Symposium: The Many Faces/Phases of Emptiness/Nothingness/Absence

Event banner for Symposium: The Many Faces/Phases of Emptiness/Nothingness/Absence

Event Date

Hart Hall 3201

What is emptiness? Why is there very little academic vocabulary to talk about emptiness and nothingness? Clearly, since its metaphysical foundations in classic Greek thought, the notion of Being has occupied a privileged position in Western philosophy. To talk about being is just common sense; yet to talk about emptiness is at least paradoxical. What alternative forms of social organization and justice emerge when we consider ourselves as processes (selving) and not as essential substance? The (un)becoming that accompanies becoming-with usually unravels into the relatively obscure place of nihilism, in the form of nothingness. This is partially produced because we are trapped in the metaphysics of presence, of positivism. It absents absence; it fills emptiness; it speaks over silences. This one-day symposium invites us to take indeterminacy, negative facts, absences, nothingness, and emptiness as furniture of the world. This symposium will be a jam conversation between Asian Philosophy, Critical Thinking, the Arts, and Contemporary Physics.

Speakers Include:

  • Karen Barad, Feminist Studies, Philosophy, and History of Consciousness - UC Santa Cruz
  • Anand Vaidya, Philosophy – San Jose State University
  • Ignacio Valero – California College of the Arts
  • Marisol de la Cadena, Anthropology – UC Davis
  • Alan Klima, Anthropology – UC Davis
  • Margaret Kemp, Theatre & Dance – UC Davis
  • Mani Tripathi, Physics – UC Davis
  • Amber Bemak, Film and Media Arts -Southern Methodist University

Selected Readings

Cosponsors: College of Letters and Science Dean's Office, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, and Global Affairs