2012 Gourgouris "Secular Criticism"

Stathis Gourgouris, Lessons in Secular Criticism, Thinking Out Loud 2012

Stathis GourgourisLecture 1: Monday, 21 May, "Secular Criticism as Poetics and Politics" Download the introduction.
Welcome by Professor Janice Reid (UWS VC) and inauguration of the series by the Honourable Gabrielle Upton.
Download the lecture.
Stathis Gourgouris' first lecture on "Secular Criticism as Poetics and Politics."
Download the response and Q&A.
Response by Nikolas Kompridis followed by discussion.

Lecture 2: Wednesday, 23 May, "Why I Am Not A Post-Secularist"
Download the lecture.
Stathis Gourgouris' second lecture on "Why I am Not A Post-Secularist."
Download the response and Q&A.
Response by Nikolas Kompridis followed by discussion.

Lecture 3: Friday, 25 May, "The Prohibitive Politics of Political Theology" Download the lecture.Stathis Gourgouris' third lecture on "The Prohibitive Politics of Political Theology."
Download the response and Q&A.Response by Nikolas Kompridis followed by discussion.

Time: 5.30 pm (for 6 pm) to 8 pm
Place: State Library of New South Wales, Metcalfe Auditorium 

Secular Criticism Flyer"Secular criticism" is a term invented by Edward Said to combat the desire of much of modern thinking to reach for the transcendental, the very space philosophy wrested away from religion in the name of modernity. Stathis Gourgouris reinvokes the term "secular criticism" as a compass for addressing the necessity to reconceptualise the political space against religious tendencies of all kinds. Gourgouris will focus specifically on those parameters needed for societies to create new forms of collective reflection, interrogation, and action, which alter not only the current terrain of dominant politics but the very self-conceptualisation of what it means to be human. The most important dimension of the secular imagination is not the battle against religion per se, but the creation of radical conditions of social autonomy. Gourgouris will address these issues with the following series of lectures.                              

Download the
Seminar Flyer (opens in a new window)

The respondent to the lectures was Professor Nikolas Kompridis (University of Western Sydney)

Stathis Gourgouris is Professor in the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University. He is the author of Dream Nation: Enlightenment, Colonization, and the Institution of Modern Greece (Stanford, 1996) and Does Literature Think? Literature as Theory for an Antimythical Era (Stanford, 2003), and editor of Freud and Fundamentalism (Fordham, 2010). He has also published numerous articles on democracy and Ancient Greek philosophy, modern poetics, film, contemporary music, Enlightenment law, psychoanalysis. He is also an internationally awarded poet, with four volumes of poetry published in Greek, most recent being ΕισαγωγÞ στην ΦυσικÞ [Introduction to Physics] (Athens, 2005). He writes regularly on contemporary political issues in major internet media, Greek newspapers, and journals. His current research on secular criticism is the subject of two books in progress, The Perils of the One and Nothing Sacred.

As part of the 2012 Thinking Out Loud lectures, ABC Radio National(opens in a new window) also presents Stathis Gourgouris in the following programs.

  • Stathis Gourgouris speaks about "Greece's Human Crisis" on Late Night Live (opens in a new window) (Tuesday, 22 May)
  • Stathis Gourgouris' second lecture, "Why I am not a post-secularist" was broadcasted on Big Ideas (Tuesday, 12 June)
  • Alan Saunders interviews Stathis Gourgouris for The Philosophers Zone. The interview for the first lecture was broadcasted on 10 June 2012 (opens in a new window) and the interview for the third lecture was broadcasted on 17 June 2012 (opens in a new window)