The 2020 Robert H. Litowitz Lecture presents William Mazzarella, Neukom Family Professor of Anthropology, University of Chicago. Author of Shoveling Smoke: Advertising and Globalization in Contemporary India (2003), Censorium: Cinema and the Open Edge of Mass Publicity (2013), and The Mana of Mass Society (2017). Co-author, with Eric Santner and Aaron Schuster, of Sovereignty, Inc: Three Inquiries in Politics and Enjoyment (2019), editor of K D Katrak: Collected Poems (2016), and co-editor, with Raminder Kaur, of Censorship in South Asia: Cultural Regulation from Sedition to Seduction (2009):
“Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!”
Zoom Session. Join here: https://yale.zoom.us/j/92377357657?pwd=aGViVlBFVkU0dEJnN2wwWjVlVWlTZz09 Password: 016912
This presentation offers a preliminary series of thoughts on what ‘patiency’ might mean. Patiency is neither patience nor passivity; rather it suggests a kind of active and intentional yielding, in which there is creative potency. Patiency is an opening to resonance: sacred, aesthetic, therapeutic. It has to do with what the sixteenth century magus-philosopher Giordano Bruno called ‘the power to be made.’ Patiency demands that we consider the distinction between surrender and submission. Politically, patiency puts pressure on the presumed excellence of agency as the preferred idiom of self-determination, and thus also on the cult of moralized utility and the aspiration to heroic sovereignty that informs most mainstream public discourse.