Upcoming Events

October 19-20, 2023

Discourse on the Plague (1347-1600): Authorities, Experience, and Experiments, Conference at The American University of Paris

Co-organized by Brenton Hobart (The American University of Paris) and Véronique Montagne (Université Côte d’Azur)

Medical treatises, historical writings and literary narratives about the plague use a common linguistic register which repeated itself from Antiquity through Renaissance Europe and which persists in today’s popular and scholarly imagination of how we envision epidemic disease – Covid language and plague language are to a large degree one and the same. The truth concerning disease is thereby molded, if not skewed, by a preconceived discourse, which the writers of such truth are (or feel) forced to revisit: to prove knowledge of and move beyond past disease; to establish themselves as authoritative; likely, to learn how to transform ineffable horror into the art form that the printed word is. To prove encyclopedic knowledge, medical authorities revisited literary and historical perspectives; literary writers incorporated medical knowledge into their literature. The experiential (I sometimes witness X – factually based) is thus subjugated to the theoretical (I often read Y – rehashed time and again because some long past authority chanced to take note of it).

Discussions throughout this conference will include the relative importance of theory, imitation, experience, and experimentation in treatises on the plague and in literature of the greater Renaissance, while considering them in light of the current global medical crisis. They shall also consider the opposition and exchanges between the humanist tradition and personal inquiry, i.e. the place of ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘one’ and ‘I’ in these writings, together with the implied importance for empirical and subjective approaches, as well as the epistemological consequences of these choices by the authors of the treatises.

Most papers will be given in French. Questions and answers in French or English. 

For more information, contact Brenton Hobart: bhobartataup.edu 

Past events

Wednesday, May 10, 2023: MCGC presented Book in Progress Workshop on Dr. Merten Reglitz’s (U of Birmingham) The Human Right to Free Internet Access.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023: MCGC’s Working Paper Series presented research in progress by AUP scholars Noemie Oxley and Fatima Aziz, with an external discussant to be announced. Imaginaries of contemporary conflicts: engaging with the War in Ukraine on TikTok.

January 25, 2023: Degenerations of Democracy (Harvard UP, 2022), dialogue with the authors, Charles Taylor, Dilip Gaonkar, and Craig Calhoun. Featuring commentaries by American University of Paris professors Stephen Sawyer and Julian Culp, and Ilaria Cozzaglio, Goethe University Frankfurt. The event was co-sponsored by the AUP Center for Critical Democracy and moderated by AUP professor Jayson Harsin.

Spring 2022 Mellon-funded Lecture Series: Comparative Critiques of Post-truth politics and theory (lecture series and edited volume).

Speakers included: Jack Bratich (Rutgers U.); Ergin Bulut (Koc University, Turkey); Katherine Higgins (U Penn); Jinsook Kim (Emory University);  Alison Hearn (U. of Western Ontario); Kaarina Nikunen (U. Tamere), Lee Edwards (LSE), Bilge Yesil (CUNY).

Edited volume forthcoming (summer 2023) from lecture series: Jayson Harsin (ed.) Post-truth and Trust in a Globalized Society: Popular Truth and Consequences. London: Routledge.