Inventing the TransDisciplinary University


A Jam Session

The Common Core @ HKU
HKU Museum and Art Gallery, the HKU Black Box Theatre

in affiliation with
Papay Gyro Nights Arts Festival Hong Kong

March 17, 2015

Inventing the TransDisciplinary University is a playful jam session sponsored by the Common Core@HKU, the HKU Museum and Art Gallery, the HKU Black Box Theatre (HKUBB), and affiliated with the Papay Gyro Nights Arts Festival Hong Kong. Since the Common Core aims to catalyze learning across disciplines, questions, methodologies, and boundaries, we thought we would co-organize an experiment to explore what qualities might emerge that gesture towards the “TransDisciplinary University” to come.

The event will have two parts. In the first, at the HKU Museum and Art Gallery, Dr. Rick Dolphijn will talk about “What Matters in 21st Century Thought? Speculating the Transdisciplinary University with Deleuze and Serres.” We will then migrate over to the HKUBB on the Centennial Campus, where Florian Knothe, Page Richards, Benoit Guénard, and Aarti Hemnani will each turn a word or two around, sideways, and upside down in order to see how each catches the transdisciplinary light. Participants in the audience will then concoct some next steps and then Dr. Dolphijn will wrap up the evening’s play with a few concluding remarks.

Part 1

4-5pm HKU Museum and Art Gallery (The Drake Gallery)

What Matters in 21st Century Thought? Speculating the Transdisciplinary University with Deleuze and Serres, Rick Dolphijn (Philosophy, Media, and Cultural Studies, University of Utrecht)

What has happened to the “body of knowledge” we call the University over the past fifty years? How is the University mattering in contemporary society? Starting from the Spinozist paradigm that all ideas are ideas from and to its body, we will rethink the idea of the university from a materialist point of view. Taking into account the shift from disciplinary societies to control societies—as Deleuze foresaw—and the shift from metrical space to topological space—as Serres discusses—another “type” of body is now being realized, another “type” of knowledge is now being actualized. This will have great and unforeseen consequences for the University as an institution and for University learning.

About the Speaker:
Rick Dolphijn holds an assistant professorship at the Faculty of Humanities and is Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Humanities, both at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. In 2014/15 he is serving as a fellow at the Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities doing research on “the history of matter”. His latest book (edited with Rosi Braidotti) is This Deleuzian Century: Art, Activism and Life (Rodopi 2014). In Hong Kong, he is also serving as the Philosopher-in-Residence for the Papay Gyro Nights Arts Festival.

Part 2

5.30-7pm HKUBB (Black Box Theatre), LG.54, Centennial Campus

Inventing the TransDisciplinary University: Traversing Words
Facilitator: Gray Kochhar-Lindgren (Professor & Director, HKU Common Core)

Page Richards (HKUBB & Creative Writing Director, Poet, Associate Professor of English)
Benoit Guénard (HKU Tropical Ecologist, Ant Biologist, Nature Photographer, and Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences)
Florian Knothe (Director, HKU Museum & Art Gallery)
Aarti Hemnani (HKUBB Manager)

Audience Exercise: Next Steps

What Matters? Rick Dolphijn (Philosopher-in-Residence, Papay Gyro Nights)

All are welcome. Space is limited, so sign up early if you’d like to jam.

For registration, please visit for Part 1, and for Part 2
For enquiries, please mail to