Philosophy of Metamorphosis, Metamorphosis of Philosophy (Lecture & Seminar in English)

Prof. Dr. Boyan Manchev
Philosophy of Metamorphosis, Metamorphosis of Philosophy

Lecture and seminar in English, 1,5 SWS, 1 resp. 2 ECTS credit points
lectures: 13.1., 20.1., 27.1., 10.2.2016, 6-8 pm (starts without academic quarter, no breaks), HZT studio 8
seminar: 14.1., 21.1., 28.1., 11.2.2016, 10-12 am (starts without academic quarter, no breaks), HZT studio 8

In my books I am articulating metamorphosis as ontological concept as well as a critical instrument for reflexive intervention in the 'ontology of the actuality'. The series of four lectures, accompanied by seminars, will propose a concise and experimental version of my philosophical proposals on the figure and the concept of metamorphosis, in direct connection to important tendencies in contemporary art, with special attention to contemporary dance and performance.

The first two lectures (13. and 20. January) will propose a cultural-historical analysis of the “invention of metamorphosis” in early cultures, with special emphasis on Ancient Greek legacy. This genealogical perspective will open the possibility for formulating a series of hypotheses on a supposed suppressed 'metamorphic' line in philosophy – of what I describe as 'dynamic ontologies', from Heraclitus and Aristotle, through Nietzsche and Bergson to contemporary philosophy and art.

The third and fourth lectures (27. January and 10. February) deal with “Metamorphosis of philosophy. How to transform the transformation?” How philosophy and art participate in, contribute to or oppose the flexible forms of production and exchange of contemporary performance society? How do they act, if at all, upon the forms of existence, progressively reduced to the standardized patterns of desirable transformations? How philosophy, as well as art, could face and fulfil today, if at all, its modern imperative for transformation – of the art and philosophy themselves, of ‘ourselves’ and the world?

In the seminar sessions the lecture topics will be discussed and deepened through readings of philosophical and literary texts and discussions.

Leistungsanforderungen für den unbenoteten Studium-Generale-Schein: The students are expected to attend regularly the lectures and the seminars (for 1 ECTS credit point) and to deliver an essay of 6 pages at the end of the semester, dealing with matters or cases relevant for the course's topic (for an additional 1 ECTS credit point).

Prof. Dr. Boyan Manchev is philosopher, Professor at the New Bulgarian University and Guest Professor at the HZT-UdK (from 2011), Hollins University and Sofia University. He is also former Director of Program and Vice-President of the International College of Philosophy in Paris. In the last twenty years his work in ontology, philosophy of art and political philosophy is attempting to articulate the perspective of a mobilist materialism. The ontological concept of metamorphosis, the ethical concept of disorganisation and the aesthetic concept of alteration are central for his transformationist approach. Manchev has lectured widely at European, Asian and North-American universities and cultural institutions. He has organised and/or collaborated to number of projects, congresses and public forums dealing with philosophy, art and politics at the CIPh, EHESS, CNRS, Palais de Tokyo, CND (Paris), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Volksbühne, FU, NBK (Berlin), IWM, MUMOK, Tanzquartier (Vienna), ZKM (Karlsruhe), University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy (UTCP), Apexart, PS1, Columbia University, NYU (New York), BAK (Utrecht), among others.

He has engaged in long-term collaborations on different occasions with the philosophers Jean-Luc Nancy, Chantal Mouffe, Yasuo Kobayashi, Rada Ivekovic, Miglena Nikolchina, Jacob Rogozinski, Federico Ferrari, Federico Nicolao, Tomás Maia, Frédéric Neyrat, Alexander Kiossev, Dimitar Vatsov, Isabell Lorey, Gerald Raunig, and debated with Jacques Derrida, Ernesto Laclau, Roberto Esposito, Judith Revel, Antonio Negri, Etienne Balibar, Hans Belting, Boris Groys, Alenka Zupancic among others; he has also participated as theorist, dramaturge or performer in theatre and contemporary dance projects, including Tim Etchells and Adrian Heathfield's "The Frequently Asked" (2006), Boris Charmatz's "expo zero" and Poster session "Mouvement" for the Festival d'Avignon (2011) and Ani Vaseva's "A Dying Play" (2010), "Frankenstein" (2011) and "Phaeton: Miscreants" (2013). Manchev has curated the exhibition "Out of Time" at the Sofia City Art Gallery (March - April 2011).

Manchev is the author of seven books and more than hundred book chapters, catalogues and other publications in various languages. In the last years appeared Logic of the Political (Sofia: Critique&Humanism, 2012), Miracolo (Milano: Lanfranchi, 2011), Out of Time (Sofia: SGHG, 2011), L'altération du monde: Pour une esthétique radicale (Paris: Lignes, 2009); La Métamorphose et l'Instant - Désorganisation de la vie (Paris: La Phocide, 2009); Rue Descartes 64: La métamorphose, ed. by B. Manchev (Paris: PUF, 2009) ; Rue Descartes 67: Quel sujet du politique?, ed. by G. Basterra, R. Ivekovic and B. Manchev (Paris: PUF, 2010). His book The Body-Metamorphosis (Sofia: Altera, 2007) deals extensively with visual arts, literature, performance and dance.