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Rechtswissenschaftliche Fakultät Lehrstuhl Fiocchi

Violence between Law and Literature

Seminar with Prof. Dr. Eduardo Jorge de Oliveira (Romanisches Seminar UZH)


This seminar proposes to present and discuss four essential books to understand the complexity and meaning of violence both in law and literature: Walter Benjamin's Critique of Violence (Zur Kritik der Gewalt), Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer, Michel Foucault’s Security, Territory, Population and Jacques Derrida’s Force of Law (Force de Loi). With an interdisciplinary approach that involves Literary Theory, Cultural Studies and Law Studies, Legal History, the workshop intends to involve students (Master and Bachelor) from Comparative Literature, Romance Studies, Law Studies, Film Studies, Art History and History and to establish a fruitful dialogue between different disciplines.


I. Topics

The topics will focus on the critical reconstruction of the works of Walter Benjamin, Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault. The concepts of these authors will serve as a theoretical framework and the point of departure for the paper of the students. 


II. 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.


III. Place and Time

The seminar will take place online (Zoom or Teams) on April 6. The time is to be determined. For further information please contact Prof. Dr.  Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina.


IV. 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 Prof. Eduardo Jorge de Oliveira and Prof. Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina.


V. Admission

A maximum number of 20 students will be admitted. Bachelor, Master and PhD students are welcome.


VI. Master Thesis

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


VII. 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.

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 Malaspinabefore this date. Students of other faculties are welcome.

Registrations are binding.


VIII. Paper Deadline

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