While Deleuze’s collaborations with Guattari were the first work to receive critical attention in the English speaking world, this reception took place primarily through literature departments, and thus focused on the use that could be made of Deleuze and Guattari’s work to illuminate literary and art works rather than their philosophical significance. In the last decade, there has been a renewed interest in Deleuze’s work as a philosopher, with a recognition of the connections of Deleuze’s work to the history of philosophy, and an effort to relate his work to the broader philosophical tradition. This movement to develop a more philosophical understanding of Deleuze’s work has largely ignored his collaborations with Guattari, in reaction to the initial non-philosophical reception of this work. Nonetheless, Deleuze himself was clear that his collaborations with Guattari were still very much to be understood as works of philosophy, making the claim in What is Philosophy? that the proclaimed death of metaphysics is simply ‘idle chatter’. In Deleuze’s own account of his collaborations with Guattari, they represent a substantial advance over, and corrective to, his earlier work. In it, Deleuze rejects the earlier phenomenological aspects of his work to develop a more full-blown materialism. Reinvigorating the philosophical project of engaging with Deleuze’s later collaborations is therefore essential to clarify the limitations of the earlier work, and to ensure that, as Deleuze’s work is taken up into broader philosophical debates, his mature philosophical position is taken into account.
A Thousand Plateaus and Philosophy aims to provide a forum for the reconsideration of Deleuze and Guattari’s work, and to develop connections between established scholars and students working in this area. It involves a series of workshops on Deleuze and Guattari’s most important work, A Thousand Plateaus. Three workshops, each focusing on one aspect of A Thousand Plateaus, will be organised, each at a centre of Deleuze scholarship. A Thousand Plateaus is composed of fifteen plateaus, and each workshop will deal with a selection of these plateaus. Each speaker is an established Deleuze scholar, and the workshop will allow speakers to engage with the different perspectives of other speakers through a collaborative close reading of the texts. An edited collection based on these workshops will be published by Edinburgh University Press.