Keynote address for Deleuze and Guattari Studies Conference

9 Jul. 2024

Taking place at TU Delft, NL on July 9, 2024 | 16:30-17:30. Lecture “Instituting the Intolerable: Shame, Ignorance and Schema of Monohumanist Man”. More info on the full conference program running July 8-10 can be found here.

For Deleuze, shame is not only one of philosophy’s most “powerful motifs,” but enables an exit from schemas of ignorance that institute an unseeing of the intolerable. As an impersonal affect, shame produces a visceral schism unsettling prosaic mental frameworks through an abjection experienced by the body as it both recognizes complicity and bears witness to what was hitherto, insensible. Shame, as it were compels forms of practice (a creative yoking of concepts with pragmatics) not for, but before the intolerable. Through Sylvia Wynter’s elaboration of Monohumanist Man as the autoinstituting figure schematizing Euromodernity and its particular epistemologies (often foundational to idealizations of the State and its striated space of reasons), Deleuzian shame (unlike the immobility of guilt) will be outlined as an affective catalyst for empirical and praxis-based counter-actualization. What draws these thinkers into relation is a negotiation with a common problem: how it is possible from within the conditions techno-sociogenic givenness, to sense and act from without the given, whilst recognizing the impossibility somatic/cognitive detachment from an historical milieu.