The PACT Division of the European Graduate School has announced that Judith Butler’s July 15th lecture “Losing Touch: Fragments on the Inhabitable World” can be rented online. For more information on renting this lecture, please visit the EGS event webpage.
This lecture revisits two questions: what makes a life livable and what makes for an Inhabitable world? The argument is that the two questions are linked and suggests a critical phenomenological reconsideration of the life-world. The conditions of pandemic establish bodies as ethical vectors, capable of doing and suffering illness, illuminated in an intertwined mortality. Considering again Merleau-Ponty’s posthumous writing on “the invisible and the visible” in pandemic times, we can ask, what sense of world and livable life emerges when the prohibition on touch is one way of safeguarding another’s life as well as one’s own. And what sense do we make of care when healthcare workers safeguard the lives of those who are ill by taking on a potentially lethal viral load? To what extent is touching/being touched breathing each other’s air part of the embodied and social life-world that now inverts in the name of a politics of life?
Please note, the EGS is charging a small amount for this recorded lecture in order to generate resources for their public events. Judith Butler is thanked for warmly for donating her lecture for this purpose, and the EGS appreciates this financial support in order to continue to strive to bring as much public programming as possible with proceeds from events like this one.