May 17, 2017

Living in the Interregnum: Democracy and Its Rogues

March 31, 2014 - 4:00pm, St. Louis

In Jacques Derrida’s Sovereignty and the Beast, we inherit the figure of the beast, which like the specter, and the rogue, speaks to the event of a different ontology that sovereignty exempts from its order to constitute as mere life. This life is not bare, Derrida argues. It signifies another ontology of zõē incommensurable with what sovereignty chooses to recognize as part of the human and his logos. In the past two centuries, it has often taken the various names of the refugee, the slave, the native, the subaltern, the rogue, the homosexual, the HIV positive, and recently the precarious proletariat. This zõē is neither bare nor inconsequential. Her perseverance and ability toexappropriate being is best represented by the ambivalent smile (meidiama) of the korē. The korē as an archaic beast radiates her defiant meidiama and urges us to ask about the beasts of the sovereign order of democracy from its ancient origins to the present.

Mina Karavanta is assistant professor of English and postcolonial studies at the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Philosophy. She is a member of “Behind the Looking-Glass: ‘Other-Cultures-within’ translating Cultures,” a transnational research network funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and co-ordinated by Professor Joan Anim-Addo (UCL, Goldsmiths). She is one of the founders and co-editors of Synthesis, an electronic and peer-reviewed journal of comparative literary studies.

Her work has appeared in Mosaic, Feminist Review, Modern Fiction Studies and other journals and edited collections. She has co-edited Edward Said and Jacques Derrida: Reconstellating Humanism and the Global Hybrid (with Nina Morgan) and Interculturality and Gender (with Joan Anim-Addo & Giovanna Covi). She is currently working on her monograph The Postnational Novel: Literary Configurations of Community in the Anglophone Novel of the Twentieth-first Century.

Organized by: Mina Karavanta