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Walter Benjamin & the Nineteenth Century Today

December 12, 2019 - December 13, 2019

| 7-15

International conference organised by Professor Jean-Michel Gouvard (University of Bordeaux Montaigne/Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London)

in collaboration with

Textes / Littératures: Ecritures et Modèles (EA 4195, University of Bordeaux Montaigne)


Conference website


Room 243, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Keynote speakers
Professor Michael W. Jennings (Princeton University)
Professor Marc Berdet (University of Brasilia)

12 December 2019

09:30 Registration
09:45 Welcome

10:00 Session 1
Carola Borys (University of Siena & University of Paris 3): ‘Kitsch and the 19th century’s “passion for masks”’
Francisco Camêlo (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro): ‘Toys, miniatures and old children’s books’
Christoph Schmitt-Maaß (University of Munich & University of Potsdam): ‘Signs and Wounds. Walter Benjamin’s Reading of Tattoos between Art, Kitsch, and Language’

11:15 Coffee break

11:30 Parallel session 1

Panel 1A
Bassiri Tabrizi Artin (École des Hauts Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris): ‘Through the mirror: The dialectic of mirroring in Benjamin’s Passagenwerk
Erik Granly Jensen (University of Southern Denmark): ‘Infrastructure and Communication Technology in the Arcades Project
Nika Kochekovskaia (Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, National Research University “Higher School of Economics”): ‘London, the “Capital of 19th century”: the city as allegory in Sweeney Todd and Benjamin’s theory of kitsch’

Panel 1B
Jiani Fan (Princeton University): ‘Antiquity and Modernity at a Standstill. Analysis of Walter Benjamin’s Allegoric image and Dialectic image through Charles Baudelaire’
Martin Mees & Natacha Pfeiffer (Saint-Louis University, Brussels): ‘The Ruin of the World? Walter Benjamin Reading Baudelaire’
Bruna Della Torre (University of São Paulo): ‘Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu and the critical theories of Walter Benjamin and Theodor W Adorno’

12:45 Lunch

14:00 Keynote speaker 1
Michael W. Jennings (Princeton University): ‘Baudelaire and the Will to Apokatastasis’

15:15 Parallel session 2

Panel 2A
Peter Zusi (University College London): ‘Thomas de Quincey: A Prose-Poet in the Era of High Capitalism’
Victor Guerrero Apráez (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá): ‘Ghosts and Specters: rereading Henry James through Benjamin’s Gaze’
Ambra Celano (International University of Language and Medias, Milano): ‘Benjamin’s influence over Brecht’s Kriegsfibel

Panel 2B
Nicola Alessio Sarracco (Berlin Free University): ‘The influence of Benjamin’s Romanticism’
Wolfgang Bock (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro): ‘Benjamin and Kierkegaard’
Djamel Benkrid (Université de Paris VIII): ‘Benjamin and Nietzsche’s question of being/language: Two tragic destinies’

16:30 Coffee break

16:45-18:00 Session 2
Susan Reynolds (British Library): ‘Benjamin, Kracauer, Adorno: past, present, future’
Alexis A. Chausovsky (Universidad Nacional de Entre Ríos & Universidad Autónoma de Entre Ríos, Argentina):
‘Walter Benjamin and Siegfried Kracauer: towards a dialogue on gambling and temporality in the Ninetieth century’
Robert Pursche (University of Basel): ‘Archivists in the Library? How Benjamin’s 19th century survived through the catastrophic 20th century’
13 December 2019

09:45 Welcome

10:00 Session 3
Robert Krause (University of Freiburg): ‘On the Verge. The transformation of leisure into idleness in Baudelaire and Benjamin’
Danielle Esther Levinas (University of Paris 4): ‘The jumping tiger: allegory and deformation of time, language and narrative’
Sofia Cumming (University of East Anglia): ‘Walter Benjamin’s modern mythologies & the possibility of an awakened history’

11:15 Coffee break

11:30 Parallel session 3

Panel 3A
Sara Giguère (University of Montréal): ‘Double or quits: ludification of the economy’
Fernando Araujo Del Lama (University of São Paulo): ‘Walter Benjamin’s phantasmagoria haunts the 21st century: social media and Trump/Bolsonaro elections in perspective’
Enrico Campo (University of Corsica): ‘Degradation of attention? A critical analysis through Walter Benjamin’

Panel 3B
Anna Crofts (Stockholm University): ‘Charged distance: The “as ifs” of romantic irony and Benjamin’s aura’
Christophe David (University of Rennes 2): ‘Thinking Utopia with Walter Benjamin and William Morris: Reflections on Utopia as a Standstill or Rest in the Wake of Miguel Abensour’
Joris Verheijen (Rotterdam Erasmus University): ‘Brushing Bildung against the Grain: Walter Benjamin and the German Tradition of Self-Cultivation’

12:45 Lunch

14:00 Keynote speaker 2
Marc Berdet (University of Brasilia): ‘Brasilia as a Capital of the 20th Century. A Benjaminian perspective on the modernist city’

15:15 Parallel session 4

Panel 4A
Fernando Augusto Bee Magalhães (University of Campinas): ‘Benjamin’s diagnoses of modernity’
Judith Bordes (Université Bordeaux-Montaigne): ‘Boredom and Erlebnis: paradoxical diagnoses on modernity?’
Mariana Pinto dos Santos (New University of Lisbon): ‘Dreaming the past: revisiting the concept of aura after Jacques Rancière’s critique of Walter Benjamin’

Panel 4B
Tony Phelan (Keble College, Oxford): ‘Syncretism and substitution: overcoming 19th century literary history’
Karolina Jesien (University of Nottingham): ‘Innervation as Revolutionary Collective Expression. Walter Benjamin and the Body Politic’
Emile Fromet de Rosnay (University of Victoria): ‘High-speed melancholy: Benjamin, dromology, and the open air of history’

16:30 Coffee break

16:45-18:00 Session 4
Clemens-Carl Härle (University of Siena): ‘Benjamin with Manet’
Hélène Orain (University of Paris 1): ‘Walter Benjamin: A photographic thought of the 19th century out of time’
Gustavo Racy (University of Antwerp): ‘Promises of future, failures of the present. Thinking Walter Benjamin’s 19th century today through the works of two photographers of the epoch’
Generously supported by the Cassal Endowment Fund and the Université de Bordeaux Montaigne


Standard: one day £10 | two days £15
Student/unwaged: one day £7 | two days £10


December 12, 2019
December 13, 2019