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Noa Levin

Research project: Walter Benjamin's Conception of Montage and Politics of the Image

Abstract

The focal point of my dissertation is Walter Benjamin's conception of montage. The term's unique status within Benjamin's work, I propose, results from the double role of montage as both a philosophical concept and a literary method for his own writing. Beyond the delineation of Benjamin's singular montage theory, this project seeks to highlight Benjamin's role not only literary and arts critic, but also as philosophical ‘monteur' who constructs his texts from the ‘refuse of history'. It will furthermore interrogate the manners in which the flourishing of montage practice and theory in Weimar Germany and the USSR informed Benjamin's philosophy of history, literature and art. Conceived by many of its practitioners and theorists as a politically potent practice, focusing Benjamin's conception of montage will serve to illuminate the political stakes of his work. His image theory and conception of montage form, it will be argued, a non-systematic critical method or ‘politics of the image', informed by his reading of Leibniz and Bergson against Kant, Hegel and the Historicists.

Biography

A doctoral candidate at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, London, I work on the relations between philosophy, history and the (moving) image. My research focuses on montage as a concept key to the philosophy of history of Walter Benjamin. More broadly, I am interested in philosophy of history and literature, critical theory, aesthetics and political theory, explored through links between the Frankfurt school, Neo Kantianism and Post structuralism.

I am currently a visiting doctoral researcher at the Centre for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin. I have completed an MPhil in European Culture and Literature as a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University, and hold a BA in Philosophy and Film from Tel Aviv University.

Areas of research interest

  • Philosophy of literature, art and history
  • Critical theory
  • Walter Benjamin
  • G.W. Leibniz
  • Gilles Deleuze
  • Post-structuralism
  • Neo-Kantianism

Qualifications

  • BA in Film and Philosophy, Tel Aviv University
  • MPhil in European Culture and Literature, University of Cambridge

Funding or awards received

  • Gates Cambridge Scholarship (fees and maintenance)
  • Kingston University Scholarship (fees and maintenance)
  • BSA travel grant
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