Luke O’Sullivan: “Theory TV: The Political Documentaries of Adam Curtis” (13/10)

Luke O’Sullivan, de la National University of Singapore, professeur invité à Sciences-Po St Germain en Laye (Univ. de Cergy-Pontoise), présentera sa communication “Theory TV: The Political Documentaries of Adam Curtis” le jeudi 13 octobre, de 17h30 à 19h30. Maison de la Recherche, 28 rue Serpente, Paris 6e , salle D421.

Résumé :

“Adam Curtis (b.1955) is a British film-maker who has worked for the BBC since the early 1980s.  Over the course of three decades he has built up an impressive body of work on twentieth century history and politics which has yet to be noticed by an academic audience. This is despite the fact that he has regularly addressed the impact on politics and society of the ideas of a long list of thinkers that includes Sigmund Freud, Walter Lipmann, Leo Strauss, Friedrich Hayek, Ayn Rand, Sayid Qutb, John von Neumann, James Buchanan, Franz Fanon, John Nash, Isaiah Berlin, and Richard Dawkins, to name only some of the best-known. This paper offers an introduction to his films, and investigates the pros and cons of attempting to tackle major historical and philosophical themes in the televisual documentary format. It argues that while Curtis has many original observations to make about the fate of contemporary Britain (and of Western modernity) more generally, the only way to truly appreciate his contribution is, ironically, to turn his work back into text.”
The following documentaries can be watched prior to the conference: Century of the Self; All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace; The Power of Nightmares; and The Trap. All of them are on YouTube.

Discutante: Karine Chambefort, U. Paris-Est Créteil