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Rechtswissenschaftliche Fakultät Lehrstuhl Fiocchi

State, Power, and Violence between Law, History and Literature

The seminar will be organised together with Prof. Eduardo Jorge de Oliveira (Romanisches Seminar, Universität Zürich)

I. Content of the Seminar

We would like to present and discuss four essential books to understand the complex relationship between State, Power, and Violence: Walter Benjamin’s Critique of Violence (Zur Kritik der Gewalt), Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer, Michel Foucault’s Security, Territory, Population (La naissance de la biopolitique) and Jacques Derrida’s Force of Law (Force de Loi). With an interdisciplinary approach that involves Literary Theory, Cultural Studies, Law and Legal History, Brazilian and Latin American Studies , the seminar intends to integrate students (Master and Bachelor) from Comparative Literature, Romance Studies, Law Studies, Film Studies, Art History and History to establish a fruitful dialogue between these different disciplines.


II. Topics

The topics will all be discussed with the critical reconstruction elaborated by Walter Benjamin, Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault. The concepts of these authors will be a theoretical frame work and the point of departure for the paper of the students. The key-words are: Violence, Biopolitics, Literature and Law.


III. Academic Requirements

Writing a paper and presenting it at the seminar is required. In addition, active participation in the discussions of the papers of the other participants is expected. The oral performance will be factored into the final grade.


IV. Place and Time

The seminar will take place at the University of Zurich. Room and dates (2 days) are to be determined.


V. Proceeding of the Seminar

The seminar will be held in English. Each day consists of presentations of student papers and ensuing discussions. The sessions will be introduced by key note speakers (Profs. Jorge de Oliveira and Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina).


VI. Admission

A maximum number of 20 students will be admitted. Students from the Bachelor and Master level and PhD students are welcome.


VIII. Master Thesis

Students have the option to write a Master thesis. A presentation of results and thoughts of the research is expected at the seminar.


IX. Application and Registration

Please apply by email and indicate name, address and Matrikelnummer (privacy will be observed) and suggest a topic you are interested in.

Final applications are due by 30 January 2019. Topics for students of literature may be discussed with professor Jorge de Oliveira  and for students of the faculty of law with professor Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina before this date.  Students of other faculties are also welcome.

Registrations are binding.


X. Paper Deadline

The final date to submit papers will be three weeks before the seminar.