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Manuel Rota awarded 2016-18 Faculty Fellowship

6/20/2016  8:00 am

Manuel Rota, Associate Professor of French and Italian, has been awarded a 2016-18 Faculty Fellowship from the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory in the senior category, to support his research about the history of laziness as a vice from its emergence in early modernity to the triumph of industrial societies.

The modern concept of laziness has played and continues to play a crucial role in the criminalization of poverty. Professor Rota's project reconstructs the invention of laziness as a dispositif that allowed industrial societies to coordinate the languages of ethics, economics, and medicine in their relation with peripheral areas and individuals.

By transforming laziness into a function of climate, religion, or race, not only could marginal subjects be represented as responsible for their own poverty, but also those in economically advanced societies who refused to embrace an exploitative work ethic could be represented as racially/culturally/morally inferior.