News from May 23, 2017
Public Lecture (in english) by Donovan Schaefer (Oxford)
Time & Place
June 21, 2017, 6-8 pm
Habelschwerdter Allee 45, R KL32/202
Only Better Beasts: Emotion, Material Religion, and the Scopes Trial
How does knowledge feel? How does science feel? And how is the pattern of interactions between religious bodies and science structured, not by a grid of beliefs, but by a living tangle of emotions? When we talk about evolution in America, we’re talking about bodies of knowledge, but we’re also talking about bodies. We’re talking about emotional formations, shaped by material cultures. This talk will explore the material culture of the case, particularly with attention to the dynamics of racialization in print and visual journalism. It will diagram how what Sara Ahmed calls an affective economy—an economy of dignity—directs the reception of Darwinism in America.
Donovan Schaefer is a Short-Term Fellow of the CRC Affective Societies at Freie Universität Berlin.
After taking a PhD in Religion from Syracuse University in 2012, he began a two-year Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Haverford College outside Philadelphia. In 2014, he joined Oxford as a Departmental Lecturer in Religion and Science.
His research focuses on the role of embodiment – especially embodied emotion – in religion and contemporary (post)secularism. He is interested not only in combining approaches drawn from the life sciences with poststructuralism in religious studies, but in studying formations of scientific atheism and secularism as cultures that are tinged by religion even as they diverge from it.