The Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University has organized an intriguing sounding symposium on “philosophy and new American TV,” which will take place on April 15. Below is a description of the event, along with the list of presenters. For the latest information about this, and other, exciting Humanities Center events, please click here.
In his groundbreaking book on classic Hollywood comedies, the Pursuit of Happiness, Stanley Cavell explores the philosophical significance of popular movies and emphasizes their relation with, and importance for, a certain idea of American democracy as initially outlined by Emerson and Thoreau. The emergence in last two decades of a new genre of popular American TV series (mainly but not exclusively produced by HBO), highly innovative both in visual and dramatic terms, calls for similar analyses of their philosophical and political underpinnings in the context of a different cultural and social landscape largely shaped by cable TV and the Internet. Finally, the impressive international success of American TV series like The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Mad Men or True Blood is an interesting case of the larger problem of the relation between the local and the global and may offer a new perspective on what is stake, philosophically and politically, when the most singular proves to be the only access to true universality as Gilles Deleuze claims in Difference and Repetition.
Martine de Gaudemar (University of Nanterre Paris 12)
Hédi Kaddour (Poet and Novelist)
Sandra Laugier (University of Sorbonne, Paris 1)
Paola Marrati (Humanities Center)
Yi-Ping Ong (Humanities Center)
Martin Shuster (Hamilton College)