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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 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.

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