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Proposal Deadline: November 15, 2013; Seminar: March 20-23, 2014, ACLA at NYU

Proposal Deadline: November 15, 2013

The Paul of Tarsus Interdisciplinary Working Group at Northwestern University will co-host a three day seminar on "Agamben, Capital, and the Homo Sacer Series: Economy, Poverty, People, Work" at the annual conference of the American Comparative Literature Association at NYU from March 20-23, along with Dr. Adam Kotsko, the English translator of the latest three publications of the Homo Sacer volumes from Stanford University Press (The Sacrament of Language, The Highest Poverty, and Opus Dei).

The official description of our panel on the ACLA website is as follows:

With the recent publication of Opus Dei and The Highest Poverty (Stanford 2013), Giorgio Agamben's ambitious theological-political project slouches closer to completion as the latter title begins the fourth and final volume of the Homo Sacer series. Since its inaugural volume (1995), the economy has forcibly reasserted itself as the primary driver of history. Agamben's shift in focus from sovereignty to glory is, perhaps, a way of addressing neoliberal capitalism via parallels drawn between medieval theology and modern political economy. How does such an economic tendency inform the failure of the Franciscans to move beyond appropriation and ownership? Does it inspire the critique of Kantian ethics as genealogical progeny to the work and office of the priestly caste? Does it in some way account for Agamben's ambition to move beyond Heidegger's critique of Western culture in terms of ousia by shifting focus to laity and work? In what ways is the Homo Sacer series responding to, critiquing, or falling short of Naomi Klein, Badiou, Zizek, David Harvey, or Hardt and Negri? To what extent is the series indebted to the works Walter Benjamin and Michel Foucault? This panel invites engagement with the series, including, but not limited to, critiques of the coherence of themes throughout the course of the project's maturation (e.g., exception, glory, oath, liturgy, work, witness), as well as commentary on its tendency to become more and more directed toward economic issues. Papers engaging with the Homo Sacer series whose focus is not primarily economic are also welcome.

Please submit proposals through the ACLA portal at:

Click the "Submit a Paper Proposal" link and make sure to choose our Seminar ("Agamben, Capital, and the Homo Sacer Series") from the drop down menu.