英美文學學會2020「英美文學秋季論壇」9/25 Parasite, Pandemic, and the Future of Capitalism 《寄生上流》、疫病與資本主義之未來

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【英美文學學會訊息】【講座資訊】9/25 Parasite, Pandemic, and the Future of Capitalism 《寄生上流》、疫病與資本主義之未來

中華民國英美文學學會規劃之「英美文學秋季論壇」系列

第二場為「當代議題」講座 Parasite, Pandemic, and the Future of Capitalism,並將於9/25 () 採線上直播方式進行! 本講座為英文講授,歡迎報名參加,詳細資訊如下:

0925 Parasite Pandemic and the Future of Capitalism

SpeakerProfessor Woosung Kang, Department of English Language and Literature, Chair of Graduate Comparative Literature Program, Director of American Studies Institute, Seoul National University

ModeratorProfessor Shu-Ching Chen, Distinguished Professor, National Chung Hsing University

Date14:00-15:30, Sept. 25th (Friday), 2020

Registrationhttps://forms.gle/kezi9sNH6PT7gsJW8

EALA Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/EALAtaiwan/ 

Facebook Event Linkhttps://www.facebook.com/events/1185102821874599

Introduction

The stink plays the crucial role in Parasite: it works as the signifier of class antagonism. Like Covid-19 epidemic virus, the stink in Parasite suddenly appears as if the silent and fatal pathogen to the “bourgeois” life of the upper-class. The stink of the lower-class appears ontological not only because they dwell in the smelly, barely-sunlit places but also because they themselves are incapable of feeling it. The stink, just like black skin or virus infection, instantly stigmatizes you as homo sacer who deserves the social segregation. Stink effectively brings you back to the realm of class antagonism and the problem of justice. What spurs Kitaek’s murder is the feeling that he is reduced to a deadly virus threatening the lives of human hosts. The stink illustrates how rich people, as a class, have been treating the lower class; the lower class are not human enough to be allowed to cross the class dividing line like the virus. The absurd dénouement of the last sequence of Parasite delivers the messages that the lower-class’s hope of survival and success is none other than the mere collective fantasy. But paradox of the class stink is that the rich are not just the victim of smelly outbreak but also the viral parasites entirely depending upon the labors of the lower-class. Ironical as it is, the stink lays bare the class antagonism concealed underneath what we call “the normal”: the reality of individual struggle for survival as fantasy. After stink, there is no way back to the normal. The two painful lessons of Covid-19 virus would be: that it is no longer possible to return to the normal; that it is impossible to completely wipe out the virus from our biosphere. This means that the viral outbreak should not be approached strictly as a health issue, just as the stink is not simply a problem of hygiene. Virus works as the self-reproducing machine predominantly dependent upon the cultural and political environment to which the host organism belongs. It aims to destroy the host system it parasites with the mechanical proliferation of reproduction. Indeed, the covid-19 virus, like the class stink, functions as the Real, as a fatal chasm or an uncontainable trauma of the capitalist world system: it discloses the fact that the system based on the class division is fundamentally vulnerable to the invisible outbreak of class antagonism. Science may prevent the infection and provide the vaccine for the disease after a while, but nothing can easily cure us of the viral fear and the cultural panic inscribed in our body like the stink. We can hold our nose and wear a mask for the time being, but it is high time for us either to imagine the “new normal” way of living together with stinks and viruses or to start to think beyond the class-driven system of global capitalism. Parasite is thoroughly political in its radical demystification of the fantasy of the politics of stink.

                      

指導單位: 科技部

主辦單位: 中華民國英美文學學會、國立高雄師範大學英語學系