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Lauren Berlant

Living in Ellipsis: On Biopolitics and the Attachment to Life

Monday, November 3, 2014, 4:00pm

Classics 110

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 a defining presence for biopolitically-defined subjects. It suggests attending to and developing a dissociative poetics. The talk will be less abstract than this abstract.

This event is co-sponsored by 3CT and UChicago’s Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH).