New Delhi. : The Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), organized the twenty fourth lecture of the Distinguished Lecture Series, “On a Peculiar Mode of Reproducing Power: Grotesque Sovereignty” by Prof. Frank Ruda, Senior Lecturer of Philosophy at the University of Dundee, UK, as also a Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School, Saas- Fee, Switzerland, Professor of Philosophy at the Scientific Research Center, Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Professor at the Bombay Institute for Critical Analysis and Research, Mumbai, India, on Friday, 24th September, 2022, 8:30-9:30 PM IST on Zoom. Supported by the Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC), Ministry of Education, Government of India, the talk was organized as part of the ongoing academic collaboration with the Department of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg, Germany, and promises to be one in a line of successively pertinent lectures.
The talk was conducted by Ms. Zahra Rizvi and Ms. Suman Bhagchandani, Ph.D. scholars, Department of English, JMI, and was enthusiastically attended by a large crowd of scholars, students, and faculty from all over the world and across various time-zones.
Prof. Simi Malhotra, H.o.D., Department of English, JMI, Indian PI, delivered the welcome address, greeting the invited speaker, faculty, scholars, and students. She spoke about the talk as a part of the ongoing collaborative project between the Department of English, JMI and the Department of English and American Studies, University of Würzburg, on “New Terrains of Consciousness: Globalization, Sensory Environments and Local Cultures of Knowledge”, supported by the Ministry of Education’s initiative SPARC, “Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration” which aims to facilitate academic and research collaboration between higher education institutes in India and abroad. She then introduced the esteemed speaker, Prof. Frank Ruda, who was greeted by a round of applause.
Prof. Frank Ruda’s lecture elaborated upon the Foucauldian notion of “Grotesque Sovereignty”. Through the lecture which was divided into three sections titled ‘Sovereignty going Commando’, ‘Going Grotesque’ and ‘From Symptoms to Symptoms’, Prof. Ruda presented the transition from classical sovereignty to grotesque sovereignty, where political power is seemingly embodied in the discredited or ridiculed figure of the sovereign. It was therein suggested that grotesque sovereignty occupies a paradox where albeit it disqualifies itself through the grotesque sovereign, it nonetheless does not lose power.
Prof. Ruda further argued that this formation is fundamentally an expression of the crisis of the system which however displaces and condenses its dysfunctionality onto the grotesque sovereign who is then presented as separate to the former. The lecture also commented upon the role of the media in the post-truth age in framing and amplifying grotesque sovereignty.
This was followed by an engaging, in-depth Q/A session coordinated by Ms. Ann Susan Aleyas, Ph.D. Scholar, Department of English, JMI. The event was brought to an end with a Vote of Thanks by Ms. Zahra Rizvi.
To ensure a wide range of viewership and participation, the event was also live streamed on YouTube, and was attended by over a hundred participants.
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