If you live near DC -- or if you have the money to blow on a sudden train, bus, or airplane trip -- please join us for the GW MEMSI conference Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Ethics and Objects in the Early Modern and Medieval Periods.
The complete program may be accessed here. Though registration filled and was closed a few weeks ago, all events Friday are free and welcome anyone who wishes to attend. That includes Jane Bennett's keynote Friday evening, "Powers of the Hoard: Notes on Material Agency." The talk isn't on this hoard, but rather (in her own words):
Though there are historical concepts to draw from in the history of philosophy, a distinctively contemporary vocabulary for a world of thing-power is still in the making, at least within the humanities and social sciences. In the talk, I try to add to that vocabulary, primarily by examining what hoarders -- considered as people who are preternaturally attuned to things -- have to teach us. This idiolect is directed not toward capturing the things outside of us but toward changing our own sense-perception, tuning it toward the frequencies of the thing-powers within and around our bodies. How to render the self more susceptible to the non-linguistic communicability between vibrant materials? I seek also to critically assess the theory of "thing-power" and the "agency of assemblages" that I pursued in Vibrant Matter by engaging some more trash, indeed a whole hoard.Worth the price of admission alone. Which is, by the way, zero dollars. It's free. Please come.