Giorgio Agamben

Giorgio Agamben (b. 1942) is one of the leading figures in philosophy and political theory. His unique readings of literature, literary theory, continental philosophy, political thought, religious studies, and art have made him one of the most innovative thinkers of our time.

Agamben was educated in law and philosophy at the University of Rome, where he wrote an unpublished doctoral thesis on the political thought of Simone Weil. As a post-doctoral scholar in Freiburg (1966–1968), he participated in Martin Heidegger’s seminars on Hegel and Heraclitus and was later a fellow at the Warburg Institute, University of London, from 1974 to 1975. Agamben then began teaching and – over the course of the next four decades – taught at the University of Macerata, the University of Verona, the Collège Internationale de Paris, the Università della Svizzera Italiana, the Università Iuav di Venezia, the New School in New York, and The European Graduate School / EGS, where he holds the Baruch Spinoza Chair.

Since the 1980s, much of this philosopher's work can be read as a movement towards the Homo sacer project, beginning with the book Homo sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (1995). The paper deals with questions raised by numerous theorists from the twentieth century, primarily Michel Foucault, and builds on them. In short, the project is an answer to the questions of totalitarianism and biopolitics. Some of his prominent works are: State of Exception – Homo Sacer II.1 Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive, Homo Sacer III, Nudità, Idea della prosa, Profanazioni, Il tempo che resta: un commento alla Lettera ai Romani and Autoritratto nello studio.

Image source: The Collector/Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities