Second Reading Group Meeting (w/ Susan Buck-Morss via video-conference)

We want to thank everyone who attended and helped publicize the last reading group meeting, which was a tremendous success! The discussion was productive, genuine, and inspiring, and we are excited to see what will develop in the following two meetings. The CLIFF Organizing Committee will be holding the second of our three pre-conference reading group meetings on Monday, February 9th from 4:00-6:00pm. The meeting will take place in the Comparative Literature Department Library (2015 Tisch Hall). We will have food and refreshments for all participants.

The theme for this discussion will be political/cultural/linguistic translation in our research and in conceiving a leftist politics for the “global public sphere” in the 21st century. Once again, we are extremely grateful and excited that our keynote speaker, Professor Susan Buck-Morss, will be joining us via video conference. In fact, after joining us for the first reading group meeting, Professor Buck-Morss generously agreed to provide us with a new work of hers, which we will be reading for the second meeting. This work, entitled “Philosophers and Kings,” was presented at the 28th Conference of L’Académie de la Latinité – the theme of which was “Shared Values in A World of Cultural Pluralism” – held in Oman in November, 2014. The CLIFF Organizing Committee has the text available for those who are interested in participating. If you plan to attend the second reading group meeting, please email us at and we will send you the reading. Here is a list of all the assigned readings that we will discuss during our next meeting:

  • Susan Buck-Morss – “Philosophers and Kings”
  • Emily Apter – Introduction and Chapter 1 from Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability
  • (Additional, but optional, reading) Lawrence Venuti – “Translation, Community, Utopia”
  • Lastly, for those who have time, we encourage you to read James D. Ingram’s”Rethinking Ethical Cosmopolitanism: From Universalism to Universalization” from Radical Cosmopolitics: The Ethics and Politics of Democratic Universalism.  This is not among the required readings for our second meeting, but we feel that our conversation would only benefit if those involved were able to familiarize themselves with Ingram’s piece on the implications of cosmopolitan values and politics in the 21st century.

Extremely exciting political developments are occurring in Greece, Spain, and across the world right now (we could even, perhaps, call the Greek elections an event). At the same time, though, we hardly need to be reminded of the greater losses that are being suffered in every corner of the globe, and it is with a determined will and communicative openness that we will attempt to comprehend and engage these actualities without falling into the abstract, ontological airiness of a historically unmoored “speculative leftism.” We truly hope that you will be able to join us on February 9th! NOTE: IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND OUR READING GROUP MEETING, PLEASE EMAIL US AT TO LET US KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE ATTENDING. This will help us make adjustments for space, catering, seating, etc.


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