Home / Events / Herman Melville and the Politics of the Inhuman


Herman Melville and the Politics of the Inhuman

20 nov 2018 17:00 - 19:00
University of Sussex
Arts Building
Room B217
Brighton, BN1 9RH

Talk by Michael Jonik (2018-2019 Paris IAS fellow) within the framework of the seminar "Sussex Eighteenth-and-Nineteeth Century", about his book Herman Melville and the Politics of the Inhuman (Cambridge, 2018)

About the book

Studies of the writing of Herman Melville are often divided among those that address his political, historical, or biographical dimensions and those that offer creative theoretical readings of his texts. In Herman Melville and the Politics of the Inhuman, Michael Jonik offers a series of nuanced and ambitious philosophical readings of Melville that unite these varied approaches. Through a careful reconstruction of Melville's interaction with philosophy, Jonik argues that Melville develops a notion of the 'inhuman' after Spinoza's radically non-anthropocentric and relational thought. Melville's own political philosophy, in turn, actively disassembles differences between humans and nonhumans, and the animate and inanimate. Jonik has us rethink not only how we read Melville, but also how we understand our deeply inhuman condition.


Richard Adelman on Idleness and Aesthetic Consciousness, 18151900 (Cambridge, 2018)
Richard Adelman and Catherine Packham on Political Economy, Literature, and the Formation of Knowledge, 17201850(Routledge, 2018)
Hannah Field on Playing with the Book: Victorian Movable Picture Books and the Child Reader (Minnesota, forthcoming 2019)
Michael Jonik on Herman Melville and the Politics of the Inhuman (Cambridge, 2018)

More information (University of Sussex website)

Anarchists, Scientists, Lovers, and Con-Men: Risk and the Nineteenth-Century Novel
01 October 2018 - 30 June 2019
20 Nov 2018 19:00
Michael Jonik
Talks and lectures
Contemporary period (1789-…)
Western Europe