GCSC Keynote Lecture: Empathy and Violence: The Chiasma of Politics and Law
von 18:00 bis 20:00
|Wo||Philosophikum I, GCSC-Gebäude (Alter Steinbacher Weg 38)|
|Kontakttelefon||+49 641 / 99-30 053|
The GCSC Keynote Lecture Series is open to anyone interested in attending. To provide relevant topics for the diverse set of research interests pursued within the GCSC, the lectures in this series are positioned for an interdisciplinary spectrum of listeners and centred on current concepts, questions and theories within the study of culture. The lectures are oriented according to the research areas of the GCSC and deliver theoretical and methodological impulses.
Prof. Dr. Frans Willem Korsten: Empathy and Violence: The Chiasma of Politics and Law
My argument starts with two different readings of George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda by two scholars who have a radically different idea on the force and goal of empathic reading: Martha Nussbaum and Sara Ahmed.
The former bases her argument on a human subject that is coherent, stable and through an ethical mode of reading literature is able to place herself in the position of someone else. The latter takes willful, unstable, swerving subjects as her point of departure, who find themselves oppressed in such a way that the very idea of their having a will of their own is made impossible. Nussbaum is looking for an underpinning of justice on some sort of common human ground, while Ahmed accepts the irreconcilability of positions, or the principal impossibility of a common ground.
Focusing on the ways in which both authors employ radically different strategies of empathy, I ask what the goals of empathic reading could be in a juridico-political context. Here, I trace a chiastic relation between politics and law that is of relevance at times in which politics is turning more and more into a power game propelled by emotions and the force of law is threatened by parties demanding that their emotions be served.
// Prof. Dr. Frans-Willem Korsten (Leiden University, Netherlands)
Senior University Lecturer at the Department of Literary Studies