David Kishik, author of The Manhattan Project: A Theory of a City (newly out in paperback from Stanford University Press) and Peter N. Miller, Dean of Bard Graduate Center, discuss envisioning cities from the European Renaissance to the present, through the eyes of philosophers, writers, artists and antiquarians.
David’s latest book, The Manhattan Project: A Theory of a City (Stanford University Press, 2015), is a study of a text that was never written. A sequel of sorts to Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, it is dedicated to New York, capital of the twentieth century. Part sprawling literary montage, part fragmentary theory of modernity, part implosive manifesto on the urban revolution, The Manhattan Project paints the city as a landscape built of sheer life, set somewhere in between heaven and hell, the private and the public, the real and the ideal.
His previous books are Wittgenstein’s Form of Life (Continuum, 2008, paperback 2012) and The Power of Life: Agamben and the Coming Politics (Stanford UP, 2011). He is also the co-translator from Italian of Agamben’s What Is an Apparatus? (Stanford UP, 2009) and Nudities (Stanford UP, 2010). Some of his shorter texts appeared in The New York Times, as well as here and here (and here, in Hebrew). Before joining Emerson he was a fellow at the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry. In 2016 he received the Helaine and Stanley Miller Award for Outstanding Teaching.