Do you desire to have stimulating conversations with intelligent people about crucial and timely topics?


Would you like to explore how literature, philosophy, the arts, psychoanalysis, religion, and other areas of the humanities might help us find creative solutions to current problems, personal and social?


If so, I hope you will join me. I am offering seminars for the public. Seminars come in several varieties:

  • 4 or 5 week sessions, 2.5 hours each meeting; cost $160 or $195
  • 1-day workshops; varying length and cost
  • private of small group, tailored to individual needs; cost varies
  • weekly practice/dialogue session, 1.5 hours; cost TBA.

 

I am calling this project Incite Seminars.  That's Incite, as in Latin incitare, "rouse, urge, encourage, stimulate;" and Seminar as in Latin seminarium, "breeding ground, plant nursery," and German Seminar, "meeting of small group to discuss a topic intensively." 

The seminars are held at Cultureworks in Philadelphia. The next one is "Meditation: Self and Society." Dates: Mondays, September 25-October 16, 6-8:30pm, $160. Scroll down for more information. Details and FAQs about Incite Seminars. 

 

We are very excited to announce a new one-day workshop: Alienation and Its Antidotes: A Workshop with Anthony Paul Smith on the Thought of François Laruelle. Scroll down for information and registration. 

 

Clicking the "Registration" box will take you to a PayPal page. You will not be automatically charged when you click the link. If you prefer other payment arrangements, please email us at inciteseminars@mail.com. Thanks!

 

All seminars are held at Cultureworks, 1315 Walnut St, Suite 320, Philadelphia, PA 19107, unless otherwise stated.

Current and Upcoming Seminars

Alienation and Its Antidotes: A Workshop with Anthony Paul Smith on the Thought of François Laruelle

François Laruelle is one of the most trenchant thinkers today. With his “non-philosophy,” he offers us explosive techniques for ferreting out the self-alienating forces at the very heart of our thought and world. His method, however, is not yet another exercise in personal actualization and social positivity. It may sow seeds of utopianism; but its seeds are soaked in a clear-eyed pessimism. It may reveal a universe of promise; but it is an unmistakably black universe. The overall effect is of a strange yet acutely vital form of life, thought, and practice.  

Anthony Paul Smith, Ph.D., is the preeminent translator of Laruelle’s French works into English. He is assistant professor in the Religion Department of La Salle University, in Philadelphia. As indicated by the title of his recent book, Ecologies of Thought: Thinking Nature in Philosophy, Theology, and Ecology, Anthony works at the intersection of several disciplines, including philosophy, non-philosophy, theology, religious studies, and scientific ecology.

 

The workshop will combine the presentation of concepts with lively group discussion.

 

Time: September 23, Saturday, from 10am-3pm.

Cost: $95

Meditation: Self and Society

Inner peace. Stress reduction. Calmness. Clarity. These are terms commonly associated with meditation (and mindfulness) today. And it is difficult to deny that silent and attentive sitting does yield such affirmative results—for the individual. This success, however, may bear the seeds of a serious shortcoming. Meditation/mindfulness provides the individual with a method for uncoupling from tensions associated with living in our hyper-accelerated techno-consumerist capitalist society. This respite is only temporary. Tomorrow, it all starts over. In this way—in creating an individual who can retain inner peace within our social maelstrom—meditation inadvertently functions as society’s “perfect ideological supplement.” Must it be this way? This seminar is an investigation into the possibility that contemplative practice might impact the social formations that institutionalize the very anxieties we wish to escape.

 

The seminar will alternate between practice and discussion. As a basis, we will use the Buddhist meditation manual called the Anapanasati Sutta (Awareness With Each Breath). We will use this manual as our practice guide; and we will study it together with those of more contemporary social thinkers, such as Hannah Arendt, Theodor Adorno, Catherine Malabou, and Peter Sloterdijk. The seminar is driven by the question: how might an individual contemplative practice serve the social collective?

 

Buddhism in the Age of Trump

What should a socially-aware person make of Buddhism? It presents itself as the treasure house of enlightened ideas and practices that were formulated by a gifted teacher who lived in India twenty-five hundred years ago. Followers of Buddhism, east and west, tell us that this man’s teachings accurately identify the real conditions of human existence. If true, that is quite a remarkable achievement. It would mean that an ancient diagnosis of human experience still pertains in our hyper-accelerated, ultra-technological modern society. It also suggests that Buddhist thought contains antidotes or even solutions for negotiating both our zombie-like consumer-capitalist system and our current political catastrophe. Is such a correspondence possible? Does Buddhism have anything of consequence to teach us today?

Philosophical Concepts for Thinking

Hannah Arendt famously condemned Adolf Eichmann not for being an inhuman monster who methodically arranged Nazi death camp logistics. No, she condemned him for being all-too-human in his refusal or inability to think. Are we thinking today? This seminar is a kind of smorgasbord of concepts from western philosophy that are aimed at enhancing our capacity for incisive and expansive thought. We will read extracts from, for example, Hannah Arendt, Gilles Deleuze, Georg Hegel, François Laruelle, and Peter Sloterdijk.  

 

Time: Wednesdays, 6pm-8:30pm,

April 5-May 3 (five sessions).

Instructor: Glenn Wallis

Critical Introduction to Buddhist Thought

Buddhism is enjoying great popularity in the West. This is not surprising. Buddhist thought, after all, claims to offer wise insight into many of the weighty matters that concern us today. This seminar will explore foundational Buddhist ideas. It will, however, do so critically. That is, we will also be asking whether or not Buddhist thought is up to the task of stimulating meaningful personal and social change here and now.

 

Time: Wednesday evenings, 6-8:30pm, February 15-March 22.

Instructor: Glenn Wallis

Quick Links

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Speculative Non-Buddhism

Please consider donating to Incite Seminar scholarships (you can read about this under FAQs):

Newest

Summer 2017

Starting enrollment for two public courses: "Alienation and Its Antidotes: A Workshop with Anthony Paul Smith on the Thought of François Laruelle."

and

"Meditation: Self and Society" Monday mornings

September 25-October 16. 

Information on Incite Seminars page. 

 

Tom Pepper at Speculative Non-Buddhism: "No Thought, No Problem."

 

Spring 2017

Starting enrollment for public course "Buddhism in the Age of Trump." Begins Tuesday, June 13. Information on Incite Seminars page. Make thinking great again!

 

New post at Speculative Non-Buddhism by Jonathan Earle: "Only Don’t Know! Reflections on a Thoughtless Life"

 

"Criticism Matters: A Response to Rick Repetti," my contribution to the new book Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement (Basel: Springer Publishing, 2016) at Speculative Non-Buddhism.

 

Fall 2016

Ruin records He-Ho and Fiat Lux are being re-released with bonus tracks! Read about it at Earsplit. You can also pre-order directly from Southern Lord.

 

New essay by Tom Pepper, "Writing With Pencils and Eating Brownies: What Can Enlightened Brains Do?," at the SNB blog.

 

Spring 2016

I recently did two interviews with Matthew O'Connell at the Imperfect Buddha podcast.

 

A thoughtful discussion of the Speculative Non-Buddhism project at the Imperfect Buddha podcast. Link at SNB.

 

Summer 2016

* Several new posts at Lines of Flight.

* Cruel Theory | Sublime Practice is now available on Amazon US and Amazon UK. Read an informed review at the Journal of Buddhist Ethics.

 

* New interview with my Ruin band mate Cordy Swope at Seymour Magazine.

 

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