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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Europäische Ethnologie


Wann 02.05.2017 von 18:00 bis 20:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200) iCal
Wo Raum 311
Mind the Gap: Toward a Political History of Habit


Tony Bennett (University of Western Sydney/CARMAH)


Habit has become a lively topic of debate across a range of contemporary fields of inquiry: in affect theory, sociological accounts of reflexivity, the neurosciences, cultural geography, actor network theory, aesthetics and philosophy. It has also figured prominently in the history of anthropology, and has recently been accorded pride of place as the mode of existence that Bruno Latour places at the centre of his ‘anthropology of the moderns.’This has paralleled its increasing prominence as a matter of practical concern in debates focused on the need for new and/or transformed habits in relation to racism, waste management, climate change, the routes and routines of urban life, and so on. In this presentation I bring these two concerns together by examining how a range of intellectual authorities have constituted habit as their points of entry into the management of conduct. I shall be particularly concerned with how varied strategies of intervention into the ‘conduct of conduct’ developed since the mid-nineteenth century have posited a gap or interval in which the force of habit is temporarily halted. This gap provides an opportunity for conduct to be re-shaped by being brought under the direction of a range of intellectual authorities who aspire to ‘mind the gap’ that is produced when the mechanisms of habit are temporarily stalled. The point of entry into these questions will be provided by recent programs for ‘minding the gap’ developed at the interfaces of sociological accounts of reflexivity, and debates around plasticity and the neurosciences.