Aug 18 2017

Robert Appelbaum on Violence

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The Aesthetics of Violence:

Art, Fiction, Drama and Film

By Robert Appelbaum

Futures of the Archive: Theory, Criticism, Crisis

Publication Date: Dec 2017

Violence at an aesthetic remove from the spectator or reader has been a key element of narrative and visual arts since Greek antiquity. Here Robert Appelbaum explores the nature of mimesis, aggression, the affects of antagonism and victimization and the political uses of art throughout history. He examines how violence in art is formed, contextualised and used by its audiences and readers. Bringing traditional German aesthetic and social theory to bear on the modern problem of violence in art, Appelbaum engages theorists including Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Adorno and Gadamer. The book takes the reader from Homer and Shakespeare to slasher films and performance art, showing how violence becomes at once a language, a motive, and an idea in the experience of art. It addresses the controversies head on, taking a nuanced view of the subject, understanding that art can damage as well as redeem. But it concludes by showing that violence (in the real world) is a necessary condition of art (in the world of mimetic play).

We are always, writes Appelbaum, “being made to know of it – the slap, the abuse, the threat.” And Applebaum certainly knows of it – violence, that is. He knows of it, above all, as art knows of it – that is to say, from the inside of it. The very ‘rhythm of violence,’ as Appelbaum calls it, can here be felt.

John Schad, Professor of Modern Literature, University of Lancaster

Robert Appelbaum is Professor of English Literature at Uppsala University, Sweden. He is the author of Literature and Utopian Politics in Seventeenth-Century England (2002), Dishing It Out (2011), Working the Aisles: A Life in Consumption (2014) and Terrorism Before the Letter: the Mythography of Political Violence in England, Scotland and France (2015).

 


Jan 1 2016

Laurence Paul Hemming on Us

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A Seminar Series on Subjectivity by Laurence Paul Hemming (Lancaster University)

This seminar series begins with a fragment of an ancient love-poem that speaks of “you and me”, and asks how has “you and me” been thought – before, within, and after the philosophy of subjectivity? Is every relation between “you” and “me” an effect of power? Can “you” ever be equal to “me”? And how is sexuality, how is love, how is sex, to be thought – now and in the future? Does sex, does love, does “you and me” ever assume a public face?

Schedule:

1. ’The Number of Us: Ancient Thoughts, Modern Ideas’. 12th January, 2016.

2. ‘The Power of Us: Against Foucault, Beyond Butler’. 26th January, 2016.

3. ‘The History of Us: Heteronormal Hegel, Equal Marx’. 9th February, 2016.

4. ‘The Subject of Us: Other than Buber, Contrary to Levinas’. 23rd February, 2016.

5. ‘The Politics of Us: Justice for the Errors of the Past’, 8th March, 2016.

All seminars will take place at 6 pm in County Main Seminar Room 4, County College, Lancaster University. 

Laurence Paul Hemming is Professor in the Departments of Politics, Philosophy and Religion and Organization, Work and Technology at Lancaster University, UK. His publications include: Heidegger’s Atheism (Notre Dame University Press, 2002); Postmodernity’s Transcending: Devaluing God  (Notre Dame University Press, 2005) and Heidegger and Marx: A Productive Dialogue over the Language of Humanism (Northwestern University Press, 2013).

 


Sep 22 2014

Modern Tragedy: Antigone in Contemporary Thinking

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A Symposium with Professor Kathrin Rosenfield (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) at Lancaster University.

Speakers:

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 (l.p.hemming@lancaster.ac.uk) or Arthur Bradley (a.h.bradley@lancaster.ac.uk) to register.

1.00 pm – 5 pm, Friday 28th November

Management School Lecture Theatre 9

Lancaster University


Jan 24 2014

Walter Benjamin: All Shades of Gnosis

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A workshop with Professor Agata Bielik-Robson (University of Nottingham) on political theology, divine violence and tragedy in the thought of Benjamin.

Agata Bielik-Robson is Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Nottingham. She has published widely in all areas of Jewish philosophy with special emphasis paid on modern Jewish thought, from Spinoza to Derrida. She also researches contemporary philosophy and psychoanalysis, particularly when in a dialogue (or polemic) with theology. This workshop will be of benefit to Benjamin scholars (or those curious about his work) across a spectrum of disciplines: critical theory, philosophy, theology, art history, literature and beyond.

Friday 28th February, 3.00-5.30 pm

Leeds Humanities Research Institute, 29-31 Clarendon Place

University of Leeds

In order to reserve a place, please contact Stefan Skrimshire (s.skrimshire@leeds.ac.uk).

This event is hosted by the Quilting Points reading group at the University of Leeds and the Northern Theory School. It is generously supported by the Leeds Humanities Research Institute.