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Research school "Illuminations"

July 23-29, 2018. Tyumen

The School is organized by the Center of New Philosophy

with the support of the Institute of Social Sciences and the Humanities of Tyumen State University


Deadline for applying: June 28

Aim of the School: The main aim of the School is to provide a space for dialogue and meaningful engagement for the thinkers involved in the critical conversation. It is important to draw together some of the best scholars working at the frontier of contemporary thought, thus creating an environment where the concepts of recent philosophy can be developed, revised and reinvented.

The structure of the School includes three independent “tracks”:

→ dark ontologies

→ neo-rationalism

→ social and political philosophy

Each of these tracks is organized around a set of concepts and texts to be worked with by the participants.


Formate: Depending on the competences and interests described in the application letters. At the same time, all tracks will offer introductory seminars to ensure that all participants are familiar with the basics. This division is not mandatory: there will also be collaborative events built around shared theoretical issues, including roundtables, plenary sessions and other events aimed at engaging new people and new ways of speaking, as well as establishing links between different fields and contexts.

Participate: The school’s doors are open for all; your academic position, citation index, relevance of a research topic are of no major importance. We take on board no more than 10 participants for each track. We introduce this limit due to comfortable group sessions. An overall number of participants is 30 persons.

We do not follow formal criteria but review the essays. A participant should send an essay which can be written in English or in Russian. Any photo-, video-, and audio-materials are permitted; literacy and writing style are not decisive for the final review but welcome. The essay should contain no more than 1300 words. A theme of the essay should reflect each courses agenda. The additional criteria for each track are specified in corresponding courses info. Review will be executed by curators of a relevant track and involved speakers.

Fluent English is required for participation. We do not ask for any certificates but take notice that major part of events during the school will be delivered in English.

An application deadline: 28th June 2018.

Living conditions: Hotel Lykashino, two-, three- and four-room bedrooms, meal and transfer from Tyumen to school location is provided. A way to Tyumen is on participants.

School's links:vkontakte,facebook.

Independent tracks of the School:

Dark Ontologies: Riddles in the Dark

This track is dedicated to several branches of contemporary philosophy—pessimism, dark ecology, and dark vitalism, the legacy of Gaston Bachelard, Gilles Deleuze, and Walter Benjamin. The common feature of thematic diversity is its orientation towards opacity and destabilization of steady ontologies.

This track proposes consistent consideration of the question of reason. Following Deleuzes text «What is grounding?», participants will investigate and open up new aspects of this conundrum.

Essay requirements:

The main criterion is the quality of your research and novelty in the usage of concepts. We are equally delighted to receive essays which compare different concepts, positions, logics, or perspectives, as well as to receive texts posing a unique problem.

Academic criteria and solemnity of style are inessential for us. We appreciate the problems decree as much as its solution.

Neorationalism and the New Mathematical Models

The course is dedicated to the modern paradigm of thought called neorationalism and exemplified by the writings of Ray Brassier, Reza Negarestani and Peter Wolfendale. It explores the developments in the contemporary analytic and pragmatist philosophical traditions as tools and possibilities to redefine ontological and epistemological questions that dominated the XXth century. The course will also focus on such topics as foundations of mathematics, topology, and axiomatic systems. These topics will provide substantial background for discussions on practical issues, be it Artificial General Intelligence or formal epistemology.

Essay requirements:

Due to the courses thematic overlook, a particular interest in neorationalism and contemporary mathematics is encouraged. Topics ranging from data analysis, theoretical aspects of artificial intelligence to history and philosophy of mathematics are all welcome. Knowledge of analytical and pragmatist schools of philosophy is not required as well as the formal knowledge of mathematics, yet any expertise in these areas will increase your chances of writing a successful essay for this course. The central topic of the essay should coincide with the courses. The grade of the essays will depend on original and novel ideas expressed by the author as well as logical and rhetorical strictness.

Labour, Politics, and Time in Contemporary Capitalism

This track is dedicated to political economys concerns asbroadly speakingtheoretical investigation of interrelationships between economy and politics, labour and political action. From ancient times politics and economy, public action and labour have been considered as separated spheres of human activity; after World War II this partitioning has firmly settled within the intellectual division of labours structure with the advent of the economy as formal and technocratic study. We resort to political economy along our track and its not just an attempt to reanimate previously pushed back scientific approach. Our concern is to reopen the economy as an object of philosophical reflection and political action and political economy as an all-embracing social theory

Essay requirements:

The essays should be devoted to the reconstruction of a historical argument (e.g. an argument against Marx value theory, genealogy of a concept (e.g. to analyze the usage of the concept virtue by Marx and Virno), comparative analysis of different theoretical approaches to Marx conceptual model (e.g. how it is done by political marxism or autonomism), or to an analysis of any example (it can come from popular culture, current agenda, or from a research project) while using concepts of (post-)marxist theory. The essay should be related to the tracks agenda. Applicants are free to use any source for their essays. There may occur a theoretical exchange between Benjamin Buchloh and Immanuel Wallerstein since their dialogue is productive and formulates new problems.


structure/organization of an argument;

relevance of posed problems;

quality and originality;

consistent argumentation;

Clarity of narration;

Spectrum of cited works.

An array of events: dark ecology and new materialism.

A parallel program of the school for every tracks participants: anyone can attend these events.

Open talks and round tables will be devoted to following themes:

Materiality and Ontology of Oil and Energy.

Anthropocene and Humanity as an ecological factor.

Ecological catastrophe and extinction of humanity.

We also provide educational courses which are devoted to problems of teaching of contemporary philosophy and social theory.

About Center: Center of New Philosophy is an educational and research project oriented at the development of the cutting-edge and comparatively less known branches of contemporary philosophy and social theory. We are primarily working with the fields that are underdeveloped in the Russian discourse but are of key importance for many new theorists. These include, but are not limited to, neo-rationalism, dark ecology, ethnomethodology, cognitive capitalism, non-human anthropologies, animal studies, post-humanism, dark ontologies.

Center's links:vkontakte,facebook,youtube.

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