"On Biopolitics and the Attachment to Life"
A Conversation with Lauren Berlant
Culture@Large is the Society for Cultural Anthropology's signature event at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association. The session invites four discussants to engage with an interlocutor from outside the discipline whose work has made a significant contribution to anthropological inquiry.
This year's featured guest is Lauren Berlant, George M. Pullman Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. She is the author of many influential publications, including Cruel Optimism (2011), The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture (2008), and The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship (1997), as well as the editor of Compassion: The Culture and Politics of an Emotion (2004) and Intimacy (2000). In this forum, Berlant will examine Claudia Rankine's Don't Let Me Be Lonely and Christopher Isherwood's A Single Man in the context of exploring the larger question of what it takes to stay attached to life without wanting to reproduce the world.
In conversation with Professor Berlant will be Anne Allison (Anthropology, Duke University), Anindyo Roy (English, Colby College), Andrea Muehlebach (Anthropology, University of Toronto), and Charis Thompson (Rhetoric and Gender& Women's Studies, University of California at Berkeley).