Our third guest for Spring 2017 is Dr Erik Roraback from Charles University, Prague. His talk is excitingly entitled ‘The Philosophical Baroque’ and it is based on his forthcoming book The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities.
In his pioneering study The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities, Erik S. Roraback argues that modern culture, contemplated over its four-century history, resembles nothing so much as the pearl famously described, by periodizers of old, as irregular, barroco. Reframing modernity as a multi-century baroque, Roraback steeps texts by Shakespeare, Henry James, Joyce, and Pynchon in systems theory and the ideas of philosophers of language and culture from Leibniz to such dynamic contemporaries as Luhmann, Benjamin, Blanchot, Deleuze and Guattari, Lacan, and Žižek. The resulting brew, high in intellectual caffeine, will interest all who take an interest in cultural modernity—indeed, all who recognize that “modernity” was (and remains) a congeries of competing aesthetic, economic, historical, ideological, philosophical, and political energies.
As usual, we convene at the Gallery in the Rose Theatre, Kingston on Feb 16, starting at 6.30 pm. This session is free and open to anyone interested.
Erik S. Roraback was born in Seattle, USA, and teaches US literature and cinema, cultural-studies / Shakespeare, critical theory, and theoretical psychoanalysis in Charles University where he directs the program in U.S. Literature and Cultural-Studies; he also teaches international cinema in Prague’s Film and TV School, FAMU. Erik Roraback first taught in the University of Oxford, UK, where he earned a DPhil degree with Terry Eagleton (Oxford) and Maud Ellmann (Cambridge) as his thesis readers; he holds a BA degree from Pomona College, California, USA.
Erik Roraback has presented in fifteen countries, more than thirty stand-alone academic guest lectures, and an additional forty academic conference papers. He has published in five countries thirty-five scholarly articles and book chapters. Erik Roraback is also the author of a book, The Dialectics of Late Capital and Power: James, Balzac and Critical Theory (Cambridge Scholars, UK, 2007, 320 pp.) and of two forthcoming books (2017): The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities (Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, approx. 265 pp. + 3 illus.) and The Power of the Impossible: On Community and the Creative Life (IFF, Winchester, UK); currently, he is preparing a book project on movies for publication, Forms of Cinematic Capital: On Movement, Circulation, and Thought.