Blog series “Reading the Qur’an” completed

My course “Reading the Qur’an” is finished for the semester, and so is the corresponding blog series. Below is an index of blog posts; you may also want to consult the syllabus.

I have now begun studying the Qur’an in Arabic, so keep an eye on the tag for some further extra-curricular reflections!

New article at The New Republic

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.

March speaking engagements

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….)

New blog series on the Qur’an

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).

Syllabi for Spring Term Posted

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.

Agamben monograph submitted

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.

Agamben Seminar in Chicago

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.