HOM Videos 8, The Pscyhology of Mimesis: Mikkel Borch-Jabobsen
In the eighth episode of HOM Videos, the philosopher and historian of psychoanalysis Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen (University of Washington) discusses with Nidesh Lawtoo the genealogical foundations of psychic mimesis: from his studies at the University of Strasbourg with Lacoue-Labarthe to the birth of psychoanalysis (out of Charcot’s and Bernheim’s theories of hysteria and suggestion), from Freud’s account of identification to Lacan’s theory of the mirror stage to Big Pharma, mimesis turns out to play the leading protean role in the modern and contemporary pathologies of homo mimeticus.
Plasticity of Mimesis / Mimetic Plasticity: Catherine Malabou & N. Lawtoo in Dialgoue
In this dialogue, Catherine Malabou and Nidesh Lawtoo explore the genealogical continuities between mimesis and plasticity to foster metamorphoses for the present and future. Taking Nietzsche’s “Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit” in Thus Spoke Zarathustra Malabou and Lawtoo discuss how both brain plasticity and imitation play a central role in the formation of the subject via education, memory, and habits stretching to include metamorphic transformations in the age of AI simulations.
Inclining Mimesis: A Dialogue with Adriana Cavarero
In this dialogue Adriana Cavarero engages in a dialogue with Nidesh Lawtoo in view of inclining mimesis toward a relational conception of homo mimeticus that is open to affective influences, for both good and ill. Topics addressed include the danger of (new) fascist fusions, the pluralism of surging democracy, ethical responsibility, maternity, and other topics central to the surging field of mimetic studies.
HOM Videos 7, Mimesis, Sport, Crowds: Gunter Gebauer
In this seventh episode of HOM videos, German philosopher Gunter Gebauer (Free U of Berlin) discusses the discuss the role mimesis plays in sports, the origins of language, social distinction, crowd behavior, and the recent rise of hypermimetic behavior in the digital age, all of which paint a picture of homo mimeticus beyond good and evil.
Jean-Luc Nancy: The Myth of Community (Prelude)
Jean-Luc Nancy is internationally known for launching the concept of “community” on the philosophical scene. But what is the mythic experience that gave birth to his community in the first place? Where was this scene set? And who are its protagonists? In this singular-plural interview shot in the summer of 2020, Jean-Luc Nancy begins to tell the myth of the Strasbourg community to Nidesh Lawtoo. Addressing a world that “is soon going to disappear,” Nancy narrates a Prologue for a myth yet to come…
HOM Videos 6, Feminist Politics of Mimesis: Adriana Cavarero
In the sixth episode of HOM Videos, Nidesh Lawtoo (KU Leuven) meets the Italian feminist philosopher and political theorist Adriana Cavarero (U of Verona). From Plato to Arendt, Cavarero discusses the relational ontology that inclines the subject toward the other, the dangers of mass behavior, and the possibilities for a new feminist ethics. The city of Verona provides a background to Cavarero’s reflections on mimetic inclinations at play in a feminist politics of mimesis.
Nietzsche on Mimetic Metamorphoses II (N. Lawtoo)
Nietzsche on Mimetic Metamorphoses I (N. Lawtoo)
Conrad and the Planetary: Nidesh Lawtoo in Dialogue with William Connolly
Vibrant Mimesis: A Walk with Jane Bennett (Nidesh Lawtoo)
In this account of Jane Bennett’s Influx & Efflux (2020) Nidesh Lawtoo establishes a bridge between new materialism and mimetic theory. He argues that the influences internal to Bennett’s account of a porous self, tap into the powers of mimesis to induce sympathy towards (non)human others, along contagious lines central to the mimetic turn as well.
HOM Videos ep. 5, Jean-Luc Nancy: Philosophy and Mimesis
In the fifth episode of HOM Videos, Nidesh Lawtoo meets French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy (U of Strasbourg) to discuss the ancient quarrel between philosophy and mimesis. Topics discussed include the relation between mimesis, myth, politics and community. Trailer here.
Reading Conrad in Catastrophic Times: The Mimetic Turn (Nidesh Lawtoo)
In this video presentation for the 2020 Joseph Conrad Society (UK) Annual Meeting shot on the Furka Pass (Swiss Alps), ERC grantee Nidesh Lawtoo introduces the relevance of Conrad’s mimetic turn to face contemporary catastrophes like (new) fascist politics, viral pandemics, and climate change in the Anthropocene. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.14321…
HOM Videos, Ep.4: The Anthropology of Mimesis: Christoph Wulf
In this fourth episode of HOM Videos, part of the ERC project Homo Mimeticus, Nidesh Lawtoo (KU Leuven) interviews the anthropologist Christoph Wulf (Freie U of Berlin) to discuss the centrality of mimesis in rituals, social identity and education. Trailer here.
HOM Videos, Ep. 3: The Complexity of Mimesis: Edgar Morin
In this third episode of HOM Videos (trailer), part of the ERC Homo Mimeticus Project, Nidesh Lawtoo (KU Leuven) interviews the French sociologist, philosopher and founder of complexity theory Edgar Morin. From the anthropology of the double to cinematic identifications, ethics to politics, mimicry to the birth of art, homo mimeticus turns out to be constitutive of Morin’s complex view of human nature.
Nidesh Lawtoo presents, (New) Fascism: Contagion, Community, Myth (2019)
Fascism tends to be relegated to a dark chapter of European history, but what if new forms of fascism are currently returning to the forefront of the political scene? In this book, ERC grantee Nidesh Lawtoo furthers his diagnostic of crowd behavior, identification, and mimetic contagion to account for the growing shadow cast by (new) leaders who rely on new media to take possession of the digital age. Book available for purchase here.
HOM Videos, Homo Mimeticus: A Short Introduction
ERC grantee Nidesh Lawtoo and his team members (Niki Hadikoesoemo, Daniel Villegas Velez and Wojciech Kaftanski) introduce the Homo Mimeticus Project at the Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven, Belgium.
HOM Videos, Ep 2: The Critic as Mime: J. Hillis Miller
In this second episode of HOM Videos, Nidesh Lawtoo interviews the literary critic and theorist J. Hillis Miller (Emeritus Professor, U of California at Irvine) on Deer Isle (Maine, USA, 2018) to discuss the relation between mimesis and literature, literary criticism/theory, deconstruction, reading in the digital age, new media, videogames, and contemporary politics. Watch the trailer here.
HOM VIDEOS, Ep 1: The Politics of Mimesis: William E. Connolly (Full Interview)
Why is mimesis a political problem? In this first of a series of interviews for the ERC project Homo Mimeticus , Nidesh Lawtoo meets political theorist William E. Connolly (Johns Hopkins University) in Boston (APSA 2018) to talk about the political dangers of affective contagion, mimetic identification and new fascism central to his latest book, Aspirational Fascism (2017). Watch trailer here.