New public lecture: Michael Naas

The PACT Division of the EGS has introduced a new format in the context of its “Public Lectures” series. We are undertaking discussions with EGS faculty and other guests on recently published research.  We hope that these encounters will help bring attention to important work pursued in our community.

All discussions will be live-streamed on Zoom and they will normally start at 6 pm Paris time/12 pm New York time.

You can see the full schedule here .

Our third discussion will be devoted to Michael Naas’s Don DeLillo, American Original and Apocalyptic Ruin and Everyday Wonder in Don DeLillo’s America.

The two latest books of Michael Naas are not typical works of literary criticism or academic scholarship. They do not engage the many excellent commentaries and secondary sources on DeLillo’s work but focus only on DeLillo’s writings. The key word for understanding Michael Naas’s latest two works on Don DeLillo is contraband, and Naas attempts to read DeLillo’s opus through this single theme. Don DeLillo’s literature, he argues, is contraband literature, literature that works through the techniques of contraband. The notion of contraband that Naas’s discusses in his works is essentially a thing of language; a certain counter-language, a conjuring language and an instrument of writing. Contraband here describes at once the counterband, the counter-meaning or counter-narrative, and the tension or contact between two narrative lines, two story lines, two voices, two meanings, the one smuggled inside the other or simply juxtaposed with the other. This structure is a basic feature of DeLillo’s art practice.

This event and further discussions of this kind will be conducted in collaboration between the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, Belgrade and The European Graduate School, Switzerland.

Zoom link can be found here.


Michael Naas is a professor of philosophy at DePaul University. He teaches courses in Philosophy and Comparative Literature and conducts research in the areas of ancient Greek philosophy and contemporary French philosophy. His approach to the classics is informed by thinkers such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, Lyotard, and Levinas. His recent published work includes co-translations of Jacques Derridas The Other Heading (Indiana, 1992), Memoirs of the Blind (Chicago, 1993), Adieu (Stanford, 1999), Rogues (Stanford, 2004), Learning to Live Finally (Melville, 2007), and Life Death (Chicago, forthcoming 2020). He is co-editor of Jacques Derrida’s The Work of Mourning (Chicago, 2000) and Chaque fois unique, la fin du monde (Galilee, 2004), as well as Platos Animals: Gadflies, Horses, Swans, and Other Philosophical Beasts (Indiana, 2015). He is the author of Turning: From Persuasion to Philosophy (Humanities, 1994), Taking on the Tradition: Jacques Derrida and the Legacies of Deconstruction (Stanford, 2003), Derrida From Now On (Fordham, 2008), Miracle and Machine: Jacques Derrida and the Two Sources of Religion, Science, and the Media (Fordham, 2012), The End of the World and Other Teachable Moments: Jacques Derridas Final Seminar (Fordham, 2015), Plato and the Invention of Life (Fordham, 2018), and Derrida in Montreal: A Play in Three Acts (Montreal, 2019). He has also published numerous articles on themes in ancient and contemporary philosophy in such journals as Philosophy Today, Continental Philosophy, Research in Phenomenology, Mosaic, Epoch, and Paragraph.

Christopher Fynsk is President of The European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland and a Professor Emeritus at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. His work is closely involved with that of Martin Heidegger, Maurice Blanchot, Walter Benjamin, and several contemporary artists, including Francis Bacon and Salvatore Puglia. His works are Heidegger, Thought and Historicity (Cornell, 1986), Language and Relation: that there is language (Stanford, 1996), Infant Figures: The Death of the Infans and Other Scenes of Origin (Stanford, 2000), The Claim of Language: A Case for the Humanities (Minnesota, 2004), Last Steps: Maurice Blanchot’s Exilic Writing (Fordham, 2013).

Nicholas Royle is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Sussex. He has previously taught at the universities of Stirling (Scotland), Tampere (Finland) and Oxford; and has been visiting professor at the universities of Århus (Denmark), Santiago del Compostela (Spain), Turku (Finland), Manitoba (Canada), and Lille (France). He has published many books, including Telepathy and Literature (1991), E.M. Forster (1999), Jacques Derrida (2003), The Uncanny (2003), Veering (2011), How to Read Shakespeare (2014) and Hélène Cixous: Dreamer, Realist, Analyst, Writing (2020), as well as the novels Quilt (2010) and An English Guide to Birdwatching (2017), and Mother: A Memoir (2020). In addition, he is co-author with Andrew Bennett of three books: Elizabeth Bowen and the Dissolution of the Novel (1994), This Thing Called Literature (2015) and An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory (Sixth edition, 2023). His most recent book, David Bowie, Enid Blyton and the Sun Machine, will be appearing in November 2023. Royle is also a managing editor of the Oxford Literary Review and director of Quick Fictions.

Tomislav Brlek graduated English Language and Literature and Spanish Language and Literature. His MA was entitled The Placing of Ted Hughes in Shakespeare Criticism (2002). His doctoral dissertation was from the field of literary theory at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb (title: T.S. Eliot in the Context of Contemporary Theory). Since 1996, he works at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb. Since 2000, he is a Professor at the Department of Comparative Literature. He is the author of Tvrdi tekst: uvid i nevid moderne hrvatske književnosti (Fraktura: Zaprešić, 2020).


Nemanja Mitrović works as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory in Belgrade. His research interests are literary theory, the relationship between ethics, philosophy, and literature, and the work of Maurice Blanchot. He completed his Ph.D. study at the University of Aberdeen under the direction of Professor Christopher Fynsk (2014). In 2017, he published a reworked version of his doctoral dissertation entitled The (Im)Possibility of Literature as the Possibility of Ethics (Delere Press, Singapore). From 2018 until 2022, he worked as an Assistant Professor at the Faculty for Media and Communications Belgrade. Together with Maja Bajić, he translated the works of Maurice Blanchot and Jean-Philippe Toussaint.