Fail, A Research and Creative Collaborative, 2011-2012
This collaborative is the result of conversations and debates about the “future of the humanities.” The stakes of the debate are quite real and affect everyday life on campus (students and faculty alike). However, because the national conversation on this topic often seems to reach a dead end, perhaps due to a différend about the very mission of the humanities, we have deemed relevant to question the failure of the conversation about the future of the humanities, or, perhaps, the failure inherent in the teaching of and scholarship in the humanities. This topic—failure of the humanities, failure of teaching the humanities, failure of the conversation about the mission of the humanities—might be as interesting a topic as any of the suggested avenues toward renewed productivity. In this collaborative, we will thus frame the question so as to consider not the future but the “failure of the humanities.”
We are proposing a reading group for this year, with an interest in beginning to theorize some concepts of failure. One dominant goal is to consider the concept of failure divorced from the normative position of “success,” while another is to round out the idea of failure by examining some related concepts: catastrophe, trauma, “désœuvrement,” the interminable. Here is the tentative list of authors we will read: Paul Virilio, Giorgio Agamben, Jean-Luc Nancy, S. Freud, Michel Foucault, Isabelle Stengers and Blaise Pascal.
Conveners: Juliette Cherbuliez (French and Italian, College of Liberal Arts) Bruno Chaouat (Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, College of Liberal Arts), and Margaret Werry (Theatre Arts and Dance, College of Liberal Arts)
Tagged Bruno Chaouat, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, CLA, collaboration, Fail, Failure, French and Italian, Humanities, interdisciplinary, Juliette Cherbuliez, Margaret Werry, Theatre Arts and Dance