Browse the Belkin Collection
Ruins in Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties

Subscribe to our mailing list
Site Search:



Reading Group and Seminar

PAST - Wednesdays, October 4, 18, November 1, 15 and 21, 2017 at 7 pm

221A, Suite 100 - 221 East Georgia Street, Vancouver

French philosopher Dr. Catherine Malabou, best known for her work on plasticity, has forged new connections across such fields as philosophy, neuroscience and psychoanalysis and their fundamental entanglements with cultural, political and social life. Working with post-structuralist and post-critical methodologies, she addresses the work of philosophers Kant, Hegel, Freud, Heiddeger and Derrida. Her writing engenders a reconsideration of keywords and foundational concepts such as subjectivity, affect, gender, sex, feminism, neoliberalism, sovereignty, justice and trauma, to name a few.

This fall Catherine Malabou will be visiting Vancouver in conjunction with the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery exhibition The Beautiful Brain: The Drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal (September 5–December 3). In advance of her visit, the Belkin Art Gallery is partnering with SFU Galleries, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and 221A to host a reading group that will focus on a selection of her recent essays. The sessions will culminate in a seminar led by Malabou.

This reading group is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Space is limited and a commitment to the five sessions is necessary. We strongly encourage participants from diverse disciplines, with diverse abilities, to participate. To register please send a brief email introducing yourself and your interests and confirm your commitment to the schedule to by September 15. The reading group will meet at 221A.

Malabou will also deliver a public lecture, Empty Square v. Evolutionary Memory: The New Adventures of Signs on November 23, and a keynote address at UBC’s Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health’s 20th Anniversary Symposium on November 25.

Plasticity is co-presented by SFU Galleries, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and 221A. The reading group coincides with 221A’s inaugural season of the Pollyanna Library, which will support a new artistic program of fellowships dedicated to the production of cultural, ecological and social infrastructures, through a space that acts as a research collection and events venue

Catherine Malabou’s visit is part of the French Scholars Lecture Series made possible with the support of the Cultural Services of the Embassy of France in Canada in partnership with the UBC Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, with additional support from the Audain Endowment for Curatorial Studies in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at UBC.


October 4: “Plasticity’s Fields of Action” from What Should We Do with Our Brains?, 2008 and “Introduction” from The New Wounded, 2012

October 18: “On Neural Plasticity, Trauma and The Loss of Affects” from Self and Emotional Life, 2013 and “Neurological Objection: Rehabilitating the Event” from The New Wounded, 2012

November 1: “Will Sovereignty Ever Be Deconstructed?” from Plastic Materialities, 2015

November 15: “Whither Materialism? Althusser/Darwin” from Plastic Materialities, 2015 and “The Brain of History, or, the Mentality of the Anthropocene” from South Atlantic Quarterly 116:1 (2017): 39-53

November 21: “Introduction” from Before Tomorrow, Epigenesis and Rationality, 2016

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689