How to Do (Speculative) Things with Stories

Monday, 8 November 2021, 2-5 pm, diffrakt | centre for theoretical periphery

Workshop with
Martín Savransky

– PLEASE NOTE: The workshop is now fully booked. –

What if, despite the best modern efforts, stories are never “just stories”? What if stories are intimate parts of the universe, means by which the other worlds in this world make themselves felt? After all, isn’t it in and through stories that animals or rivers – not to mention ghosts, spirits, and gods – speak, that glimmers of other ecologies of coexistence are rendered perceptible? It was William James who once characterised the “pluriverse” as a “many-storied universe” where each thread tells a separate tale; where threads interlace and interfere with one another at odd times; where each thread leans on other threads which on the whole amount to no whole and lean on nothing. Indeed, when stories are not “just stories,” storytelling can itself give way to forms of speculative experimentation that connect the labour of philosophy to the insistence of an outside: opening thought to other worlds in this world, rendering us alive to an otherwise that insists and persists in the interstices of the present.

In this workshop, we will explore what it might take to think with stories (ethnographic, historical, fictional), to take them seriously so as to learn how to do speculative things with them. And in relay and return, we will think together about what such experiments in storytelling might teach us about the labour of theory and philosophy as a pragmatics of the imagination.

Participation in the workshop is limited. To register and receive the reading materials, please send a brief message to and cc

In cooperation with the Institute of Speculative and Critical Inquiry.

Pandemic: Since the event is an in-person event and the number of participants thus, in accordance with current COVID-19 regulations, strictly limited, anyone who would like to attend will need to register in advance with a short message to Following the 2G rule, masks will not be required, but all attendees will have to present either proof of vaccination or proof of recent recovery. The room is equipped with air filtration devices, but given the dynamic situation, we would also like to ask you, if possible, to test yourselves with a rapid test ahead of the event.