Hotel October: The Deaths and Dates of Jacques Derrida and Walter Benjamin

Presented by Professor John Schad (Department of English Literature and Creative Writing, Lancaster University)

Date: 18 August, 2017
Time: 3pm-4pm
Location: Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Abstract:

‘Hotel October’ explores Jacques Derrida’s fascination with dates and how that fascination reveals a secret correspondence, in every sense of the word, with Walter Benjamin – a man who has the same birth-day as Derrida.  It is, though, the date of Benjamin’s death and its infamous mise-en-scène, the cheap hotel on the Franco-Spanish border, that dominate ‘Hotel October,’ a text which takes the form of a dramatic monologue delivered by the proprietor, Juan Suñer - a man known to be both a manipulator of dates and, indeed, close to the Gestapo.  As the monologue unfolds, Suñer advances an elaborate calendrical re-reading of a host of Derrida texts which probes at the mystery not only of Benjamin’s last night but also of living with both Jewish and Christian calendars.  Finally, we see how this last of nights puts under unbearable pressure the infinite promise of both the Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sunday.

 

Presenter:

Professor John Schad (Department of English Literature and Creative Writing, Lancaster University) has a research focus in: critical-creative writing; modernism; Victorian writing; literary theory; and the relationship between religion and literature. These interests are reflected in his major publications - seven authored books: namely, Hostage of the Word: Readings into Writings 1993-2013 (Sussex), The Late Walter Benjamin (Bloomsbury), Someone Called Derrida: An Oxford Mystery (Sussex), Arthur Hugh Clough (Northcote House), Queer Fish: Christian Unreason from Darwin to Joyce (Sussex), Victorians in Theory (Manchester UP), and The Reader in the Dickensian Mirrors (Macmillan); and my five edited books: namely, Dickens Refigured (Manchester UP); Thomas Hardy, A Laodicean (Penguin); Writing the Bodies of Christ (Ashgate); Crrritic!(Sussex); and life.after.theory (Continuum). The last book included new interviews with Jacques Derrida, Frank Kermode, Toril Moi, and Christopher Norris. Prof Schad has also been General Editor for a series of experimental monographs called critical inventions. The series includes titles by Thomas Docherty, Roger Ebbatson, J.Hillis Miller, Kevin Mills, David Punter, Michael Wood and Jean-Michel Rabaté.

Professor John Schad (Department of English Literature and Creative Writing, Lancaster University)

 

About Research Seminar and Workshop Series

The research seminar and workshop series' occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

The seminars occur on a Friday afternoon from 3-4 pm in Room 601 in the Michie Building (#9).

Semester 2, 2017 Seminars & Workshops

 

Friday, 11 August
3-4pm

Technologies for the Analysis of Communication

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Dan Angus

Friday, 18 August
3-4pm

Hotel October: The Deaths and Dates of Jacques Derrida and Walter Benjamin

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Prof. John Schad
(Department of English Literature and Creative Writing, Lancaster University)

Friday, 1 September
3-4pm

The Writer on the Road

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr James Cowan

Friday, 15 September
3-4pm

Birds of a feather? Trump, Chavez and the populist communication style in times of discursive disruption

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Elena Block

 

Friday, 29 September
3-4pm

Making Hollywood Mobile: Labour in Global Film and Television Production

Room 740, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Kevin Sanson
(School of Communication, QUT)
Friday, 13 October
3-4pm

The Datafication of Religious Media:
Pulpit Plagiarism and the Spiritual Commons in American Sermons

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Andrew Ventimiglia
(TC Beirne School of Law, UQ)
Friday 27 October
3-4pm

Cirrus: Innovative, Digitally Engaged Assessment for High Level Thinking

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Natalie Collie, Dr Jennifer Clement, Kerry Kilner
Friday, 3 November
3-4pm

"The State of Fun": How Singapore's Fun Campaigns Legitimise an Emerging Casino Economy

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Juan Zhang

Friday, 10 November
3-4pm

Historical Moods in Film

Room 601, Michie Building (#9)

Dr Robert Sinnerbrink
(Macquarie University)