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Elizabeth Povinelli : « The Collapse of Political Concepts »

[Paris • France]


This second lecture begins with four axioms that emerge when politics enters the interstitial spacing among the whole earth, gaia, and autonomous worlds. The four axioms are: the extimacy of existence; the collapse of western distinctions and hierarchies of existence, most signi cantly that between Life and Nonlife, the biological and geological; the distribution of the effects of power and the power to affect a given terrain of existence; and the multiplicity and collapse of forms of the event. How does the straining of quasi-spaces and fuzzy things and of the efforts and forces of embankment of existence demand an accounting from western political concepts for their refusal to register their historical and current effects on the toxic earth?


Elisabeth Povinelli is professor in anthropology at Columbia University (New York). Her writing has focused on developing a critical theory of late liberalism that would support an anthropology of the otherwise. Informed primarily by the traditions of American pragmatism and continental immanent theory and grounded in the circulation of values, materialities, and socialities. This potential theory has unfolded primarily from within a sustained relationship with Indigenous colleagues in north Australia and across five books, numerous essays, and four films with the Karrabing Film Collective. Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism was the 2017 recipient of the Lionel Trilling Book Award. Karrabing films were awarded the 2015 Visible Award and the 2015 Cinema Nova Award Best Short Fiction Film, Melbourne International Film Festival and have shown internationally including in the Berlinale Forum Expanded, Sydney Biennale; MIFF, the Tate Modern, documenta-14, and the Contour Biennale.

Conférence enregistré dans le cadre d'une série de rencontres avec Elizabeth Povinelli, organisé par Université Paris 1 – Ecole des arts de la Sorbonne. Enregistré le 6 mars 2018 au Reid Hall – Columbia Center à Paris.