Block 12: Theories of Knowledge

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Canterbury Christ Church University

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United Kingdom

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S1 Truth, Theory and Knowledge - Roundtable (various participants) - Thursday 12th October, 5-6.30pm

Participants in this session will discuss the conceptualization of truth and knowledge from various theoretical trajectories

S2 Critical Theory - Dr David Bates - Friday 20th October (EdD weekend) 6.25-7.30pm

The session will make an argument for the cogency of Marxist methodology in the context of assessing the neo-liberal stage of capitalism. Žižek has maintained that current capitalist society is more ideological than any other stage of its development. As he notes: ‘it is [now] easier to imagine the end of the world than it is the end of capitalism’ (Žižek). Neo-liberal capitalism has rendered hegemonic the idea that the only thing of ‘value’ is ‘valorisation’. The session will use key aspects of Marxist critical theory to interrogate this relation, taking seriously Marx’s claim that previous philosophers have only interpreted the world, ‘the point is to change it’.

S3 Foundations of modern epistemology: Kant’s Copernican revolution - Dr Chris Beighton - POSTPONED. NEW DATE TO BE CONFIRMED FOR 2018.

It has been said that you can think for Kant, and that you can think against him, but that you cannot think without him. Kant’s legacy in western thought is almost impossible to underestimate and lies in a critical approach to questions of what we know, how we know it inspired by developments in Newtonian science. In this session we look at how Kant swept aside outdated assumptions and general speciousness in how we think about knowledge. But we also see how swathes of contemporary research approaches are indebted to Kant’s Copernican revolution of time and space, ushering in a world where rationality, reflexivity and criticality announce both enlightenment and the death of dogma.

S4 Introducing Hermeneutics: image and text interpretation - James Frost - Thursday 11th January, 11am-12.30pm

This session will explore the main concepts and potential application of philosophical hermeneutics, focussing on the theory of Hans-Georg Gadamer in particular. As a group we will engage in participatory demonstrations using text and image.

S5 Inter-textuality - Professor Bee Scherer - Thursday 25th January, 5-6.30pm

Among modern literary theories, the concept of intertextuality features prominently as highly potent analytical tool of textual analysis. After locating intertextuality within the wider range of hermeneutical strategies in research, in this session, I will introduce some key features of intertextuality and analyse examples in literary texts.

S6 Phenomenology - Dr Laurent Dessberg, Saturday 10th February, 11.30am-1pm

Phenomenology is the examination of the lived experiencesof individuals. It has a broad scope from which approaches may include Transcendental, Hermeneutic and Interpretive methodologies. Developed in the early 20th century Phenomenology is now used in fields ranging in diversity from Psychology to Art. This session will provide an introduction to the philosophical perspective(s).

S7 Critical Disability Studies - Dan Thorpe - Thursday 22nd February, 5-6.30pm

Critical disability studies start with disability but never ends with it..." (Goodley, 2012:632). Disability studies as often been focussed on understanding disability as an exclusory factor in the lives of people with impairments. Towards the end of the last millennium, that exclusion has been challenged in a way that has politicised people with disabilities and has secured recognition in both the academic and public spheres. Critical Disability Studies, furthers those challenges and seeks to uncover theoretical motifs that are not only intended to emancipate people with disabilities but also to question the most fundamental existential basis of humanity. This session will begin by exploring the key definitions and models of disability and from there certain key directions will be covered. Those directions will include materialism; bodies that matter; inter/trans-sectionality; global disability studies; and self and Other. Finally, 'Crip Theory' will be analysed to show how Critical Disability Studies can be interpreted in a Queer Theoretical manner.

S8 Sex and Gender - Dr Leonie Hicks and Dr Jennifer Hardes - Thursday 15th March, 11am-12.30pm.

This session will introduce you to what the words sex and gender can mean and some of the approaches to their study. The session explains some common differentiations between sex and gender, and explores gender (and possibly sex) as a shifting, unstable and historically contingent category.

S9 - Critical Race Theory - Dr Lynn Revell - Thursday 15th March, 5pm - 6.30pm

For many researchers Critical Race Theory has replaced traditional anti-racist approaches to inequality and diversity. Since its emergence as a reaction to the perceived failure of criticallegal studies in America CRT is now defined as a significant transformational approach to research. This session examines the possible uses and terrains in which CRT can be employed as well as exploring the specific elements that distinguish it from other methodologies.

S10 Psychoanalysis - Professor Linden West - Thursday 12th April, 3.15-4.45pm

Psychoanalytic and psychosocial ideas have an important
if contested place in the academy. Freud, as the founder of psychoanalysis, is often criticised as a spurious purveyor of unsubstantiated claims, about the role of the dynamic unconscious, penis envy or to do with subjective life as a whole. It has been claimed that psychoanalysis imposes its own truth on people
and their minds. Contrariwise, there is renewed interest in psychoanalytic ways of thinking, broadly defined, and in engaging with the semantics of human experience; in what it means to
be human, beyond conventional academic abstractions or the potential reductionism of neuroscience. The development of psychosocial perspectives also connects macro, meso and micro levels of experience, in understanding, for instance, our struggles for self as well as to know, and why gaining new knowledge can
 be difficult and resisted.

S11 Foucauldian Theory - Dr Jennifer Hardes - Thursday 26h April, 5-6.30pm

This session introduces students to the work of Michel Foucault. We will discuss some of his key theoretical concepts (e.g., power, discourse, panopticism, discipline, biopolitics, governmentality).

S12 “No other truth than the creation of the New:” Deleuze and the bestiary of knowledge - Dr Chris Beighton Thursday 10th May, 11am-12.30pm

Michel Foucault once joked that the 20th century would be known as Deleuzian, but the French thinker is currently enjoying a popularity which, in some ways, defines 21st. In this session, we see why this is the case. At the crossroads of complexity theory, avant-garde art and the ethology of ticks, rats and wolves, we see how Deleuze’s creative ontology underpins a surprisingly coherent body of thought whose concepts, designed as a toolbox for working with situations we do not understand, can inform our search for knowledge.

S13 Queer Theory - Professor Bee Scherer- Thursday 24th May, 5-6.30pm

Over the last decades Queer Theory has developed into a widely applied critical tool to challenge powerrelations (heteropatriarchy), sexual normativities(heteronormativity, compulsory heterosexuality) and the assumption of the stability of gender binarism and cisgender privilege. But beyond its focus on gender identity and sexualities, Queer Theory as a critical impulse of resistance and defiance offers pathwaysto the intersectional troubling of identity privileges, questioning essentialised centres (and the margins they produce) of societal and identitarian discourses. In this session, I will introduce key features and thinkers of Queer Theory and give examples of the application of Queer Theory in Theology and Religious Studies

Please note that our sessions are available to Christ Church University staff and students only. You must register for an event with a CCCU email account to attend.

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United Kingdom

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