Critical Theory from the Global South

Beirut Book Launches

February 19-20, 2020


At Barzakh Bookshop (above Rossa Café, Hamra)

"What IS Sex?" // Alenka Zupančič

Wednesday February 19th 7pm

Alenka Zupančič approaches the question of "What is sex?" from the perspective of asking what if, as Lacan claims, we can get exactly the same satisfaction that we get from sex from talking (or writing, painting, praying, or other activities)? Zupančič argues that sexuality is at the point of a “short circuit” between ontology and epistemology. Sexuality and knowledge are structured around a fundamental negativity, which unites them at the point of the unconscious.

Alenka Zupančič, a Slovenian psychoanalytic theorist and philosopher, teaches at the European Graduate School and is a researcher at the Institute of Philosophy at the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and the Arts.

"The Labour of Enjoyment. Towards a Critique of Libidinal Economy" // Samo Tomšič

Thursday February 20th 7pm

Samo Tomšič critiques the use of psychoanalysis to discuss political economy, focusing specifically on the concept of "libidinal economy," the intersection between desire and capitalism most famously proposed by Jean-François Lyotard. Contrasting Marxist and Freudian thought with the philosophies of Aristotle and Adam Smith, Tomšic suggests that in the age of modernity, political and economic theory should reflect the driving force of alienation rather than narcissism.

Samo Tomšič obtained his PhD in philosophy and is currently research assistant in the interdisciplinary cluster “Image Knowledge Gestaltung” at the Humboldt University in Berlin.

These events are happening in parallel to the to the "Extimacy: Authority, Anxiety and the Desire for Revolution in a Time of Austerity" conference at the American University of Beirut

Free and open to the public