Bruce Robbins Lecture – University of Copenhagen

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Bruce Robbins Lecture

The faculty group "Forum for litteraturforskning" and the research network on humanitarian politics and culture, Interventions, invite you to a lecture by Professor Bruce Robbins (Columbia University).

How to Describe the System to its Beneficiaries?

"Under the capitalist system, in order that England may live in comparative comfort, a hundred million Indians must live on the verge of starvation—an evil state of affairs, but you acquiesce in it every time you step into a taxi or eat a plate of strawberries and cream.”

George Orwell wrote these words 80 years ago. What do we think of them in 2017?

Bruce Robbins is Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. He is the author of:

  • Perpetual War: Cosmopolitanism from the Viewpoint of Violence (Duke, 2012)
  • Upward Mobility and the Common Good: Toward a Literary History of the Welfare State (Princeton, 2007)
  • Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress (NYU, 1999)
  • Secular Vocations: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture (Verso, 1993)
  • The Servant's Hand: English Fiction from Below (Columbia, 1986; Duke pb 1993)

He has edited: Intellectuals: Aesthetics, Politics, Academics (Minnesota, 1990) and The Phantom Public Sphere (Minnesota, 1993) and he has co-edited (with Pheng Cheah) Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation (Minnesota, 1998) and (with David Palumbo-Liu and Nirvana Tanoukhi) Immanuel Wallerstein and the Problem of the World: System, Scale, Culture (Duke, 2011).

He was co-editor of the journal Social Text from 1991 to 2000. Cosmopolitanisms, co-edited with Paulo Horta, is forthcoming from NYU. The Beneficiary, a sequel to Perpetual War, is forthcoming from Duke UP.

In 2013 Robbins directed a documentary film entitled Some of My Best Friends Are Zionists. He is now completing a documentary on the Israeli historian Shlomo Sand and working on a book about literary representations of atrocity.