Dorothea Olkowski

Dorothea Olkowski is Professor and former Chair of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Director of the Cognitive Studies Program, and former Director of Women’s Studies. Specializing in phenomenology, contemporary continental philosophy, and feminist theory, she has been a Fellow at the University of Western Ontario, Rotman Institute of Philosophy and Science, the Australian National University in Canberra, and UC Berkeley. She is the author/editor of ten books and over 100 articles including, most recently, Postmodern Philosophy and the Scientific Turn (Indiana University Press, 2012).

Abstract: “There’s No Point in Trying be Creative, Try Madness Instead”

In The Logic of Sense, Deleuze sums up the difference between Lewis Carroll and Antonin Artaud, who at times lived something like aphasia (the inability to understand or speak) and apraxia (the inability to perform purposive acts). He states that for Artaud, Carroll is merely a pervert who holds onto surface language and logical structures, thereby escaping the depths of schizophrenic suffering, the effects of the body on itself – both death and life. For Artaud, the body suffers the effects of brain damage until it disappears into voices whose sound belongs to no one and disappears into images that move or throb, that take on color or are impossible – indications of ecstasy or death. Nevertheless, Alice willingly falls into Wonderland, a world where radical disjunction operates at every level, taking apart whatever had been meaningfully joined together, where neither causality nor true and false propositions operate, so anything becomes a possible, although it seems that nothing truly happens. This talk falls into the the world of Alice and Artaud to wonder how deeply into madness we must fall – like Alice into the rabbit hole, or Artaud into schizophrenia – to engage creative force.