Monthly Archives: September 2015

Slavoj Zizek: HOW TO BE A MATERIALIST TODAY — Lecture series at NYU in October

Slavoj Žižek will present a series of lectures at NYU on the topic of “How to be a Materialist Today.” These sessions will meet in addition to the regularly-scheduled class meetings for GERM-GA2601 with Leif Weatherby. All students enrolled in the course for credit should attend. Those wishing to audit only Slavoj Žižek’s lectures for non-credit may do so by emailing german.dept[at] in advance.

The lecture series with Slavoj Žižek will take place from 3:00-5:40 pm on October 7 (Wed), 9 (Friday), 15 (Thursday), and 16 (Friday) at Deutsches Haus at NYU.


Lecture Series at New York University Department of German

Fall 2015

The entire history of philosophy turns around the line that separates truth from falsity – from Plato whose focus is the line that divides truth from mere opinion, up to Lenin obsessed with the line that separates materialism from idealism. The course will be an exercise in this art of delimitation: its aim is to specify the contours of the dialectical-materialist ontology by way of drawing a line that separates from it from other forms of thought that appear similar to it, from Julia Kristeva’s abjection to Robert Pippin’s self-consciousness, from Catherine Malabou’s plasticity to the god of negative theology, from object-oriented-ontology to the topic of post-humanity.

Wednesday, October 7

–1 Negativity in materialist theology: is god dead, unconscious, evil, or plainly stupid?

Friday, October 9

–2 A critique of object-oriented-ontology and New Materialism.

Thursday, October 15

–3 Abject, ugliness, disgust: a delimitation from Kristeva.

Friday, October 16

–4 Hegel and the end of art: a materialist delimitation from Pippin.

Each of these sessions will meet from 3:00pm to 5:40pm in the auditorium of Deutsches Haus at NYU, located at 42 Washington Mews, NY, NY 10003.


Jacques Lacan, ANXIETY (Seminar, Book X), Polity Press 2014

Slavoj Žižek, ABSOLUTE RECOIL, Verso Books 2014, Chapters 1.1 and 1.3

Levi Bryant, DEMOCRACY OF OBJECTS (available online)

In addition, Slavoj Žižek will present a separate lecture for the general public on Wednesday, October 14 at 6:00pm at Cantor Film Center at NYU. Entry will be on a first come, first serve basis. Your attendance in the course sessions listed above does not guarantee your entry to the public lecture on October 14:


The question we should ask is not: is Hegel still alive, is his thought of any uses for us today? The true question is: what are we – our global capitalist world – in the eyes of Hegel? What if, from the Hegelian standpoint, we are all dead – in what sense? Wolf Bierman once wrote that, while the spiritualist question is “Is there life after death?”, the materialist question is: “Is there life before death?” Are we really alive today, alive in the sense of ecstatic opening which makes life worth living?

Reserve Now: Re-Discovering Harper Lee Event 10/7

The Center for the Humanities is happy to invite you to attend their upcoming event:

“Re-Discovering Harper Lee: Jonathan Burnham in Conversation with Joan Acocella and Tuzyline Allan.”

Jonathan Burnham, senior vice president and publisher of HarperCollins, gives a behind-the-scenes look at the discovery and publication of Harper Lee’s novel Go Set a Watchman. Written in the 1950s, before the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, but set 20 years later and featuring many of the same characters, the book was released in July. Joan Acocella, writer and New Yorker book critic, and Tuzyline Allan, Professor of English at Baruch College, will join Burnham to discuss this historic literary event and Lee’s continuing importance in American culture and literature. 

This event will take place Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 at 7:00 PM in Proshansky Auditorium. Space is very limited, so please register at the following link:

If you have any questions, please contact csommers[at]

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Founders Unplugged: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky Shares His Entrepreneurial Journey

The NYU Entrepreneurial Institute in partnership with Newsweek will be hosting Founders Unplugged, featuring Brian Chesky, CEO & Co-Founder of Airbnb. Join them for an intimate conversation between Brian and Newsweek’s Kevin Maney to learn about Brian’s entrepreneurial journey and how Airbnb grew from a San Francisco apartment to serving over 40,000,000 guests today.

Since founding the company in 2008, Brian has driven the company’s vision, strategy and growth as it provides interesting and unique ways for people to travel and changes the lives of its community. Under Brian’s leadership, Airbnb stands at the forefront of the sharing economy, and has expanded to over 1,500,000 listings in 190 countries.

Location: Thursday, October 8 at 7:15pm at the NYU Kimmel Center for Student Life.

Register for Tickets Here!

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25 Years Out: Celebrating the Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY) Records- October 8 (7:00 PM)

Co-presented by the A/P/A  Institute at NYU, GAPIMNY, and NYU Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives.

Thursday, October 8, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM


Since 1990, the Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY) has worked to empower queer and trans A/P/A people to create positive change through a range of social, educational, peer-support, cultural, and political activities. On the occasion of the organization’s 25th birthday, GAPIMNY’s records, which include video footage, flyers, and more documenting queer A/P/A history in New York, have been donated to the NYU Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, where they will be preserved and made accessible to community members, researchers, and students.

Current and former GAPIMNY co-chairs offer reflections on the organization’s 25-year history and visions for the future. Leeroy Kun Young Kang  contextualizes the significance of GAPIMNY’s Records in regards to queer A/P/A community-based archives and history in New York City. Tim Johnson (Head, Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives), Tim Naftali (Co-director, NYU Center for the United States and the Cold War and Associate Professor, NYU Wagner), and Jack Tchen (Founding Director, A/P/A Institute) offer welcome remarks, and an exhibition chronicling the organization’s history, curated by A/P/A Graduate Archives Scholar Paul TranJason Tseng (GAPIMNY), and Dennis Chin (GAPIMNY) will be on display.

Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality, NYU Archives and Public History Program, and NYU LGBTQ Student Center.

You can RSVP for the event here:

CFP: Reading Terror, CUNY GC Graduate Conference, November 5-6 2015

The CUNY Graduate Center’s Comparative Literature department is excited to announce its upcoming graduate student conference: “Reading Terror: Representations and Resistance.” The conference will take place on Thursday, November 5th and Friday, November 6th, 2015. Please find a call for papers below. (The submission deadline has been extended to September 30th.)

Call for Papers

Reading Terror: Representations and Resistance

Keynote speakers: Robin Wagner-Pacifici (The New School) and another TBC

The students of the Department of Comparative Literature and the Italian Specialization at The Graduate Center, CUNY, present the annual interdisciplinary conference, this year titled Reading Terror: Representations and Resistance. The conference will be held on Thursday, November 5

The human experience of terror spans centuries of thought and debate, with many writers and thinkers working to investigate its form and nature. Aristotle includes pity and terror in his definition of tragedy; Burke defines terror (along with pain) as the strongest of emotions, tying it intrinsically to experiences of the sublime; the figures of Death and Satan in Milton’s Paradise Lost serve as suitable instances of Burke’s sublime in literature. The aesthetic and philosophical weight of terror also holds a particular relationship to experience and ethics that Burke remarked was present during the French Revolution: the Reign of Terror underscored the uncontrollable and visceral aspect of this side to human nature. In a modern context, terror can be tied to class and race struggles, military imperialism, neoliberalism, ecocatastrophe, and police brutality, among other issues. Following the events of 9/11 our perception of terror has taken on a new nature; is it possible to disassociate terror from what we now recognize a terrorism and terrorists; the ‘other’ who is recognized as an enemy; the mentality of fighting in a ‘war against terrorism’? These new, provocative connotations have morphed the significance and effect of the word terror, as well as altered the forms of resistance to such activity. Our inquiry into the mutable character of terror seeks to understand how and why its definitions have changed over time in an attempt to clarify this elusive concept.

This conference asks: What is the nature of terror? How have representations, definitions and our understanding of terror changed over time? How is terror used aesthetically, politically and socially? How is terror translated textually and visually? What are some of the modes of resistance to terror, through literature, art, and the media? How can we address the global and radicalizing nature of the conception of terror in a political theater, in the aftermath of movements such as Je Suis Charlie or Black Lives Matter?

We invite papers from all disciplines and fields focusing on works from any period, including literature, theory, philosophy, gender; intellectual history; art history; film and media studies; economic studies; psychology and psychoanalysis. In addition to whatever topics you might imagine, you might wish to consider the following:

  • The relationship of terror to the sublime
  • Literary and cinematic representations of terror (differences in effect)
  • The relationship of terror to horror
  • Writing as a resistance to/recording of terror
  • Terror and beauty
  • Terror and race
  • The role of the media in shaping perceptions of terror
  • Images of terror (the use of terror in propaganda)
  • International perspectives and experiences of terror
  • Terror in the age of the ‘trigger warning’
  • Terror and censorship
  • Terror and colonialism and postcolonialism
  • Micro­terrors and micro­aggressions
  • Terror and affect theory
  • Terror and intentionality
  • Terror and the necessity of the ‘other’
  • Terror and the self (personal trauma, nostalgia, collective historical memory)

Please submit a 300 word abstract for a 15-20 minute paper by September 30, 2015 to gcfallconference2015[at] Proposals should include the title of the paper, presenter’s name, institutional and departmental affiliation, and any technology requests. We also welcome panel proposals of three to four papers.