Speaking at Durham

Tomorrow, 25th February 2014, 17:30 to 18:30, The Birley Room, Hatfield College, Institute for Advanced Study Public Lecture.

I’m giving a talk ostensibly titled “The Light of Transcendence and the Vicissitudes of Time.” The talk, fitting IAS’s mission, is supposed to be both interdisciplinary and publicly accessible. I’ll begin with Dick Cheney’s 16 Sept. 2011 interview with Tim Russert, where he talks about the need to operate in the shadows, all to bring forth a politics of light (this year the IAS theme is on light). From there I’ll move through the political aesthetics of such movies as Zero Dark Thirty, the attempt to describe how one would begin a history of the politics of light, through a close reading of several passages where Plato mentions the “nocturnal council” in the Laws. This should allow me both speak very broadly of critical, philosophical methods while also using clear examples of the politics of visibility and invisibility, one that both engages in “taking on the tradition,” as Michael Naas calls it in the double sense, and its relevance to wider political critique today.

Directions to Hatfield College