English Language & Literature
On the Inconvenience of
Duke University Press, 2022
ABOUT THE BOOK
In On the Inconvenience of Other People Lauren Berlant continues to explore our affective engagement with the world. Berlant focuses on the encounter with and the desire for the bother of other people and objects, showing that to be driven toward attachment is to desire to be inconvenienced. Drawing on a range of sources, including Last Tango in Paris, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Claudia Rankine, Christopher Isherwood, Bhanu Kapil, the Occupy movement, and resistance to anti-Black state violence, Berlant poses inconvenience as an affective relation and considers how we might loosen our attachments in ways that allow us to build new forms of life. Michael Hardt writes about the book, “Lauren Berlant’s arguments are both politically challenging and deeply satisfying. They force you to reset your political compass in order to see and act in the world anew. It’s Berlant at their most brilliant, full of treasures to discover.”
Watch Lauren Berlant in conversation with Rebecca Wanzo about the ideas that shape this new book.
“With attention to detail and a sensitivity to suffering, Lauren Berlant works within the textures of everyday life and language to think about and dislodge the many intractable, irritating, obstructive objects and structures that get in the way of living well. Berlant has left us with advice for reading and for living: use the contradictions introduced by objects, exploit their mutability, dwell in the gaps opened by their incoherence to think through the social world in its intersectional damage and complexity.”
— Judith Butler, author of
The Force of Nonviolence
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lauren Berlant (1957–2021) was George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor of English at the University of Chicago and the author and coauthor of many books, including The Queen of America Goes to Washington City; The Female Complaint; Cruel Optimism; Sex, or the Unbearable; and The Hundreds, all also published by Duke University Press.