, at least in the realm of academic philosophy, by the trends of neoliberal restructuring.

And yet, philosophy is a collective practice. It has always been a conversation, a polylogue, even if, at times, almost inaudibly. Like everyone else, philosophers are “several” and “quite a crowd”. But what can it mean, then, to reconstitute this multi-layered collectivity in philosophy and beyond? What are the collective practices always already at play underneath the semblances and effects of individual interests and desires?

Drawing on “The General Antagonism”, a conversation between Stefano Harney, Fred Moten and Stevphen Shukaitis, this workshop will offer a space for the sharing of experiences, of hopes and despairs, and for future planning in the theory and practice of theory and practice.

The workshop will take place online. In order to create an atmosphere for study, attendance will be limited to twenty people; in order to register and receive the reading materials, please send an email to practice.sep21@gmail.com.


5 The Future of Philosophy
29 September 2021, 2-6.30 pm

Workshop hosted by
Hannah Wallenfels | Lilja Walliser

If the workshop on Philosophy as a Collective Practice questions the ideal of the solitary philosopher-genius as the persisting image of production within academic philosophy, this workshop aims to broaden the scope of the problematisation of the conditions of philosophical production even further and develop a first collective imagination of its futures. On the one hand, we want to take stock of the current situation, on the other hand we want to take a look into the future and ask: what should philosophical practice look like? This includes questions such as: Who is able to form philosophy as an academic discipline in the present moment? Who is excluded and why? Why does the discipline appear to be so rigid? How has it been shaped by the canonizations or institutionalisation? How is this different in various branches?

The workshop will address contents (topics and positions) as well as formats, which may prove of equal or even greater importance: in which formats and with which methods is philosophy done? In which places (online – university) or other spaces? Hasn’t the pandemic, if nothing else, taught us not to underestimate the places of philosophising/production? Do we miss interaction on a personal level or are we creatively welcoming to new and open virtual spaces of discussion?

To address these fundamental questions, we will provide a brief input statement, but will also ask you to bring your experiences, problems, questions and visions, which we will try to collect and transform into a new trajectory / new vision of practice.

Structure: two two-hour sessions

Input: 3 x 15 minutes, then organized collective activity/reading in first session, second session discussion

Participation in the previous SEPtember program is not necessary. The workshop will take place online. In order to create an atmosphere for study, attendance will be limited to twenty people; in order to register and receive our materials, please send an email to future.sep21@gmail.com.

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