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Winter Theory Institute

The Society for Critical Exchange will be hosting its ninth Winter Theory Institute February 8-11, 2018 at the University of Houston-Victoria

The topic of this year's WTI will be


The Greek bios means “life.” ;Connected with the Greek logia meaning “knowledge of,” it is a mainstream field of natural science dating back to the Lyceum of Aristotle. However, in the modern world, the study of biology came to be regarded as entirely separate from philosophy. Biotheory today is reconnecting biology with philosophy in new and interesting ways.

The philosophy of biology traditionally was organized into three basic interpretations of biological phenomena: Reductionism, Vitalism, and Organismicism. However, Michel Foucault can be credited for reviving the Greek investigation of bios in ways different from mainstream philosophy of biology by introducing a form of power based on “the right to take life or let live.”

Today biopower and biopolitics occupy an expansive and expanding realm within contemporary theory. Both also have deep connections with adjacent areas of concern such as biotechnology, biosecurity, and thanatopolitics.

Biotheory today encourages theoretical speculation on one of the most basic of all philosophical questions, “What is Life?”

Eighth SCE Winter Theory Institute: Antitheory February 9-12, 2017

Seventh SCE Winter Theory Institute: American World Literature February 4-7, 2016

Sixth SCE Winter Theory Institute: Debt February 5-8, 2015

Fifth SCE Winter Theory Institute: Dead Theory February 6-9, 2014

Fourth SCE Winter Theory Institute: The New Public Intellectual February 7-10, 2013

Third SCE Winter Theory Institute: Criticism after Critique February 9-12, 2012 abstracts, agenda

Second SCE Winter Theory Institute: Neoliberalism's Cultural Work February 2011 abstracts, agenda

First SCE Winter Theory Institute: February 2010 (abstracts)

The Society for Critical Exchange, Inc. Founded 1975; Incorporated 1976