CULTURAL STUDIES SPEAKER SERIES
Our speaker on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
is Marc Nichanian and his lecture is titled
"Who comes after the sovereign?"
In his essay on the "Critique of violence" Walter Benjamin shows the legitimacy and the possibility of a violence that will lay bare the very underpinnings of the historical cycle of juridico-mythical violence (the very same violence that brings about or sustains the sovereignty of the state). In Homo Sacer, Agamben analyses the "political" as the long reign of a "sovereign" structure that produces bare life, i.e. the life that deserves to be killed. In his posthumous book entitled Sovereignty, Georges Bataille describes the "man of sovereign art" as the one whose task is to bear witness for the end of sovereignty. The question each time is: Then who comes after the sovereign?
Marc Nichanian was Professor at Columbia University until 2007 and is currently Visiting Professor at Sabanci University, Istanbul, in the Department of Cultural Studies. As editor of the Armenian language series GAM, a philosophical review, he published six volumes from 1980 to 2005. His publications in French include La Perversion historiographique (2006, translated into English by Gil Anidjar, The Historiographic Perversion, 2008), and a three-volume study, Entre l’art et le témoignage (2006-2008), on Armenian literature in the 20th century, of which the first volume is available in English: Writers of Disaster (2002). A translation of the second volume (Mourning Philology) will be released by Fordham University Press in February 2014. He has translated, among others, Walter Benjamin, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ernst Jünger, Maurice Blanchot, Jean-Luc Nancy, into Armenian. Among his most recent publications are The Agony of a people by Zabel Esayan in French (Paris: Garnier), and three novels/stories by Maurice Blanchot in Armenian (Yerevan: Inqnagir).
Seminar room FASS 2034