Giorgio de Chirico, The Red Tower

Introduction to Bataille: Eroticism, Economy, Excess

Instructor: Samantha Hill
North Star Fund
520 8th Avenue, #1800
New York, NY 10018

Pornographer, philosopher, cultural critic—this course will survey the work of French thinker George Bataille. Writing in the middle of the 20th century, amidst fascist violence, Bataille’s work forcefully examines the political questions of his day, focusing on religion, eroticism, economy, and art. What is the relationship between economy and desire, economy and violence? How does eroticism shape our being? Is there a way to rethink humanity through Bataille’s understanding of the individual today?

In this course we will think about individual sovereignty in society, the relationship between violence, eroticism, and art, and the limits of economy that structure our desires. Bataille’s work critically engages with the works of Hegel, Kant, Nietzsche, and Marx, among others, offering us new frameworks for thinking about questions of sovereignty, freedom, and fascism, which remain as pressing as ever today. We will consider Bataille’s place in the tradition of Western philosophy, his turn against Hegelian dialectics, and his dissident surrealism, while asking: What role does chance play in political life? Is despair a productive political passion? And can we be free in a capitalist society?


Course Schedule

Tuesday, 6:30-9:30
July 09 — July 30, 2019
4 weeks


Registration Closed

Please email us to be placed on the waiting list.

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