Representations of violence have subliminal contagious effects, but what kind of unconscious captures this imperceptible affective dynamic in the digital age? In volume two of a Janus-faced diagnostic on violence and the unconscious, HOM PI Nidesh Lawtoo traces a genealogy of a long-neglected, embodied, relational, and highly mimetic unconscious central to the problematic of (new) media violence. Now OUT with MSU P!
In this second episode of HOM Videos on The Neuroscience of Mimesis, Vittorio Gallese discusses with Nidesh Lawtoo important precursors of the discovery of mirror neurons in aesthetics, phenomenology and the tradition of the mimetic unconscious: from Nietzsche to Lipps, Merleau-Ponty to Aby Warburg, Charles Féré to Pierre Janet, a number of fin-de-siecle philosophical physicians were sensitive to the mirroring relation between movement and sensation later confirmed by the discovery of mirror neurons.
As HOM Videos moves toward a conclusion, Nidesh Lawtoo travels to Parma, Italy, to interview neuroscientist Vittorio Gallese who, along with Giacomo Rizzolatti and his team, discovered mirror neurons in the early 1990s. In the first of four episodes on a major contribution to the mimetic turn, Gallese retells the history of the discovery of mirror neurons in nonhuman and human primates, discusses what more is known about mirroring mechanisms 30 years later, and begins to lay out the theoretical implications of embodied simulation for the transformations of homo mimeticus in the 21st century.
In this book launch of a diptych on Violence and the Unconscious, Nidesh Lawtoo, Marina Garcia-Granero and William Johnsen present the latest output of the ERC project Homo Mimeticus. Rather than entering the debate on media violence from a quantitative perspective, the book retraces the genealogy of the concept of catharsis that still informs, or misinform the popular imagination. The launch contextualizes the book within mimetic studies and discusses key thinkers of violence and the unconscious, from Aristotle to Nietzsche, Freud to Girard, among others. More information here:
In this chapter based on the Raymond Schwager Lecture Nidesh Lawtoo delivered at the University of Innsbruck in 2019, he revisits his work on (new) fascism from the angle of the patho-logies of exclusions that turn mimesis into pathological scapegoating mechanism directed against minorities and immigrants. Chapter available HERE.
What’s in a voice? And if the echoes a voice generates are neither singular nor plural but singular plural, what shared voices are at play in Jean-Luc Nancy’s untimely reflections on the affective participation, or methexis, animating the agonistic confrontation between philosophy and literature? Part of a dazzling collection of essays thinking with Nancy, in this chapter Nidesh Lawtoo reveals the partage des voix internal Lacoue-Nancy. Chapter available HERE.
In his latest contribution to mimetic studies,Violence and the Oedipal Unconscious (MSU P, 2023), Nidesh Lawtoo reframes current debates on (new) media violence by tracing the philosophical, aesthetic, and historical vicissitudes of the “catharsis hypothesis” from antiquity to modernity into the present via Aristotle, Nietzsche, Bernays, Freud, Girard, Morin among others. In the process, he outlines a new theory of violence, mimesis, and the unconscious that does not have desire as a via regia, but rather, the untimely realization that all affects spread contagiously and thus mimetically.
The HOM project officially ended in 2022 but publications are still forthcoming. In this article Nidesh Lawtoo revisits J. Hillis Miller’s career as one of the most influential theorists and critics of the past 50 years and shows that Miller’s last work offers an essential contribution to the mimetic turn, or re-turn. Published with symploke, the article is available Open Access HERE.
In this book launch of Homo Mimeticus: A New Theory of Imitation (Leuven UP, 2023, OPEN ACCESS), HOM/GM PI Nidesh Lawtoo joins forces with his team (Niki Hadikoesoemo, Marina Garcia-Granero & Giulia Rignano) to sum up the main results of the HOM project and open up the new transdisciplinary field of mimetic studies Homo Mimeticus proposes.