lecture: Living in Ellipsis: On Biopolitics and the Attachment to Life // lauren berlant

November 3 2014


This talk is located in a shattered, formally inconsistent, yet intelligible zone defined by "being in life without wanting the world." Reading with Claudia Rankine (Don’t Let Me Be Lonely), the novel and film of A Single Man (Christopher Isherwood, 1964; Tom Ford, 2009), and Harryette Mullen (Sleeping with the Dictionary), it describes an aesthetics and a subjectivity shaped on one side by suicide and on the other by a life drive that is also, paradoxically, negative, in that it turns toward life by turning away from the world of injury, negation, and contingency that endure as an defining presence for biopolitically-defined subjects. It suggests attending to and developing a dissociative poetics. The talk will be less abstract than this abstract.