CORINA STAN ° On Tact as a Political Category

The Art of Assembly
The Art of Assembly
XXIV: Interwoven Bodies (with Michael Hardt, Michael Kliën, Pedro Lasch, Corina Stan & Florian Malzacher)

The Refugee Tales walk is a political and aesthetic project inspired by the Canterbury Tales that calls for an end to indefinite immigration detention in the UK. The walk takes place regularly, including a 5-day hike every summer, and involves persons who have experienced detention, writers, activists, and supporters of the project. In this talk, Corina Stan describes the experience of participating in this community of bodies in movement as a thoughtful calibration of distance—an allowance of time, space, and silence that enables a rethinking of tact as a political category. She sketches this practice by revisiting the work of Helmuth Plessner, Theodor Adorno, Roland Barthes, Edouard Glissant, and more recent figures like Anne Dufourmantelle and Pierre Zaoui. 


Corina Stan is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Duke University. She is co-editor, with Charlotte Sussman, of The Palgrave Handbook of European Migration in Literature and Culture (forthcoming, 2023) and the author of The Art of Distances. Ethical Thinking in Twentieth-Century Literature (Northwestern University Press, 2018). She has also published work in scholarly journals – New German Critique, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Comparative Literature Studies, Modern Language Notes, NOVEL, Philosophy and Literature, Critical Inquiry, English Studies, among others – and in public venues such as The Point, Aeon, Esprit, LA Times, Public Books. She is currently writing a monograph on the European self-understanding after decolonization, entitled After the West