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5: Guest Seminar with Dr. Nicholas Ray (and wine!)

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11 Dec | 5.00-7:00 pm | Seminar Room 1, 3:01, Clothworkers South Building

We are excited to announce that our fifth session of the year, and final session of the Autumn term, will be lead by Dr. Nicholas Ray. Dr Ray is a lecturer in Critical and Cultural theory at the University of Leeds, with expertise in Freudian and post-Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the intersections of psychoanalysis and culture, and translation. In particular, Dr. Ray's research has been, and continues to be, influenced by the writings of French psychoanalyst Jean Laplanche.
In this special session, Dr. Ray will guide our discussion of a chapter from Kristeva's Étrangers à nous-mêmes (1988), translated into English as Strangers to Ourselves (1991). In this text Kristeva tackles the figure of the stranger - the foreigner or alien in a land not their own, as well as the strangeness within the self. We will also be reading 'Hostipitality' (2000) by Jacques Derrida, in which he considers the hosti…

4: Powers of Vomit

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26 Nov | 5.00-6.30pm | The Pack Horse, Upstairs Room, Woodhouse Lane

Please note the change of day and location for this session. In support of UCU strike action, our meeting will take place off campus at The Pack Horse pub on Woodhouse Lane, and we encourage all attendees to avoid crossing picket lines wherever possible.

For our fourth session of the year we will be reading 'Approaching Abjection', the first chapter of Kristeva's (arguably) most well-known text,Powers of Horror (1982), published in French as Pouvoirs de l'horreur (1980). In this text Kristeva theorises the abject and its associated affect, abjection. Drawing upon the scholarship of Georges Bataille and Mary Douglas, among others, and working within a Lacanian psychoanalytic framework, Kristeva interrogates the abject as 'the jettisoned object, [that which] is radically excluded and draws me toward the place where meaning collapses' (2). Kristeva's theorisation of the abject has been hugely…

3: Let's Get Semiotic

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6 Nov | 5.00-6.30pm | Seminar Room 1, 3:01, Clothworkers South Building
For our third session of the year, we will be reading a selection of extracts from Revolution in Poetic Language(1984) [the reading is pages 1-53 of the pdf, the rest is translator's notes], the English translation of La révolution du langage poétique (1974). This reading will build upon the discussion in our last session, as we consider in greater detail Kristeva's theorisation of the semiotic and the symbolic, the chora, the thetic function, mimesis, and the semiotic component of poetic language. This week we won't be reading any secondary literature, allowing us time to get into the real nitty gritty of Kristeva's thought.

As always, all are welcome and discussion will continue in the pub following the session.

2: Language, Bodies and Drives

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16 Oct | 5.00–6.30pm | Seminar Room 1, 3:01, Clothworkers South Building
For our second meeting, Quilting Points will be reading Julia Kristeva’s ‘From One Identity to Another’ (1975), alongside Judith Butler’s ‘The Body Politics of Julia Kristeva’ (1988). Kristeva’s essay sets out many of the defining ideas of her early period—the subject-in-process, chora and the distinction between the semiotic and the symbolic—in order to characterise what is in her view the privileged access of poetic language to primordial and prediscursive drives.
Butler’s essay, later included in what remains her most well-known work, Gender Trouble (1990), takes ‘From One Identity to Another’, alongside other texts from the period, as its object of critique. Butler raises questions regarding not only the logical consistency of Kristeva’s theories, but also the political ramifications of those theories.
All are welcome, and as always discussion will continue in the pub following the session.

1: Introducing Julia Kristeva

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2 Oct | 5.00-6.30pm | Seminar Room 1, 3:01, Clothworkers South Building
For our first session of the year we will discuss the trajectory of Julia Kristeva's academic and political career, as represented in her own words in 'My Memory's Hyperbole' (1984). In this autobiographical essay, Kristeva charts her entry into the francophone intelligentsia, her experiences with the Tel Quel group, her engagement with radical politics in France, her 1974 trip to China, and her turn towards America.
In addition, we will also discuss Toril Moi's introduction to French feminist theory and her exposition of Kristeva's work, as found in Sexual/Textual Politics (1985).
All are welcome, and as always discussion will continue in the pub following the session.

Reading Julia Kristeva 2018-19

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Quilting Points 2019-20: Reading Julia Kristeva

We are pleased to announce the return of Quilting Points, at interdisciplinary critical and cultural theory reading group at the University of Leeds, for its eight consecutive year. The directors for this year are Sam Ross (School of PRHS), Izzy Jenkinson (School of English), and Sam Ridout (School of Music).

This year we will be reading and reflecting on the work of Bulgarian-French philosopher, cultural theorist, semiotician, psychoanalyst, novelist, and communist spy (!?) Julia Kristeva.

In our first session, on the 2nd October, we will read Kristeva's 1984 essay "My Memory's Hyperbole", in which she tracks her own academic and political trajectory, alongside two extracts from Toril Moi's Sexual/Textual Politics (1985), in which she provides an introduction to French feminist thought and Kristeva's feminist work respectively.

#11: Natalia Cecire presents, 'Single Sex: The Queer Poetics of Cell Biology at Bryn Mawr College, 1905'

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We are delighted to formally announce that, for our summer term guest talk, we will be joined by Dr Natalia Cecire, lecturer (assistant professor) in English and American literature at the University of Sussex. We are also pleased to say that we'll be hosting this talk in collaboration with the American Studies Research Group, based in the School of English (https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/english-research-innovation/doc/american-studies-research-group-1). 
Cecire's talk draws on Freud's use of nineteenth-century theories of microscopic life in Beyond the Pleasure Principle to situate Marianne Moore's poetics, often described as "shelled" or in various ways hard-surfaced and repelling, in relation to the surprisingly intense research in the biology of sex, inheritance, and generation at Bryn Mawr, the women's college that she attended from 1905 to 1909.
Following the Q&A, we will be hosting a wine reception in the School of English. 
All students and staff membe…