Becoming-Soil

Becoming-Soil

With Joshua Ramey, PhD
Tuesdays, May 18-June 22, 6-9pm EST

Part II of the “For The Remains: Undoing Economic Sovereignty” seminar series

During 2020-2021, Joshua Ramey is completing the manuscript of a new book, For the Remains:  Undoing Economic Sovereignty.  In collaboration with Incite Seminars, he will offer three 6-week public seminars on its key sources, themes, and concepts. The book will be written over the course of this three-part public seminar, and will be published in a free and open-access format.

For the Remains is the culmination of ten years of research in political economy and political theology, a follow-up to Ramey’s 2016 book Politics of Divination:  Neoliberal Endgame and the Religion of Contingency.  The demands of economic growth—of production and consumption, and above all of debt servicing—are destroying planetary life.  And yet the powers that be relinquish neither their murderously extractive practices of financial speculation nor their obsessive devotion to the illusion of endless economic growth.  As many others have argued before, the willingness of human beings to sacrifice and to suffer for the accumulation of capital is a religious commitment to a ritual practice of a violence.  As the theology justifying this violence, the discourse of economics is sacred, and to question it, anathema.  To displace its religious power, For The Remains will argue that the discourse and practice economics as we know it must be abolished.

For The Remains Seminar Series

Part I, “Debt as Original Sin,” (May 5 – June 9, 2020) traces the origin of the neoliberal society of permanent indebtedness to its roots in religion, in particular in the enduring legacy of Christian theology and its afterlife in so-called secular modernity.

Part II, “Production or Enslavement” (October-November 2020) reads modern industrial (and “post-industrial” life) as an after-life of disavowed racialization and ongoing slavery at one with anti-blackness, sexism, and ableism.

Part III, “Becoming Soil,” (May-June 2021) is a speculative attempt to construct a non-economic concept of social life that draws from Edouard Glissant’s notion of individuality as opacity, Donna Haraway’s transhumanist concept of “compost people,” and sources heavily from both animist cosmologies and ancestor-reverent traditions of ritual practice.

“Becoming-Soil” – Tuesdays, May 18– June 22, 6-9pm EST

Session Overview


Becoming-Soil is the third of three seminars comprising the outline of a book manuscript-in-progress, For the Remains:  Undoing Economic Sovereignty.  For the Remains is an inquiry what might be altered if human societies centered all that which is excluded from economic value and evaluation:  waste, ruins, and toxicity, along with the racialized and feminized care labor and reparative work required for production and consumption yet excluded from accountings of wealth.  Its guiding axiom is that the predatory sovereignty enshrined by economic theory as legitimate interest must be undone and abolished, dissolved into more complex, difficult, and intriguing webs of mutually imbricated living and dying.  The first and second seminars, “Debt as Original Sin” and “Production or Enslavement” are available to all previous and current seminar participants.  Participation is invited for Incite Seminars members who contribute any amount to support  Joshua’s Patreon account, www.patreon.com/joshuaramey. 

Seminar III:  Becoming Soil

Tuesday evenings, 6-9pm EST via Zoom through Incite Seminars

*Texts listed below are for reference only, I will not presume participants have read them in advance of the lectures*

May 18: Capital Putrefied

  •             Kathi Weeks, The Trouble with Work
  •             David Graeber, On Bullshit Jobs and A Utopia of Rules
  •             Tynan, Milesi, Müller, eds., Credo, Credit, Crisis
  •             Achille Mbembe, Critique of Black Reason
  •             Hortense Spillers, “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe”
  •             Alison McDowell, www.wrenchinthegears.com

May 25: Trust and Undoing

  •             Philip Goodchild, Metaphysics of Trust
  •             Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and Deborah Danowski, The Ends of the World
  •             Davi Kopenawa, The Falling Sky

June 1: Blackwards into the Future

  •             Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Futurability
  •             Daniel Colucciello Barber, “The Creation of Non-Being”
  •             Calvin L. Warren, Ontological Terror:  Blackness, Nihilism, and Emancipation
  •             Fred Moten, Consent Not to Be a Single Being

June 8: What Cannibals Knew

  •             Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, The Inconstancy of the Indian Soul & Cannibal             Metaphysics
  •             Giorgio Agamben, The Use of Bodies
  •             Fred Moten, Consent Not to Be a Single Being

June 15: Victims, Flesh, Remains

  •             Francois Laruelle, General Theory of Victims
  •             Alexander Wehelilye, Habeus Viscus:  Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and             Black Feminist Theories of the Human
  •             Christina Sharpe, In the Wake:  On Blackness and Being
  •             Karen Bray, Grave Attending:  A Political Theology for the Unredeemed   

June 22: Becoming-Ancestral

  •             Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World
  •             Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble:  Making Kin in the Cthulucene
  •             James Perkinson, Political Spirituality for an Age of Eco-Apocalypse and Political             Spirituality for a Century of Water Wars:  The Angel of the Jordan Meets the    Trickster of Detroit

JoshuaRamey3.5Facilitator: Joshua Ramey, PhD is a philosopher and shamanic practitioner based in Philadelphia.  He received his doctorate in philosophy from Villanova University in 2006, and has held teaching positions at Grinnell College, Rowan University, Temple University, and is currently Visiting Professor of Peace, Justice, and Human Rights at Haverford College.  He has written two books, The Hermetic Deleuze:  Philosophy and Spiritual Ordeal (Duke University Press, 2012), and Politics of Divination:  Neoliberal Endgame and the Religion of Contingency (Rowman and Littlefield, Intl., 2016).  His shamanic work can be found at www.becoming-fluid.com

Dates: Tuesdays, May 18 – June 22, 6-9pm EST

Cost: To pay for this seminar, you must be a member of Incite Seminars and sign up to support Joshua Ramey via his Patreon at any level of contribution . This seminar series is designed to enable the writing and publication of Dr. Ramey’s book For The Remains: Undoing Economic Sovereignty over the course of the next 18 months. By becoming a Patreon supporter, you will gain access to all the live and archived seminars related to this project, as well as receive advance chapters of the book incrementally and the finished manuscript upon completion. We are experimenting with creating a different model of collective knowledge production and distribution, rather than “selling” you and “educational product.” Please join us in this experiment! 

Readings: A Seminar Reader will be sent on registration.

Registration

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You can also make a donation to Incite Seminars to continue enabling the larger educational project with a one-time donation. 

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One time donation to Incite Seminars

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