Howard Caygill – Image and Accident in Kafka’s Novels – Session 1


Event Date: 13 March 2017

Room B34
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Torrington Square
London WC1E 7HX

The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities presents:

Image and Accident in Kafka’s Novels

3 Masterclasses with Howard Caygill

Professor Howard Caygill (Kingston) – Image and Accident in Kafka’s Novels

Session one: Photographic Intimation: Race and Extermination in Missing Person (America)

In the Yearbook of the Workers Accident Insurance Institute for 1914 Kafka published the results of an illegal photo-surveillance campaign of hazardous quarries in Northern Bohemia. ‘Accident Prevention in Quarries’ was contemporary with The Trial and the final chapter of America (Missing Person) and shares with them a fascination with the violent image and the accident. The Masterclass will reflect on the crossings between Kafka’s accident insurance writings and his three novels, beginning with the narrative of racial violence and extermination in America (Missing Person), moving afterwards to the pornography of violence in The Trial and concluding with the images surviving at the fringes of an aniconic violence in The Castle.

Chair: Esther Leslie, Co-Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

Suggested reading:

Franz Kafka, The Complete Novels, trs. Willa and Edwin Muir, Vintage Books
Franz Kafka, The Office Writings, trs. & eds., Stanley Corngold et.al., Princeton University Press

Howard Caygill is Professor of Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University London and currently visiting Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Paris 8.

Introduction by Professor Esther Leslie (Birkbeck):

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