New Book Launched: “Violence, Desire, and the Sacred, Volume 2: René Girard and Sacrifice in Life, Love and Literature”

The Australian Girard Seminar (AGS) has launched a new collection of essays, “Violence, Desire, and the Sacred, Volume 2: René Girard and Sacrifice in Life, Love and Literature” (edited by Scott Cowdell, Chris Fleming and Joel Hodge, published by Bloomsbury). The book was launched by Right Rev’d Dr Stephen Pickard, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture  The launch occurred on the Friday evening of the 2014 AGS conference (17 January), with over 65 in attendance. The essays are mostly derived from the 2012 AGS Conference.

For more information, or to purchase the book, go to:

http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/violence-desire-and-the-sacred-volume-2-9781623561963/

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Public Lecture audio available soon: “Risky Business: Mimetic Theory, Executive Envy and Corporate Competitiveness”

At the 4th annual conference of the Australian Girard Seminar,  Assoc. Prof. Jennifer George (Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne) provided a public lecture, “Risky Business: Mimetic Theory, Executive Envy and Corporate Competitiveness”. Rev. Dr. Ivan Head (Warden, St Paul’s College, University of Sydney) gave a response, and Dr. Joel Hodge (Lecturer, Australian Catholic University and Secretary/Treasurer, Australian Girard Seminar) was moderator. The public lecture was held on 17th January 2014 at the Melbourne campus of the Australian Catholic University

Assoc. Prof. George addressed the following questions:

“Why do we need CEOs?”
“Why are CEOs paid so much?”
“Are CEOs praised and blamed fairly?”
“Why so much bureaucracy in corporate life?”
“Why is there so much conflict and rivalry within corporate workplaces?”

Speaker: Associate Professor Jennifer George is the former Dean and Director of the Melbourne Business School (the University of Melbourne) and is currently a lecturer at MBS. She completed her PhD studies at Stanford University where she explored a problem in queuing theory of a queue with adjustable service rates. Her research, teaching and consulting has continued to be in the application of complex models and quantitative techniques to business problems.

Description:
Have you ever wondered why CEOs are paid so much? Or why organisations develop so much internal bureaucracy? Business theorists have found some of these questions difficult to answer using purely economic or rational arguments. A Girardian analysis of aspects of the business world is a new lens that sheds light on these difficult issues. This talk will discuss the elevation of the CEO, the use of organisational hierarchy to curb mimetic rivalry, the use of scapegoats and the co-option of mimetic desire by corporations.

 

2014 AGS Conference: “Crisis and Its Management”

The 4th annual conference of the Australian Girard Seminar was hosted at St Patrick’s Campus (Melbourne), Australian Catholic University, on 17th-18th January 2014. The topic of the conference was “Crisis and Its Management: Leadership and Relationship in Organisations and Communities”, with keynote speakers, Assoc. Prof. Jennifer George (Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne) and Rev. Prof. Józef Niewiadomski (University of Innsbruck and visiting fellow, ACU). 46 people were registered for the conference. On the Friday evening of the conference, the collection of essays, “Violence, Desire, and the Sacred, Volume 2: René Girard and Sacrifice in Life, Love and Literature” (edited by Scott Cowdell, Chris Fleming and Joel Hodge, published by Bloomsbury, ) was launched by Right Rev’d Dr Stephen Pickard, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture (http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/violence-desire-and-the-sacred-volume-2-9781623561963/). Following the launch, there was a public lecture, “Risky Business: Mimetic Theory, Executive Envy and Corporate Competitiveness”, by Assoc. Prof. Jenny George. Both events were well attended, with over 65 people. The feedback from the conference was very positive. Many thanks to the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University, for supporting the conference, especially for it to be hosted at ACU.

Photos are available at the 2014 Conference page.

We hope to see everyone again in 2015!

Radio Program featuring Chris Fleming

A radio program featuring AGS’ Vice-President, Dr. Chris Fleming (University of Western Sydney), is available through the ABC website. The program is entitled “Scapegoats and Sacrifices – Rene Girard” and was featured on the Radio National’s “The Philosopher’s Zone”:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/philosopherszone/scapegoats-and-sacrifices—rene-girard/3167092

Radio Program featuring Scott Cowdell

Listen to an interesting radio program “Not peace but a sword” about violence and religion, which features Girardians, Scott Cowdell and James Alison. The program was aired in December 2012 on the ABC’s Encounter program:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/encounter/not-peace-but-a-sword/4403508

New Girard Reading Group Online

The Australian Girard Seminar has begun a new Girard reading group. Current AGS reading groups are town-based, but this one will be conducted online with a program (Adobe Connect) that allows for real-time conversations. The group is reading and discussing “Battling to the End”.

 To join the group, please email Joel Hodge at joel.hodge@acu.edu.au.

To participate, you need a computer that has internet, a web browser with flash (e.g., Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox) a microphone (with a headset) and webcam.

 

Emma Jane & Paul Dumouchel addressed the AGS Conference 2013

The Australian Girard Seminar wishes to thank the keynote speakers for their insightful lectures at the 2013 AGS Conference (18-19 January) at the University of Western Sydney:

- Dr. Emma A. Jane (formerly Emma Tom), Senior Lecturer at the University of NSW & award-winning journalist, broadcaster & author (http://emmajane.info/).

Keynote Address: “The Scapegoating of Cheerleading and Cheerleaders”

- Professor Paul Dumouchel, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Japan.

Public Lecture on 18 January, 7.30pm: “Mirrors of Nature: Artificial Agents in real life and virtual worlds”

This conference was sponsored by the Writing and Society Research Centre, University of Western Sydney.

First Book released from AGS: “Violence, Desire, and the Sacred”

AGS’s first book, “Violence, Desire, and the Sacred: Girard’s Mimetic Theory Across the Disciplines”, will be published in August 2012 with Continuum. For more information (or to order), please click here.

The book is an edited collection of Australian and international scholars utilising Girard’s mimetic theory across different academic disciplines, including literature, biblical studies, theology, political and historical studies, and philosophy. The collection shows where current scholarship in mimetic theory stands. It includes contributions from renown scholars, such as James Alison, Vijay Mishra, Jeremiah Alberg, Tony Kelly and Neil Ormerod.

It emerged from AGS’s first conference in 2011 and is edited by Assoc. Prof. Scott Cowdell (President, AGS), Dr. Chris Fleming (Vice-President, AGS) and Dr. Joel Hodge (Secretary/Treasurer, AGS).

The ‘Charles Darwin’ of human sciences

At the inaugural conference of the AGS, Rev. Associate Professor Scott Cowdell spoke with Eureka Street about the bold nature of Girard’s mimetic theory that makes Girard like “The ‘Charles Darwin’ of the Human Sciences”.

Click on “read more” to see the video.

Successful 2012 Conference

The 2nd annual conference of the Australian Girard Seminar, Sacrifice – in Life, Love and Literature, was held on January 13-14, 2012. Thank-you to those all those who participated and presented. We appreciate the support of our sponsors, Imitatio and Philosophy@UWS (University of Western Sydney), and the hospitality of the venue, St Mary’s College.

We look forward to the 2013 conference – watch this space! In the meantime, you are welcome to join a Girard reading group to explore Girard’s ideas further. These reading groups have open discussions and are available in different places (see the Events page). Email info@australiangirardseminar.org to receive more information.

The conference was held at St Mary’s College, the University of Melbourne, with the keynote speaker being Professor Ann Astell, of the University of Notre Dame (USA) & President of the Colloquium on Violence & Religion (COV&R).