19 University Place, Ground Floor, The Great Room
The NYU Department of German and Deutsches Haus at NYU present a conversation between Sigrid Weigel, Emmanuel Alloa, and Christopher Wood on Sigrid Weigel’s recent book, Grammatologie der Bilder (Suhrkamp, 2015).
“The trace must be thought before the entity.” ~Jacques Derrida
In her recent book Grammatology of Images, Sigrid Weigel takes this formula from Jacques Derrida as her starting point. Her new theory of images seeks that which stands “before the image,” on the threshold between traces and iconic images—between the inaccessible and the representable, materiality and figuration, data and schema, between ephemeral images and mental images. At the center of her concerns are moments of apparition, for example of lines on a page, neuronal indicators in the digital image, affects on the face, the transcendental in a painting, or knowledge in theory. Her approach brings out correspondences between images beyond art and image-practices before the history of art, revealing for example how the premodern adoration and depreciation of images is reanimated in the image wars of our own time.
Sigrid Weigel is the former Director of the Centre for Literature Research in Berlin. She is the chair of the Centre for the Humanities (GWZ) in Berlin and Professor of German Literature at the Institute of Literature of the Technical University Berlin. From 1984 to 1990, she taught at the University of Hamburg, and from 1990 to 1993 at the Cultural Research Institute, Essen. She has been a visiting professor at Basel, Berkeley, Cincinnati, Harvard, and Stanford. She is currently appointed as Permanent Visiting Professor at Princeton University.
Emmanuel Alloa is Assistant Professor for Cultural Theory and Philosophy at University St. Gallen, as well as Senior Research Fellow at the NCCR eikones and Lecturer in Aesthetics at the Départment d’Arts Plastiques at the University of Paris 8-Saint Denis. He holds a binational Ph.D. in philosophy (Paris I-Panthéon/Freie Universität Berlin). His research, spanning Continental philosophy and Aesthetics, focuses on the question of images and their powers. Among his books are La résistance du sensible. Merleau-Ponty critique de la transparence (2008, 2nd edition 2014) and Das durchscheinende Bild. Konturen einer medialen Phänomenologie (2011). He is currently a Fellow at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University.
Christopher Wood is Professor of German and Chair of the Department of German at New York Univers