Plastic Materialities

Politics, Legality, and Metamorphosis in the Work of Catherine Malabou

Plastic Materialities

Book Pages: 352 Illustrations: 1 photograph Published: March 2015

Politics > Political Theory, Sociology > Social Theory, Theory and Philosophy

Catherine Malabou's concept of plasticity has influenced and inspired scholars from across disciplines. The contributors to Plastic Materialities—whose fields include political philosophy, critical legal studies, social theory, literature, and philosophy—use Malabou's innovative combination of post-structuralism and neuroscience to evaluate the political implications of her work. They address, among other things, subjectivity, science, war, the malleability of sexuality, neoliberalism and economic theory, indigenous and racial politics, and the relationship between the human and non-human. Plastic Materialities also includes three essays by Malabou and an interview with her, all of which bring her work into conversation with issues of sovereignty, justice, and social order for the first time.

Contributors. Brenna Bhandar, Silvana Carotenuto, Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller, Jairus Victor Grove, Catherine Kellogg, Catherine Malabou, Renisa Mawani, Fred Moten, Alain Pottage, Michael J. Shapiro, Alberto Toscano


"Plastic Materialities is testament to both the vibrant potentialities which lie in the philosophical thinking of Malabou and the scholarly reflections on that potential. Bhandar and Goldberg-Hiller, as well as the contributors to this volume, should be commended on what is a truly groundbreaking and important contribution to the social, political and legal implications of Malabou’s plasticity." — Chris Lloyd, Social & Legal Studies

"Whether we accept or not that materialism, in general, affirms the radical absence of any outside to the mode of coming, the idea put forward overall by the book, that matter is self or selves in formation, remains a thought-provoking one that will no doubt generate further research especially in the intersecting fields of neuroscience and philosophy, intersection that clearly marks Malabou out as one of the most courageous scholars attempting to bridge the gap between science and the humanities. It is a credit to the editors to have brought together a wide-ranging set of views on Malabou’s work, thus giving the reader, expert and non-experts, the possibility of apprehending one of the most distinctive voices in philosophy today."  — Jean-Paul Martinon, H-France, H-Net Reviews

Plastic Materialities is an important and exciting contribution. Each article should be granted the careful reading that it deserves.”

— Ida Djursaa, New Formations

"Plastic Materialities is an important collection, both substantial and engaging. Brenna Bhandar and Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller give the work of Catherine Malabou the careful consideration it deserves."
  — Stefano Harney, author of State Work: Public Administration and Mass Intellectuality


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Brenna Bhandar is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law, SOAS, at the University of London.

Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller is Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawai'i. He is the author of The Limits to Union: Same-Sex Marriage and the Politics of Civil Rights.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  vii

Introduction. Staging Encounters / Brenna Bhandar and Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller 1

1. Will Sovereignty Ever Be Deconstructed? / Catherine Malabou 35

2. Whither Materialism? Althusser/Darwin / Catherine Malabou 47

3. From the Overman to the Posthuman: How Many Ends? / Catherine Malabou 61

4. Autoplasticity / Alain Pottage 73

5. Plasticity, Capital, and the Dialectic / Alberto Toscano 91

6. Plasticity and the Cerebral Unconscious: New Wounds, New Violences, New Politics / Catherine Kellogg 111

7. "Go Wonder": Plasticity, Dissemination, and (the Mirage of) Revolution / Silvana Carotenuto 133

8. Insects, War, Plastic Life / Renisa Mawani 159

9. Zones of Justice: A Philopoetic Engagement / Michael J. Shapiro 189

10. Law, Sovereignty, and Recognition / Brenna Bhandar and Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller 209

1. Something Darkly This Way Comes: The Horror of Plasticity in an Age of Control / Jairus Grove 233

12. The Touring Machine (Flesh Thought Inside Out) / Fred Moten 265

13. Interview with Catherine Malabou 287

Bibliography 301

Contributors 325

Index  329
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-5857-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-5845-9
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