Spring programme 2009

Please find below our programme for this term. Meetings take place in Senate House, North Block, NG16, on alternate Wednesdays from 6-8pm. We always go for a drink, and sometimes for dinner, after the session. All are welcome, and do encourage friends and colleagues to attend.

Please note a last-minute change of details for the forthcoming reading group. Instead of taking place on Wednesday 11th, it has been moved to Tuesday 17th.


Tuesday March 17th – 6-8pm – NG16 – Reading Group – Giorgio Agamben, The Coming Community, trans. by Michael Hardt (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993). Selected extracts available as a PDF on the Texts for Reading Groups page.

Mar 25 – Speaker Session – David Ferris, University of Colorado at Boulder, “Agamben’s Messianic”

David Ferris is Professor of Comparative Literature and Humanities, and the author of several books on critical theory and on Romanticism, including The Cambridge Introduction to Walter Benjamin (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and Silent Urns:Romanticism, Hellenism, Modernity (Stanford University Press, 2000); he is also editor of The Cambridge Companion to Walter Benjamin (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Read more about him here: http://www.colorado.edu/comparativeliterature/ferris.html

Previous meetings this term:

Jan 28 – Speaker Session – Jon Hackett, ‘On the Correct Handling of Jouissance Among the People’. Optional preparatory reading for this seminar is ‘Analyticon’ in Jacques Lacan,The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Book XVII: The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, trans. by Russell Gigg (New York: Norton, 2007), pp. 197-208; a PDF is available on the ‘Texts for Reading Groups’ page.

Jon Hackett completed a PhD on Thomas Pynchon at the University of Sussex, and his research interests include Pynchon, modernism, psychoanalysis and critical theory.

Feb 11 – Reading Group – Jacques Derrida, ‘A Word of Welcome’ in Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas, trans. by Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), pp.15-57; a PDF is available on the ‘Texts for Reading Groups’ page.


Feb 25 – Speaker Session – Christopher Townsend, Royal Holloway, University of London: ‘Picasso’s Ghosts: Portraiture and the In-Fidelity of the Mistress’.

Christopher Townsend is Professor in the Department of Media Arts, Royal Holloway, University of London, and the author of several works on modernist photography and contemporary art, including Art and Death (I.B.Tauris, 2008), Francesca Woodman (Phaedon, 2006), New Art from London (Thames and Hudson, 2006), and Vile Bodies: Photography and the Crisis of Looking (Prestel Verlag, 1998).

Read more about him here: http://www.rhul.ac.uk/Media-arts/staff/townsend.shtml


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