Elsa Dorlin presents her ongoing research on her next book, a philosophical research on the lived experience of the contemporary tragic world. As part of the posterity of the notion of biopolitics as discussed in transatlantic critical theory, Dorlin starts from the distinction between lives directly exposed to the risks of social, political, or ecological death - the lives hunted down - and those that would still be spared. What lives are spared and what does it mean to feel "spared"? Based on several current examples such as European migration policies, public health, or environmental policies in France, or the crisis caused by the mobilization of ZADs or yellow vests, Dorlin takes a radical phenomenological perspective that offers a new viewpoint on contemporary political life and the notion of denial.
Elsa Dorlin, Abigail R. Cohen Fellow
France / Université de Paris 8-Vincennes Saint-Denis
Elsa Dorlin is a professor of Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Paris 8 Vincennes/Saint-Denis in France. In 2009, she won the bronze medal of the CNRS for her work on feminist theory and philosophy of gender. Recently, she was Visiting Associate Professor at the Critical Theory Program of the University of California, Berkeley. A specialist in the philosophy of Michel Foucault, Dorlin’s research also focuses on black feminist epistemology and Fanonian phenomenology. Her latest book, Self-defense: A philosophy of violence (Paris, Zones éditions, 2017), winner of the 2018 Frantz Fanon Book Prize, is forthcoming in English (Verso).