[csaa-forum] Dimitris Vardoulakis at Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy, UWS

Amanda Third A.Third at murdoch.edu.au
Sun Apr 19 12:54:41 CST 2009

Dear All,

The Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy at the University of Western Sydney is pleased to announce the next presentation at its Seminar Series 2009.

Dr.  Dimitris Vardoulakis will give a paper presentation titled “The Sovereign’s Discomfort.” Please find the abstract of the paper and the bio of Dimitris Vardoulakis below, as well as time and place of the event (attached as a pdf file). We would be happy to welcome you at this seminar, and please kindly inform your students and colleagues about that exciting event.  

If you have any questions about the meeting, the seminar series or how to get to Bankstown campus, please feel free to contact me.

Best wishes

Magdalena Zolkos, Phd

Research Fellow in Political Theory
Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy
University of Western Sydney

H-Ideas Book Review Editor

Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy Seminar Series 2009
The Sovereign’s Discomfort

Dimitris Vardoulakis
School of Humanities and Languages
University of Western Sydney

TIME: April 24, 2-4pm
PLACE: Bankstown, Building 1, Room 1.1.117

ABSTRACT: When his Chief of Staff, Andrew Card, interrupted George Bush’s classroom visit at Booker Elementary School to whisper the news about the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the President was filmed looking deeply unsettled and bewildered. This project argues that the notion of discomfort resonates deeply with a philosophical conception of sovereignty. The image of Bush’s confusion is more important than the pictures of the planes crashing into the Twin Towers because it presents something never put on display, the ‘taboo’ image of the sovereign’s discomfort.
This discomfort is not important merely as a physical reaction, such as surprise, unease or disgust. Rather, it is important because the sovereign represents the strength and stability of the state. According to Foucault, a single idea marks the Western conceptualization of power: “the idea that knowledge and truth cannot not belong to the register of order and peace.” The sovereign embodies that idea. He represents order, peace and stability. Bush’s discomfort is emblematic of a new phase in the history of sovereignty – a phase in which the image of a comfortable sovereign is shattered, and the guarantee of order and stability he represents is radically undermined.

BIO: Dimitris Vardoulakis is lecturer at the University of Western Sydney. His books include The Doppelgänger: Literature’s Philosophy (Fordham UP, 2010); as an editor Spinoza Now (U of Minnesota P, 2009), After Blanchot (Delaware UP, 2005), and The Political Animal (special issue of the journal Substance, 2008); as a translator, Hamena Kormia, translation of Alasdair Gray’s Poor Things (Nefeli, 2001) and To Pouli, To Kampanario, translation of Peter Lyssiotis’ The Bird, The Belltower (2005). He has published numerous articles in English and Greek and he has been a Humboldt Fellow.

For more information on the seminar series and the activities of the Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy see: http://www.uws.edu.au/ccpp 


Dr Amanda Third
Senior Lecturer/Director of the Centre for Everyday Life
Murdoch University
Western Australia

ph: +61 8 9360 7469 (w) +61 420 36 47 58 (m)
email: a.third at murdoch.edu.au

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