Convened by Frans-Willem Korsten, Yasco Horsman (Film and Literary Studies, Leiden)
Date ¦ January 15-16, 2013
ECTS ¦ 4
Venue ¦ Leiden, Eyckhof 2/005
In principle, all NICA activities can be attended by staff members, PhD and research master students. Research master students who participate in the Winter School may earn 4 ECTS. You will receive a certificate that you can have recognized at your institution’s administrative office. Enrolling in the Winter School implies your commitment to any and all assignments, which may include writing a final paper that must be handed in at a later time.
The central hypothesis behind this two-day Winter School on Literature & Law is that cultural texts (novels, artworks, films, etc.) have a capacity to broach questions about justice, rights, and injuries that cannot (yet) be articulated in strictly legal terms. Culture, we hold, can function as both a supplement to the law (filling in lacunae within the law), and as a symptom of the law, pointing to the hidden assumptions and limitations that structure the legal field. As legal philosopher Peter Goodrich puts it, the cultural sphere is the domain in which minor jurisprudences can be seen to emerge, where “forms of legal knowledge” are tested that “construct alternative juridical domains outside official legal culture.
The first day of our seminar will be devoted to the discussion of a set of theoretical problems raised by essays written by Felman, Johnson, Butler, Agamben, Foucault, Esposito, Oliver and Wolfe. We will focus on concepts such as injury, personhood, and the human-animal distinction. These concepts are at the heart of legal thought but have in recent decennia come under critical scrutiny by theoreticians working in deconstruction, posthumanism and biopolitics.
On day two we will discuss a selection of cultural texts and phenomena that use the figure of the animal to raise fundamental questions about personhood, law and legality. We will look at (excerpts) from the films Planet of the Apes (Schaffner, 1968), Au Hasard, Balthasar (Bresson, 1966), Kafka’s story “A Report to an Academy,” (1917), transcripts from medieval “animal trials,” current political debates about the codification of animal rights, and the public responses to the artworks of Tinkebell.
Guest speakers: Tara Atluri (Social Sciences, The Open University); Joost de Bloois (UvA), Geert Warnar (UL); Tinkebell
For more information, please contact Frans-Willem Korsten.
To enroll, please contact NICA.
Place: Eyckhof 2/005
Day one: Tuesday January 15th
Session one (10-13.00): Law, Personhood, Animality.
(Goodrich, Felman, Johnson, Arendt, Esposito)
Session two (14-17:00): Biopolitics, Animals, Law.
(Agamben, Butler, Wolfe, Oliver)
Presentations by and discussions with:
- Joost de Bloois (University of Amsterdam)
- Tara Atluri (York University)
17-18:00: Wrap up of day one
20:00 Screening Au Hazard Balthazar (Bresson, 1966)
Day two: Wednesday January 16th
Session four (10-12): Animals on Trial.
(Barnes, Kafka, Coetzee, Planet of the Apes)
12.00-13:00: Presentation by Berrie Vugts (LUCAS, Universiteit Leiden) on George Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” (1936)
Session five (14-16:00)
14-16.00 Workshop / Discussion with Tinkebell (Artist, Amsterdam)