"The Concept of Survival" a lecture by Visiting Scholar Falko Schmieder

Wednesday, November 20
1:00 p.m.
Room 710 Social Sciences Building

One aspect of the emergence of bio politics around 1800 is the formation of a temporalized meaning of, Survival', indicating a profound change in the understanding of being and its relation to time and politics. A well known linguistic expression of this change is the metaphor "survival of the fittest" which was a key element of Social Darwinist worldview.

The Anthropologist and Ethnographer E.B.Tylor introduced another important concept: that of, "Survivals." As an important methodological tool of the new science of cultural anthropology this concept identifies and explores such elements of culture, which have their origins in pre-modern times and have a second life as inharmonious misfits in modernity, creating conditions of the synchronicity of the nonsynchronous.

In his presentation Schmieder examine the significance of the temporalization of survival for different fields of knowledge, and, in a further step, will discuss some turning points of the subsequent history of this concept, which is still relevant for contemporary discourses.

Falko Schmieder is a DAAD visiting professor at the University of Minnesota and is currently teaching the course "History of the Holocaust." He has studied Communications, Political Science and Sociology at various German Universities. Since 2005 he has worked as a researcher at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research Berlin.

Co sponsored by the Center for German and European Studies.

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