社会与文化思想前沿 - 上海大学文化研究系 - 当代文化研究
社会与文化思想前沿

  教师:Scott Lash、Christopher Connery  授课对象:硕士研究生  阅读:

关键词:社会 文化 思想

Christopher Connery教授教学计划
课程内容和目的
1、分析全球资本主义体制和日常生活。
2、探索文化研究方法与范畴。
3、培养英语阅读和翻译能力,提供具体资源让研究生积极参与国际学术界活动。

上课方法

上课前,学生得把握阅读资料。有英文阅读资料时,我首先用邮件发一些注解和解释。阅读过程中,如果遇到字典解决不了的困难,我们用集体邮件进行问答。我们用的主要课本,Capitalist Realism:Is There No Alternative?,所提到的关键影片也要上课前看。我会安排课外时间在我家看。不能来的学生要自己看。
上课大部分时间讨论(普通话)。我每次会提供一些讨论话题,也欢迎学生自己提供其他话题。谈阅读资料,我先讲20分钟左右,之后我们首先讨论具体,意义上的问题,把握专用词关键观念等。然后讨论文章内容。最后,应用文章的方法,内容,关键观念来分析日常生活或当地各种现象。因我们大部分阅读资料(无论中文英文)是西方作家,论西方现象,我们也想试图把内容“翻译”,看哪里有助于了解中国情况,哪里需要调整 (自白:我是国际主义者,不那么信中国例外论。当然同样不信西方或美国例外论)。因上课时,阅读资料需要细看,请大家带复印本(所有阅读资料是电子版的)。有三次,我们用最后35分钟左右开国际学术活动工作坊。

日常生活调查课在校园外(路口,公园,商场,社区,里弄等)。这些课程目的是:培养观察能力,“敞开五官之门”(William Blake),进入社会和日常生活,探索空间。我善于漫游,飘移,也想培养漫游技术。漫游漂移是融入社会一个常被忽略而关键方式。上课前,准备好结实的鞋子 (高跟鞋不行)。

对学生的要求(包括旁听生)

我自己政治立场,意识形态立场比较明显 (国际主义者,平等主义者,折中马克思主义者,反资,漫游者),可是当然对学生没有任何政治性或意识形态性的要求,也欢迎你们的怀疑,批评,抵抗,探索,等。我会要求你们(也要求我自己)反省常识,反省主流意识形态所有假定的事。主要目的是要发展自己的分析能量和想象力。

上课前要把当天资料读完(每周英文阅读不会超过20页),准备参加讨论,保持注意力。(这些我国内或许不必提,就是因为我美国经验说清楚)。
我们主要课本是Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?。期末,学生就合作成一本很完整,可用的中文翻译本。翻译,编辑,校正工作,我给你们分配。
田野日常调查活动,写一片报告 (2500字左右,中文英文都可以。细节到时候再说明)。
为了培养学生国际学术交流参与能力,我经过实际性工作坊要求每个学生申请国际学会,包括写报告(或讨论小组)的提纲 (英文)。后三者等于期末考试。

课程表

十月中旬,我们找周末大家有空的时间安排第一次日常生活田野调查方法工作坊 (户外), 包括听觉工作坊,嗅觉工作坊,漫游技术。

授课时间:下午2-5点 地点:上海大学新校区A楼506B

10月11日 (下午2:00):文化研究意味着什么?
包括课程介绍,自我介绍。

阅读:Stuart Hall,“The Emergence of Cultural Studies and the Crisis of the Humanities”(12页)。
推荐: 王晓明,“人文精神讨论十年祭——在上海交通大学的演讲http://old.cul-studies.com/asp/list2.asp?id=2988&writer=wangxiaoming 戴錦華︰ 文化研究的困惑和可能http://www.douban.com/note/147510733/

下课后请大家一起吃饭,成学术共同体初步。

10月14日 体制分析, 1:马克思论公民社会,政治经济制度, 自由与解放。

阅读:卡•马克思 论犹太人问题(一,二)。http://www.cctb.net/bygz/zzby/maxart/201005/t20100520_21912.htm

10月21日 体制分析, 2:二战后资本主义社会的“神话”;日常生活所蕴含的意识形态教育。

阅读:罗兰·巴特的神话学, 选读 (英文翻译本)推荐:薛巍,罗兰·巴特的神话http://www.lifeweek.com.cn/2012/0531/37414.shtml

*国际学术交流方法工作坊之一

10月28日 体制分析,3: 网络生活与时间感

阅读: Rebecca Solnit, “Diary: In the Day of the Postman”(2013年八月出版,“日记:邮差时期”)读完这片文章上课,请大家准备分析自己的网络生活怎么影响自己的时间感。

11月4日 日常生活田野调查方法工作坊 ,2(户外):个人城市经验地图,路口调查

11月11日 资本主义现实主义:有无其他可能性,1
阅读: Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, 1-20放映 (康家,时间待定):人类之子 (Children of Men)
*国际学术交流方法工作坊之二

11月18日 日常生活田野调查方法工作坊 ,3(户外)
公共空间,官僚空间,消费空间,废墟空间

11月25日 资本主义现实主义:有无其他可能性,2
阅读: Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, 21-38放映 (康家,时间待定):盗火线 (Heat)
*国际学术交流方法工作坊之三

12月2日 资本主义现实主义:有无其他可能性,3
阅读: Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, 39-61

12月9日资本主义现实主义:有无其他可能性,4
阅读: Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, 62-81放映 (康家,时间待定):视差 (The Parallax View),如果能找到字幕版 (目前没找到)。
12月16日 告别上海 (康老师返美;无课)
过年前 : 交翻译,报告,提纲。(邮件)




Scott Lash教授教学计划

Technics and Method

Four lectures/workshops on method in cultural studies

These lectures/workshops are on a particular mode of approach to research in cultural studies focusing on the notion and the practice of ‘technics’. Technics is different from ‘technique’ and different from ‘technology’, though it has something to say about both. Technique is often instrumental, but technics is not at all necessarily instrumental or a question of the commodity.

Technics involves not just theory but also necessarily practice. Yet technics is not praxis or practice because though practice involves a doing, technics is always a question of making. Thus there is Aristotle’s famous trinity really of three modes of knowing or reasoning: 1) theory or episteme: this mainly deductive reasoning as in geometry 2) practice or praxis, including ethics and politics and 3) technics or poiesis which is always a making. This making that is technics also embraces economic life. Technics though not directly praxis, it is also political in its implications as well as involving issues of justice and social justice. Indeed arguably Marx starts from a technics of the economic base in regard to which questions of politics are posed.

The Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London has always put technics at the heart of its research. Hence our staff includes artists, software writers, etc. Research as technics involves not just analysis but also a making. This can be in architecture, in product design, in art, in media and new media, in urban planning. Thus artist and curator Ou Ning who has worked in conjunction with Wang Hui in Xinjiang, on the Xinjiang Project, which is at the same time an art project and research project. Thus architecture firms like Shenzhen’s Urbanus have set up research wings. But if architects and artists and software writers are engaged in research, so are cultural studies scholars also working de facto as architects, artists, in media and as planners.

Finally a number of thinkers in cultural studies in the broadest sense are writing in the context of a technics. These include for example Michel Foucault’s ‘technologies of the self’; or Foucaultian anthropologist Paul Rabinow, who also does work in genetics, etc. with a more encompassing idea of ‘technologies of life’, in which also nonhumans – such as genetic databases - construct themselves technologically. Thus Bernard Stiegler who works more in media and new media technology has written his classic book, Technics and Time. This is a sweeping reworking of Heidegger’s Being and Time in which we humans are seen as being (as Karl Marx’s homo faber implied) The cultural theory of the object, or ‘object ontology’ - in the work of Gilbert Simondon or Graham Harman – looks at technological ensembles such as traffic systems or power stations as having their own technological forms of life. This is especially important in a society like China that is so devoted to infrastructure.

Four lectures/workshops

technics
Michel Foucault is probably the most central author in European cultural studies today. Foucault gives us two methods. One is a method for understanding power. This is also a method through which power is exercised. In modernity this power is exercised through discourse. Discourse is to do not with praxis nor with technics but with episteme or theory. These discourses do apply to empirical material but they work through deduction. They start with the general (a priori) and work to the particular. For Foucault power/knowledge involve a struggle of discourse versus technics. Political economy for Foucault cuts both ways. First in his Order of Things (1966) political economy – in Ricardo’s work - is seen as discourse and a source of power. But in Foucault’s later work on The Birth of Biopolitics , political economy re-appears as a technics. Here Foucault supports the technics of Adam Smith and ‘homo oeconomicus’ against the ‘homo juridicus’ of discourse and power. Juridical power and discourse here constitute the instrumentally rational subject (of capitalism). This subject is most sharply conceived in Kant’s ‘transcendental unity of apperception’. Foucault conceives of his technologies of the self in opposition to this subject of discourse and power. He first describes these self-constituting technologies in ancient Greece and in modernity in homo economicus. Power through discourse is Foucault’s first method. The technics of the self is his second method.

pragmatics.
Pragmatics already links research to ethics and politics. Foucault and Gilles Deleuze are inspired by the modernity of the Scottish Enlightenment and Adam Smith and David Hume’s empiricism. Technics works well with empiricism. Whereas rationalism and it's a priori assumptions connect with discourse and power, technics starts like empiricism from the particular and works towards the general. Technics and empiricism are thus not a priori but instead a posteriori modes of activity. Whereas discourse and science are of a piece, technics can be more the department of the engineer. And China is in many senses an engineering culture. Pragmatism takes this one step further. Empiricism is jingyanzhuyi (经验主义 ) Pragmatism is shiyongzhuyi (实用主义 ). It has to do with use. With the true is the useful. Knowledge before pragmatism took on the assumptions of Newtonian mechanics, and its ideas of causation and certainty. Pragmatism – in William James and Charles Peirce – broke with Newton for Darwin’s natural selection and Maxwell’s thermodynamics – in which knowledge is uncertain and nature is process. Thus truth now has to do with interest and use. For Aristotle, theory - which is episteme - always starts with rationalist a priori demonstration. Practice (ethics) and technics both start with the particular. In pragmatism ethics and technics are joined. Method always starts with a social or practical problem, a concrete case. Mao Zedong ( 毛泽东)was highly influenced by pragmatics. Thus John Dewey a big influence in China in the 20s. In some ways Chinese culture can be super fruitfully approached through a linguistically mediated pragmatics. In the West ‘brute facts’ are much less linguistically mediated. We will look at pragmatism in China through two chapters in Wang Hui’s volume three of 现代中国思想的兴起 that discuss reception of James and Dewey in China. We also look at Rabinow’s pragmatist technologies of life research in cultural anthropology.




ethics
This is a question not just of the ethical implications of research. But of research that is already a politics, that is already an ethics. So we are looking at a joined mode of knowledge that is a technics and an ethics. Thus is counterposed to modes of ethics, which have little to do with, or ‘subtract’ from experience like Rousseau, Rawls, Habermas and Badiou. Technics is always a matter of experience. Technics engages with the particulars of experience and does not start from the a priori axioms of episteme or theory. Abstract ethics such as Rousseau and also Kant but today Rawls, Habermas and Badiou start not from the particulars of experience, but instead much more from an a priori axiomatic. Some like Hannah Arendt think purposively against technics. They and this includes Habrmas and Badiou conflate technics with the commodity and instrumental rationality. Badiou for example with Plato is not only contra experience but contra technics, as Plato’s Republic excludes the craftsmen from the polis. An experience and technics based ethics can usefully draw on Indian economist’s Amartya Sen’s The Idea of Justice. Sen, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, is also at the origins of the United Nations Human Development Index. Sen’s idea of justice draws extensively on Adam Smith’s Moral Sentiments. It is an ethics not of tights, which Sen sees as abstract and based in a hypothetical contract theory. His ethics is based not in rights but instead in ‘capabilities’. In this context he has held up China as a bit of a model for India. We will look also at the ideas of social justice contained in Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) on mingshengzhuyi (民生主义) and how this differs from Western notions of ‘social citizenship’. We will think here in terms of social justice and sovereignty. And at an ethics that is not a question of demonstration, but instead one of deliberation.


design and action research.
In this I want to focus on a research project others and I have been putting together for the past 18 months on ‘design and social innovation’. This proposal (which I will circulate to students), though a European Commission proposal, comprises teams from not just European countries (UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland), but also three BRICs (China, India, Brazil). The proposal can be understood in the framework of ‘action research’ (Chris Argyris). Action research is characteristically addresses an immediate problem., in it researchers join the problem group in a community of practice. Research is often oriented to organizational change of this ongoing community of practice. Our proposed research is different from this. Most important it is technics research in that each project is not just a question of analysis but a making. Each team also has a design project. Thus some teams include architects (China, Italy) and will design spaces; others include engineers (Brazil, India) and will design health devices or distributed infrastructure; others yet (France, Spain) include software designers and will design media. But our research is different to action research also in taking on the more complex assumptions of pragmatism (above). Our proposed research is also in being an intervention against the assumptions of neo-liberalism. If classical political economy (1750-1850: Smith, Ricardo, Marx) understood value as determined by the factors of production, then neo-classical economics (1890-1970: Menger, Marshall, Walras) saw value in terms of subjective utility maximization. In this context neo-liberalism (1978-2013: Hayek, Friedman, Simon) understands value in terms of information: in which the market is a brain, and information-processing mechanism. This project proposes social innovation on not a market but a commons mode of governance (Ostrom). This is still an economy of information, but of information-sharing on a commons model. Contemporary open source social activism often uses such a commons model (Benkler). We will look at the projects proposed urban research/design in Milano and Shenzhen in the context of Shanghai University’s (Wang Xiaoming) longstanding experience of urban research.



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