Thursday, March 1, 2018, 12:00-1:00 PM
CSWR Common Room
As Nietzsche described the death of God, so philosopher and sociologist Jean Baudrillard described the death of the real. He forwards a sense of a reality crushed by cloning chamber and the "saming" Babel of the internet, by Disneyland, by reality television, etc. And though Baudrillard saw the human species as doomed to disappear, he did believe (or at least came to believe) that we might resist through language—a language that could, at the very least, treat “our disappearance as an art form.” Is this language poetry? Maybe. Baudrillard sounds much like John Keats in Keats’s description of “negative capability, ” and explains that in order to combat the “global extermination of meaning,” we need a language of resistance that is irreducible, vernacular, enigmatic, reversible, ambivalent, “and very much alive.”
Josh Bell is Senior Lecturer in the English Department at Harvard, where he teaches poetry workshops and the occasional seminar. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, a recipient of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the author of the poetry collections No Planets Strike and Alamo Theory.
The CSWR seeks to promote the study of the world’s religions in their classical and contemporary forms, serving both as a residential community of students and scholars and an international “think tank” in the study of religion.