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French Philosopher Ranciere to speak

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Jacques Ranciere at European Graduate School. 2009. Copyright: Hendrik Speck.

Jacques Rancière, one of the most prominent and influential philosophers writing today, will speak at Emory University Wednesday, April 25. His talk, titled "Telling, Showing, Doing: The Poetics and Politics of Fiction," will take place at 6:00 p.m. in White Hall, Room 208, and is sponsored by Emory's Department of French and Italian. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Rancière's work is recognized as a major contributor to contemporary thought and has had wide-ranging impact on fields as diverse as politics, philosophy, the visual arts, literature, history, media studies and teaching.

Rancière proposes a complex and original rethinking of politics, aesthetics and their relation to each other. Politics and aesthetics, he argues, are inextricably linked. 

"Politics," for Rancière, happens whenever those who have not been counted dissent (in the name of equality) with the prevailing distribution of roles and entitlements, and, in so doing, reconfigure the sensible world: "Politics, before all else, is an intervention in the visible and the sayable," he says.

A thinker who defies traditional categorization, Rancière crosses the boundaries that delineate the traditional distribution of disciplines to focus on his main object of study: the question of the "distribution of the sensible" and its reconfigurations, both in arts and politics.

While elaborating a complex political theory of democratic emancipation that has allowed him to propose incisive analyses of topics as diverse as human rights, liberal consensus, 9/11 and war, he also has written extensively on literature, art, film, photography, the "poetics" of history and the "aesthetic unconscious."

His translated works are, among others: "The Aesthetic Unconscious" (2009), "The Emancipated Spectator" (2009), "Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics" (2010), "Chronicles of Consensual Times" (2010), "The Politics of Literature" (2011) and "Staging the People: The Proletarian and His Double" (2011).

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