Lecture and conversation with
“Things tell a story.” In his lectures on pragmatism, William James conceived of a world “full of partial stories that run parallel to one another, beginning and ending at odd times”, stories that “mutually interlace and interfere at points” but that “cannot unify […] completely in our minds.” With and across the work of authors such as Vinciane Despret, Donna Haraway, Bruno Latour, Anna Tsing and so many others, these stories of earthly things, whether human or non-human, or in fact often both, have recently seen a great revival. But what exactly is the function of stories? Why it is so important, today, to rethink the status of stories? How can they claim to be the stories of earthly things? Everything is already there in the thingly tales, but it is up to us to articulate them, to intensify their sense, and to accompany the possibilities they bear; it is on us, in other words, to tell new stories, sometimes of ancient things, stories that entangle us among the others, as earthly things.
On Monday, 24 February 2020, 7.30 pm, Didier Debaise will speak about “Nature and Its Others. The Invention of a Political Force” at ICI Berlin.