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About this seminar

What happens when we incorporate the non-human material world into academic conversations? As part of the Object Library's ongoing inquiry into routes to knowledge beyond traditional methods and existing discourses, this series of seminars co-presented with Henri Peyre French Institute invites the public to join us in study once again, taking material culture as our point of departure. With topics ranging across new areas of research, each presenter is encouraged to bring-a-thing-along or propose an object that might sit in creative tension with the seminar discussion. All are welcome, but a commitment to attend is necessary, as is reading in advance any materials supplied.

Join us for the first seminar of this exciting new series "The Object Seminar: Breaking Boundaries" led by Frédéric Baitinger, titled "Thou Shalt Enjoy Thy Object As Thyself." The seminar is free and open to the public, but to attend, please RSVP here.

Thou Shalt Enjoy Thy Object As Thyself

This is our new metaphysics, our new religious commandment: thou shalt enjoy thy object as thyself. As in the famous poem by Baudelaire The Pipe, we are no longer consumers, but we are literally consumed by our objects. They have become our primary source of enjoyment, not to say of addiction. We are completely riveted to our phone, to our computer, to our Facebook account, our Instagram account, our Seamless account, our Spotify account, etc. In a sense, one could even say that our relationships to objects are about to replace the relationships we had before to others, not to say to our significant other. For each one of our needs, there always exists an object, an app, or a delivery service that will satisfy it. It is thus as if each one of us could live, and be entirely satisfied, while being only connected to objects, and not, as it was the case before, to real people. This is why the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan suggested, as early as in the mid 70s, that what lurks underneath this omnipresence of the object is, actually, the “absence of sexual relationship between the sexes.” And this absence of sexual relationship between the sexes is itself grounded on an ultimate object—called object a—which encapsulates each one of us in its own perverse fantasy.

All events take place at the Graduate Center, CUNY from 5-7PM.

March 8: Frédéric Baitinger, room 9207
March 22: Raphaël Liogier, room 9207
May 3: Nathalie Etoke, French Lounge
May 8: Stephanie Grace Petinos, room 9206
May 10: Jasmine Narcisse, Object Library, followed by special event

The Object Seminar: Breaking Boundaries series is co-organized and sponsored by the Henri Peyre French Institute, and The Object Library from the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY.