Jack Coopey is a second year PhD student in German with a passion for philosophy. When he is not working on his thesis on the concept of totality in Fredric Jameson’s work under the supervision of Dr Gerald Moore and Dr Caitríona Ní Dhúill, he runs the Durham Theory Reading Group. We met with him to know more about this weekly philosophical Salon
Hello Jack, can you tell us how does the reading group work?
We meet every week at different places, often the MCR in Castle College, but also the Swann and Three Cygnets. We decide democratically what we want to cover in the week. That could be anything from reactionary politics to philosophy of mathematics. I send the readings out the week before and then we discuss the reading during the session.
We also decide to attend some academic and social events at the university together, like lectures or film screenings for example.
How many people usually attend a typical discussion and what is their background?
We usually have around twenty people, from all disciplines across the Humanities and Science, and with experiences ranging from undergraduates to Professors. It is genuinely open to anybody, regardless of their prior knowledge in theory. One of our primary aim was to bridge the distance between undergrads, post-grads, lecturers, etc.
How did you start this reading group?
I had one in St Andrews where I did my Masters so I relaunched it in Durham when I arrived, in 2016. I see it as a collective social and casual academic endeavor for people interested in more than just their course and their miserable life.
Do you have plans to expand the scope of the group beyond your weekly meeting?
Yes. We are going to try and set up a committee and a website; we were also thinking of launching an academic journal. And maybe we could organize a workshop on Academic Conferences.
Keep us posted!
Their next discussion will be on “Speculative Realism, Object Orientated Ontology, Accelerationism”, Saturday 28th October, 8pm, the Swann and Three Cygnets.