HOM Videos 10: Ancient Foundations for Mimetic Studies II

In this last episode of HOM Videos, Nidesh Lawtoo returns to the place where mimetic studies begun: the Great Theatre of Dionysus in Athens. It is in fact here that mimesis was not simply represented but, rather, performed by actors on mimes endowed with the capacity to generate a mimetic, dramatic, or Dionysian pathos in the audience as well.

HOM Video 10: Ancient Foundations for Mimetic Studies I

In order to bring the Homo Mimeticus project to an end and launch the field of mimetic studies, Nidesh Lawtoo (prof. at Leiden University) re-turns to the place where theories of mimesis began. Shot on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, ep. 1 recalls that philo-sophia, or love of wisdom, is born out of a mimetic agon with a mythic wisdom that found in Athena a primary source of inspiration

Rebirth of Homo Mimeticus

Nidesh Lawtoo interviewed by Asijit Datta December 2023

In this discussion on the topic of “The Art of Imitation and the Desire for Violence: The Rebirth of Homo Mimeticus,” we have tried to grasp the emerging concepts around mimesis, new age violence, and the return of the homo mimeticus.

Violence and the Mimetic Unconscious: vol. 2 The Affective Hypothesis


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!

HOM Videos 9, The Neuroscience of Mimesis: Vittorio Gallese. I History of a Discovery

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.

Violence & the Oedipal Unconscious: Book Launch

Book launch with M. Garcia-Granero, William Johnsen and Nidesh Lawtoo (Paris, 2023)

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: https://msupress.org/9781628964851/vi…

Violence and the Oedipal Unconscious: vol. 1, The Catharsis Hypothesis

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 Angel as Host: J. Hillis Miller Last Flight

Hillis Miller's Concept of Critic as Host – Literary Theory and Criticism

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.

Homo Mimeticus Book Launch and Conclusion

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.

The Insurrection Moment: Insurrection, Conspiracy, Assault

Black Mirror and the 2020 Election: Conclusion | Psychology Today

In this HOM piece for a Theory & Event special issue on the Storming of the Capitol on January 6, Nidesh Lawtoo furthers mimetic studies by discussing the role of Dionysian intoxications, conspiracy theories, and dispossession in the company of Nietzsche, Deleuze and Black Mirror. Article available OA here