** Non-Institute Events
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March 4, 2019 from 3 - 5 PM
Bonnie Honig Seminar
“Bartleby” as a Figure of Inoperativity: The Body Politics of Post-Work
Bartleby, the ubiquitous figure of refusal, is a character in a short story by Herman Melville, whose refusal is expressed in his now famous formula, “I [would] prefer not to. “ In this seminar we will discuss the story in detail, assessing the power and limits of refusal, in language and at work, in Melville’s story. We will attend not only to Bartleby but also, with the help of supplementary texts, to the story’s historical context (eg., the Astor Place riots) and to the other characters all of whom refuse work in a variety of creative ways. Why then has it been Bartleby who has so captured the imagination of critical theorists from Deleuze to Agamben?
Seminar Readings (Read in this order):