[csaa-forum] A. Kiarina Kordela at the Philosophy Seminars

Philosophy@UWS Philosophy at uws.edu.au
Mon Jul 16 08:08:10 CST 2012

Philosophy Seminars 2012
Research Centre for Writing and Society and Philosophy @ UWS

A. Kiarina KordelaProfessor of German and Director of the Critical Theory Program,
Macalester College
Honorary Adjunct Professor, University of Western Sydney

TITLE: Gaze, or, The Limit to Boundary

TIME: August 01, 2-4pm

PLACE: UWS Bankstown Campus, 3.G.55

ABSTRACT: The title's pun on Kant's notorious distinction between limit (Schranke) and boundary (Grenze) means to indicate that the gaze is a function that renders any boundary-the marker of the difference between something and its other-unlimited, that is, incapable of finding completion. This analogy to Kant, however, ends here, as the way in which the gaze corrodes boundaries-to the point, in fact, that the distinction (boundary) between self and other collapses-is not that of the limit, understood in the Kantian sense of an indefinite progress in the series of experience. More relevant to the gaze's 'limitations' are rather concepts such as Deleuze's "out-of-field" or Sartre's "body" and Lacan's the "gaze." Instead, however, of engaging in a direct dialogue with the above thinkers, in this talk I will focus on the exemplary unraveling of the structure of the gaze, as the inherent condition of the boundary's impossibility, presented in Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville's Ici et ailleurs ("Here and Elsewhere"; 1976). In spite of all relevant footage, the film goes far beyond the specific historical event of the Palestinian revolution of 1970 to suggest that one's "heres" and "elsewheres" are very complex aggregates whose dimensions range from space, time, and one's geo-political position within a mediatized capitalist world, to language, habit, desire, and above all, the interplay between the boundary of gender and the gaze that corrodes it. This interplay permeates all other boundaries staged in Here and Elsewhere as a form of their primary matrix, thereby rendering difficult to define the title's et/and that is supposed to express the relation between "here" and "elsewhere." It is ultimately as an essay on Et/And that Godard and Miéville's film remains timely and central to discussions on topics that range from any specific difference to ontology itself.

BIO: A. Kiarina Kordela is professor of German and director of the Critical Theory Program, at Macalester College, and honorary adjunct professor at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. She is the author of $urplus: Spinoza, Lacan (SUNY Press, 2007), Being, Time, Bios: Capitalism and Ontology (SUNY Press, forthcoming 2013), and co-editor, with Dimitris Vardoulakis, of Freedom and Confinement in Modernity: Kafka's Cages (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011). She has published on a wide range of topics in several collections and journals, including Angelaki, Cultural Critique, Political Theory, Parallax, Rethinking Marxism, and Umbr(a). Her "Biopolitics: Transhistorically and Historically" is forthcoming in Differences.

Please note that the presentation by A. Kiarina Kordela on August 01 will be preceded by film screening of Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville's Ici et ailleurs ("Here and Elsewhere"; 1976) on July 31 at 5pm in room 02.6.05 (co-organized by Philosophy @ UWS and UWS Student Philosophy Society).

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