“Figures of Metamorphosis: On the Mythology and Plasticity of the Political”


Figures of metamorphosis haunt the political imaginary from antiquity to the present. They testify to the enormous energies within processes of social formation. For my book project “Figuren der Verwandlung: Zur Mythologie und Plastizität des Politischen”, I investigate such figures in literature, theater and political philosophy from historical and systematic angles. The corpus includes works by Aeschylus, Plato, Ovid, Shakespeare, Thomas Hobbes, J. W. v. Goethe, Carl Schmitt, John Heartfield, Warlam Schalamow, Heiner Müller and Ulrike Ottinger, among others. The aim of the close readings is to broaden the understanding of the role of myth(ology) and aesthetic experience for the political imaginary. In my presentation, I will sketch the main lines of argument of the book-in-progress.

(Talk in English, Discussion and Q&A in English)