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Avital Ronell. Kafka's The Test: The Guest-Ghost. 2011

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Published on Mar 15, 2012

http://www.egs.edu Avital Ronell talking about Kafka's "The Test" in relation to the figure of the guest. In this lecture, she discusses the idea of the guest-ghost, the economy of the impoverished, the gift vs. an economy, potlatch, Derrida and hospitality, invitations, coercive demands, insinuating hierarchies in Kafka, duplicity, Heidegger's thrownness, and passing the test.




Public open lecture for the students and staff of the European Graduate School EGS Media and Communication Studies department program Saas-Fee Switzerland Europe 2011 Avital Ronell.

Avital Ronell, Ph.D., is the Jacques Derrida Professor of Media and Philosophy at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. She is also University Professor of the Humanities and a professor of German, English, and comparative literature at New York University, where she codirects the Trauma and Violence Transdisciplinary Studies program. She is currently in Paris where she continues to churn out a breathtaking range of deconstructive rereadings of everything from technology, the Gulf War, and AIDS, to opera, addiction, and stupidity. She is the author of Dictations: On Haunted Writing; The Telephone Book; Crack Wars; Finitude's Score; Stupidity; The Test Drive; Fighting Theory; and most recently, Loser Sons.

Avital Ronell studied at the Hermeneutics Institute in Berlin with Jacob Taubes, ultimately earned her doctorate at Princeton University, and then worked with Jacques Derrida and Hélène Cixous in Paris. As one of the first translators of Jacques Derrida's work into English, she in effect introduced his work to the American academy. Avital Ronell has continued the deep reading projects of her former teachers (and friends), focusing her attention on such varied assumptions as the telephone directory, Rodney King, Madame Bovary, Martin Heidegger and schizophrenia. Though often labeled a philosopher (as well as a key player in critical and political theory, cultural and literary criticism), Avital Ronell's work, thoroughly transdisciplinary, consistently slips the bounds of traditional academic castes, earning her accolades from often disparate spheres of the cultural milieu. Her work is often determined to be deconstructive, Derridian, Heideggerian, post-feministic, post-structuralist, psychoanalytic, and yet her writing continually works beyond these labels remaining utterly singular.

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