‘From Hegel to Freud and Kafka’ Oct. 4, 5 and 6

Internationally acclaimed philosopher Mladen Dolar is Visiting Hurst Professor

The voice is commonly understood as a vehicle for communicating meaning and, alternatively, as a source of aesthetic pleasure — approaches personified by the military commander and the opera singer.

But in A Voice and Nothing More (2006), Slovenian philosopher Mladen Dolar, PhD, proposes a third paradigm: psychoanalysis.

“The voice is endowed with profundity,” he argues. “By not meaning anything, it appears to mean more than mere words, it becomes the bearer of some unfathomable originary meaning which, supposedly, got lost with language.”

Thus, for Dolar, the voice becomes the bridge between language and the body, between culture and nature, between analyst and analysand.

In October, Dolar, the Visiting Fannie Hurst Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, will lead a three-day series titled “From Hegel to Freud and Kafka.”

Hosted by the Department of English in Arts & Sciences, the series will explore the linguistics, metaphysics, ethics and politics of the voice as well as its use in the writings of Sigmund Freud, Georg W.F. Hegel and Franz Kafka.

The series will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, with a seminar titled “The Borders of Language.” The following evening, Dolar will lead a seminar on “Kafka’s Burrow,” also at 7 p.m.

Dolar will conclude the series at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, with a lecture on “Hegel and Freud: The Absolute Knowledge and the Unconscious.”

All three events are free and open to the public and take place in Hurst Lounge, located in Duncker Hall, at the northwest corner of Brookings Quadrangle.

For more information, call (314) 935-5190 or email mgbatten@wustl.edu.

The author of nine books and more than 120 papers, Dolar is a co-founder — with Slavoj Žižek and Rastko Močnik — of the Society of Theoretical Psychoanalysis in Ljubljana, Slovenia, which explores the relationship between psychoanalytical theory and philosophy. His own research centers on questions relating to German classical philosophy, structuralism, theoretical psychoanalysis and the philosophy of music.

Dolar is currently an advising researcher in theory at the Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, the Netherlands, as well as a senior research fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Llubljana.

In addition to A Voice and Nothing More, Dolar’s books in English include Opera’s Second Death (2002), co-written with Žižek. He also serves on the editorial boards for the magazine Problemi and for the book series Analecta.

Calendar Summary

WHO: Slovenian philosopher Mladen Dolar

WHAT: “From Hegel to Freud and Kafka”

WHEN: 7 p.m. Oct. 4, 5 and 6

WHERE: Hurst Lounge, Room 201 Duncker Hall

COST: Free and open to the public

SPONSOR: Department of English in Arts & Sciences

INFORMATION: (314) 935-5190 or mgbatten@wustl.edu