Nomadology and Empire

This seminar will examine components of two seminal theoretical texts of the recent past: Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s Thousand Plateaus. Specifically this course will focus on Hardt and Negri’s concepts of sovereignty and counter-empire, and Deleuze and Guattari’s section on nomadology. This course aims to take a practical approach at looking at these two texts, and in doing so to ask a series of essential questions. How do we see constructions of the nomad playing out in present day society? As inter-global connection becomes increasingly systematized how are individuals / organizations / other entities able to proclaim their own identity and sovereignty? How can we as artists, designers, writers, and architects connect these themes to our creative practice? Due to a whole series of different social, political, and global circumstances these texts are more relevant now than ever. From debates about censorship and open society to immigration control and cultural assimilation, themes surrounding nomadology and empire are not only prevalent in our experiences of the world at large, but can form an important aspect of creativity and creative practice itself. Through the understanding of these texts students will be able to develop a distinct vocabulary around a series of related ideas such as “the nomad,” “empire,” “social / political autonomy,” and “the war-machine.” Students are expected to bring their own extensive creative and personal experience to bear on this topic.