Looking at blockbuster movies that focus on general annihilation while also paying close attention to films like Melancholia, Cloverfield, Blade Runner, and Twelve Monkeys, Peter Szendy suggests, in Apocalypse-cinema, that in the apocalyptic genre, film gnaws at its own limit. Apocalyptic cinema is, at the same time and with the same double blow, the end of the world and the end of the film.

Joining Szendy for a conversation on the consummation and the (self-) consumption of cinema – in the form of an acinema that Lyotard evoked as the nihilistic horizon of filmic economy – will be Emily Apter. Our speakers will take on the apocalyptic genre not just as one genre among others, but as a reflection on the very conditions of possibility of cinema.

In English. Free and open to the public. No RSVP necessary.

Peter Szendy is a French philosopher and musicologist. He teaches at the Universite de Paris X (Nanterre) and is a consultant to IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique), an organization that has been a pioneer in electroacoustic innovation and a mecca for contemporary music. Visiting Fellow at Princeton University in 2012, Szendy has also tought at Marc-Bloch University in Strasbourg from 1998 to 2005. He is the author of Écoute, une histoire de nos oreilles, Minuit, 2001, (Listen: A History of Our Ears, with a foreword by Jean-Luc Nancy, Fordham University Press, 2008); Membres fantômes, Minuit, 2002, (Phantom Limbs, Fordham University Press) Les Prophéties du texte – Léviathan, Minuit, 2004; (Prophecies of Leviathan: Reading Past Melville, with an afterword by Gil Anidjar, Fordham University Press, 2010); Sur écoute. Esthétique de l’espionnage, Minuit, 2007, Tubes (Hits. Philosophy in the Jukebox, Fordham University Press, 2011); Kant chez les extraterrestres, (Kant in the Land of Extraterrestrials: Cosmopolitical Philosofictions, Fordham University Press, 2013); À coups de points, (2013).

Emily Apter is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at New York University. Her books include: Against World Literature: On The Politics of Untranslatability (2013), The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature (2006), Continental Drift: From National Characters to Virtual Subjects (1999), Fetishism as Cultural Discourse, (co-edited with William Pietz in 1993), Feminizing the Fetish: Psychoanalysis and Narrative Obsession in Turn-of-the-Century France (1991), and André Gide and the Codes of Homotextuality (1987). In 2003-2004, Apter was a Guggenheim recipient, in 2011 she was awarded a Mellon Grant (with Jacques Lezra) for a seminar on The Problem of Translation and in 2012 she was appointed Remarque-Ecole Normale Supérieure Visiting Professor in Paris. A French translation of The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature is published by Fayard in the series Ouvertures edited by Barbara Cassin and Alain Badiou in 2014. She is currently at work on a new book: Unexceptional Politics: A Vocabulary of Obstruction for the Society of Calculation to come out soon.