Going Through the Motions: Ceaseless Work -Bonnie Honig



Going Through the Motions: Ceaseless Work and the Reduction of Publicity to Emergency:
“I am interested in thinking about things and their role in politics and public life. This interest is occasioned by the contemporary neoliberal impulse to privatize everything and the difficulty, in such a context, of preserving public things and of articulating the importance of public things to democratic life.
Where so many democratic theorists focus on the importance of the demos to democracy, theorizing the terms of inclusion, identity, or nation, I am drawn more to the idea of the importance of objects to democracy. AS we know from D.W. Winnicott, subjectivity itself postulates objects, it emerges in relation to objects which enable the transition from one developmental stage to another, from private to public and from self to other. What if democracy is rooted in common love for, and contestation of, shared objects?
Hannah Arendt’s famous essay, “The Jew as Pariah” offers four pariah figures as models of various kinds of para-politics that occur when people are deprived of access to public things. Using Arendt’s essay as a template, these lectures will focus on three of her four pariah figures – Heine, Kafka’s K., and Chaplin –each of whom is a kind of anti-hero, a remnant of a more heroic or meaningful life, or a witness to its impossibility, in modern times. Each invites further rumination on the Importance to democratic politics of public things.”
more info and earlier lectures @ http://www.uws.edu.au/philosophy/philosophy@uws/events/thinking_out_loud/2013

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