Lectures and Conferences

Rei Terada: Historical Transition and Transition as Such

October 26, 2015

Rutgers Comp Lit Seminar Room
195 College Avenue
11:30am - 1:30pm

Acclaimed critic and theorist Rei Terada is the author of many important articles and books on literary history (especially Romanticism and its aftermath), philosophy, political theory, and psychoanalysis. Her works include Derek Walcott's Poetry: American Mimicry (Northeastern UP, 1992); Feeling in Theory: Emotion after the "Death of the Subject" (Harvard UP, 2001); Looking Away: Phenomenality and Dissatisfaction, Kant to Adorno (Harvard UP, 2009); and a new book called Radical Anxiety. What follows is a precis of her Monday seminar:

Forensics, logistics, and cognitive mapping view spatiotemporal grasp as a prerequisite for historical understanding and political action. At the same time, critiques of racial modernity have pointed out, as Robert Meister has recently written, that "justice itself is an intertemporal problem (the supersession of one time by another)" which historical value and historical thinking often reinforce. Since time can only be grasped by movement in space, this situation implies that concepts of spatiotemporal movement are also involved in the problem of justice. Conceivably, historical transition already appears in transition as such--in perceptions of simple movement. Taking cinema as one of the main areas in which this question gets considered, this paper reads theories of the perception of movement in Kant, Bergson and in William Pope.L's film *Reenactment* (2012), and argues that elements of racial modernity do indeed structure perceptions of simple spatiotemporal coordination.

Please join us for what will be a memorable discussion of film, justice, historical change, and "racial modernity."