Call for papers: Auckland Bible and Critical Theory Seminar

Date for seminar: 1-2 September 2012

Venue: a pub in Auckland (TBA)

Due date for paper proposals: 30 June 2012

Now in its fifteenth year, the Bible and Critical Theory Seminar once again steps over the ‘ditch’ to New Zealand, meeting this time in Auckland and under the watchful and sober guidance of Robert Myles and Caroline Blyth.

Papers for the seminar typically seek intersections between critical theory and the Bible, both interpreted broadly. We understand critical theory as deriving initially from the Frankfurt School (more fully, the Institute for Social Research at Frankfurt am Main) and the work of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, but now enriched and broadened by a host of other methods. These approaches include but are not restricted to post-structuralism, feminism, psychoanalysis, ideological criticism, post-colonialism, Marxism, ecocriticism and queer studies. Some of these approaches are new, whereas others have been revitalized after the 1960s. All of them are characterized by the need to discern (kritikos) what is beneficial and what not, to negate the negative and draw out the positive in any given idea, position or tradition. Thus, critical theory incorporates the initial impetus of the Frankfurt School, while significantly broadening its mandate.

The international reach of the seminar has grown, spawning a ‘Bible, Critical Theory and Reception Seminar’ meeting in the UK under the auspices of W. John Lyons and James Crossley.

And of course, there is the Bible and Critical Theory Journal, which has entered its eighth year of publication, as well as our comrade, the journal Relegere.

Paper proposals should include a title and a 200-word abstract.
Please send to:

Caroline Blyth: c.blyth[at]
Robert Myles: robertjmyles[at]


14 thoughts on “Call for papers: Auckland Bible and Critical Theory Seminar

      1. “Kursk and the Obscene Suppliment; With Lacan, Near Bethsaida”

        Jasper Hart-Holme
        Raj W. St James
        (Psychoanalytic Studies Programme, St Andrew University)

        This paper proposes nothing less than a caesura in the materialist doxa of post-Continental psychoanalytic theology through means of a radical post-humanist intervention into the petit-bourgeois currents of contemporary academe….

  1. Far be it from me to add anything to the inestimable science of Mssrs Hart-Holme and St. James, but this is where the unforgiveable gap in academic training shows forth. If only Lacan had studied at a military college or been a tank commander. Far more precise terminology is available. For example, forget supplement or exception, the ‘salient’ is preferable:

    ‘A salient is a battlefield feature that projects into enemy territory. The salient is surrounded by the enemy on three sides, making the troops occupying the salient vulnerable. The enemy’s line facing a salient is referred to as a re-entrant (an angle pointing inwards). A deep salient is vulnerable to being “pinched out” across the base, forming a pocket in which the defenders of the salient become isolated’.

    1. I believe Lacan was involved in basic military training with the PCF while working at St Anne’s hospice in Paris, where he gave many of his most memorable seminars, and also where he encountered an eager young Comrade by the name of Saloth Sar whose unconventional application of Lacanian orthopraxis is well known to readers of this blog.

      Allow me to clarify further, though, since to what does this “obscene supplement” refer in the logo-map of the Kursk qua Event? Why, to nothing other than the forty per cent (give-or-take several hundred thousand either way) of Cadres who did not make the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the motherland in that particular theater and who therefore constituted an indigestible remainder within the democratic system qua system of salvation.

    2. I would suggest that ‘Kursk salient’ is a far better term than the well-worn ‘obscene supplement’. It’s fresh, unexplored, has a ring. the KS, as we should call it, is based on the superior tactics of the Red Army in absorbing a blitzkrieg and then counter-attacking with innovative, multiple-armed deep incursions. It basically destroyed the might of the Wehrmacht and turned the war. After that the Wehrmacht was in constant retreat. That is deeper sense of the ‘Kursk salient’. Actually, I think Lacan has some diagrams of the Kursk salient, perhaps unwittingly so. You may find some here –

      1. A common error of petit bourgeois post-Continental thought is its obsessive return, precisely diagrammatically so via the agent of the “salient”, to the petit bourgeois thought of the madrassa no matter how irredeemably mired it becomes in neurotic sub-Sandhurt repetition of quasi-miltary “tactics”. You will find the following Lacanian sigil to be a more objective representation of the Kursk Event, as referred to extensively in his seminar of February 16, 1955, “The paradoxes of Omega”:

      2. That kind of analysis was first put forward by Nazis enthusiastically re-employed by the USA in its war against communism. Think here of General Franz Halder, Hitler’s chief of the Army General Staff from 1938 to 1942 and a man almost certainly complicit in crimes against humanity. He headed the project for the U.S. Army’s Historical Division. John F. Kennedy awarded him the Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his efforts.

      3. It is almost as if, programatically, you are working through each conceivable articulation of petit bourgeois scientific error. Are you working off a reading list from the Open University? I was not aware that one could take a correspondence course in the Philosophy of Intellectual Abjection. In any case, you will find that rumor (which I believe to be Fabian in origin, if the contemporary accounts of the 4th International are accurate) definitively addressed by Lacan in his seminar of December 17, 1959, “The hysterization of discourse”. By which time, of course, Comrade Brother Saloth Sar had taken leave of Lacan. Was he still committed to the Freudian cause and the cause of the proletariat? Did he remain so? I believe Comrade Joseph Ball answers that question with many vigorous yeses.

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