BIAD Professorial Inaugural Lecture: Johnny Golding, Wednesday 19 Feb

Wednesday 19 February, 5.30pm, Parkside Lecture Theatre

Professor Johnny Golding: ‘Ecce Homo Sexual: Eros and Ontology in the Age of Incompleteness & Entanglement’

Johnny Golding Inaugural Lecture Poster

Nietzsche’s iconic Ecce Homo: (How one becomes what one is) maps out the answer by taking the reader on a rumination between paradox, irony and event. With chapter headings such as ‘Why I am so Wise’ or ‘Why I Write such Good Books’ or ‘Why I am Destiny’, one begins to breathe in the method, the madness, the sheer intelligence of it all. Whatever else may be being said in that text and others, one thing is certain: a sustained, critical, well-directed attack on metaphysics – as idealism, dialectical logic, universalism, identity politics, morality and a whole host of other paradigmatic strictures – is necessarily, urgently, launched.

Scroll forward more than 100 years since Nietzsche’s publication, and, coupled with the profound advances in socio-cultural norms from civil rights to feminism to gender inventions and stylistics of existence, as well as profound advances in physics, from the quanta, entanglement to Higgs Boson; in mathematics, from recursive algorithmic geometries to fractal imaginaries; in technology and new media from the computer to robotics, artificial intelligence and augmented reality – it almost beggars belief that at least in the aesthetic-politico-philosophic arena, one finds a steady crawl, and most recently, an electrified sprint, back to metaphysics, identity politics, speculative object-oriented philosophy and a thinly disguised incorporation of onto-theological predispositions that would make even Heidegger weep in disbelief.

This Professorial Inaugural lecture sets out to examine the problems of this (re-)turn to Hegelian metaphysics  in light of Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo – coupled with the erotic, the sensual, and indeed, the networked algorithmic ‘age’ – in order to propose a rather different move. May have to dust off copies of Marx’s Poverty of Philosophy and Benjamin’s Arcades along the way.

Drinks and canapés will be served following the lecture.

Booking is essential. To attend please contact Yanyan Wang by email.