October 17, 2014 - Cabinet - “The Falls”: a panel
October 17, 2014

“The Falls”: a panel

Hubert Robert, The Accident (detail), ca. 1790–1804. Courtesy Hubert Robert.

“The Falls,” with Emily Apter, Jeff Dolven, Alexander Nagel, and Jamieson Webster
Wednesday, 29 October 2014, 7–9pm

300 Nevins St


In conjunction with its forthcoming issue’s theme section, Cabinet magazine is inaugurating “The Accident,” a series of programs that will examine how the “accidental event” has been understood in the philosophical, cultural, and scientific imagination since early modernity. Of little intellectual value until then because of its apparently insignificant singularity, the accident has since the 17th century been recast into an occurrence that raises fundamental questions about the way the world is ordered.

The first installment of this series will be “The Falls,” a panel discussion—featuring Emily Apter, Jeff Dolven, Alexander Nagel, and Jamieson Webster—that will consider the condition of falling. Most falls occur without anyone noticing or caring, but the panel will turn our attention toward a number of falls that have been slowed down for consideration and passed down to posterity by writers and painters, including a tumble from a ruined triumphal arch in a painting by Hubert Robert; Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s recollection of being hit and knocked unconscious by a Great Dane; the falling of leaves as interpreted by poets from John Milton to Johnny Mercer; and a story about Jacques Lacan stealing Jean-Paul Sartre’s explanation of why we dream of falling when we fall asleep. Though focusing on physical tumbles, the event will inevitably also examine falls of a less concrete variety.

“The Falls” is organized by Alexander Nagel. No RSVP necessary.

About the participants
Emily Apter is professor of French and Comparative Literature at New York University. Recent works include Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability (Verso, 2013) and the co-edited Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon (Princeton University Press, 2014). She is finishing a book on “unexceptional politics” and the art of political fiction.

Jeff Dolven teaches poetry and poetics, especially of the English Renaissance, at Princeton University. A book of his poems, Speculative Music (Sarabande Books), came out in 2013. A new book of criticism, The Sense of Style, is forthcoming.

Alexander Nagel teaches art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. An editor-at-large of Cabinet, his recent books include Medieval Modern: Art out of Time (Thames and Hudson, 2012) and The Controversy of Renaissance Art (University Of Chicago Press, 2011).

Jamieson Webster is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. She is author of The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis (Karnac Books, 2011) and co-author of Stay, Illusion! The Hamlet Doctrine (Pantheon, 2013).

About Cabinet
Featuring exhibitions of both contemporary art and historical materials, as well as a diverse range of talks, screenings, and performances, Cabinet magazine’s event space in Gowanus, Brooklyn, was inaugurated in the fall of 2008 to further extend the publication’s engagement with art and culture. For further information, contact Cabinet at press [​at​] cabinetmagazine.org. 

Cabinet is published by Immaterial Incorporated, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Cabinet receives generous support from the Lambent Foundation, the Orphiflamme Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Katchadourian Family Foundation, and many individuals.

“The Falls”: a panel at Cabinet, Brooklyn
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