Jordy Rosenberg, Metabolics of the Book

Tuesday, December 1, 2020, 7:30 - 9pm

Add to Calendar


Jordy Rosenberg delivers an online free, public lecture about theories by Karl Marx as part of the Fall 2020 Intra-Disciplinary Seminar series. In volume 3 of Capital, subtitled The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole, Marx uses the emerging concept of "metabolism" - borrowed from the organic chemist Justus von Liebig - to describe the crisis that capitalism introduces into the world, severing the link between sites of production and consumption and producing an "irreparable rift in the interdependent process of the social metabolism." In this talk, Rosenberg will discuss Marx's concept of "metabolic rift" as a framework for understanding contemporary writing, specifically that which is loosely grouped under the genres of autofiction and autotheory, and which takes sexuality as the raw material of theoretical speculation. Rosenberg propose to read the autopoetic urge as a fantasy about repair within the longue duree of the rift.

Registration is required.

Jordy Rosenberg is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and the author of Confessions of the Fox (Random House, 2018) and Critical Enthusiasm (Oxford University Press, 2011). Confessions was shortlisted for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown, a Lambda Literary Award, the Publishers Triangle Award, and longlisted for The Dublin Literary Prize. It was named one of the best books of the year by The New Yorker and Buzzfeed, among other places. The title of his current work in progress, The Day Unravels What the Night Has Woven, is a shameless ripoff of something Walter Benjamin once said about forgetting as key to the writing process.

The IDS public lecture series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding from the Robert Lehman Foundation. The IDS public lecture series is also made possible by generous support from the Open Society Foundations.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.