Indiana University Bloomington


(For an archive of events, see here)


Spring 2016


Lecture Series: “The Working Subject”

Ilana Gershon & Benjamin Robinson, Conveners

Lilly IraniFriday, February 26: Lilly Irani (UC San Diego)
(lecture title to be announced)

2 p.m., Wells Library 031

Co-sponsored by the Rob Kling Center for Social Informatics and the College Arts & Humanities Institute

Bio: Lilly Irani is an Assistant Professor of Communication at University of California, San Diego. Her research investigates the cultural politics of high-tech work practices with a focus on how actors produce “innovation” cultures. She works on these questions through two sites: entrepreneurial development efforts in India and the Amazon data processing outsourcing site Mechanical Turk. She also sometimes collaboratively design, build, and maintain software (Turkopticon, Dynamo) as a means of understanding digitally mediated forms of work and their relationship to technological forms.

Karen HoThursday, March 24: Karen Ho (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
(lecture title to be announced)

4 p.m., College Arts & Humanities Institute (1211 E. Atwater Avenue)

Bio: Karen Ho is an associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her research centers on the problematic of understanding and representing financial markets, sites that are resistant to cultural analysis and often disavow various attempts to locate or particularize them. Her domain of interest is the anthropology of economy, broadly conceived, with specific foci on finance capital, capitalism, globalization, corporations, and inequality. Her ethnography, Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street (Duke University Press, 2009), based on three years of fieldwork among investment bankers and major financial institutions, has won two Honorable Mentions from the Society for Cultural Anthropology and the Society for the Anthropology of North America. Recent publications include “Disciplining Investment Bankers, Disciplining the Economy” (American Anthropology, 2009) and “Finance and Morality" (A Companion to Moral Anthropology. Fassin, Didier, ed., 2012). Her latest book project attempts to excavate an alternative cultural history of financial risk through the ethno-historic investigation of three central sites — corporations, investment practices, and investment funds — from the mid-twentieth century until the present moment.


Poststructuralism and Ordinary Language Philosophy: A Symposium

Joshua Kates (English), convener

Friday, April 8, Faculty Room, University Club, Indiana Memorial Union

5p.m.: Geoffrey Bennington (Emory University), “‘Différance is Reference’: Derrida and Frege.”

Moderator: Oana Panaїté (French & Italian, IU)

Geoffrey Bennington is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of French and Professor of Comparative Literature at Emory University, and Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School, as well as a member of the International College of Philosophy. He is a literary critic and philosopher, best known as an expert on deconstruction and the works of Jacques Derrida and Jean-François Lyotard. Bennington has translated many of Derrida's works into English. His numerous publications include the book Jacques Derrida, co-written with Derrida; Writing the Event and Late Lyotard; essays on Derrida collected in Legislations, Interrupting Derrida, and Not Half No End; as well as publications on Rousseau and Kant, developing original accounts of the "paradox of the legislator" in the former and "interrupted teleology" in the latter.


Saturday, April 9, Dogwood Room, Indiana Memorial Union

9:30 a.m.: Peter Fenves (Northwestern University), “From ‘Ousia’ to ‘Singular Terms.’”

Moderator: Eyal Peretz (Comparative Literature, IU)

Peter Fenves, Joan and Sarepta Harrison Professor of Literature, is professor of German, Comparative Literary Studies, and Jewish Studies, as well as adjunct professor of Philosophy, Political Science, and English at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. He is the author of A Peculiar Fate: Metaphysics and World-History in Kant (Cornell University Press, 1991), “Chatter”: Language and History in Kierkegaard (Stanford University Press, 1993), Arresting Language: From Leibniz to Benjamin (Stanford University Press, 2001), and Late Kant: Towards Another Law of the Earth (Routledge, 2003), which was translated into German in 2010; and most recently The Messianic Reduction: Walter Benjamin and the Shape of Time (Stanford University Press, 2010). He is currently working on two books, one entitled “Revolution in the Air,” the other a brief study of Benjamin and China.


11:15 a.m.: Paul Grimstad (Independent Scholar), “The Whole Whirl of Organism: Notes on Natural Language, Discourse and Persons.”

Moderator: Jennifer Fleissner (English, IU)

Paul Grimstad is the author of Experience and Experimental Writing: Literary Pragmatism from Emerson to the Jameses (Oxford, 2013), the Introduction to which is to be the focus of a forthcoming symposium in the journal nonsite. His writing has appeared in American Literary History, Poetics Today, n +1, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, as well as in the essay collection Consequences of Skepticism: Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies. He is now at work on two books: one on the relation of genre to literary modernism and another on polymathy and polymaths.


2:30 p.m.: Toril Moi (Duke University), “Signs, Marks, and Archie Bunker: Post-Saussurean Visions of Language.”

Moderator: Ed Comentale (English, IU)

Toril Moi is James B. Duke Professor of Literature and Romance Studies and Professor of English, Philosophy and Theatre Studies at Duke University and Director of the Center for Philosophy, Arts, and Literature at Duke. She has three broad areas of interest: 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.  Her books include Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory (1985; 2nd edition 2002), Simone de Beauvoir: The Making of an Intellectual Woman (1994; second edition with a major new introduction 2008); and What Is a Woman? And Other Essays (1999), republished in a shorter version as Sex, Gender and the Body (2005). She is the editor of The Kristeva Reader (1986), and of French Feminst Thought (1987). In 2006, Henrik Ibsen and the Birth of Modernism: Art, Theater, Philosophy, was published in English by Oxford University Press and in Norwegian by Pax Forlag (Oslo). The book won the MLA's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for the best book in Comparative Literary Studies in 2007. She currently has a manuscript on Poststructuralism and Ordinary Language Philosophy in press.

Professor Moi will discuss Jeffrey Knapp and Walter Benn Michaels' "Against Theory" and Paul de Man's "Semiology and Rhetoric."


4:15 p.m.: Roundtable Discussion.

Moderator: Joshua Kates (English, IU)

5:30 p.m.: Closing Reception at the College Arts & Humanities Center (1211 E. Atwater Ave.).


Conversation: Jennifer Fleissner (English, IU), "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Feminism (But Were Afraid To Ask)"

Thursday, April 21, 7 - 8:30 p.m., Collins Living and Learning Center Coffeehouse


Amor Mundi: A Symposium on Hannah Arendt's The Human Condition

Constance Furey and Sonia Velázquez, conveners

Thursday - Friday, May 5 - 6, 2016
Hoagy Carmichael Room, Morrison Hall (across from Lecture Hall 007), except where noted.


Thursday, May 5

9 am: Coffee

9:15 am: Welcome

9:45 am: Linda Marie-Gelsomina Zerilli, "Judging and the Common World."

Moderator: Jon Simmons (Political Science and the Media School, IU)

Linda Zerilli is the Charles E. Merriam Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago where she also serves as Faculty Director of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. She is the author of Signifying Woman (Cornell UP, 1994), Feminism and the Abyss of Freedom (University of Chicago Press, 2005), A Democratic Theory of Judgment (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2016), and articles on subjects ranging across feminist thought, the politics of language, aesthetics, democratic theory, and Continental philosophy. She has been a Fulbright Fellow, a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, and a Stanford Humanities Center Fellow.

11:30 am: Break

11:45 am: Gabriela Basterra, "The Power of Thinking Together."

Moderator: Eyal Peretz (Comparative Literature, IU)

Gabriela Basterra is associate professor of Comparative Literature and Spanish and Portuguese at NYU where her research and teaching embrace literature and philosophy. She is the author of Seductions of Fate: Tragic Subjectivity, Ethics, Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and The Subject of Freedom: Kant, Levinas(Fordham University Press, 2015). Between 2004 and 2010 she was also Director of Program at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris, where she developed and directed the program “Tragic Autonomy: Interaction between the Ethical and the Political,” and she co-edited Quel sujet du politique? (2010), a monographic issue of the Collège International de Philosophie journal Rue Descartes. Her next book project, Shaping the Void, studies the art of creating emptiness as it produces vessels (sailing ships, jugs), concepts, and poems.

1:30 pm: Lunch with graduate students.

3 pm: Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft, "Arendt and the Problem of the Public Intellectual."

Moderator: Guadalupe González-Diéguez (Jewish Studies;Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, IU)

Benjamin Wurgaft is an intellectual historian and National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Program in History, Anthropology, and Science and Technology Studies. His research encompasses issues in continental philosophy and political theory, the history of science, the role of intellectuals in public life, modern Jewish thought, and the idea of "the future" in modern European thought and culture. He is the author of Thinking in Public: Strauss, Levinas, Arendt (UPenn, 2015) which examines the ways in which the “figure of the intellectual was not an ideal to be emulated but rather a provocation inviting these three thinkers to ask whether truth and politics could ever be harmonized, whether philosophy was a fundamentally worldly or unworldly practice.” His new project seeks to write “the history of the future of food.”

4:30 pm: Reading Group (at College Arts & Humanities Institute, 1211 E. Atwater Ave.)

Discussion of passages from The Human Condition (available online) chosen by: Rachel Carpenter and Hannah Murray (English & Religious Studies), Nazareth Pantaloni (Scholarly Communication Department, IU Libraries), Mark Roseman (History & Jewish Studies), and Estela Vieira (Spanish and Portuguese). The selections can be downloaded here.

7 pm: Reception.


Friday, May 6

9 am: Coffee

9:20 am: Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb, "The Singer and the Tale: Arendt's Defense of Poetry."

Moderator: Judith Brown (English, IU)

Susannah Gottlieb is associate professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University. Her interests include modern and contemporary poetry and poetics, continental philosophy and political theory, German-Jewish intellectual history, and Asian American literary traditions. She is the author of Regions of Sorrow: Anxiety and Messianism in Hannah Arendt and W.H. Auden(Stanford University Press, 2003) and the editor of Hannah Arendt: Reflections on Literature and Culture (Stanford University Press, 2007). Among her recent articles and essays are "Two Versions of Voltaire: W. H. Auden and the Dialectic of Enlightenment" (PMLA); "'Reflection on the Right to Will’: Auden’s ‘Canzone’ and Arendt’s Notes on Willing” (Comparative Literature); “‘Seit jener Zeit’: Hannah Arendt und ihre Literaturkritik” (TEXT + KRITIK); “‘Everyone Is Welcome’: Arendt and the Spirit of Non-pomposity” (GFPJ); “Beyond Tragedy: Arendt, Rogat, and the Judges in Jerusalem” (College Literature). She is now working on a book entitled The Importance of Metaphysics: The Intellectual Heresies of W. H. Auden.

10:45 am: Break

11am: Closing Round Table with Jacob Boss (Religious Studies), Constance Furey (Religious Studies), Jeffrey Isaac (Political Science), Rebecca Spang (History), and Johannes Türk (Germanic Studies).



For older events, see here.