My translation of Agamben’s Karman: A Brief Treatise on Action, Guilt, and Gesture is now available for purchase. It is one of my favorite Agamben books that I’ve translated, bringing together themes from The Sacrament of Language and Opus Dei in a fresh way. Here is the back cover copy:
What does it mean to be responsible for our actions? In this brief and elegant study, Giorgio Agamben traces our most profound moral intuitions back to their roots in the sphere of law and punishment. Moral accountability, human free agency, and even the very concept of cause and effect all find their origin in the language of the trial, which Western philosophy and theology both transform into the paradigm for all of human life. In his search for a way out of this destructive paradigm, Agamben not only draws on minority opinions within the Western tradition but engages at length with Buddhist texts and concepts for the first time. In sum, Karman deepens and rearticulates some of Agamben’s core insights while breaking significant new ground.
Video of my talk is now available! My colleagues’ talks from the same event, as well as an archive of the entire series, are available here.
I have been invited to participate in North Central’s TIP (Topics in Politics) Talks, where faculty members provide brief, TED Talk-style presentations on contemporary politics. I will be presenting on March 6 at 6:30pm, discussing the relationship between Trump and neoliberalism.
In the meantime, you can review the full video archive of all previous TIP Talks.
This week, I’m hosting Dr. Florian Klug, Assistant Professor of Catholic Theology at the University of Würzberg, who is here on an institutional grant. It is reportedly a pretty common thing in European univeresities to get funding to go visit foreign scholars, and I am honored that he chose to come hang out with me. Part of the grant provides for translation, and I am also very excited that he will be translating The Prince of This World into German.
The Shimer Great Books School is hosting a talk by Florian this afternoon at 5 (reception at 4), at the Koten Chapel on the North Central College campus, with a response by Shelley Birdsong, and tomorrow Florian and I will be joining Colby Dickinson and Stephanie Frank for a roundtable discussion of the future of political theology at Loyola University Chicago at 6.
The Journal of Cultural and Religious Theory has published a very substantial review of Agamben’s Philosophical Lineage, which I co-edited with Carlo Salzani.
On February 15, I will be speaking at Marquette University on the urgent topic of nihilistic cartoon shows; details here. UPDATE 2/28: Streaming video is now available.
The next week, I will be hosting Florian Klug, Assistant Professor of Dogmatic Theology at the University of Würzburg, Germany, for two events. The first will take place at North Central College in the Koten Chapel on Wednesday, February 21 (4pm reception, 5pm talk), where Dr. Klug will give a lecture on “The Iconic Being of the Bible,” with a response from NCC’s own biblical scholar, Shelley Birdsong. The second will take place on Thursday, February 22, at 6pm at Loyola University Chicago, where Colby Dickinson (Loyola), Stephanie Frank (Columbia College), and I will join Dr. Klug for a roundtable discussion of the future of political theology.
Over at my other blog, I wrote up a list of books that reflect my vision of what political theology is and should be.
For I have submitted the final manuscript of Neoliberalism’s Demons! It is scheduled for a Fall 2018 release. In the meantime, a brief description of the work is available toward the end of my research statement, and a preview of the argument can be found in my article of the same title in Theory and Event (Project MUSE link).
This afternoon, I gave a lecture at the Shimer Great Books School of North Central College entitled “Plato as Cultural Critic,” in which I shared my experiences and reflections on a faculty seminar I participated in this summer at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. The lecture transcript is available here.
I recently reviewed Joshua Ramey’s Politics of Divination: Neoliberal Endgame and the Religion of Contingency, a very creative study of neoliberalism.