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MC: Johannes Völz: Aestheticizing Insecurity

When Jan 31, 2017
from 10:00 to 02:00
Where Phil I, GCSC, R.001
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**This event is part 3 of the series “Spatializing Security and Terror” in cooperation with the SFB “Dynamics of Security”**

Part 1 of the event series: Reading Retreat, December 13, 2016 (10am-5pm)

Part 2 of the event series: Roundtable discussion on December 14, 2016 (1-3pm) with Prof. Bernd Belina (Frankfurt), Prof. Stuart Elden (Warwick), Prof. Peter Haslinger (Marburg), Moderation: Prof. Andreas Langenohl (Gießen)

 

Aestheticizing Insecurity

This master class seeks to explore what literary and cultural studies can contribute to the study of security. To this end, we will review how security has been conceptualized in two academic fields: first, we will discuss some of the premises and assumptions underlying influential theories in the IR subfield of “security studies” and its various branches (realism, liberalism, constructivism); second, we will focus on some approaches wide-spread in the humanities, particular those that work with the idea of a “culture of fear.” The goal of the master class is to challenge both of these traditions of security scholarship by taking into account the insights gained from the perspective of literary aesthetics: by looking at ways in which threat and security are often staged in literature, we can begin to conceptualize a desire for insecurity that upends the normative valuations which most established theories accord to the twin terms of ‘security’ and ‘insecurity.’ Our literary test case will be Don DeLillo’s recent (and slim) novel Cosmopolis (2003).

 

Johannes Voelz is Heisenberg-Professor of American Studies, Democracy, and Aesthetics at the Institute of English and American Studies at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. He is the author of two monographs, The Poetics of Insecurity: American Fiction and the Uses of Threat (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press) and Transcendental Resistance: The New Americanists and Emerson’s Challenge (University Press of New England, 2010). Moreover he is the editor of a special issue of the journal Telos on Security and Liberalism (published in March 2015) and of a special issue of Amerikastudien/American Studies on Chance, Risk, Security: Approaches to Uncertainty in American Literature (published in October 2016). In addition, he has co-edited several volumes of essays, most recently The Imaginary and Its Worlds: American Studies after the Transnational Turn (with Laura Bieger and Ramón Saldívar; University Press of New England, 2013).

 

//PD Dr. Johannes Völz (Frankfurt) 

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