SMR Summer Institute with Julia Kristeva "The Feminine in an Age of Anthropological Transformation""

September 8, 2024 - September 15, 2024
Center for Philosophical Technologies At Arizona State University


This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


  • Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities - Skopje
  • GERM-OU Estonia


Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities
Columbia University
Sofia University


Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities
Center for Philosophical Technologies At Arizona State University

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- Short Syllabus with the tentative agenda and practical information -

In the accelerated anthropological transformation at the beginning of this third millennium, women are at once an emerging force, on the same level with its upheavals in values and identities, AND an irreducible otherness—object of desire, fear, and envy, of oppression and exploitation, of abuse and exclusion. Julia Kristeva’s masterclass will focus on the transformative potential of what she conceptualizes as the feminine: not femininity, not femaleness or womanhood but a specific aspect of the human psyche which might be the proper engine of our capacity to change. 

Lecture 1. Feminine Oedipus or, about female sexuality. (Kristeva)

Lecture 2. The Female Genius (Arend, Klein, Colette) (Kristeva)

In the second part of the course Miglena Nikolchina will approach works of science fiction (the TV series Battlestar “Galactica,” Blade Runner and BladeRunner 2049, Alien- from the first one to Prometheus and Alien: Covenant) in order to foreground the role that maternity and (pro)creation play in attempts to define the human vis-à-vis the machine. Kristeva’s concept of the feminine will be examined in the framework of what Freud termed “psychic revolution of matter”: the revolution which is arguably at the center of Kristeva’s thought from her earliest writing to her latest.  

Lecture 1. Being Born or Being Made? Kristeva’s Concept of the Maternal Chora and the Semiotic. (Nikolchina)

Lecture 2. Making Soul by Making Flesh: Kristeva’s Concepts of Signifiance and Transubstantiation. (Nikolchina)

The third part offered by Katarina Kolozova focuses on Marx’s notion of “fetish” as commodity or, if the term fetish is problematic in any way, then, quite simply on the problem of commodity as reification of abstraction. There is an unnegotiable categorical distinction between the abstract and the material or physical. The distinction is, let us reiterate, categorical not ontological. There is a distinction between the two and they should not be conflated or rendered mutually interchangeable. We will look at the dialectics of femininity as commodified and fetishised value (Irigaray), its comparability with Marx’s formulae of M-C-M and how philosophy operates as a signifying automation or pleasure principle (Lacan, Laruelle, and the foreclosure of the real).  We will also try to tie this discussion with Kristeva’s thesis of the Feminine Oedipus.

Lecture 3. Comparability of the Machines of Patriarchy, Capital and Philosophy: The Fate of the Remnants of Flesh and femininity (Kolozova)

Practicalities: NB: Hybrid participation is an exception, not the rule We made sure that we follow the ancient Greek principle of philosophical study, including also arts and sciences, being scholē (leisure time, pleasure and play). The institute is placed in what was once Stagira after all, the birthplace of Aristotle. The program is structured in such a way that it allows for enjoying the sun and the beach of the Aegean Sea as well as socialising with the rest of the group, visiting local tavernas, taking trips to nearby archaeological sites and visits to Thessaloniki and other interesting nearby location. Olympiada is the contemporary name of ancient Stagira, the birthplace of Aristotle, located in the northern part of the region of Macedonia of Greece. The climate is mild, the area is surrounded by continental rather than Mediterranean flora and fauna. It is surrounded by green mountainous area. Mount Athos is only 70-80 miles away. Hybrid format module: For those who cannot make it to the Campus, we have reserved the option for online participation; please, bear in mind that its possibilities are limited compared to the in-person participation (interaction with faculty and community, informal program, presentations, etc.). The fee for the online variant is also 300 euro. For the Global South there is automatic discount of 30%. Fees and what they cover. - 700 euro for 7 days, therefore 100 euro a day for: accommodation, use of the space for setting up participants’ own program (art, lectures, film screenings etc), self-arranged meals at the Summer institute and a few organized by SMR, participation in the fee for the extracurricular program (most of it is covered by SMR), free of charge access to the best part of the beach, discounts for shuttles, use of utilities such as laundry machines and mini kitchen. It covers maintenance too. - 300-euro fee for the program which covers teachers’ fees and travel, as well as the administrative aspects of issuing an ECTS participation fee. - Important: The amount can be paid in instalments; you just need to choose the option in the application form. How to Apply: Interested applicants can find the full application form here, as well as at the very bottom of this page. All application forms must be filled out in full and sent in by December 10th, 2023, in order to be considered valid. If you have any inquiries please send them to all of the following email address: [email protected] Regarding accommodation and food: SMR’s summer institute can offer accommodation for 15-17 students, and its cost is included in the participation fee. It also offers fridges and stove in the shared kitchen/coffee station area you can prepare your own food (however cooking elaborate meals is not allowed, more snacks, salads, etc.). Laundry area is provided as well. Showers and bathrooms are shared but at least three on each floor (all areas are renovated and clean) Important: All those who cannot submit an early application to make sure they will be accommodated at the SMR building, can either find an accommodation in a walking distance with our help (for a discount price) or directly themselves via booking and other platforms, as well as the local tour operators whose contact details will be provided. Regarding food, some of the meals will be prearranged by SMR in collaboration with the local tavernas, and that cost is also included in the price. All the snacks and coffee plus water is provided by SMR. Ground transportation from the airport: Olympada is only 50 minutes away by car from the Thessaloniki airport should you share a care or find a direct shuttle. Unfortunately, the shuttles from the airport are slower due to making stops. If you want us to arrange transportation for you, please indicated in the application but keep in mind that we will have to group you with others arriving at around a similar hour, so we will have to let you know if the arrangement can be made and also how much it will cost (should it turn our that a car is picking up one person). After we offer you options, you will make your own choice and let us know. This will not be included in the fee, but we will make sure the prices for our participants are highly favourable. Here are some useful links should you choose to arrange your own transportation: Hellas Chauffeur , or Welcome Pickups , and many other links that can be found on the airport website.   What you earn after the School: An ECTS certificate of completion of 2 credits (1 ECTS = 28 hours of not only class but also you individual work or preparation and project/presentation writing/creating), cosigned by ISSHS (Holder of the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education 2021-2027, and endowed with the right to assign ECTS for informal study programs) and CPT-ASU (US), co-members of SMR.  

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December 10, 2023, 11:00pm EET

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