2017 Flexner Lectures — Theaters of Refusal
Brown University Professor Bonnie Honig, a leading scholar of democratic, feminist and legal theory, will hold the 2017 Mary Flexner Lectureship at Bryn Mawr College.
While in residence at Bryn Mawr, Honig will deliver three public lectures on her new work, which explores the politics of refusal. The three Flexner Lectures are on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. in Great Hall.
- Oct. 30: Inoperativity: Relaxation as Refusal — Bacchaes, with Agamben, Deleuze and Guattari
- Nov. 6: Inclination: Postures of Refusal — Antigones, with Cavarero
- Nov. 13: Imagination: Regicide as Refusal — Moby-Dick and the Bacchae, revisited, with Arendt and Foucault
Honig is the Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Modern Culture and Media and Political Science at Brown University, and an affiliated research professor at the American Bar Foundation, Chicago. She is the author of several books, including Political Theory and the Displacement of Politics (Scripps Prize, 1994) and Emergency Politics: Paradox, Law, Democracy (co-winner of the David Easton Prize). She has also published Democracy and the Foreigner, and Antigone, Interrupted, which was shortlisted for the MacPherson Prize. Honig is editor and co-editor of several collections, her most recent (with Lori Marso) is Politics, Theory, and Film: Critical Encounters with Lars von Trier. Her book Public Things, part of the Fordham University Press series Thinking Out Loud, was published in 2017.
Drawing on the argument of the book to comment on the political situation in the United States, her essay “The President's House is Empty” went viral upon being published by Boston Review on Inauguration Day in January.
In describing the interests that underlie Public Things, Honig writes:
I am interested in thinking about things and their role in politics and public life. This interest is occasioned by the contemporary neoliberal impulse to privatize everything and the difficulty, in such a context, of preserving public things and of articulating the importance of public things to democratic life.
Established in honor of Mary Flexner, a Bryn Mawr graduate of the class of 1895, the Lectureship has brought some of the world’s best-known humanists to campus for a brief residency. In addition to their public lectures, holders of the Mary Flexner Lectureship often lead seminars or discussions with undergraduate and graduate students. By agreement with Bryn Mawr, the Flexner Lectures are subsequently published by Harvard University Press. A number of special courses are being offered in connection with Honig’s Flexner Lectureship.
“The Flexner Lectureship is so special because it allows faculty and students to delve deeply into the work of a preeminent scholar as a community,” says Bryn Mawr President Kim Cassidy. “Judith Butler brought real electricity to campus when she was our 2011 Flexner Lecturer. I look forward to a similar experience when Bonnie Honig joins us. Her interdisciplinary reach and her interest in political action will engage many of our students and faculty.”
For more about Honig, visit her faculty profile.