Events Aug 2018

Contemporary and Historical Perspectives on Spinoza and Culture

Manchester Metropolitan University, Geoffrey Manton building, room 230

3 August 2018

9.30– Arrive: Coffee and Tea

9.45– Christopher Thomas (Manchester Metropolitan University): Welcome and Introduction

10.00 – Gilah Kletenik (New York University): ‘Interpreting Scripture like Nature or How to Read without a Telos

11.00 – Brynnar Swynson (Butler University): ‘Elective Affectivities: Modern Subjects and the Colonial “I”’

12.00 ­­– Susan James (Birkbeck, University of London): ‘Feelings and Fictions’

13.00 ­– Lunch (GM 230 supplied for speakers)

14.00 – Christopher Norris (Cardiff University): Reading

14.30 – Moira Gatens (University of Sydney): ‘The Veracious Imagination: the fictions of Spinoza and George Eliot’

15.30 – Break

15.45 – Beth Lord (University of Aberdeen): ‘Spinoza and the Art of Reasoning’

16.45 – Martin Benson (Stony Brook University): ‘Knowledge Without Revelation: Reading Spinoza’s epistemological transitions through Beckett’s Endgame’

17.45 – End of Conference

19.00 – Conference Dinner (HOME, Manchester)

For more information please see

This conference has been generously supported by The British Society for the History of Philosophy and MIND.

Dr. Christopher Thomas

Lecturer in Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University


CFP: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives on Spinoza and Culture

Manchester Metropolitan University

3 August 2018

Recent scholarship on Spinoza has produced a wealth of excellent material covering all aspects of Spinoza’s philosophy. Important studies, for instance, have further developed Spinoza’s physics (Peterman), metaphysics (Viljanen), epistemology (Lenz), politics (Lordon), and theory of language (Laerke). Likewise, various recent works have brought Spinoza’s thought into dialogue with certain key topics of our time such as equality (Lord), ecology (Sharp), and ideology (Read). And yet given this burgeoning of Spinoza studies across many different keys, there has been little work carried out on Spinoza’s relation to culture and cultural theory. This conference aims to contribute to this underdeveloped aspect of Spinoza studies by providing a space of discussion for the various potential and actual relations between Spinoza and Spinozism, and culture and cultural theory.

The organisers seek to take the Spinoza-culture relation in the broadest possible sense, inviting contributions from traditional historians of philosophy, as well as more interdisciplinary scholars working at the juncture of Spinoza’s philosophy and the humanities, arts, and social sciences. As well as this the organisers seek contributions that address Spinozism (understood as the influence of Spinoza’s philosophy on contemporary philosophical positions) and its relation to recent or historical cultural theory (such a study, for instance, might develop the influence of Spinoza’s philosophy in Gilles Deleuze’s treatment of Francis Bacon, or the role that Spinoza’s philosophy plays in ‘new materialist’ treatments of literature and the arts).

The working language of the conference will be English but global and comparative perspectives are warmly encouraged.

Contributions are welcomed to address, but are not limited to:

  • Spinoza’s biblical hermeneutics
  • Spinoza and biblical narrative
  • Uses of Spinoza’s philosophy/Spinozism for culture/cultural theory
  • Uses of Spinoza’s philosophy/Spinozism in culture/cultural theory
  • Spinozistic readings of literature, theatre, art, and any related aspect of contemporary or historical culture
  • Spinoza’s use of the classical poets
  • Spinoza’s uses/philosophy-of fiction (political/literary/biblical)
  • Spinoza and language
  • Spinoza and writing
  • Spinoza and aesthetics
  • The cultural-historical context of Spinoza’s philosophy


Please submit abstracts (max. 500 words), along with a brief author bio, to by 1st May 2018. Enquiries can also be sent to the same address.

For more information please see

Dr. Christopher Thomas, Lecturer in Philosophy

Department of History, Politics and Philosophy
Manchester Metropolitan University
Geoffrey Manton Building
M15 6LL