HOM Videos

Nietzsche on Mimetic Metamorphoses (N. Lawtoo)


For Nietzsche philosophy was an embodied activity that should lead to a metamorphosis of the spirit. In Part 1 of this talk, shot in Sils Maria, Switzerland, Nidesh Lawtoo situates Nietzsche’s “Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit” that open Thus Spoke Zarathustra against the Alpine summits and paths that inspired Nietzsche’s meditations in the first place. In the process, mimesis turns out to be central for Nietzsche’s reevaluation of morality, subjectivity, as well as to concepts such as the “overman” and the “eternal return of the same.”

Conrad and the Planetary: Nidesh Lawtoo in Dialogue with William Connolly

In this online dialogue on Conrad and the Planetary (Sept. 9. 4pm CET) HOM PI Nidesh Lawtoo and political theorist William Connolly join forces to reflect on the role of reading Conrad to face planetary challenges in the Anthropocene. More information here.

HOM Videos ep. 6, Feminist Politics of Mimesis: Adriana Cavarero


Italian feminist philosopher and political theorist Adriana Cavarero (U of Verona), 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.

Mimetic Resonances

In this Alpine talk, Nidesh Lawtoo outlines critical and theoretical resonances between sound theory and mimetic theory. From Heart of Darkness to the origins of music, Lawtoo outlines the duplicity of mimetic resonances from the all-too-human vulnerability to (new) fascist leaders whose voice is hollow at the core to counter-movements of anti-fascist solidarity like BLM, while situating these mimetic resonances in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic–from an Alpine distance.

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.

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