At the author’s request, I have posted a translation of Agamben’s indirect response to the controversy surrounding his earlier article about the response to coronavirus in Italy.
The New Republic has published a piece of mine on Tea Party originator Rick Santelli’s latest edifying contribution to public discourse — the suggestion that we should intentionally infect the population with coronavirus and get it over with.
Assuming all goes well in terms of global pandemics, I have a couple speaking engagements scheduled in March.
The first will be in the context of a seminar I co-organized with Frances Restuccia for the American Comparative Literature Association’s national conference in Chicago (March 19-22) on Agamben’s Later Works. My paper, entitled “Agamben’s Vegetative Theology,” will use Agamben’s two most recent publications, Autoritratto nello studio (Self-Portrait in His Studio) and Il Regno e il Giardino (The Kingdom and the Garden), to ask whether Agamben maintains a “theological” position and what that might mean in the context of his work. (UPDATE: This conference has unfortunately been cancelled, but a version of my paper will eventually appear in print.)
The second will be at a conference on “The Undercommons and Destituent Power” at Indiana University-Bloomington (March 26-28), which aims to bring black studies into dialogue with Agamben and other adjecent thinkers. My paper here will also be on Agamben, providing some background on his concept of destituent power and how it fits into his project. (UPDATE: The same holds for this conference, sadly….)
The Theology and Continental Philosophy programming unit of the American Academy of Religion has put together a great call for papers this year, in my humble opinion as co-chair. You don’t have to be a member to submit proposals.
I am going to be blogging regularly on my “Reading the Qur’an” course at An und für sich. This first introductory post, which discusses the structure and rationale behind the course, is available here. You can follow the series by using this blog label (which also includes a few older posts on the Qur’an).
I have updated my sample syllabi page to include my courses for the Spring Term:
This semester is a milestone for me. I have long hoped to teach in all three major areas of the Shimer Great Books curriculum (humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences), and I finally get to teach a natural sciences course with “What is Matter?” — a study of the history of chemistry through important primary sources and reenactments of key experiments (a version of which I took as a student as part of my training). Not only that, but I get to teach in all three areas simultaneously! It should be exciting and challenging.
I have submitted the final manuscript for my monograph on Agamben’s development. Following my editor’s suggestion, I have changed the title to Agamben’s Philosophical Trajectory, which will hopefully make the connection with my co-edited volume Agamben’s Philosophical Lineage. Assuming all goes well, the anticipated publication date is September 2020.
I just learned that the American Comparative Literature Association has accepted my proposal to co-direct (with Frances Restuccia) a seminar on “Agamben’s Later Works” at their annual conference in Chicago this March. I will be presenting a paper on “Agamben’s Vegetative Theology,” which will serve as a preview of one of the essays in my forthcoming collection What is Theology? Thank you to Frances for approaching me about proposing a seminar and to all the participants who submitted such excellent paper proposals.
As co-chair of the Theology and Continental Philosophy programming unit, I’m pleased to announce the sessions that we are running this year. A summary of the titles, days, and times follows, with full information “below the fold.”
“Bataille, Blackness, and the Tumultuous Sacred,” Saturday, 1:00 PM–3:00 PM
“The Devil and the Demons: Neoliberal Theology in the Work of Adam Kotsko,” Saturday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM
“The Jew, the Christian, and the Ends of the World,” Monday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM
“Mormon Theology and Continental Thought,” Monday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM
“New Frontiers in Phenomenology of Religion,” Tuesday, 8:30 AM–10:00 AM
I have a few events coming up in the next couple months. First off, I will be participating in the Northwestern Theology Colloquium, which this year is dedicated to the work of James Cone. I will be discussing my work in relation to Cone’s on Tuesday, October 15, from 10:30am to 12:30pm, at a location on the Northwestern campus to be announced. My discussion will be one of a couple “warm-up” events for a conference on Cone November 1-2.
Then I will be participating in “Religion’s Turn: A Chicago-Area Graduate Conference in the Continental Philosophy of Religions,” at the University of Chicago, where I will be part of a roundtable on teaching continental philosophy in the Chicago area. There will be a keynote address on Thursday, October 24, and then the sessions, including my roundtable, will be taking place on Friday, October 25.
Finally, in late November, I will be responding to a panel discussion of my books The Prince of This World and Neoliberalism’s Demons at the American Academy of Religion national conference in San Diego.