Panel /
“The Falls,” with Emily Apter, Jeff Dolven, Alexander Nagel, and Jamieson Webster

Date: 29 October 2014, 7–9 pm
Location: Cabinet, 300 Nevins Street, Brooklyn (map and directions here)
FREE. No RSVP necessary
Organized by Alexander Nagel

Listen to an audio recording of this program, or download here.

00:00 / 00:00

Please join us for an evening dedicated to considering the notion of falls and falling. Most falls occur without anyone noticing or caring, but the panelists—Emily Apter, Jeff Dolven, Alexander Nagel, and Jamieson Webster—will turn our attention toward a number of falls that have been slowed down for consideration and passed down to posterity by writers and painters, including a tumble from a ruined triumphal arch in a painting by Hubert Robert; Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s recollection of being hit and knocked unconscious by a Great Dane; the falling of leaves as interpreted by poets from John Milton to Johnny Mercer; and a story about Jacques Lacan stealing Jean-Paul Sartre’s explanation of why we dream of falling when we fall asleep. Though focusing on physical falls, the evening will inevitably also examine those of a less concrete variety. The panel will be followed by discussion.


About the Participants
Emily Apter is professor of French and Comparative Literature at New York University. Recent works include Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability (Verso, 2013) and the co-edited Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon (Princeton University Press, 2014). She is finishing a book on “unexceptional politics” and the art of political fiction.

Jeff Dolven teaches poetry and poetics, especially of the English Renaissance, at Princeton University. A book of his poems, Speculative Music (Sarabande Books), came out last year. A new book of criticism, The Sense of Style, is forthcoming.

Alexander Nagel teaches art history at New York University and is an editor-at-large of Cabinet. Not all that recently, he fell on his left shin after failing to make a triumphant jump in the aftermath of a game of badminton. He is still watching his foot turn different colors.

Jamieson Webster is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. A recent photograph in the New York Times showed her falling onto her couch alongside the absurd claim that this was somehow related to the experience of being cured.

Beer for this event has been lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery. Refreshments courtesy of Sprizz-O.