Naomi Scheman's guest lectures and workshop; 20.-22.9.2010, Turku

“In a storied world: Wittgenstein, Barad, emotions, and the human”

Professor Naomi Scheman (Departments of Philosophy and of Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota and guestresearcher at Umeå University) will be visting Åbo Academy University on 20-22 September. During her visit she will lead a workshop in philosophy and give two talks at the research seminars in philosophy and women’s studies. More information about the different events below.

1. “Ontology after Wittgenstein and Quine: Breaking free of atomism”
Research seminar at the Department of Philosophy, Monday 20th September 2010, 18.15: (Arken,  Fabriksgatan 2, Auditorium Westermarck, C101)

2. “The material turn, or: Why would a feminist theorist be obsessed with stones?" Research seminar at Department of Women’s Studies, Wednesday 22nd September, 10-12, (ASA, Fänriksgatan 3, Lilla auditoriet, C122)

3. “In a storied world: Wittgenstein, Barad, emotions, and the human”
Workshop with Professor Naomi Scheman, Department of Philosophy, Åbo Akademi University, Monday 20th - Tuesday 21th September 2010


Description of the theme of Scheman’s lectures

One way of distinguishing emotions from ("brute" or "raw") feelings is that emotions are "feelings plus"; they are meaningful, interpreted, contextual, and, as such, distinctively human. Taking this thought as a (problematic) starting point, I want to bring together things Wittgenstein says in his later work about emotions and about the human to help think about both and about the relationships between them.

My suggestion will be that we think about emotions as socially constructed, specifically as stories, but that we go on to think about stories not just as human artifacts, but as, literally, what the world is made of. This thought is reminiscent of Wittgenstein's claim, in the Tractatus, that "the world is the totality of facts, not of things." I want to ask what becomes of such a thought when we free ourselves--as the later Wittgenstein teaches us to do--from the conception of philosophical analysis that led, in the Tractatus, to an untenable atomism.

The work of the physicist and feminist theorist Karen Barad models a rejection of atomism in favor of a fundamentally relational conception of the world, and I want to draw on this model to suggest ways of thinking about the world as "storied" and about the places of emotions and of the human in such a world.

The workshop is arranged as a part of the research project Emotions in Dialogue: Perspectives from the Humanities.


Program for the workshop


Monday 20th September

10-13  Lecture by Naomi Scheman (Arken, Lecture room: Saussure, M128)

14-16  Presentations by participants (20-40 minutes depending on the number of participants)(Arken, Lecture room: Saussure, M128)

18-20  Research seminar at the Department of Philosophy (Arken, Lecture room: Westermarck, C101)

Tuesday 21st September

10-13  Presentations by the participiants (Arken, Lecture room: Camera Obscura, E201)

14-16  Lecture by Naomi Scheman (Arken, Lecture room: Tolstoi. M120)

16-17  Concluding discussion (Arken, Lecture room: Tolstoi, M120)

Register for the workshop by sending an e-mail to camilla.kronqvist(at)abo.fi,  by September 13. Include whether you are interested in giving a presentation.

The research seminars do not require registration.


Camilla Kronqvist
Department of Philosophy
Åbo Akademi University
Fabriksgatan 2
20540 Åbo

Tel. 02-2154392
E-mail: camilla.kronqvist(at)abo.fi