DOCH, School of Dance and Circus

DOCH Open Lectures Rudi Laermans

Welcome to DOCH Open Lectures series of autumn 2018! Meet Rudi Laermans, senior professor of social theory at the University of Leuven.

"Manic depression is searching my soul.” – On Neoliberalism’s Dominant Structure of Feeling

According to Raymond Williams, every historical era has dominant and emergent structures of feeling that articulate individuals’ lived relationships to their real conditions of existence. In our post-Fordist times, manic depression is the prime structure of feeling, particularly within the worlds of the arts and the creative economy. After a brief sketch of the basic contours of contemporary neoliberalism as a particular mode of governmentality, I’ll show how it elicits a specific mode of manic depression, one marked by a peculiar kind of ‘cruel optimism’ (Laurent Berlant) stemming from neoliberalism’s psychopolitical interpellation of the subject as a bundle of capacities waiting to be realized. I’ll round up with a possible answer to the question ‘what’s to be done?’.

A portrait of Rudi LaermansBiography

Rudi Laermans is senior professor of social theory at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Leuven. From 1992 until 2006, he was also in charge of the Centre for Sociology of Culture. Laermans was involved in the theoretical program at PARTS, the international school of dance in Brussels led by A.T. De Keersmaeker, from its creation in 1995. He was also a regular guest lecturer at various other art schools such as the Design Academy Eindhoven, the Willem De Kooning Academy (Rotterdam), Malmö Art Academy and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (Copenhagen). Laermans has published numerous articles and several books, nationally as well as internationally, on social and cultural theory, cultural policy and participation, contemporary dance and the visual arts. Besides his academic work, he is also active as an essayist and critic. He often deploys a sociological perspective, but just as often advances a wider view inspired by contemporary philosophy and political theory. Among his most recent books are Moving Together: Theorizing and Making Contemporary Dance (2015) and Max Weber (2017, in Dutch and together with Dick Houtman).

DOCH Open Lectures

Artists, thinkers and teachers connected to DOCH's Dance Department share their works and thoughts in various forms. DOCH Open Lectures are open to the public, free and don't require a reservation. Welcome!

Autumn program

  • 12 September Manon Santkin
  • 19 September Rudi Laermans
  • 26 September Alice Chauchat
  • 3 October Maria Chehonadskih*
  • 17 October Gabriel Schenker
  • 18 October Sonya Lindfors
  • 24 October Frank Bock
  • 30 October Andros Zins-Browne/Juliette Mapp
  • 31 October Anna Enström*
  • 7 November Tere O’Connor
  • 8 November Bojana Cvejic

*Philosophy in the Context of Dance
-The lecture series Philosophy in the Context of Dance is a part of the BA-program in Dance Performance and is included in the Department of Dance’s Open Lectures at DOCH.

All of the DOCH Open Lectures series autumn 2018 will be held at DOCH Brinellvägen 58 room G at 5.30 pm except 30 October and 8 November when they will be held at Danscentrum, Jungfrugatan 7, 6 pm.