The Adorno and Identity Seminars

Adorno theodor 1963

Jan 19, 2021

Negative dialectics, the critical theorist Theodor Adorno wrote, “is suspicious of all identity.” The concept of identity and its negations—nonidentity and negative identity—are woven throughout Adorno’s wide-ranging corpus. This interdisciplinary series of virtual seminars on “Adorno and Identity,” convened by Jonathon Catlin (Princeton), Eric Oberle (Arizona State), and Fumi Okiji (Berkeley), revisits Adorno’s thought at a moment in which political, cultural, legal, and psychological notions of identity have expanded relevance and vexed public meaning. Across these sessions, scholars from diverse fields will return to Adorno’s theoretical framework in order to collectively develop more robust notions of identity, nonidentity, and negative identity, and to advance critical theory by connecting Adorno’s work to broader conversations about identity in adjacent fields, including the study of race, gender, sexuality, and technology.
This series of virtual seminars is free and open to the public. It will meet on Zoom every other Friday over the course of the spring 2021 semester, beginning January 29 (1–3pm EST). Each session will consist of two parts: three presentations of approximately 15 minutes each, followed by an hour of discussion amongst the participants and the public audience. At our website and Facebook event page you will find our current schedule. Please email Jonathon Catlin ( to join our email list. A Zoom link and outlines of the presentations will be provided on our website prior to the first session.
The seminars are supported by Princeton University’s Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program in the Humanities (IHUM).
Current schedule:
Introduction to Adorno and Identity: Adorno, Du Bois, and negative identity (Jan. 29, 2021)
Jonathon Catlin, Eric Oberle, and Fumi Okiji
Rethinking Adorno and race, part 1: Revisiting Du Bois and critical race theory (Feb. 12)
Corey D. B. Walker – “The Wound of Blackness: Thinking Adorno and the Limits of Critical Theory”
Oshrat Silberbusch – “‘The World Thus Darkly Through the Veil’: Reflections on Identity (Thinking) with Du Bois and Adorno”
Charlotte Baumann – “Adorno, Suffering and Critical Race Theory: Or, the Non-identical and the System”
Rethinking Adorno and Race, part 2: Freedom through fugitivity and negation (Feb. 26)
Henrike Kohpeiß – “Identity Produced by Negation: Freedom after Theodor Adorno and Saidiya Hartman”
Romy Opperman – “Critical Black Feminist Theory”
Anders Bartonek – “Marronage and Non-identity”
Rethinking Adorno and race, part 3: Fanon, racisms, and the question of praxis (March 12)
Martin Shuster – “Adorno and Fanon on Antisemitism”
Sid Simpson and Ryan Curnow – “Stripping Away the Masks of Identity: Adorno and Fanon’s Negative Dialectics”
Adorno and the politics of non-identity (March 26)
Frank Müller – “Reflections on the Politics of Nonidentity”
Ariane Mintz – “Unveiling the ‘Individualistic Veil’: On Narcissistic Reactions to Capitalist Mutilations”
Claudia Leeb – “The Feminist Subject-in-Outline’s Fight against the Extremist Right”
Adorno and queer dis/identification (April 9)
Asaf Angermann – “Queer Utopia and the Incommensurable: Adorno after Muñoz”
Kyle Kaplan – “Dear Adorno: On the Limits of Personal and Practical Advice”
Nicole Yokum – “The Politics of Avoidance: From Adornian Coldness to Edelmanian Antisociality”
Identity thinking, data, and the politics of algorithmic personalization (April 23)
Jerome Clarke – “Battle of Negroes in a Black Box: Nonidentity and Race Data”
Moira Weigel – An Adornian critique of algorithmic identity, machine learning, and personalization
Samir Gandesha – “Adorno’s Critique of Identity Thinking: Between the Abstract and Concrete”