So, What? lecture with Prof Vanessa Lemm
- When: 26th July
- Time: 6:00pm - 7:30pm
- Location: Tyree Room, John Niland Scientia Building UNSW Kensington (map ref G19)
What do we owe one another? New directions in thinking about community
The globalization of social (economic, cultural, environmental) relations has generated a new need for people who have little or nothing in common with others to create community with each other without giving up their differences. The traditional understanding of community was that people want to be together because they feel that they share something, if only the same portion of the world. So what does it mean that people now want or need to be in communities without having anything in common, no shared territories or identities or even values? How can a bond between people be established when there is nothing that unites them? How can radical difference make for communal forms of life? Recent continental philosophy has struggled with these kinds of paradoxes. In this lecture I shall discuss one contribution to these questions found in the work of the Italian philosopher Roberto Esposito. This work brings to light two dimensions of community that have so far not been taken into proper account: First, the idea that community reflects an economical relation where an infinite debt ties the members to each other through continuous gift-giving. Second, the idea that community is inscribed in the horizon of life and reaches beyond the human to all forms of life. In contrast to the communist, communitarian and communicative understandings of community, this presentation argues for what could be called a biopolitical conception of community.
Vanessa Lemm, PhD in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research, USA (2002), Master in Philosophy from King’s College University of London, England (1993), Postgraduate degree in Philosophy (Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondis) (1994), Bachelor in Philosophy (Licence) (1992) and an undergraduate degree in Philosophy (D.E.U.G) (1992) from Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, France. She is Professor in Philosophy and Head of School of the School of Humanities of the University of New South Wales. She is also a recurrent Visiting Professor in Philosophy at the Institute of Humanities at the Diego Portales University, Santiago de Chile and taught at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Potsdam as a DAAD Guest Professor in 2010-2011.
Her research focuses on the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche; contemporary political thought; biopolitics; the question of the animal; philosophy of culture and cultures of memory; theories of justice and the gift. She is the author of Nietzsche’s Animal Philosophy: Culture, Politics and the Animality of the Human Being (New York: Fordham University Press, 2009). This book has been translated to Spanish (Santiago de Chile: Ediciones Universidad Diego Portales, 2010) and is also forthcoming in German with Diaphanes Verlag (2012). She has edited volumes on Hegel and Foucault. She is currently completing two edited volumes on Nietzsche as well as a monograph on Nietzsche and contemporary political thought forthcoming in Spanish with Fondo de Cultura Económica at the end of this year.
Prof Vanessa Lemm Interview
Listen to an interview of Prof Vanessa Lemm with Wendy Harmer of Radio National's Life Matters program here
RSVP online (Essential)
For further information contact:
T: +61 2 9385 8512
Click here for information on the full 2012 So, What? Lecture series.