The Crystal Agent, a Crag talk by Dr. Martin Crowley

CRAG CONFLUENCE 2015 – 3-5 December 2015
Keynote Speaker
Martin Crowley, University of Cambridge, UK


“Recent models of agency as distributed throughout networks of human and nonhuman actors — most notably in the works of Bruno Latour and Jane Bennett — have powerfully shifted understanding of this topic, and have argued that the significance of this shift is to be understood as in some sense political. While acknowledging, indeed celebrating the value of this work, I will contend that claims for such political significance are undermined by the absence of a dimension crucial to any theory of politics, namely an account of decisive, interruptive action. If this absence is less a lack than a positive refusal on the part of these authors, for reasons I will explore, I will call on Bernard Stiegler and Félix Guattari to show that commitment to a flattened ontological field and hybrid assemblages of actors may nevertheless be compatible with an account of agency which keeps open the possibility of incisive political action.”

Posted in Crag seminar, News and Events.

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