Oliver Human

Oliver Human is a post-doc in the fluid eating bodies team. In 2011 he defended his PhD in philosophy at Stellenbsoch University under the complexity theorist Paul Cilliers. This dissertation is concerned with the possibility of creating novelty without an event. Here Oliver used non-reductive or “general” complexity theory in combination with the work of Jacques Derrida, George Bataille and Alain Badiou to develop both a critique of the kairological implications of current work on novelty as well as develop a model for understanding novelty without an event. This work has been published in the journal Theory, Culture and Society and elsewhere. In 2015 Oliver defended his second PhD at the University of Amsterdam in social anthropology. This dissertation is concerned with the notion of the state in a South African neighborhood. It explores how the idea of the state is constructed along the contours of police violence, human rights, public health (HIV and TB programs) and civil society organizations.
Oliver is currently busy with a project which interrogates the notion of failure. Using Dutch farmers as his field site, Oliver hopes to explore how the notion of failure comes to be in the context of farming. This field site acts as the lens through which the neglect of failure in the Western philosophical and political tradition is thought. The intention of this work is to highlight how starting with failure, rather than success, shifts the field of responses to thinking differently.