Monday, April 18, 2016

This America, man.” —The Wire and Tragedy
Martin Shuster, Department of Religious Studies & Philosophy
Avila University

Thursday, April 21, 2016
4:30 p.m.
213 Bertrand LibraryTraditional Reading Room

A life…  you know what that is?
It's the shit that happens while you're waiting
for moments that never come.
Lester Freamon, “The Wire”

Abstract: This talk explores some of the aesthetic and social/political elements of HBO’s The Wire. Especially, against many critics and academics, I argue that the show is not a tragedy, nor is it particularly radical in its politics. Nonetheless, I do argue that it is ultimately a successful work of art, one that falls squarely into the modernist tradition of art, and one whose aesthetic qualities cannot in fact be divorced from its political aspirations, which are powerful but reformist, and still worth considering.  

Bio: Martin Shuster is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Avila University. He earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy in 2010 from the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University and holds two M.A. degrees, one in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins and another in Religion from Yale. Shuster’s work centers on issues in social and political philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics, especially in dialogue with Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy, the work of Stanley Cavell and in philosophy of religion, particularly Jewish thought and philosophy.