2017: Emmanuel Levinas on Morality, Justice, and the Political

The 2017 seminar, held at the University at Buffalo, included a trip to Niagara Falls.

The 2017 seminar, held at the University at Buffalo, included a trip to Niagara Falls

The Levinas Philosophy Summer Seminar series examines a variety of topics approached through the thinking of Emmanuel Levinas (1906-95), who is recognized as one of the most original and important philosophers of the 20th Century. 

Emmanuel Levinas on Morality, Justice, and the Political

NEH Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers

July 17th to 21st, 2017

University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York

Sunday July 16

8:00pm pre-seminar gathering

Monday July 17

9:30am registration        

I. 10:00am-12:00noon

            Brief Introductions of participants

            Introductory lecture, Richard A. Cohen: “What is Easy and What is Difficult in Levinas”

12-1:30pm lunch

II. 1:30-3:00pm: Peter Giannopoulos, Michael Strawser, Christopher C Buckman

Levinas, Totality and Infinity, Preface, 21-30.

III. 3:30-5:30pm: Brock Bahler, Steven M Larocco, Kimberly Maslin

            Continuing reading

Tuesday July 18

IV. 9:30am – 12 noon: Gabriel R. Ricci, Robert P Ramos, Tyler Tritten

Levinas, “The Rights of Man and the Rights of the Other,” Outside the Subject, 116-125; 167.

12 – 1:30pm lunch

V. 1:30 – 3:00pm: Martin Shuster, Claire Steele LeBeau, Timothy Rothhaar

VI. 3:30 – 5:30pm: Mindi R McMann, Yue Jennifer Wang, Ashley Carson Barnes

            Continue morning reading)

Wednesday July 19

VII. 9:30am – 12 noon: Elliot Ratzman, Christopher C Buckman, Gabriel R. Ricci

            Levinas, “The State of Caesar and the State of David,” Beyond the Verse, 177-188; 216-217.

12 – 1:30pm lunch

1:30pm – 7:00pm Niagara Falls

Thursday July 20

VIII. 9:30am – 12 noon: Claire Steele LeBeau, Steven M Larocco, Peter Giannopoulos

            Levinas, “The Awakening of the I,” & “In the Name of the Other,” Is it Righteous to Be?, 182-199, 296.

12 – 1:30pm lunch

IX. 1:30 – 5:30pm: Michael Strawser, Brock Bahler, Yue Jennifer Wang

X. 3:30 – 5:30pm: Kimberly Maslin, Timothy Rothhaar, Ashley Carson Barnes

            Continue morning reading

Friday July 21

XI. 9:30 – 12 noon: Martin Shuster, Elliot Ratzman, Robert P Ramos

            Levinas, “Ideology and Idealism,” Levinas Reader, 235-248; “Useless Suffering,” Entre Nous, 101.

12 – 1:30pm lunch

XII. 1:30 – 3:00pm: Tyler Tritten, Mindi R McMann

Levinas, “Outside,” Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence, 175-185.

XIII. 3:30 – 5:30pm

            Concluding remarks.

6:30pm Farewell Dinner

Required readings selected from volumes by Levinas:

Totality and Infinity (Lingis translation)

            Preface, Sections I, II, III, 21-247

Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence (Lingis translation)

Chapter V, sections: “3. From Saying to the Said, or The Wisdom of Desire,” “4. Sense and the There Is,” “5. Skepticism and Reason,” 151-171

Chapter VI, “Outside,” 175-185

Is it Righteous to Be? (editor Robbins)

 “The Awakening of the I,” 182-187, 296

“In the Name of the Other,” 188-199, 296

Outside the Subject (Smith translation)

            “The Rights of Man and the Rights of the Other,” 116-125, 167

Beyond the Verse (Mole translation)

            “The State of Caesar and the State of David,” 177-188, 216-217

            “Politics After!,” 188-195, 217

New Talmudic Readings (Cohen translation)

            “Beyond the State in the State,” 79-107

The Levinas Reader (editor Hand)

            “15. Ideology and Idealism,” 235-248

             selections from Difficult Freedom, 249-266

             selections on Zionism,  283-288

            selections on Ethics and Politics, 289-297

“Useless Suffering,” Entre Nous, 101


Each participant will receive a complimentary copy of

Richard A. Cohen, Out of Control: Confrontations between Spinoza and Levinas (2016)

See especially:

            “Introduction,” 1-30

            Chapter 4. “Levinas and Spinoza: Justice and the State,” 103-118.

List of Fellow NEH Summer Scholars

  • Dr. Brock BAHLER
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Dr. Ashley Carson BARNES
  • University of Texas, Dallas
  • Dr. Christopher C BUCKMAN
  • Auburn University, Alabama
    The Pennsylvania State University
  • Dr. Steven M LAROCCO
  • Southern Connecticut State university
  • Dr. Claire Steele LEBEAU
  • Seattle University
  • Dr Kimberly MASLIN
  • Hendrix College
  • Dr. Mindi R MCMANN
  • The College of New Jersey
  • Mr. Robert P RAMOS
  • Barry University
  • Dr. Elliot RATZMAN
  • Swarthmore College
  • Dr. Gabriel R. RICCI
  • Elizabethtown College
  • Mr. Timothy ROTHHAAR
  • Marquette University
  • Dr. Martin SHUSTER
  • Goucher College
  • Dr. Michael STRAWSER
  • University of Central Florida
  • Dr. Tyler TRITTEN
    Gonzaga University
  • Miss Yue Jennifer WANG
  • Villanova University