Anthropo/-logical & aleatoric materialism



18 July 12



10 am – 6 pm

Anthropological & aleatoric materialism
Lectures and workshops in the framework of the German French Summer School Potsdam

What can materialist thought offer in a 21st-century context? How can it protect itself against dogmatisms and the totalizing tendencies that haunted the legacy of "materialism" in modernity? This German-French summer school, Anthropological Materialism and Materialism of Encounter: Re-evaluating our Presence in the Wake of Walter Benjamin and Louis Althusser, intends to foster an innovative dialogue between these two key figures of 20th-century thought. Although coming from very different traditions, they were both influenced by Marxism and have inscribed themselves deeply into 20th-century philosophy.

From July 16 to 20, we will examine the complementarities and tensions between Benjamin's and Althusser's theories in a series of lectures by renowned French and German scholars and workshop presentations by graduate students and postdocs. The focal point will be a confrontation of Benjamin's "anthropological materialism" with Althusser's "materialism of the encounter."

On Wednesday, July 18, 2012, the summer school will take place at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. The day's topic will be "phantasmagorias" and the "magic régime" of capitalism. Lectures will address the aesthetic representation of the urban and architectonic embodiment of modern capitalism, looking for possibilities of its utopian overpowering.

Please note that all the other dates of the summer school (July 16, 17, 19, 20) will take place at the University of Potsdam, Am Neuen Palais 10, Building 9, Room 1.14. For further information, please visit

This event is kindly sponsored by the Deutsch-Französische Hochschule (DFH) Saarbrücken in cooperation with the University of Potsdam and the University Paris IV (Sorbonne).