November 4-6 2015 at KTH Stockholm (please note the various venues in which the course will take place)

Philosophies Course Module Two – Economies

Economies, like ecologies, takes its etymological root in the ancient Greek term for household, that is oikos. While it would be misleading and simplistic to suggest that economy begins in the home, yet this does alert us to the way that economies extend from the intimacy of domestic situations all the way into the concerns of world politics. We live in an age of advanced Capitalism where it is difficult to apprehend a logic that operates outside a ubiquitous economic rationalism. The wealth and well-being of Nation States is measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and unsustainable habits can be absolved through the economic exchange of carbon credits, but could it be that there are alternative approaches to and understandings of economies? Economy is concerned with seemingly tireless and unending cycles of production and consumption, which also connects it to questions of the sustainability of life (human and non-human), which depends on basic modes of survival, in relation to food, shelter or suitable environment. Though such cycles more often than not tend to be associated with a seemingly insatiable capacity to consume goods and services as supply chains create problematic connections with asymmetrical benefits between the global north and the global south. Given that the larger proportion of the earth’s human population now inhabits urban contexts, the question of urban economies, and how they are managed is a pressing concern. One of the central topics that have aroused recent global panic when it comes to economies is the role of real-estate, including its longstanding connection to the right to own and manage property, as though such ownership could be considered a fundamental and universal ‘good’. Following the sub-prime mortgage debacle of 2007-2009, global economies were abruptly apprehended to be embroiled in the abstract asset that the material condition of the home had become. The logic of the home, or at least its abstract economic organisation, had displayed how quickly it could become ‘toxic’.

We recommend having a look at some of the general readings we list immediately below, which set the scene of advanced neoliberal economic rationality. The idea here is to develop some working definitions of neoliberal capitalism.

Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello, The New Spirit of Capitalism, London: Verso, 2005. (ExcerptsPreface; The Projective City; The Test of the Artistic Critique).

Neil Brenner, ‘Neoliberalisation‘ in Fulcrum (Jack Self and Shumi Bose) ed., Real Estates: Life Without Debt, London: Bedford Press, 2014.

Wendy Brown, ‘Neoliberalism and the End of Liberal Democracy’ in Edgework: Critical Essays on Knowledge and Politics, Princeton University Press.

David Harvey, ‘Introduction’ A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Fredric Jameson, ‘The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism’, in Neil Leach, ed. Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory, London: Routledge, 1997.


Wednesday 4 November Economies-Subjectivities

Venue: Level 2 Meeting Room, KTH Architecture (please note the varying venues we will occupy during this module).

10.00-12.00 Lecture: Dr Catharina Gabrielsson, Director Art Technology Design KTH Konstfack; Assistant Professor School of Architecture KTH

13.00-17.00 Seminar 04: Economies Subjectivities


AbdouMaliq Simone (2013), ‘Deals with Imaginaries and Perspectives: Reworking Urban Economies in Kinshasa’, E. Pieterse & A. Simone, Rogue Urbanism: Emergent African Cities, Cape Town: Jacana Media/African Centre for Cities.

Georg Simmel, ‘The Metropolis and Mental Life’ (1903) in Gary Bridge and Sophie Watson, eds. The Blackwell City Reader. Oxford and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2002.

Recommended Readings

Michele Murphy, ‘The Economisation of Life: Calculative Infrastructures of Population and Economy’ in Peg Rawes, ed. in Relational Architectural Ecologies: Architecture, Nature and Subjectivity, London: Routledge, 2013.

Thursday 5 November Economies-Socialities

9.30-10.00 Introduction: NOTE-Today we will meet at Färgfabriken ( where the exhibition Stockholm Experiment is currently taking place. We will join Luis Berrios Negron in his greenhouse.

10.00-12.00 Lecture Dr Jérémie McGowan, AHO Oslo

13.00-17.00 Seminar-Workshop 5: Economies-Socialities

18.00 Philosophies Dinner


Arjun Appadurai, ‘The Thing Itself‘ in Public Culture 18.1, 2006, 15-21.

Georges Bataille, ‘The Gift of Rivalry: ‘Potlatch’ ‘, in Fred Botting and Scott Wilson eds. The Bataille Reader, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997.

J. K. Gibson Graham, ‘Rethinking the Economy with Thick Description and Weak Theory’, in Current Anthropology, Vol. 55, No. S9, August 2014.


Recommended Readings

Georges Bataille, ‘The Notion of Expenditure’, in Fred Botting and Scott Wilson, eds, The Bataille Reader, Oxford: Blackwell, 1997, 167-181.

J.K. Gibson Graham, A Postcapitalist Politics, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.

Friday 6 November Economies-Environmentalities

9.30-10.00 Introduction (Level 2 Meeting Room KTH Architecture)

10.00-1200 Lecture: Erik Clark, Professor, Managing Editor, Journal of Urban Affairs
Department of Human Geography and LUCID (Lund University Center of Excellence for the Integration of Social and Natural Dimensions of Sustainability)

13.00-14.00 Seminar Discussion 06 Economies-Environmentalities (KTHA Level 6 Meeting Room-note different location)

14.30-16.30 Higher Seminar: Brady Burroughs, Opponent: Jérémie McGowan

Required Readings

Eric Clark, ‘Good urban governance: making rent gap theory not true’, Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 96(4): 2014, 392-395.

David Harvey, ‘From managerialism to entrepreneurialism: the transformation of urban governance in late capitalism’, Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography 71 (1), 1989, 3–17.

Reinhold Martin, ‘Real Estate as Infrastructure as Architecture’ in Places Journal, May 2014,

Recommended Readings

Catherine Ingraham, ‘Property in Common: Co-disciplinary Nexus between Architecture and Real Property’ in Volume #4, Art and Science of Real-Estate, 2014.

Hélène Frichot and Helen Runting, ‘The Promise of a Lack: Responding to (Her) Real Estate Career’, In The Avery Review No. 9, 2015,

Sue-Ching Jou, Eric Clark and Hsiao-Wei Chen ‘Gentrification and revanchist urbanism in Taipei?’ in Urban Studies, in press, 2015.

Maurizio Lazzarato, The Making of the Indebted Man, Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2012. Excerpt.

Jack Self and Shumi Rose ‘Introduction‘ in Fulcrum (Jack Self and Shumi Bose) ed., Real Estates: Life Without Debt, London: Bedford Press, 2014.

Tom Slater, ‘Planetary rent gaps‘, in Antipode, 2015, in press.