GCAS Deleuze Seminar

Spring, 2018

Prof. Dr. Keith Faulkner

Dismantling Reactive Institutions with Deleuze: Theory and Practice


March 11, 18, 25 (Sundays)

7 pm Eastern Time (New York Time)

This is a live and interactive seminar, which you can take from a widely published Deleuzian philosopher, Dr. Keith Faulkner. This seminar is part of the GCAS Certificate Program in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis Program, but you can take this seminar independently from the program.

Once you have enrolled we will send you the information you need to join the seminar. 




I don't really do textual commentary. For me, a text is nothing but a cog in a larger extra-textual practice. It's not about using deconstruction, or any other textual practice, to do textual commentary; it's about seeing what one can do with an extra-textual practice that extends the text. -- Gilles Deleuze

I am interested in what “practice” means for Deleuze. It is not a directly political practice; nor is it merely a textual practice like deconstruction. It is a practice of becoming-active, in Nietzsche’s sense of the word. If we can become active, if we reduce our reactions, I argue, we can divest our instinctual-support from the institutions that oppress us. Deleuze asks “why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation?” I attempt to answer this question in these lectures:

Lecture One: Spinoza and Difference

What is difference? What is a body without organs? What can a body do? What is intensity?

Text: Deleuze’s Lectures on Spinoza (available online)

Lecture Two: Nietzsche and Becoming-Active

Becoming-active is NOT: 1) mere joy; 2) the opposite of blame; 3) something subjective; 4) a choice. 

Text: Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, Chapters 2 & 4

Lecture Three: Instincts and Institutions

What is an institution? Why do people fight to maintain their own slavery? What is the relationship between the state and its institutions? What goes wrong with the survival instinct?

Text: “Instincts and Institutions” in Deleuze, Desert Islands and Other Texts.