24 Nov 2006 - 25 Nov 2006 All day Faculty of English


Acknowledging Cavell: His Multidisciplinary Legacy

24 – 25 November 2006
Faculty of English, University of Cambridge

Photograph by Diana Quintela 2005

Inspired by the occasion of Stanley Cavell's 80th birthday this year, 'Acknowledging Cavell' brings together distinguished speakers from Britain and the US to explore the resonances of his oeuvre across the disciplines of philosophy, literature and film; from Wittgenstein to the Western.

Cavell occupies a unique place and is a singular, sometimes controversial voice in contemporary American philosophy. Over the course of a distinguished career, he has taught and published widely on the 'ordinary language' philosophy of Wittgenstein and J.L. Austin, American and English romanticism, artistic modernism and Shakespearean tragedy, as well as contributing significantly to the birth of film studies. Identifying what he calls a 'skeptical moment' in early modern thought, Cavell traces innovative genealogies that locate the skeptical impulse and its remedy – the restorative potential of the everyday – in fresh and illuminating contexts.

The recurring themes and motifs of Cavell's project are informed by his distinctively far-ranging interests, and reflect passionate engagements with philosophy-art dynamics, the problematics of inheritance, and the relationship between European and American intellectual traditions. His writing on aesthetics and their relationship to politics, or community, strives to bridge the (Atlantic) divide between continental and anglo-analytic philosophical work.

Invited speakers:

    * Professor Charles Altieri, Stageberg Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley
    * Professor Alice Crary, Associate Professor of Philosophy, New School for Social Research, New York
    * Dr Pete de Bolla, Fellow of King's College & Faculty of English, Cambridge
    * Professor Garry Hagberg, Chair of Philosophy, University of East Anglia
    * Dr David Hillman, Fellow of King's College & Faculty of English, Cambridge
    * Dr Stephen Mulhall, Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, New College, Oxford
    * Professor Laura Mulvey, History of Art, Film & Visual Media, Birkbeck, University of London
    * Professor David Trotter, King Edward VII Professor of English, Cambridge

Organizer: Rachel Malkin
Conference Committee: Joab Rosenberg, Rebekah Scott, Ben Etherington

The conference organizers gratefully acknowledge the support of the AHRC, CRASSH, King's College, the Faculty of English, Darwin College and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science.


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk