Workshop: “Structure and Nature” (London, 18-19 November)

We are happy to announce that the workshop Structure and Nature will take place on November 18th-19th at the Royal Holloway University (London). The event is promoted by The UK Schelling Research Network.
The workshop is open to current postgraduates and early-career researchers with interests in the study of the natural world in any of its historical, contemporary and disciplinary inflections.


The workshop is devoted to the concepts of ‘structure’ and ‘systematicity’ as they are employed across discourses in the Humanities and Sciences to make sense of nature. It is open to researchers from any discipline (from psychology to ecology, from geography to politics) interested in the interrelation of these concepts with research on nature. So many of us make use of such concepts to think about nature, but very little attention has been paid to similarities, differences, lines of intersection and provocation between these uses. It is this lack that the workshop will begin to address. The workshop will build a platform for early-career researchers to consider forms of systematicity and organisation in nature, and how this relates to the self, the political world and theory itself.

Call for Participation

We invite applications, from any disciplinary background, for participation in a workshop devoted to reflecting on structures and systems in nature. Over the course of two days in November, participants will take part in a series of discussions of extracts by Georges Canguilhem, J.W. Goethe, Catherine Malabou, Humberto Maturana/Francisco Varela, Jean Petitot and Gilbert Simondon. In addition, there will be an opportunity for early-career researchers to present their research, as well as keynote lectures by Charlotte Alderwick, author of Schelling’s Ontology of Powers, and Emanuele Coccia, author of The Life of Plants: A Metaphysics of Mixture.

Texts under discussion

Georges Canguilhem, “Epistemology of Biology”
J.W. Goethe, The Metamorphosis of Plants
Catherine Malabou, Before Tomorrow: Epigenesis and Rationality
Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela, Autopoiesis: The Organisation of the Living
Jean Petitot, Morphology and Aesthetics
Gilbert Simondon, “The Genesis of the Individual”

The programme has been provisionally structured as follows:

18th November
12.45 – Welcome
1.00 – Papers from early-career researchers
3.00 – First discussion session of texts by Canguilhem, Simondon and Schelling
5.30 – Plenary Address: Emanuele Coccia

19th November
9.30 – Papers from early-career researchers
11.30 – Second discussion session of texts by Malabou, Petitot and Goethe
14.00 – Plenary Address: Charlotte Alderwick

Lydia Azadpour (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Phoebe Page (Royal Holloway, University of London)
Daniel Whistler (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Bursaries of £100 have been provided by Royal Holloway to cover travel, accommodation and meals, and will be available to all workshop-participants.

Deadline: To apply to be involved in the workshop and to receive a bursary, please send a statement of 200 words to[at] by 31st August 2019 outlining how participation will benefit your research. Applicants will be informed of the decision by mid-September; readings for the workshop will also be distributed then.

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