Date/Time: 13/09/2008 12:00 am
Inaugural Lecture on “Branding Democracy”
“Barack Obama and the American Void”
Thursday, September 18, 2008 – 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
The New School, Theresa Lang Community and Student Center
55 West 13th Street, 2nd floor
Admission: $8, free for all students, as well as New School faculty,
staff and alumni with valid ID
This inaugural lecture by Philosophy Professor Simon Critchley will
launch the Vera List Center’s 2008-09 theme “Branding Democracy,”
and define the intellectual territory to be explored in public programs
throughout the year.
In keeping with this political moment, Critchley will approach the
subject of democracy through the current presidential elections and
focus on one of the candidates; entitled “Barack Obama and the American
Void,” his lecture will examine Obama’s subjectivity, the existential
detachment that seems to haunt him, and its relation to democracy. Obama
as the ultimate brand.
* * *
Simon Critchley (born 1960) is an English philosopher, working in
continental philosophy, history of philosophy, literature, ethics and
politics. Since 2004, Critchley has been Professor of Philosophy at the
New School for Social Research, New York. He has held visiting
professorships at the universities of Sydney (2000), Notre Dame (2002),
Nijmegen (1997), Oslo (2006) and Cardozo Law School in New York (2005).
In 1997 and 2001 Critchley held a Humboldt Research Fellowship in
Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt. Between 1998-2004, Critchley
was a Programme Director of the Collège international de philosophie,
Paris, and in 2006-7 he was a Scholar at the Getty Research Institute in
He is the author of many books, including Very Little… Almost Nothing
(1997), Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity (1999), On Humour (2002), Things
Merely Are (2005), and, more recently, Infinitely Demanding (2007),
which extends it into political theory and political analysis by way of
an extended engagement with Marx and an argument for an ethically
committed political anarchism. His new books are The Book of Dead
Philosophers (Vintage, 2008) and On Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’
* * *
This event is presented as part of the Vera List Center’s 2008-09
program cycle on “Branding Democracy,” in particular the exhibition
“Ours: Democracy in the Age of Branding,” presented at the Sheila C.
Johnson Design Center, Parsons The New School for Design, from October
16, 2008 through February 1, 2009.
* * *
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12th Street, main floor, Monday to Friday 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. Ticket
inquiries can be sent to email@example.com or 212.229.5488.
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