[csaa-forum] Peggy Kamuf public lecture
D.Vardoulakis at uws.edu.au
Mon Mar 8 09:50:34 CST 2010
"Competent Fictions: On Belief in the Humanities"
Friday 19 March, 6.00pm
Edmund Barton Room
Sydney Grammar School
College St, Darlinghurst
Professor Kamuf's lecture reconsiders the term "fiction" not as something demonstrably, avowedly false or counter-factual, but rather, as an operation of "reference without referent" - that is, without a producible, verifiable, provable, or knowable referent. This revised understanding of fiction displaces the conventional opposition between the humanities and the discourses of science and practical knowledge, thus putting in question beliefs about competence, and perhaps even about the condition of belief in general. Kamuf then juxtaposes analyses of an essay by Derrida on total nuclear war, "No Apocalypse, Not Now," and Henry James's short story, "Owen Wingrave," in order to demonstrate how the demand for a referential proof that would put an end to fiction leads to nihilistic consequences - the catastrophic replacement of living uncertainty with dead proof.
RSVP essential to writing at uws.edu.au for catering purposes
Peggy Kamuf is the Marion Frances Chevalier Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California, and the 2006 winner of the René C. Wellek Prize for Literary and Cultural Theory from the American Comparative Literature Association for "Book of Addresses" (Stanford, 2005). Her publications include "Signature Pieces: On the Institution of Authorship" (Cornell UP, 1988), "A Derrida Reader: Between the Blinds" (with Derrida; Columbia UP, 1991), "The Division of Literature: Or the University in Deconstruction" (University of Chicago Press, 1997), and "Derrida's Gift" (with Naomi Schor and Elizabeth Weed; Duke UP, 2006). Her visit to Sydney is co-sponsored by the School of Humanities and Languages and the Writing and Society Research Group at the University of Western Sydney.
All welcome. RSVP/info writing at uws.edu.au
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