Lancelot Hogben and the Bio-Aesthetics of Utopia
Ben Woodard, Ben Woodard

part of: School of Materialist Research (Online Promotional Seminars, June)—All lectures will take place at 18:30 CET
June 30, 2021, 6:30pm - 8:00pm

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  • Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities Skopje
  • Center for Philosophical Technologies at Arizona State University
  • Critical Inquiry Lab at the Design Academy Eindhoven

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The School of Materialist Research is proud to present its (free) promotional seminars for the month of June, 2021. Ben Woodard will present his lecture: “Lancelot Hogben and the Bio-Aesthetics of Utopia,” on June 30, 2021 at 18:30 CET, as part of a cluster entitled “Aesthetics and the Architectures of Novelty.” The aim of this seminar is to excavate the forgotten zoologist and statistician Lancelot Hogben and his short-lived project of social biology attempted in the early to mid 20th century. Hogben is worth discussing because he was a fervent anti-eugenicist prior to, and during, the rise of Nazism and yet attacked eugenics (both at home and abroad) not only politically but also on statistical and biological grounds. Hogben's critique is needed in a time when eugenics is returning and the opposition to it is far too often broadly anti-scientific or depoliticizing rather than properly critical of the political forms of the life sciences.

Ben Woodard is an independent scholar living in Germany. His work focuses on the relationship between naturalism and idealism during the long nineteenth century. He recently completed his Habilitation (venia legendi) at Leuphana Unversity on F.H. Bradley and the analytic/continental divide in philosophy. He is currently preparing a monograph on the relation of naturalism and formalism in the life sciences. His book Schelling’s Naturalism was published in 2019 by Edinburgh University Press.

The School of Materialist Research (SMR) is an informal graduate and post-doc level program that offers seminars and workshops that address the materialisms running through contemporary science, philosophy, art, mathematics, design, architecture, and politics. SMR is an international platform, founded by the Center for Philosophical Technologies at Arizona State University, Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, Skopje, Department for Architecture Theory and Philosophy of Technics at TU Wien and the Critical Inquiry Lab at the Design Academy Eindhoven that functions as a global online school combining education, research, and mentorship to advance academic study at the intersection the Social Sciences and Humanities and the STEM sciences. Two more institutions from Europe are expected to join the platform in the upcoming months. The Spring and Summer Sessions are offered for free and open to the public serving as promotional events that illustrate the programmatic commitment and style of work offered by the School for Materialist Research. Some of the confirmed speakers in the Spring/Summer series of seminars include: Paul Cockshott, Greg Michaelson, Ray Brassier, Anne-Françoise Schmid, John Ó Maoilearca, Giuseppe Longo, Agon Hamza, Adam Nocek, Katerina Kolozova, Vera Buhlman, Iris van der Tuin and many many more.

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