Events

Each year, the Program in Poetics and Theory organizes a schedule of events, including lectures, seminars, and conferences. While participation in some seminars is limited, most Poetics and Theory events are open to the public.

Questions about Poetics and Theory events?  Contact us.

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2017

Passion for Ignorance presented by Renata Saleci

February, 28th, 2017, 19 University Place, The Great Room

In today’s times, anxiety, depression and various forms of self-harm are on the rise. The surprising counterpart to the idea of progress and the increase of information, however, is people’s ability to turn a blind eye when faced with traumatic personal and social situations. Some psychoanalysts have already decades ago argued that people paradoxically do not have passion for knowledge, but rather passion for ignorance.

The lecture will explore the nature of this passion in times when we are facing political crisis, ecological catastrophes as well as changes in the way people are brought up, how they become social beings and how they internalize or not social prohibitions. It will also look at how science (genetics and neuroscience) contributes to the feeling of anxiety and how it opens new avenues of ignorance.

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2016

Biophilology: Walter Benjamin’s Literary Critical Project presented by Kevin McLaughlin

December 8, 2016, Room 222, 19 University Place

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2015-16

Le sans de l’être: Some Items from Derrida’s Work
seminar

April 18, 2016 — 2:00-4:45PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

This seminar, led by Werner Hamacher (Frankfurt a. M.), will focus on the segment of Jacques Derrida’s Glas concerning simili-transcendentals, while also making reference to related arguments in “La différance” (Marges de la philosophie), “+R” (La vérité en peinture), “Geschlecht: différence sexuelle, différence ontologique,” and “Nombre de oui” (Psyché).

Note: Registration is required. To register, email poeticsandtheory@nyu.edu. Readings will be made available to registered participants in advance of the seminar.


Lucretius and Modernity
Great New Books in the Humanities

Lucretius and ModernityFebruary 25, 2016 — 6:00PM
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor

An event celebrating the publication of Lucretius and Modernity: Epicurean Encounters Across Time and Disciplines (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016), the fruit of the 2011 Ranieri Colloquium in Ancient Studies at NYU. In view of the renewed visibility today of Lucretius’ De rerum natura, the volume, edited by Jacques Lezra, director of the Program in Poetics and Theory, and program alumnus Liza Blake (University of Toronto), brings together essays by distinguished scholars that together present a nuanced, skeptical, passionate, historically sensitive, and complicated account of what is at stake when Lucretius is claimed for modernity. Participating in the discussion alongside Lezra and Blake will be Brooke Holmes (Princeton University), David Konstan (NYU), and Matthew S. Santirocco (NYU). This event is cosponsored by the NYU Center for Ancient Studies, the Department of Comparative Literature, and the Program in Poetics and Theory. Additional support has generously been provided by the NYU Center for the Humanities.


BRIEF: short stories today
Pierre Alferi

View Full-SizeDecember 7, 2015 — 6:00PM
The Taub Center, 14A Washington Mews

To address the contemporary vogue of “flash fiction,” “smoke-long stories,” and “twitterature,” Pierre Alferi will propose a brief genealogy of the rhetorical and literary virtue of brevitas, pausing in particular over the anarchist moment (1892-1914), when the three-line story was invented by Félix Fénéon and there emerged a new consciousness of historical change.

Alferi argues that it was around that time that literary narrative first endeavored to embrace events of a more chaotic, unpredictable, and elusive nature, consisting in sudden subjective shifts of traumas that defy both causality and finality. Mallarmé, for one, strongly stated that such events stand beyond the reach of journalism (reportage) and that they call for new forms of narrative. Of such forms, twentieth-century short and very short stories offer an array of examples.

Following the lecture, Alferi will be joined in discussion by Avital Ronell (Professor of German and Comparative Literature, University Professor of Humanities, NYU).

Pierre Alferi is among the most innovative and critically acclaimed poets writing today. The author of over a dozen works of poetry, beginning with Les allures naturelles (P.O.L., 1991), and five works of fiction, including, most recently, Kiwi : roman-feuilleton (P.O.L., 2012), Alferi is also a visual artist, an esteemed teacher, and the translator of works by poets from John Donne to Louis Zukofsky, scholars such as Giorgio Agamben and Meyer Schapiro, and biblical texts.


Husserl and Shklovsky on Aesthetic Experience
Anna Yampolskaya

November 30, 2015 — 6:30PM
The Jordan Center, 19 University Place

In a letter to Hugo von Hofmannsthal Husserl claims that aesthetic and phenomenological experiences are similar. The work of art “forces us into” the aesthetic attitude in the same way as the ἐποχή of phenomenological method drives us into the phenomenological one. Prof. Yampolskaya will investigate this parallel between aesthetic experience and the practice of phenomenology using Viktor Shklovsky’s theory of “estrangement.” Like “estrangement,” phenomenological reduction can also be described as a philosophical technique that aims to arrest “pre-given” meaning in order to access to a new, not yet stabilized meaning. It is not enough to turn from what appears to how it appears; one has to oscillate between these conflicting positions, or rather to maintain them both at the same time. This double life in two different attitudes will be elucidated in terms of Roman Jakobson’s theory of the antinomic coexistence of the poetic and the practical functions of language.

Anna Yampolskaya is Professor at the Centre for Phenomenological Philosophy, Dept. of Philosophy, Russian State University for the Humanities, and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Fundamental Sociology, National Research University Higher School of Economics. She is the author of Emmanuel Levinas: philosophy and biography (Дух i Лiтера, 2011) and Phenomenology in France and Germany: the problem of method (РГГУ, 2013).


The Standpoint of Reproduction:
Questions for Contemporary Materialist Thought
conference

November 20, 2015
Jurow Hall, Silver Center for Arts & Science

A conference organized by the Program in Poetics and Theory. Additional support provided by the Dept. of English. Presenters: Cinzia Arruzza (NSSR), Gopal Balakrishnan (UC Santa Cruz), Étienne Balibar (Université de Paris X – Nanterre and Columbia University), Emanuela Bianchi (NYU), Siarhei Biareishyk (NYU), Charles Gelman (NYU), Jacques Lezra (NYU), Vittorio Morfino (University of Milan-Bicocca), and Linda M. G. Zerilli (University of Chicago).

For further information, visit the conference webpage.


Another World is Virtual
Homay King and Giuseppe Bianco

November 5, 2015 — 6:00PM
The Jordan Center, 19 University Place

A discussion of Homay King’s Virtual Memory: Time-Based Art and the Dream of Digitality.

Homay King is Associate Professor of the History of Art, Director of the Program in Film Studies, and Director of the Center for Visual Culture at Bryn Mawr College. Her fields of research include American cinema, film theory, psychoanalytic theory, and feminist film theory and criticism. King’s essays on contemporary art, film, photography, and theory have appeared in the journals Afterall, Camera Obscura, Discourse, Film Quarterly, OCTOBER, and Qui Parle, and in the edited collections Jeff Wall: Photographs, Stanley Kubrick: Essays on His Films and Legacy, and There She Goes: Feminist Filmmaking and Beyond. She is also the author of two books, Lost in Translation: Orientalism, Projection, and the Enigmatic Signifier (Duke University Press, 2010) and, most recently, Virtual Memory: Time-Based Art and the Dream of Digitality (Duke University Press, 2015).

Giuseppe Bianco is a fellow at the Institut d’Études Avancées de Paris and currently a visiting fellow at the Remarque Institute. His research bears on the history of the relationship between social and life sciences in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe, on the one hand, and the impact of social sciences in the research on the history of ideas, on the other. He is currently working on a book about Georges Canguilhem and the consolidation of the philosophical field during the Fourth Republic. He is the author of Après Bergson (Presses Universitaires de France, 2015), La signification du concret. Psychologie et philosophie chez Georges Politzer (Hermann, 2015), and The Care of Life (Rowman, 2014), and the editor of Jean Hyppolite entre structure et existence (Rue d’Ulm, 2013) and Badiou and the Philosophers (Bloomsbury, 2013).

2014-15

On Fear(s)
Anne Dufourmantelle, in conversation with Avital Ronell

March 10, 2015 — 12:00PM
19 University Place, Rm. 222

This lecture will consider the phenomenon of fear from a philosophical as well as from a psychoanalytic point of view and will go on to analyze our society’s dependence on fear as a motivation—a fear often fostered in the name of an alleged need for “security.” The lecture will be followed by a discussion with Avital Ronell.

Anne Dufourmantelle holds a doctorate in philosophy from the Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) and teaches both philosophy and the history of psychoanalysis at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. A practicing psychoanalyst, she is also the author of seven books in the fields of psychoanalysis and philosophy, as well as, with Jacques Derrida, De l’hospitalité (Calmann-Lévy, 1997); with Antonio Negri, Du retour: Abécédaire biopolitique (Calmann-Lévy, 2002); and, with Avital Ronell, Fighting Theory (University of Illinois Press, 2010). Her latest book, Puissance de la douceur (Payot, 2013), will be published in English translation by Fordham University Press in Fall 2015.

Avital Ronell is University Professor of Humanities and Chair of Comparative Literature at NYU and currently Director of the Program in Poetics & Theory. She is the author of numerous books and essays, including, most recently, Loser Sons: Politics and Authority (University of Illinois Press, 2012) and The Test Drive (University of Illinois Press, 2007).


Politics of Divination:
Neoliberal Endgame and the Religion of Contingency
Joshua Ramey, with a response by Dimitris Vardoulakis

November 20, 2014 — 6:30PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the neoliberal ideas that arguably caused the damage have been triumphant in presenting themselves as the only possible solution for it. How can we account for the persistence of neoliberal hegemony, in spite of its obviously disastrous effects upon labor, capital, ecology, and society? The argument pursued in Professor Ramey’s forthcoming book, Politics of Divination: Neoliberal Endgame and the Religion of Contingency, is that part of the persistence of neoliberalism has to do with the archaic and obscure political theology—a political theology of chance that both underwrites and obscures sacrificial devotion to market outcomes—upon which of much of its discourse trades. That political theology is structured around hidden homologies between modern markets, as non-rational randomizing “meta-information processors,” and archaic divination tools, which are used in public acts of tradition-bound attempts to interpret the deliverances of chance. Only by recognizing the persistently sacred character of chance within putatively secularized discourses of risk and randomness can the investments of neoliberal power be exposed at their sacred source, and an alternative political theology be constructed.

Joshua Ramey is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Grinnell College. His research is in contemporary continental philosophy, critical social theory, political economy and political theology. He is the author of The Hermetic Deleuze: Philosophy and Spiritual Ordeal (Duke University Press, 2012) and co-translator of François Laruelle’s Non-Philosophical Mysticism for Today (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming), and the author of a number of articles on figures including Adorno, Žižek, and Badiou.

Dimitris Vardoulakis is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Research Group at the University of Western Sydney. His research interests range from the relation between literature and philosophy to theories of power and sovereignty. His books include The Doppelgänger: Literature’s Philosophy (Fordham University Press, 2010), Sovereignty and Its Other: Toward the Dejustification of Violence (Fordham University Press, 2013), and, as editor, Spinoza Now (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and (with Andrew Benjamin) “Sparks will fly”: Benjamin and Heidegger (SUNY Press, 2014).

2013-14

How Does Michael K Resist Sovereign Power?
Dimitris Vardoulakis

November 13, 2013 — 6:30PM
19 University Place, Rm. 222

J.M. Coetzee’s character Michael K, from the novella Life & Times of Michael K, is modeled on the eponymous protagonist of Heinrich von Kleist’s Michael Kohlhaas. But whereas Kohlhaas confronts sovereign power head-on, raising his voice to assert his point of view and taking up arms against the local junker, Michael K is hardly articulate and seems only to evade power. Nevertheless, Coetzee’s reliance on Kleist’s hero raises the question as to whether, and how, we can understand Michael K’s actions as a radical opposition to constituted power. Professor Vardoulakis will argue that it is only possible to answer this question by considering what kind of power Michael K is confronting. Whom does Michael K oppose?

Dimitris Vardoulakis is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Research Group at the University of Western Sydney. His research interests range from the relation between literature and philosophy to theories of power and sovereignty. His books include The Doppelgänger: Literature’s Philosophy (Fordham University Press, 2010), Sovereignty and Its Other: Toward the Dejustification of Violence (Fordham University Press, 2013), and, as editor, Spinoza Now (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and (with Andrew Benjamin) “Sparks will fly”: Benjamin and Heidegger (SUNY Press, 2014).


On the Four Generations of Derrida’s “Geschlecht”
David Farrell Krell

November 7, 2013 — 5:00PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

This lecture focuses on the third—never completed and never published—of Derrida’s “Geschlecht” papers and is based on Derrida’s notes from his 1984-85 seminar, “The Phantom of the Other.”

David Farrell Krell is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at DePaul University and currently Brauer Distinguished Visiting Professor of German Studies at Brown University. He is the author of numerous volumes, including, most recently, Derrida and Our Animal Others: Derrida’s Final Seminar, The Beast and the Sovereign (Indiana University Press, 2013) and The Tragic Absolute: German Idealism and the Languishing of God (Indiana University Press, 2005), and the translator and editor of Martin Heidegger’s Basic Writings (HarperCollins, 1993/2008) and Nietzsche (HarperCollins, 1991).

2012-13

Ethopoiea: On the Critical Potential of Passionate Character
Lynn Enterline

April 18, 2013 — 4:00PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

A lecture on two Elizabethan minor epics (by, respectively, Thomas Lodge and Christopher Marlowe) and Shakespeare’s Othello.

Lynn Enterline is the Nancy Perot Mulford Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. Her research into early modern literature and culture investigates the connections among the histories of sexuality, rhetoric, and emotion in the English, Latin, Greek, and Italian traditions. She is the author of Shakespeare’s Schoolroom: Rhetoric, Discipline, Emotion (University of Pennsylvania Press 2012), The Rhetoric of the Body from Ovid to Shakespeare (Cambridge University Press, 2000), and The Tears of Narcissus: Melancholia and Masculinity in Early Modern Writing (Stanford University Press, 1995).


Wild Materialism and Forms of Life
seminar

March 26, 2013 — 2:00-6:00PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

A seminar with Andrea Allerkamp (Europa-Universität Viadrina) and Jacques Lezra (NYU). Presentations: Sebastian Edinger and Tim Sparenberg. Readings: Lamarck, Philosophie zoologique (selections), and Herbert Spencer, “A Theory of Population, Deduced from the General Law of Animal Fertility,” and “The Development Hypothesis.”


Wild Materialism and Forms of Life
seminar

March 12, 2013 — 2:00-6:00PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

A seminar with Andrea Allerkamp (Europa-Universität Viadrina) and Jacques Lezra (NYU). Presentations: Matthias Preuss and Patricia Gwozdz. Readings: Marx, “Fragment on Machines” and “The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret thereof”; Louis Althusser, Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists (pp. 119-144); and Jacques Monod, Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology (Preface) and “III Lectures.”


Aesthetics and Deconstruction
workshop

March 6, 2013 — 3:30-8:00PM
Silver Center for Arts and Science, Rm. 503A

A workshop with Andrea Allerkamp (Europa-Universität Viadrina), Jacques Lezra (NYU), and Stéphane Lojkine (Aix-Marseille Université). Presentations: Philipp Weber, Jakob Heller, and Max Haas. Readings: Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment (I.i, §§1-2, 14, 26); Diderot, Salon de 1767 (Preface); Heidegger, “The Origin of the Work of Art”; and Derrida, The Truth in Painting (1.2, 1.4).


Aesthetics and Deconstruction
workshop

March 5, 2013 — 10:00AM-2:00PM
Draper Seminar Room, 14 University Place

A workshop with Andrea Allerkamp (Europa-Universität Viadrina), Jacques Lezra (NYU), and Stéphane Lojkine (Aix-Marseille Université). Presentations: Philipp Weber, Jakob Heller, and Max Haas. Readings: Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment (I.i, §§1-2, 14, 26); Diderot, Salon de 1767 (Preface); Heidegger, “The Origin of the Work of Art”; and Derrida, The Truth in Painting (1.2, 1.4).


Wild Materialism and Forms of Life
seminar

February 26, 2013 — 2:00-6:00PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

A seminar with Andrea Allerkamp (Europa-Universität Viadrina) and Jacques Lezra (NYU). Presentations: Sage Anderson and Elizabeth Bonapfel. Readings: Descartes, Meditationes (I-II), and Antonio Negri, Political Descartes: Reason, Ideology and the Bourgeois Project (Introduction and Ch. 1).


Speculative Worlds
workshop

November 9, 2012 — 11:00AM-4:00PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

A workshop with Armen Avanessian and Anke Hennig of the Spekulative Poetik research group at the Freie Universität Berlin, Jacques Lezra (NYU), Suhail Malik (Goldsmiths College London and CCS Bard), Kevin McLaughlin (Brown University), and Paul North (Yale University), on the intersections, homologies, and contrasts among current tendencies in the philosophies of speculative materialism and of literature. Papers:

Poetic Force: Kant, Benjamin, Hölderlin……………………………………………….What Thinking Feels Like
Kevin McLaughlin, Brown University……………………………………………….Paul North, Yale University

Not Only a God Can Save Us Now:
Meillassoux’s Deconstruction of Rational Finitude and the Politics of Philosophy
Suhail Malik, Goldsmiths College London and CCS Bard


Speculative Philosophy
seminar

October 12, 2013 — 4:00-6:30PM
19 University Place, Rm. 222

A seminar with Armen Avanessian and Anke Hennig of the Spekulative Poetik research group at the Freie Universität Berlin. Readings: Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit (Preface), and Catherine Malabou, The Future of Hegel: Plasticity, Temporality and Dialectic (Ch. 12).


“What do we do now, now that we are happy?”:
Kojève and Beckett on the End of History

Richard Halpern

October 9, 2013 — 6:30PM
19 University Place, Rm. 222

Richard Halpern is Professor of English and the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Literature at NYU. He works in the areas of early modern literature, with a particular focus on drama and Shakespeare, modernism, and Greek drama. His current book project is a study of tragic drama and political economy from Aeschylus to Beckett. Among his earlier books are The Poetics of Primitive Accumulation: English Renaissance Culture and the Genealogy of Capital (Cornell University Press, 1991), Shakespeare among the Moderns (Cornell University Press, 1997), and Shakespeare’s Perfume: Sodomy and Sublimity in the Sonnets, Wilde, Freud and Lacan (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002).


Speculative Poetics
workshop

September 28, 2013 — 4:00-6:30PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

A seminar with Armen Avanessian and Anke Hennig of the Spekulative Poetik research group at the Freie Universität Berlin. The seminar will be dedicated to an examination of the following theses: Literature is neither solely style nor sign; rather, it is knowledge of the world. Thus, poetics can be speculative when its philosophical reflections consider the poietic function of language. Language and literature are part of the world and contribute in turn to our understanding of it. The relationships between objects do not differ from those between cognitive subjects and their respective objects. Literary thought means, therefore, situating natural language, literary artifacts, and poetic thought on a single plane. Readings: Howard Caygill, Walter Benjamin: The Colour of Experience (Chs. 1-2), and Ten Theses on Speculative Poetics.

2011-12

Translation, Transference and Sublation in
The Merchant of Venice: Shakespeare-Hegel-Derrida
Katrin Trüstedt

April 2, 2012 — 6:00PM
Draper Seminar Room, 14 University Place

Katrin Trüstedt is Professor of Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft at the Universität Erfurt. She is the author of Die Komödie der Tragödie: Shakespeares Sturm am Umschlagplatz von Mythos und Moderne, Rache und Recht, Tragik und Spiel (Konstanz University Press, 2011), as well as numerous articles and essays in edited volumes and in journals such as Law and Humanities, Law and Literature, Telos, and the Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie. She is also the the co-editor, with Kathrin Thiele, of Happy Days: Lebenswissen nach Cavell (Fink Verlag, 2009).


Spinoza: Laying the Ground of Biopolitics
seminar

March 26, 2012 — 6:00-8:00PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

A seminar with A. Kiarina Kordela (Macalaster College). This seminar will center on a discussion of Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus and of his conception of power, in particular, which already implies a shift from what Foucault calls “sovereign power” to “biopolitics”—i.e., from a form of power that threatens its subjects to one that protects them, and which, therefore, is not dependent on obedience but feeds, rather, on desire and on love. Unlike Foucault’s, however, Spinoza’s work indicates that biopolitics concerns the greatest good, not of the biological body, but of the body and mind insofar as they can be conceived sub specie aeternitatis. We will conclude with a discussion of what Spinoza’s conception of the body may entail for our understanding of the workings of biopolitics. Readings: Foucault, Society Must Be Defended (pp. 239-64), and Spinoza, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (Preface and Chs. 4, 14-16, and 20) and Ethics (Bk. V).


Reification
Dirk Quadflieg

March 20, 2012 — 4:00PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

Dirk Quadflieg teaches in the Institut für Philosophie at the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main and is currently a visiting scholar in the Department of Philosophy, Columbia University. He is the author of Differenz und Raum: Zwischen Hegel, Wittgenstein und Derrida (Transcript Verlag, 2007) and the co-editor, with Andreas Hetzel and Heidi Salaverría, of Alterität und Anerkennung (Nomos, 2011).


Reification: Lukács and Honneth
seminar

March 19, 2012 — 6:30-8:30PM
19 University Place, Rm. 223

A seminar with Dirk Quadflieg (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main and Columbia University). Readings: Georg Lukács, “Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat” (Pt. 1), and Axel Honneth, Reification: A Recognition-Theoretical View.


Flirtations:
Aesthetics and Rhetoric This Side of Seduction
workshop

View Full-SizeMarch 3, 2012 — 10:30AM-5:00PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

A workshop with Rüdiger Campe (Yale University), Paul Fleming (Cornell University), John Hamilton (Harvard University), Jacques Lezra (NYU), Elisabeth Strowick (Johns Hopkins University), and Barbara Vinken (LMU München and NYU). Organized by the Program in Poetics & Theory and the Dept. of Comparative Literature. Sponsored by the Humanities Initiative.


Anachronic Shakespeare
conference

February 24-25, 2012
Jurow Hall, Silver Center for Arts & Science

A conference organized by the Program in Poetics & Theory. Co-sponsored by the DFG Graduiertenkolleg Lebensformen und Lebenswissen and the Dept. of Comparative Literature. Presenters: John Archer (NYU), Rebecca Comay (University of Toronto), Stuart Elden (Durham University), Anselm Haverkamp (NYU), Julia Lupton (UC Irvine), Vike Plock (University of Exeter), and Samuel Weber (Northwestern University).


Lucretius and Modernity
Ranieri Colloquium in Ancient Studies

October 26-28, 2011
Hemmerdinger Hall, Silver Center for Arts & Science

A conference organized by the Center for Ancient Studies and the Dept. of Comparative Literature. Co-sponsored by the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, the Humanities Initiative, the Depts. of Philosophy, French, Classics and English, and the Program in Poetics & Theory.

The long shadow cast by Lucretius’s poem falls across the disciplines of philosophy, literary history and criticism, religious studies, classics, and political philosophy. Over the past two decades, interest in De rerum natura in each of these fields has grown dramatically, in some cases as hidden Epicurean influences on well-known writers have come to light, in others when the decline of a school or of a particular orthodoxy has left room for a return to Lucretius, and to the Epicurean tradition more broadly—as with the eclipse of normative materialisms in philosophy and politics. Contemporary physics has found in the ancient atomist tradition a strange and evocative mirror; the place of Lucretius’s poetics in the development of modern poetic genres, techniques, and themes has come into sharp focus; political philosophers have identified what Althusser called a “subterranean current” in the materialist tradition, flowing from Epicurus through Spinoza and Marx and to Deleuze, propelled by Lucretius’s great poem.

“Lucretius and Modernity” is the first conference to bring together classicists, philosophers and literary critics from Europe and the United States interested centrally in the work of Lucretius and in the long history of his reception. The papers presented at “Lucretius and Modernity” will provide the occasion for a reflection across disciplinary borders on the poem’s continuing, growing importance.


What Causes Space?
Graham Harman

September 9, 2011 — 6:30PM
19 University Place, Rm. 222

A lecture organized by the Program in Poetics & Theory and the BABEL Working Group.

Graham Harman is Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including The Quadruple Object (Zero Books, 2011), Towards Speculative Realism: Essays and Lectures (Zero Books, 2010), Guerrilla Metaphysics: Phenomenology and the Carpentry of Things (Open Court, 2005), and Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects (Open Court, 2002).

2010-11

Shakespeare and Philosophy
conference

March 25-26, 2011
Deutsches Haus, 42 Washington Mews
The Great Room, 19 University Place

A conference organized by the Program in Poetics & Theory. Co-sponsored by the DFG Graduiertenkolleg Lebensformen und Lebenswissen, the Depts. of Comparative Literature and English, and the Callaway Fund in Drama. Presenters: Richard Halpern (Johns Hopkins University), Paul Kottman (NSSR), Philip Lorenz (Cornell University), Peter Saval (Brown University), David Schalkwyk (University of Cape Town), Annika Thiem (Villanova University), and Katrin Trüstedt (Universität Erfurt).


The Rhetoric of Terror
seminar

February 11, 2011 — 4:00-6:00PM
19 University Place, Rm. 222

A seminar with Marc Redfield (Brown University) on his book The Rhetoric of Terror: Reflections on 9/11 and the War on Terror (Fordham University Press, 2009).


Absolute and Particular Others:
Reading Beauvoir with Cavell
Toril Moi

November 5, 2010 — 4:00PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

Toril Moi is Professor of English, Philosophy, and Theater Studies, and the James B. Duke Professor of Literature and Romance Studies at Duke University. Her research centers on feminist theory and women’s writing, the intersection of literature, philosophy, and aesthetics, and ordinary language philosophy in the tradition of Wittgenstein, Cavell, and Austin. She is the author of numerous books, including Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism: Art, Theater, Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2006) and Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual Woman, now in its second edition (Oxford University Press, 2008).


The Philosophy of Marx
Étienne Balibar

October 13, 2010 — 6:00PM
The Great Room, 19 University Place

Étienne Balibar is Professor Emeritus of Moral and Political Philosophy at the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense and Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine. One of the co-authors (alongside Louis Althusser, Roger Establet, Pierre Macherey, and Jacques Rancière) of Lire Le Capital (Maspero, 1965), which remains one of the most influential works of Marxist thought to have been published in the past century, he has since authored well over a dozen volumes, including Cinq études du matérialisme historique (Maspero, 1974), Spinoza et la politique (P.U.F., 1985), and La philosophie de Marx (La Découverte, 1993). His most recent book is La proposition de l’égaliberté (P.U.F., 2010).

2009-10

. . . for example
workshop

March 27, 2010 — 12:00-5:00PM
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor

A workshop on exemplarity, with Paul Fleming (NYU), Michèle Lowrie (University of Chicago), Neni Panourgía (Columbia University), and Anthony Vidler (Cooper Union). Organized by the Program in Poetics & Theory. Co-sponsored by the Humanities Initiative.


On the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary
of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy
symposium

February 20, 2010 — 10:30AM-12:45PM
Hemmerdinger Hall, Silver Center for Arts & Science

A symposium celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, with authors Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe, and distinguished guests Seyla Benhabib (Yale University), Robin Blackburn (University of Essex/NSSR), Joan Copjec (SUNY Buffalo), Drucilla Cornell (Rutgers University/University of Cape Town), and Nancy Fraser (NSSR).


Negation, Negativity, Identity
colloquium

February 18, 2010 — 6:30PM
19 University Place, Rm. 102

A colloquium with Gabriela Basterra (NYU), Ernesto Laclau (University of Essex), and Jacques Lezra (NYU). Organized by the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program in Poetics & Theory. Papers:

Naming an Absent Cause………………………………………………..Marrano Discipline
Gabriela Basterra, NYU………………………………………………..Jacques Lezra, NYU

What Kind of Negativity Is Inherent in Social Antagonisms?
Ernesto Laclau, University of Sussex


“to believe in this world, as it is. . .”
The Difficult Quest of Immanence in Politics
Kathrin Thiele

November 17, 2009 — 6:30PM
Silver Center for Arts & Science, Rm. 220

Kathrin Thiele is Assistant Professor for Political Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, Universität Potsdam, and Coordinator of the DFG Graduiertenkolleg Lebensformen und Lebenswissen. She is the author of The Thought of Becoming: Gilles Deleuze’s Poetics of Life (Diaphanes, 2008) and co-editor, with Kathrin Trüstedt, of Happy Days: Lebenswissen nach Cavell (Fink Verlag, 2009).


The Program in Poetics and Theory  ∙  Department of Comparative Literature  ∙  New York University  ∙  19 University Place, Rm. 303  ∙  New York, NY 10003

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