Northwestern Events Calendar


Michael Dillon - After Infinity: The Government and Politics of Transfinite Life

When: Wednesday, May 8, 2019
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM CT

Where: 620 Library Place, (Program of African Studies), Evanston, IL 60208 Evanston map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free and public welcome

Contact: Jill Mannor   (847) 467-3970

Group: Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Michael Dillon (Lancaster University) with discussants Samuel Weber (Northwestern) and James Martel (San Francisco State University).

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Michael Dillon, Emeritus Professor of Politics, Lancaster University, UK, is the author of The Liberal Way of War: Killing to Make Life Live. He explores politics, security, and war from the perspective of continental philosophy. He has been especially interested in the problematisation of security as new discourses and technologies take life rather than sovereign territoriality as their referent object. His recent work looks at the philosophy of the event, the politics of encounter, and divine violence and political theology, drawing on the work of Giorgio Agamben, Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida and Jacques Ranciere, among others.

About Michael Dillon

Michael Dillon has written extensively on security and war, international political theory, continental philosophy, and cultural research. Since security is foundational to all understandings of the political, he also researches the relation between continental thought and political theory, concentrating increasingly on the philosophy of the event, divine violence, and political theology. Michael Dillon’s most recent books include: The Liberal Way of War: Killing to Make Life Live (with Julian Reid, 2009), and Biopolitics of Security: A Political Analytic of Finitude (December, 2015). He co-edits a Political Theologies book series for Bloomsbury Press and is co-editor of The Journal for Cultural Research. His current book project is entitled Making Infinity Count. In it he is exploring the impact of the mathematisation of infinity and the infinitisation of mathematics, which, together with the digital molecular, and computational revolutions, now inspires the formalisation of everyday life. His talk at Northwestern, entitled ‘After infinity’, focuses specifically upon how, in the formal reasoning systems that are now transforming the problematisation of government and rule, the infinite transits the face of the finite.

This talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science as part of the 2018-19 SECURITY Dialogues, a year-long conversation about struggles over security from humanistic perspectives, presented by the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities in partnership with multiple Northwestern departments and programs.

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