Prof. Eugenie Brinkema will Deliver Keynote, “Touching on the Diagram (or, The Human Centipede), at University of Pittsburgh on Oct 18

Published on: September 30, 2014

On Saturday, October 18 at 6:00 PM in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium at the University of Pittsburgh, Prof. Eugenie Brinkema will deliver the keynote address, “Touching on the Diagram (or, The Human Centipede).”  This talk contemplates the figure of enchainment in one of the more graphic films of contemporary horror and exploitation cinema, Tom Six’s The Human Centipede (2009), which literalizes intolerable fastening, an anxiety of overclose touching, in the conceit of its title—a cruel violence in which three bodies are sewn to each other, mouth to anus. Moving from a different account of captivation, Levinas’ insistence in De L’évasion of an ethic of bonded responsibility for the finite other to whom one is both host and hostage, this paper turns to the ways in which The Human Centipede articulates its mode of violence through the mechanism of a diagram, one that does not represent embodied experiences of violence, nor that provokes them experientially, but rather a violence whose reductive formalism is coextensive with its brutality.