Sovereignty and The Human: Exploring Bataille’s Accursed Share Project
UWE Philosophy Department, Bristol.
April 25th 2014
Keynote speakers confirmed:
Prof. Howard Caygill (CRMEP, Kingston University)
Prof. Scott Wilson (Kingston University)
George Bataille is surely one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century – drawing
attention from notable figures such as Heidegger (who once remarked that Bataille was ‘one of
France’s best minds’) as well as influencing Foucault, Deleuze and Derrida. Today his impact is still
explicit in the work of Georgio Agamben and Jean-Luc Nancy, with their respective works on
sovereignty and community. Bataille’s three volume Accursed Share project, which can be perhaps
designated as the most systematic presentation of his thought, is an outrageously enigmatic and
ambitious series of texts. It traverses a variety of disciplines, including sociology, psychology,
anthropology, political theory, cultural studies, and of course, philosophy. This conference aims to
explore some themes from the texts and to cultivate the continuing discussion concerning
We welcome papers on any themes that emerge from within the three volumes of The Accursed
Share. We are particularly interested in ambitious papers that pertain to contemporary issues – be
they political, cultural, philosophical, technological, etc. Each paper will last for approximately 20
minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes for questions.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
- Bataille’s relationship, within the text, with the history of philosophy. E.g. Ancient Greek
philosophy, German Idealism, etc.
- Bataillean political philosophy – his concern for community and collective activity.
- Bataille’s metaphysics and Bataille’s use of science.
- Bataille’s ethics, and his concepts of value, utility and utilization.
- Bataillean approaches to film and literature.
- Issues in contemporary philosophy that utilize Bataillean categories and concepts (knowingly
Please send 500 word abstracts, and any questions, to: William.Stronge@uwe.ac.uk
Abstracts due: January 18th.