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“Mimesis Replayed: Girard avec Derrida (and beyond)” with Nidesh Lawtoo

September 3, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

In this lecture, Nidesh Lawtoo revisits the legendary 1966 Johns Hopkins Conference, “The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man,” an event which was meant to introduce structuralism in the US, yet ended up inaugurating what became known as poststructuralism instead. Adopting a comparative approach to two participants that are often considered as antipodes (René Girard and Jacques Derrida) from the perspective of the ancient problematic of mimesis, reveals that the similarities far outplay the differences. At one remove, replaying mimesis half a century later still provides a genealogical starting point to think critically, and thus theoretically, about the all too human tendency to imitate the characteristic of Homo Mimeticus.

Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be provided.

Bio: Nidesh Lawtoo is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and English at KU Leuven and Principal Investigator of the ERC-funded project, Homo Mimeticus. His work reframes the transdisciplinary concept of mimesis in light of theories of affective contagion, mimicry, and the unconscious. His books include The Phantom of the Ego: Modernism and the Mimetic Unconscious (2013), Conrad’s Shadow: Catastrophe, Mimesis, Theory (2016) and (New) Fascism: Contagion, Community, Myth (2019).


September 3, 2019
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Carpenter Room – Rubinstein Library Room 249
411 Chapel Drive
Durham, NC 27705 United States
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