‘The Obsolescence of the Human’
A Lecture by Professor Bill Brown (University of Chicago) at the University of Leeds.
This lecture will focus on questions of obsolescence in general before addressing the eagerness (in the work of Bruno Latour above all) to do away with the human/unhuman distinction.
Professor Brown is Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture at the University of Chicago and works at the intersection of literary, visual, and material cultures. He is author of, amongst other works, A Sense of Things: The Object Matter of American Literature and co-editor of Critical Enquiry.
Thursday, 4th December
The Alumni Room, House 10 of The School of English.
University of Leeds
Please contact Dr Sam Durrant at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
A Symposium on the Legacy of Jacques Derrida at the University of York
Arthur Bradley (Lancaster University)
John Bowen (University of York)
Ziad Elmarsafy (University of York)
Jacques Derrida’s writings have provoked strong feelings among critics of all stripes. In this special event to commemorate Derrida ten years after his death, three distinguished speakers will address how his writing has affected the ways they think and write about literature. More often heatedly discussed than closely read, Derrida’s prose poses a singular challenge to a group dedicated to questions of interpretation. Each of our speakers will therefore discuss a single page of Derrida, outlining how it has influenced the ways they read.
Arthur Bradley (Lancaster) will address an excerpt from Of Grammatology, John Bowen (York) a page from The Post Card, and Ziad Elmarsafy (York) a passage from ‘Hospitality’. These short presentations will be followed by open discussion. We hope this event will provide an accessible approach to a thinker whose name is often considered synonymous with difficulty and obscurity. All comers are welcome, from the post-structural sceptic to the deconstruction devotee. This event will take place at the University of York from 6:00pm on Wednesday 12 November.
This event is part of the Reading and Interpretation event series for staff and postgraduates interested in questions about how and why we read literature. For more information about the group and copies of reading material please visit our website or contact Alex Alonso or Doug Battersby.
The Treehouse, Berrick Saul Building
University of York
12 November 6:00pm
A Symposium with Professor Kathrin Rosenfield (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) at Lancaster University.
Kathrin Rosenfield (University of Rio Grande do Sul)
Michael Dillon (Lancaster University)
James Smith (University of Exeter)
Hegel calls the ‘heavenly’ Antigone ‘the most magnificent figure ever to have appeared on earth’. Hölderlin brought this heavenly figure to life all over again in a startlingly original German translation of Sophocles’ play, at the time dismissed by the circle around Goethe as unorthodox. Heidegger, Derrida, Butler – indeed successive waves of German, French and Anglophone writers – have revisited both the play and the figure to develop interpretations across the spectrum of contemporary thought. Antigone and her meaning (or the absence of any) haunts the thought of modernity.
Lancaster University, in conjunction with the Northern Theory School, has invited Professor Kathrin Rosenfield to present the fruits of more than a decade’s research into the Greek and German presentation of Antigone at a public event on Friday, 28th November. In addition to invited speakers, we also welcome brief contributions to the day (papers of 15 minutes maximum) on any aspect of Antigone, on Hölderlin or Hegel’s understanding of ‘the tragic’, and on the contemporary reception of her person, the play, or its tragic consequences, for consideration for inclusion in the event.
Kathrin Rosenfield is Professor in the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. Educated in Salzburg, Vienna and Paris, she has authored two books on Sophocles and Hölderlin: Antigone: Sophocles’ Art, Hölderlin’s Insight (Aurora CO: Davies, 2010) and Oedipus Rex: The Story of a Palace Intrigue (Aurora CO: Davies, 2012). Both books were simultaneously published in French. As well as being a philosopher and literary theorist, Kathrin Rosenfield is an accomplished performance artist. Her book Desenverdando Rosa won Brazil’s foremost literary award in 2007.
Please note: attendance at the event is free, but requires advance registration. Please contact either Laurence Hemming (email@example.com) or Arthur Bradley (firstname.lastname@example.org) to register.
1.00 pm – 5 pm, Friday 28th November
Management School Lecture Theatre 9
‘Hannah Arendt and Wordsworth’s The Ruined Cottage: Ruin, Ruination, Culture’
Dr Simon Swift (University of Leeds)
Simon Swift is Senior Lecturer in Critical and Cultural Theory at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Romanticism, Literature and Philosophy: Expressive Rationality in Rousseau, Kant, Wollstonecraft and Contemporary Theory and Hannah Arendt.
10 am – 1 pm, Thursday 26th June
Institute of Advanced Study
University of Warwick
‘Quo Vadis Europe?’
A Public Lecture by Professor Zygmunt Bauman (Leeds) at the University of Manchester
Zygmunt Bauman is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Leeds. He is the author of many books including most recently Culture in a Liquid Modern World (Polity, 2011), This is Not a Diary (Polity, 2012) and What Use is Sociology? (Polity, 2013).
4. 30-6-30 pm, Monday, June 9th
Cordingley Lecture Theatre (Humanities Bridgeford Street)
University of Manchester
A One Day Research Symposium at Lancaster University with Professor William Rasch (Indiana University)
The Northern Theory School in conjunction with the Journal for Cultural Research (Taylor & Francis) and the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University is pleased to announce a one-day research symposium on Political Theology and Modernity: The Legacy of Carl Schmitt. Its keynote speaker will be Professor William Rasch (Indiana) and other speakers will include Agata Bielik-Robson (Nottingham), Michael Dillon (Lancaster) and Michael Hoelzl (Manchester). This event will be of interest to academics and graduate students interested in the legacy of Carl Schmitt, political theology and the relationship between religion and politics more widely.
William Rasch is Professor of Germanic Studies in the Department of Germanic Studies at Indiana University. He is the author of Niklas Luhmann’s Modernity: The Paradoxes of Differentiation (Stanford UP, 2001) and Sovereignty and its Discontents: On the Primacy of Conflict and the Structure of the Political (Birkbeck Law Press, 2004). He is Visiting Professor at Lancaster University in June 2014.
Monday 9th June 9. 30 am -5. 30 pm
Lecture Theatre 6, Management School
This event is free and open to all but space is limited. In order to register, please contact Laurence Hemming (email@example.com) or Arthur Bradley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
‘Embarrassing Monumentality in the Wake of the Cold War’
A Public Lecture at the University of Manchester by Svetlana Boym (Harvard University)
This lecture explores the ruins of modernity and metamorphosis of monuments across media—in public art, architecture and literature. It proposes an alternative off-modern history of the Cold War period beyond ruinophilia and iconoclasm. The discussion will examine the ‘monument to the Cold War’ and the embarrassing monumentality in the works by Robert Smithson, Vladimir Nabokov, Pussy Riots and others.
Svetlana Boym is a writer, theorist, and artist. Her books include The Future of Nostalgia (2001); Another Freedom: The Alternative History of an Idea (2010); Architecture of the Off-Modern (2008); Territories of Terror: Memories and Mythologies of Gulag in Contemporary Art (2006); the novel Ninochka (2003) and the play The Woman Who Shot Lenin. Among her exhibitions are Off-Modern: Ruins of the Future (Moscow Biennial, 2013); Phantasmagorias of History (Watchtower, off-Berlin Biennale, 2010); and Hydrants Immigrants (Parson’s School of Design in New York City, 2011). Boym is the Curt Hugo Reisinger Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literatures at Harvard University and a faculty associate of the Graduate School of Design and Architecture. Native of St Petersburg, Russia, she lives in Boston, USA and at www.svetlanaboym.com
5-7pm Tuesday 13th May
John Casken Lecture Theatre, Martin Harris Building
University of Manchester
‘Sleep, “Night”, and Bodily Anonymity: The Harms of Rape While Unconscious’
A Public Lecture at Durham University by Professor Cressida Heyes (University of Alberta)
Recent media coverage has drawn attention to cases of women sexually assaulted while unconscious. The most sensationalized involve young white women being assaulted by young men at parties while drunk. But case law and reports from advocacy groups indicate the problem of sexual assault of unconscious women is widespread and more complex–including violation of women who are medically vulnerable, pre-meditated drug-facilitated sexual assault, and opportunistic sexual violence that disproportionately affects women marginalized by poverty, under-housing, domestic abuse, and sexualized racism. This lecture draws on existential phenomenology to make sense of the distinctive bodily harms of sexual assault–especially rape–on unconscious, semi-conscious, and waking women. While rape clearly fails to recognize subjectivity understood as individuality, it also negates the possibility of anonymity, and, as it involves unconsciousness, the possibility of balancing the experience of “night” with moving out into the world.
Cressida Heyes holds the Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Alberta. Her publications include Self-Transformations: Foucault, Ethics, and Normalized Bodies (2007), The Grammar of Politics: Wittgenstein and Political Philosophy (Ithaca 2003), and the volume Cosmetic Surgery: A Feminist Primer (2009, with Meredith Jones). She holds a BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Oxford University, an MA in Political Science, and a PhD in Philosophy, both from McGill University.
7th May 2014, 5 pm, ER140, Elvet Riverside, Durham University
This lecture is jointly hosted by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures and the Institute of Advanced Study, as part of the Languages of Light series. All welcome. For further details contact email@example.com.
A Critical Life Workshop with Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge (UEA) at the University of Leeds.
Lyndsey Stonebridge is Professor of Literature and Critical Theory at the University of East Anglia. She is the author of The Destructive Element: British Psychoanalysis and Modernism (1998) and The Writing of Anxiety (2007) and co-author of British Fiction After Modernism (2007). Her most recent book, The Judicial Imagination: Writing after Nuremberg (2011), takes the work of Hannah Arendt as a theoretical starting point in order to think about the relation between law, justice and literature in the postwar period. This workshop will be organised around aspects of Professor Stonebridge’s recent research and will also involve a more general discussion of theory and the academic job market in the era of the REF. It will comprise three parts:
- Masterclass led by Prof. Stonebridge: Hannah Arendt’s writing on Kafka (reading to be circulated in advance)
- Lecture: Prof. Lyndsey Stonebridge on ‘Statelessness and Modern Literature’
- Roundtable (staff and PG students): on Theory and the academic job market in the era of REF and ‘impact’
Please note: staff and postgraduate students are all welcome but numbers are limited. To reserve a place please email Nicholas Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This event is free of charge. Postgraduate students at institutions belonging to the Northern Theory School are eligible to apply for a travel bursary of up to £30. There are 10 available. To apply, email Nicholas Ray (email@example.com) stating your name, institution and supervisor.
May 14, 11.30am–5.00pm, Leeds Humanities Research Institute, University of Leeds.
This event is hosted by the School of English, University of Leeds.
Reading and Interpretation: Getting Over Freud is a discussion group for staff and postgraduate students interested in questions about how we read literature.
This series of seminars will look at contemporary writers, such as Martin Hägglund and Adam Phillips, who have challenged our strategies of reading and ways of interpreting everything from death and dreams to sex and selfhood. The focus of discussion will be topics such as: should we read for surface or for depth? Does a text have an unconscious? And do texts say what they mean or mean what they say? We might all be reading after Freud, but the thinkers this series will explore are all getting one over, getting out from under, or getting (a leg) over Freudian modes of interpretation.
In the next meeting, Dr Ziad Elmarsafy (University of York) will be introducing a seminar looking at Edward Said as a reader, focusing on the essay ‘Secular Criticism’ from The World, the Text, and the Critic. Dr Elmarsafy, a Reader in the English Department at the University of York, is the author of The Enlightenment Qur’an (2009) and Sufism in the Contemporary Arabic Novel (2012), and co-editor of Debating Orientalism (2013) and the forthcoming collection What Postcolonial Theory Doesn’t Say.
Future speakers include: Professor Hugh Haughton (introducing three essays by Adam Phillips); Professor Derek Attridge, (introducing a chapter from his forthcoming book, The Work of Literature) and Dr Nicholas Ray (introducing Jean Laplanche’s essay, ‘The Unfinished Copernican Revolution’). Please see Events page for further details.
Monday, 5th May, 6:30pm.
Room BS/007, Berrick Saul Building, Heslington West Campus, University of York.
Interested staff and postgraduate students from all universities are welcome to attend.