Talks and Lectures

Sadistic Listening. A paper written for the John E. Sawyer Seminar, Hearing Modernity, Harvard University, 14th April 2014. [pdf version]

Hilarious Arithmetic. The Annual Churchill Lecture, given at the University of Bristol, 27th February, 2014. [pdf version]

‘What’s one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one?’ Literature, Number and Death. A talk given at the 20th-21st Literature Seminar, University of Oxford, 4th December, 2013. [pdf version]

Channels. A lecture given at the Literature Media Sound conference, University of Aarhus, 30th November 2013. [pdf version]

Collective Emotions: Reason to Feel Doubtful. The History of Emotions annual lecture given at Queen Mary, University of London, 9th October 2013. [pdf version]

A Time for Such a Word. A talk given at In Imagination: The Future Reflected in Art and Argument, a symposium in Sheffield in conjunction with the UK premiere of Forced Entertainment’s Tomorrow’s Parties, 4th October 2013. [pdf version]

Rustications: Animals in the Urban Mix. A lecture given at the Australasian Association of Literature conference Modern Soundscapes, the University of New South Wales, 10th July 2013. [pdf version]

Quantum Writing: Literature and the World of Numbers. A lecture given at the Institute of Continuing Education, Cambridge, 13th June 2013. [pdf version}

Soap, Senstance and Semblance. Some thoughts developed for the Institute of Making, University College, London, 19th April 2013, and further elaborated in a talk at the Blake Society, Downing College, Cambridge, 1st May 2013.[pdf version]

Polyphiloprogenitive: Towards a General Performativity. A paper precirculated for the panel 'What Is Performance?' at Beyond the Authority of the 'Text': Performance as Paradigm, Past and Present, CRASSH, Cambridge, 16th April 2013. [pdf version]

About There,or Thereabouts. A talk given at the Catalysis conference on Space and Time, Downing College, Cambridge, 23rd March 2013.[pdf version]

Two-step, Nerve-tap, Tanglefoot: Tapdance Typologies in Cinema. A talk given at the Screen Media Research Seminar, CRASSH, Cambridge, 6th November 2012. [pdf version]

Taking Pity on Things. A talk given as part of the Festival of Ideas, Cambridge, 26th October 2012. [pdf version]

Blissed Out - On Hedonophobia. A talk given at the Pleasure symposium, De Montfort University, 25th June 2012. [pdf version]

Feeling Things. A talk given at Objects of Emotion, Wellcome Collection, London, 16th June 2012. [pdf version]

Panophonia. A talk given at the Pompidou Centre, Paris, 22nd February 2012. [pdf version]

Shackling Accidents: Culture and Chance. A talk given at the University of Kent, 20 November 2011. [pdf version]

The Poorest Things Superfluous: On Redundancy. A talk given at the Rubbish Symposium, Birkbeck College, London, 30 July 2011. [pdf version]

Smear Campaigns. A talk given at the Unclean Beings symposium, Wellcome Colection, 16 July 2011. [pdf version]

Photophonics. A lecture given at the Audiovisuality conference, University of Aarhus, 27 May 2011. [pdf version]

Intact. A talk given at the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, as part of Embodied Values: Bringing the Senses Back to the Environment, the John E. Sawyer Seminar Series at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), University of Edinburgh, 20 May 2011 [pdf version]

A Convocation of Politic Worms. A talk given at A Dying Artist, ICA, London, 23 April 2011 [pdf version]

Public Intellectuals and Public Intelligence. A talk given at a seminar on Public Intellectuals, University of Utrecht, 11 April 2011. [pdf version]

Titivillitium:The Tittle-Tattle of the Teeth. A talk given at A talk given at Performed Voices: Whispering, Shadowing, Prompting, Jerusalem, 30 January 2011.[pdf version]

Art, Radio and Alibi. A talk given at Performing Art History, Courtauld Institute, London, 27 January 2011.[pdf version]

Imaginary Touch. A talk given at the Touched conference, Liverpool Biennial, 18 September 2010.[pdf version]

Chiasmus: A Rough History of the Guttural. A talk given at the Song, Stage and Screen conference, University of Winchester, 5 September 2010. [pdf version]

The Chances of Literature. A talk given at the Literature and Mathematics conference, University of Abderdeen, 12 June 2010 [pdf version]

Thinking Out Loud. A talk given in the London Consortium seminar series Thinking Radio, 10 March 2010. [pdf version]

Secession. A lecture given at Sonic Acts XIII: The Poetics of Space, Amsterdam, 27 February 2010 [pdf version]

Auscultations (Listening In). A lecture given, in different versions, at the University of Iowa Sound Research Seminar 29 January 2010 and at Sonic Acts XIII: The Poetics of Space, Amsterdam, 27 February 2010 [pdf version]

A Philosophy of Fidgets. A talk given as part of the Liverpool Biennial Touched Talks, 17 February 2010 [pdf] [video]

Inclining to the View. A talk on diagonality given at the Seeing From Above symposium, Wellcome Trust, 6 February 2009. [pdf version]

Looping the Loop: Tape-Time in Burroughs and Beckett. A lecture given in the series Taping the World, University of Iowa, 28 January 2010. [pdf version]

Michel Serres: The Hard and the Soft. A talk given at the Centre for Modern Studies, University of York, 26 November 2009. [pdf version]

Thinking Things. A plenary lecture given at ESSE-9, the 9th annual conference of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE), Aarhus, Denmark, 25 August 2008 and as the Textual Practice lecture, University of Sussex, 14 October 2009. [pdf version]

All I Believed Is True: Dickens and the Mesmerism System. A talk given at Dickens and Science, Dickens Day, Birkbeck College, London, 10 October 2009. [pdf version]

Making Flies Mean Something. A lecture given at the Beckett and Animality conference, University of Reading, 26 September 2009. [pdf version]

Beghosted Bodyhood: Hypochondria and the Arts of Illness. An essay based on talks given at the North-East Network for Medicine and the Arts, St. Chad’s College, Durham, 16 June 2008 and Tate Britain, 18 September 2009. [pdf version]

The Times of Our Lives. A talk given at the symposium How Insect Are We?, part of Pestival, an Insect Arts Festival, Zoological Society of London, 3 September 2009. [pdf version]

Animals and the Sporting Life. A talk given as a Birkbeck Lunchtime Lecture, 3 June 2009.

Witchknots, Knitwits and Knots Intrinsicate. A text written to accompany Ravelling, Unravelling, an exhibition of work by Naheed Raza exploring the theme of entanglement in medicine, art, literature and philosophy, Royal Institution, London,13-28 May 2009. [pdf version]

Writing, Thinking, Playing, Laughing. A paper developed from talks given at the Kingston Philosophy Café, 7 May 2009, and in the series Witty Art: Jokes and Their Relation to the Arts, Institute for Theatre Studies, Freie Universität, Berlin, 14 May 2009. [pdf version]

The Chronopher. A talk given at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY,  2 April 2009. [pdf version]

Earslips: Of Mishearing and Mondegreens. A talk given at the conference Listening In, Feeding Back, Columbia University 14 February 2009. [pdf version] [ listen] [download mp3]

Sporting Modernism. An expanded version of a talk given at the Centre for Modernist Studies, University of Sussex, 14 January 2009. [pdf version]

Ear Room. A talk given at the Audio Forensics Symposium, Image-Music-Text Gallery, London, 30 November, 2008. [pdf version]

Wherever: The Ecstasies of Michel Serres. A lecture given at Digital Art and Culture in the Age of Pervasive Computing, Copenhagen, 14 November 2008. [pdf version]

Unholy Smoke. A talk given at Trailing Smoke, Art Workers Guild, London, 12 November 2008, an evening of talks accompanying the exhibition Smoke, Pump House Gallery, Battersea, curated by Implicasphere. [pdf version]

Pulverulence. A talk given at An Evening of Dust, organised by Cabinet Magazine for the Hayward Gallery, London, 17 October 2008. [pdf version]

Taking to the Air. A talk broadcast on Resonance FM, as part of the Free University of the Airwaves, 18-22 August 2008. [ listen]

Elan Mortel: Life, Death and Laughter. A talk given at Forms of Life, European Summer School in Cultural Studies, 31 July 2008. [pdf version]

Resonance. A talk broadcast on Resonance FM, 14 July 2008. [pdf version] [ listen] [download mp3]

Scilicet: Kittler, Media and Madness. A talk given at Media Matters: Friedrich Kittler and Technoculture, 26 June 2008. [pdf version] [ listen] [download mp3]

De Singultu: The Life and Times of the Sob. A talk given at the Breaking Voices symposium, London College of Fashion, 7 June 2008. [pdf version]

He That Hath Not That Earth That He Is. An expanded version of a talk given at Travelling Concepts: The Body, a research seminar held at the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge, 30 May 2008. [pdf version]

Pregnable of Eye: X-Rays, Vision and Magic. An expanded version of a text written to accompany Phillip Warnell’s film, The Girl With X-Ray Eyes (2008). A version of this text was also given as a talk given for the annual conference of the British Society for Literature and Science, Keele University, March 29, 2008. [pdf version]

Whisper Music. A lecture given at theTake a Deep Breath symposium, Tate Modern, 15 February 2007. and at Giving Voice, Centre for Performance Research, Aberystwyth, 28 March 2008. [pdf version]

Writing the Lives of Words. A talk given for the University of London Research Skills Intercollegiate Network (ReSkIN), Courtauld Institute of Art, March 1st 2008. [pdf version]

Play Grounds: The Arenas of Game. A lecture given in the Bartlett School of Architecture International Lecture Series, 13 February 2008. [pdf version]

Drood and the Dust of Delight. A talk given at the Edwin Drood Day, Birkbeck College, 13 October 2007. [pdf version]

Beckett's Low Church. A lecture given at the English Institute symposium Beyond Belief, Harvard University, 28 September 2007.

I Believe That The World. A keynote lecture given at 'Ways of Worldmaking', European Summer School in Cultural Studies, Heidelberg, 2 August 2007.

Next to Nothing: The Arts of Air. A talk given at Art Basel, 13 June 2007. [pdf version] A version of this talk appeared in Tate Etc, 12 (2008): 82-93.

Inebriate of Air: Gas, Magic and Omnipotence of Thought in the Nineteenth Century. An extended version of a paper given at the Magical Thinking conference, Birkbeck College, 11 May 2007.

Sound and the Pathos of the Air. A talk given 21st April 2007 at Two Thousand + SEVEN, a symposium held at the Sonic Arts Research Center, Queen's University Belfast, in parallel to the Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music.

A Short Stirring to Meekness. A lecture given on 29 March 2007 at the international workshop Inside Knowledge: (Un)doing Methodologies, Imagining Alternatives, Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis.

Big Bangs and Whimpers: The Ends and Beginnings of Science. A lecture given in the lunchtime lecture series Science And Its Fictions, Birkbeck College, 13 December 2006. [pdf version]

Strings in the Earth and Air. A lecture given at the Music and Postmodern Cultural Theory Conference, University of Melbourne, December 6th 2006.

Beckett and the World. A lecture given at the Global Beckett conference, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, 26 October 2006. [pdf version]

Sufficently Decayed. A talk given at the Frieze Art Fair, Regent's Park, London, 15 October 2006.

'On Such and Such a Day...In Such a World': Beckett's Radical Finitude. A lecture given at Borderless Beckett, An International Centenary Symposium, Tokyo, 1st October 2006. [pdf version]

Atmospherics: The Weather of Sound. A lecture given at Sounding Out 3, University of Sunderland, 8 September 2006.

Architecture on Air. An interview with Mark Morris, recorded on 27 June 2006, and distributed as part of the podcast interview series Architecture on Air, organised by the School of Architecture of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Exhaust. A talk given at the Modernity and Waste conference, University of St. Andrews, 16th June 2006.

Haze: On Nebular Modernism. A paper given at Modernism and Beyond: Interdisciplinary Seminar in Art Theory and Literary Theory, Trinity College, Oxford, 12 May, 2006. [pdf version]

Phonophobia: The Dumb Devil of Stammering. A talk given, as ‘Giving Out Voice’, at the Giving Voice conference, Centre for Performance Research, University of Aberystwyth, 8 April, 2006.

Against Life. A paper given at the conference Forensic Futures: Interrogating the Posthuman Subject, Birkbeck, 18 March 2006.[pdf version]

How to Get Out of Your Head: Toward a Philosophy of Mixed Bodies. A talk given to the London Consortium, 26 January 2006.

Defiling Celebrity. A paper given in the Cultural History of Celebrity seminar at the Humanities Research Centre of the University of Warwick, 24 October 2005.

Forgeries: The Metallurgy of Great Expectations. A talk given at the Birkbeck Great Expectations Day, 24 September 2005.

The Menagerie of the Senses. A lecture given at the sixth Synapsis conference, I cinque sensi (per tacer del sesto), Bertinoro, Italy, 1 September 2005. [pdf version]

Playstations. Or, Playing in Earnest. A lecture given at Playtime! The Cultures of Play, Gaming and Sports, the European Summer School, Institute of Contemporary Arts, 26 July, 2005.

'My Fortieth Year Had Come and Gone and I Still Throwing the Javelin': Beckett's Athletics. A talk given at the Beckett International Foundation Research Seminar, 18 June 2005

Damage. A talk given at the Barbican Art Gallery to accompany an exhibition of work by Christian Marclay, 6 April 2005.

A Dim Capacity For Wings: Angels, Flies and the Material Imagination. A paper given at a research seminar in the Department of English, University of Stirling, 10 November 2004.

The Perplexity of A Tale of Two Cities (Tastes, Rather Than Glimpses). A talk given at the Tale of Two Cities Day held at Birkbeck, 25 September 2004.

'Transported Shiver of Bodies': Weighing the Victorian Ether. A lecture given at Victorian Sensation, the conference of the British Association of Victorian Studies, University of Keele, 3 September 2004.

Overlooking. A paper given at Witness: Memory, Representation and the Media in Question, European Summer School in Cultural Studies, Copenhagen, August 26, 2004.

Cutaneous. An interview with Brian Dillon regarding The Book of Skin. An edited version of the interview appears in Cabinet: A Quarterly of Art and Culture, 13 (2004): 44-8.

Volts From The Blue. A talk given at the day conference Electra: Electricity in Culture at the Royal Institution, 22 May 2004.

The Throat of the Loon. A transcript of a conversation with Julius Nil as a guest on his Resonance FM programme, One Reason to Live, 4 May 2004. A less groomed version of the transcript appears in One Reason to Live: Conversations About Music With Julius Nil, ed. Seth Kim-Cohen (Los Angeles: Errant Bodies Press, 2006). [pdf version]

Building Breathing Space. A lecture given at the Bartlett School of Architecture, 2 March 2004.

Incidents of the Breath: In Pneumatic and Electric Ventriloquisms. A lecture given in the series 'Artificial Others: Lectures on Ventriloquism and Automata' at the Ruskin School of Art and Drawing, Oxford, 17 February 2004.

Intersensoriality. A lecture given at the conference The Senses at Thames Valley University, 6 February 2004.

The Vapours. A paper given at Queen Mary, University of London, 10 December 2003.

Steam Radio: On Theatre's Thin Air. A paper given at the London Theatre Seminar, 27 October 2003.

Modernism in Midair. A lecture given at the fifth Modernist Studies Association conference, Birmingham UK, 25 September 2003.

An Air That Kills: A Familiar History of Poison Gas. A paper given at the Death By Technology conference, Birkbeck College, 30 May 2003.

Not All of One Mind: Psychoanalysis and Culturanalysis. A paper given as part of the British Psychoanalytical Society Conference 'The Freudian Century'? The Impact of Psycho-Analysis on Intellectual Life in Britain, London, 16-17 May, 2003.

Chronic Fatigue. Some thoughts prepared for the 'Bare Life' panel, in response to a keynote talk given by Alphonso Lingis, in the Research Symposium Civic Centre: Reclaiming the Right to Performance , London, 9-16 April 2003.

Ears Have Walls: On Hearing Art. A talk given at Tate Modern in the series Challenging Ocularcentricity, 21 February 2003.

Beckett's Atmospheres. A paper given at the 'After Beckett/Après Beckett' conference, Sydney, January 2003.

What Can Cultural Studies Do? The text of an interview conducted for Interrogating Cultural Studies: Interviews in Cultural Theory, Practice and Politics, ed. Paul Bowman (London: Pluto, 2003).

Sleights of Voice: Ventriloquism, Magic and the Harry Price Collection. A talk given to the Friends of the University of London Library, 28 November 2002.

Seeing Sound: The Displaying of Marsyas. A lecture given at the University of Nottingham, 16 October 2002.

Oxygen Debt: Little Dorrit's Pneumatics. A lecture given at the Birkbeck Little Dorrit Day, 28 September 2002.

Dickens, The Haunting Man: (On L-iterature). An extended version of a paper given at the conference A Man For All Media: The Popularity of Dickens 1902-2002 , Institute for English Studies, July 25-27 2002.

Michel Serres's Milieux. An extended version of a paper given at the ABRALIC (Brazilian Association for Comparative Literature) conference on ‘Mediations’, Belo Horizonte, July 23-26 2002.

Isobel Armstrong's Material Imagination.  A paper given at the conference ‘Radical Aesthetics: The Work of Isobel Armstrong’, organised by the Institute for English Studies by Anne Janowitz, Sally Ledger, Jo McDonagh and Laura Marcus on 21st June 2002.

Topologies: Michel Serres and the Shapes of Thought. A paper written for a conference on 'Literature and Science' conference in Ascoli Piceno, 20-22 May 2002. It is forthcoming in Anglistik in Autumn 2003.

Watching the Birdie. A response to the production of To You, The Birdie (Phèdre) by The Wooster Group at the Riverside Studios in May 2002, for a symposium on the work of the Wooster Group at the Cochrane Theatre London, 14-15 May 2002, organised by Andrew Quick and Adrian Heathfield.

A Skin That Walks. A lecture given at the Humanities and Arts Research Centre, Royal Holloway University of London, February 13, 2002.

The Law of Marks. A paper given at the Birkbeck School of Law Research Seminar 21st November 2001.

Edison's Teeth: Touching Hearing. A paper written for the conference 'Hearing Culture', Oaxaca, Mexico, April 24-28 2002, organised by the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

Flat Life. A paper first given at the University of Glasgow in March 2001.

The Shame of Being a Man. A paper given as part of the Gender and Sexuality seminar series, University of London, 30 November 2000.

As Entomate as Intimate Could Pinchably Be. A paper first given, under the title 'Modernism's Insect Life', at the Modernist Transactions conference at the University of Birmingham June 30th 2000.

Isaac Rosenberg: Birkbeck's War Poet. A lecture given as part of Birkbeck College's Mechanics to Millennium series, 30 October, 2000.

Consequential Ground: The Foot Passengers of Bleak House. A lecture given at the Bleak House Day held at Birkbeck College, 30 September 2000.

Weird Science. The expanded text of a paper given at the Remembering the 90s conference, Birkbeck College, 8 September, 2000.

Destitution. A lecture given at the Metaphors of Economy conference, University of East Anglia, 23 June 2000.

‘A Door Half Open To Surprise’: Charles Madge’s Imminence. A paper given at the Charles Madge and Mass Observation conference held at the University of Sussex, May 12th, 2000.

Sounding Out Film. A much expanded version of a paper given at the conference on Literature, Film and Modernity, 1880-1940 organised jointly by the Institute for English Studies, the University of Sussex and the University of Birmingham in London, January 13-15th 2000.

Michel Serres's Five Senses. A paper given at the Michel Serres conference on May 29th 1999.

Modernism and the Writing Hand. An amplified version of a paper given at the Modernism and the Technology of Writing conference organised by Tim Armstrong in the Institute of English Studies, March 26, 1999.

What If There Were No Such Thing As The Aesthetic? A contribution, not an altogether helpful one, perhaps, to a seminar programme called The Function of Contemporary Aesthetics, organised by John Armstrong for the Centre for English Studies and the University of London Philosophy Programme. My paper was given on March 3rd, 1999.

Slow Going. A paper given at the Critical Beckett conference held in Birmingham on 26 September 1998. It has been published in print form in Yearbook of English Studies, 30 (2000): 153-65.

Towards a New Demonology. A paper given at the Becoming Human conference mounted at Birkbeck College by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Culture and the Humanities on September 25, 1998.

Art, Criticism and Laughter. The text of a paper given at a conference devoted to the work of Terry Eagleton held in Oxford and organised by the Raymond Williams Trust in March 1998.

History in Bits. An expanded version of a paper that was given at the conference After the New Historicism, organised by Steve Clark for the Centre for English Studies, and held at the Clore Centre, Birkbeck College, 13-14 March 1998.

`Voice, Technology and the Victorian Ear'. A paper given at the conference on Science and Culture 1780-1900, organised by my colleagues Roger Luckhurst and Jo McDonagh at Birkbeck College on 12 September 1997.

Beckett and Bion. A paper given at the Beckett and London conference held at Goldsmiths College, London in 1997.

Scribbledehobbles: Writing Jewish-Irish Feet. A paper given at the 'Culture, Modernity and "the Jew" ' conference, Institute of English Studies, 1995.

Family Time. A paper given at the `Who Stole the Family Values?' conference, May 11, 1996, at Birkbeck College, London.

Some of My Best Friends Are Philosemites. An expanded version of a talk given at the ICA at a panel to mark the publication of The Jew in the Text: Modernity and the Construction of Identity, ed. Tamar Garb and Linda Nochlin (London: Thames and Hudson, 1995).

The War in Truth. A paper given at a colloquium entitled Postmodernism and Truth, held at the University of Sunderland in November 1993.