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Professor Alex Sharpe invited to present Edinburgh University's Law and Society Annual Lecture
The lecture will be about three things: Monsters, Hope and one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, David Bowie. Monsters, because the monster is the outsider template par excellence. Hope, because monsters are quintessentially hopeful. Bowie, because he is the monster writ large. Of all the figures within popular culture, few embody the monster quite like David Bowie.
The lecture will first set some parameters for thinking about monsters, for not all scary creatures are monsters. In doing so, the lecture will draw, in particular, on the work of Michel Foucault and George Canguilhem. Once the theoretical ground has been laid for an analytically precise understanding of the monster, the lecture will consider their intrinsic hopefulness, something which Foucault and Canguilhem neglect.
The lecture will then turn to counter-cultural icon, sublime anti-hero and provocateur, David Bowie, in order to think through some key categorical distinctions which the monster brings to crisis. In particular, and through Bowie, we will journey through the territory of sex, gender and sexuality; human/animal hybridity, and the sacred and profane.
So roll up for the mother of monsters. The lecture promises to be many things, and certainly theoretically rich and an audio-visual feast. What it will not be is dull. Turn and face the strange … ch-ch- changes …All welcome.