The French philosopher Gilles Deleuze is known as a contemporary thinker engaged with Scholastic thought, above all with Duns Scotus’s notion of univocity, which Deleuze famously links to Spinoza. By contrast, Prof. Kaufman’s Deleuze, the Dark Precursor suggests that Deleuze should be thought more directly alongside Aquinas, his avowed enemy, and Aquinas’s notion of analogy. This presentation will link Deleuze’s thought not only to Christian philosophy but also to a strain of “apostate” Jewish thought arguably represented by Spinoza.

About the Speaker: ELEANOR KAUFMAN is professor of Comparative Literature, English, and French and Francophone Studies, and an affiliate of the Center for Jewish Studies and the Center for the Study of Religion. She received an A.B. in English and French from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Literature from Duke University and has taught at Cornell University and the University of Virginia. Her primary research is on twentieth-century French philosophy, with secondary interests in Medieval philosophy and Christian theology, literature and philosophy of the Jewish diaspora, Maghrebian literature, and modern American literature. She is the author of The Delirium of Praise: Bataille, Blanchot, Deleuze, Foucault, Klossowski (Johns Hopkins, 2001), Gilles Deleuze: Dialectic, Structure, and Being (Johns Hopkins University Press, forthcoming 2012), and At Odds with Badiou: Politics, Dialectics, and Religion from Sartre and Deleuze to Lacan and Agamben (forthcoming, Columbia University Press).