Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)


IAS Vulnerability Seminar: Stupid Shame

17 January 2018, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm


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Institute of Advanced Studies


IAS Common Ground, Ground Floor, South Wing

The IAS Vulnerability Seminar Series is delighted to welcome Professor Steven Connor from the University of Cambridge for this talk, which will consider the vulnerability of those assigned to a category which most human groups treat with angry revulsion: the stupid. Professor Connor will suggest that stupidity is more tightly than ever twinned with shame in our growing epistemocracy. But if the power to shame is toxically potent, the condition of shame, though the most exquisitely painful form of vulnerability, may also harbour surprising, and dangerous powers of insurgence.

Steven Connor is Grace 2 Professor of English and Fellow of Peterhouse in the University of Cambridge. From October 2018 he will be Director of Cambridge's Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). He is a writer, critic and broadcaster, who has published books on many topics, including Dickens, Beckett, Joyce, value, ventriloquism, skin, flies and air. His most recent books are Beyond Words: Sobbing, Humming and Other Vocalizations (2014), Beckett, Modernism and the Material Imagination (2014), Living by Numbers: In Defence of Quantity (2016) and Dream Machines (2017) . His book The Madness of Knowledge will appear in 2018. His website at stevenconnor.com includes the texts of talks and lectures, broadcasts, unpublished work and work in progress.

Download the audio recording of the event here.