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Oct 3, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Examined Life

With Astra Taylor and Stephen Duncombe

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
—Socrates

In EXAMINED LIFE (2008, 87 minutes, Canada, DVD), filmmaker Astra Taylor accompanies some of today’s most influential thinkers on a series of unique excursions through places and spaces that hold particular resonance for them and their ideas.

Peter Singer’s thoughts on the ethics of consumption are amplified against the backdrop of Fifth Avenue’s posh boutiques. Slavoj Zizek questions current beliefs about the environment while sifting through a garbage dump. Michael Hardt ponders the nature of revolution while surrounded by symbols of wealth and leisure. Judith Butler and a friend stroll through San Francisco’s Mission District questioning our culture’s fixation on individualism. And while driving through Manhattan, Cornel West—perhaps America’s best-known public intellectual—compares philosophy to jazz and blues, reminding us how intense and invigorating a life of the mind can be. Offering privileged moments with great thinkers from fields ranging from moral philosophy to cultural theory, Examined Life reveals philosophy’s power to transform the way we see the world around us and imagine our place in it.

Featuring Cornel West, Avital Ronell, Peter Singer, Kwarne Anthony Appiah, Martha Nussbaum, Michael Hardt, Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler and Sunaura Taylor.

Astra Taylor present for a discussion following the screening, along with Stephen Duncombe. Bluestockings bookstore, cafe, and activist center will join us for a book-signing opportunity with Taylor and Duncombe as well.

This event is presented in association with the Platypus Affiliated Society, New York chapter.

Platypus organizes reading groups, public fora, research and journalism focused on problems and tasks inherited from the “Old” (1920s-30s), “New” (1960s-70s) and post-political (1980s-90s) Left for the possibilities of emancipatory politics today.

Astra Taylor directed Žižek! which was chosen as one of the top ten documentaries of 2007 by Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian and rated a “must see” by the Chicago Reader. She holds an MA in liberal studies from the New School for Social Research and has taught at the University of Georgia and the State University of New York, New Paltz. Her writing has appeared in Adbusters, The Nation, and Salon. She lives in New York.

 

 

Stephen Duncombe is an Associate Professor at the Gallatin School of New York University where he teaches the history and politics of media. He is the author of Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy and Notes From Underground: Zines and the Politics of Underground Culture, and the editor of the Cultural Resistance Reader, among other books. He also writes on the intersection of culture and politics for a range of scholarly and popular publications, including the New York Times, The Nation and Playboy, and is a Research Associate at the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology in New York City.  Duncombe is a life-long political activist.

Details

Date
Oct 3, 2009
Time
8:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Program:

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