Talks and Lectures
Undead Letters: Beckett’s Anus Accidentels. A talk given at the Samuel Beckett Symposium, marking the publication of The Letters of Samuel Beckett: Vol. IV. 1966-1989, ed. George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois More Overbeck (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016), King’s College, Cambridge, 25th November 2016. [pdf]
Dickens and the Date. A talk given at Dickens’s Days: Heritage, Celebrations and Anniversaries, Institute of English Studies, London, 8th October 2016. [pdf]
To The Ear A Great Compassion: Listening, Counting and Number A paper given at the Faculty of Music Research Colloquium, University of Oxford, 11th November 2014. [pdf]
‘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]
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]
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]
Dying Well. A talk given at Dying Well, an evening of readings performed by Paola Dionisotti and George Irving at the Wellcome Collection, 1st February 2013, to introduce the symposium What Makes A Good Death? [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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Scilicet: Kittler, Media and Madness. A talk given at Media Matters: Friedrich Kittler and Technoculture, 26 June 2008. [pdf version] [ listen] [download mp3]
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]
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.
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 theSonic 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 seriesScience And Its Fictions, Birkbeck College, 13 December 2006. [pdf version]
‘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]
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.
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]
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.
‘My Fortieth Year Had Come and Gone and I Still Throwing the Javelin': Beckett’s Athletics. A talk given at theBeckett 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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Law of Marks. A paper given at the Birkbeck School of Law Research Seminar 21st November 2001.
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 theModernist Transactions conference at the University of Birmingham June 30th 2000.
Consequential Ground: The Foot Passengers of Bleak House. A lecture given at the Bleak House Day held at Birkbeck College, 30 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.
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.
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.