Baudelaire and Philosophy – London, 5-6 June

21st May 2019

Baudelaire and Philosophy

An international conference supported by the British Society of Aesthetics and organised by the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought

Goldsmiths, University of London, 5-6 June 2019

Charles Baudelaire is a pivotal reference for debates on modernity, criticism and poetics, though in the domains of philosophy and critical theory his work is often approached solely through the prism of contemporary commentary. Taking Baudelaire’s own references to philosophy seriously, this conference will also explore the complexity of the relation between the received understanding of Baudelaire as a prophet of modernity and his opposition to any idea of progress that would reduce poetic beauty to a vehicle for social and moral development. Baudelaire and Philosophy aims to do justice to the richness, complexity and ambiguity of Baudelaire’s critical and poetic writing, to explore his relation to philosophy and the philosophical, and to interrogate his place as a synonym for a certain idea of modernity.


DAY 1 — 5 June 2019 
Richard Hoggart Building 137a

9.50-10.00 Welcome — Alberto Toscano, Julia Ng (CPCT, Goldsmiths)

10.00-11.00 Plenary 1
Isabelle Alfandary (Paris 3/CiPh) – Destinies of the Purloined Letter: Lacan and Derrida Readers of Poe and Baudelaire

11.00-11.15 — Break

11.15-1.00 Panel 1 
Robert St Clair (Dartmouth) — À Victor Hugo, cygné Baudelaire: Baudelairian Haunto-Poetics and the Politics of a Dedication
Daniela Liguori (Salerno) — The ‘Heroic Brooder’: Benjamin Reader of Baudelaire
Rafael Winkler (Johannesburg) — Fantasy, Trauma and the Impossible in Baudelaire

1.00-3.00 Lunch

3.00-4.45 Panel 2 
Virgil Brower (Charles University Prague) — Phenomenology of Flowers: Saturated Certitude in Passing
Kathryn Brown (Loughborough) — Staging Philosophy: Baudelaire, Wittgenstein, and the Limits of Sense
Jenny Doussan (Goldsmiths) — From Tigersprung to the Appropriation of Unreality: Between Benjamin and Agamben on Baudelaire

4.45-5.00 — Break

5.00-6.00 Plenary 2
Patrick ffrench (King’s College London) – Individuation and Juxtaposition in Baudelaire

DAY 2 — 6 June 2019
Richard Hoggart Building 309

10.00-11.00 Plenary 3
Jennifer Bajorek (Hampshire) – Refugee Baudelaire


11.15-12.15 Plenary 4
Adrian Rifkin (Goldsmiths) – Baudelaire between “I” and ‘I’: On Anaphoric Thinking

12.15-2.15 Lunch

2.15-4.00 Panel 3 
Dana MacFarlane (Edinburgh) — Truth, Ideal, and the Photographic Subject
Nigel Saint (Leeds) — Baudelaire in Didi-Huberman’s Archive of Modernity
Laura Chiesa (SUNY Buffalo) — Jean-Luc Godard and Agnès Varda: Cinematic Constellations after Charles Baudelaire


4.15-5.15 Plenary 5
Richard Rand (Paris) – Not Only, but Also: Further steps in the Reading of Les Fleurs du Mal

5.15-5.30 — Break

5.30-6.30 Plenary 6
Elissa Marder (Emory) – Baudelaire’s Little Prophetic History of Photography


For abstracts and bios please click here.

Free and open to the public; no registration required.

Contact: j.ng [at] gold.ac.uk and a.toscano [at] gold.ac.uk