Indiana University Bloomington

Spring 2015: Schedule of the Reading Group

Convener: Oana Panaïté (French & Italian)

Unless noted otherwise, the reading group meets Fridays, 2 - 3:30 pm, in the College Arts & Humanities Institute, 1211 E. Atwater Ave.

Jan 16: Hobbes, Leviathan, chpt. 1 - 8.

Jan. 23: Leviathan, chpt. 9 - 16.

Jan 30: Leviathan, chpt. 17 - 25.

Feb. 6: Leviathan, chpt. 26 - 28.

Feb. 13: Leviathan, chpt. 29 - 31.

Feb. 20: Benjamin, Critique of Violence.

Feb. 27: No meeting.

Mar 6, 1 - 2:30 pm: Schmitt, The Concept of the Political, 1-4.

Mar 13: Concept of the Political, 5 - 8.

Mar 20: Spring Break.

Mar 27: Foucault, Security, Territory, Population, chpt. 1 - 2.

Apr 3: Security, Territory, chpt. 3 - 4.

Apr 10: Security, Territory, chpt. 9 - 10.

Apr 17: Security, Territory, chpt. 11 - 12.

Apr 24: Security, Territory, chpt. 13 - 14.

May 1: Derrida, Force of Law.

May 8: Derrida, Force of Law.

Security, Violence, Law.

In Spring 2015, the reading group will explore the relation between security and violence. Their interplay shapes the current debate on national and international politics of security, globalization and war, and the distribution of violence along social, racial, and gender lines. As the articulation between security and violence operates in ways both physical and symbolic, law becomes a locus of negotiation, inviting a close examination of its philosophical and cultural foundations. A series of foundational texts such as Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan (1651); Walter Benjamin’s Critique of Violence (1921); Carl Schmitt's The Concept of the Political (1932); Michel Foucault’s Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France (1977 - 78); and Jacques Derrida’s Force of Law (1990) will provide a fertile ground for reflection on these interconnected and enduring concepts.

Students wishing to earn credit for taking part in the reading project should contact Professor Oana Panaïté of the Department of French and Italian (, who serves as convener of this project, and sign up for CTIH-T700.


The Reading Group constitutes the intellectual heart of the Center and predates the Center by many years. Here are some of the major texts the group has studied:

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics.
Badiou, Being and Event.
Bergson, Matter and Memory.
Blumenberg,The Legitimacy of the Modern Age.
Cavell, The Claims of Reason.
Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe.
Deleuze, Cinema I; Difference and Repetition.
Foucault, The Hermeneutics of the Subject.
Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams.
Gadamer, Truth and Method.
Heidegger, Being and Time.
Husserl, The Crisis of European Sciences.
Merleau-Ponty, The Phenomenology of Perception; The Visible and the Invisible.
Plato, The Laws.
Rancière, The Names of History.
Zizek, The Puppet and the Dwarf.