The latest book by PICT faculty member Carlo Salzani, Walter Benjamin and the Actuality of Critique: Essays on Violence and Experience, has come out from Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
In the book, Carlo tackles the work of philosopher and cultural critic Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) with an eye to its significance in the present. Rather than instrumentalizing the philosopher’s work by mining it for some kind of contemporary “usefulness,” Carlo invites his readers to think along with Benjamin and explore how the philosopher’s thought comes alive when read in relation to contemporary debates. The book, described by Brendan Moran from the University of Calgary as “a highly original and very carefully developed analysis,” focuses on two aspects of Benjamin’s work in particular: his critique of violence, and, more fundamentally, his critique of experience itself.
A longtime PICT faculty member, Carlo Salzani serves on the editorial collective of dePICTions, PICT’s annual critical review. His individual contributions to PICT include the articles, COVID-19 and State of Exception: Medicine, Politics, and the Epidemic State (dePICTions) and The Limits of a Paradigm: Agamben, the Yellow Star, and the Nazi Analogy (The Faculty Lounge) as well as the podcast episode, Giorgio Agamben & The State of Exception (PICT Voices). Carlo’s upcoming 18-hour PICT course, The Birth of the Zoo, explores our understanding of human-animal relations, of animality, and—since humans were also exhibited in zoos—of humanity itself.