Masterclass with Visiting Research FellowProfessor Marcus Boon (York University)Walter Benjamin’s “On the Mimetic Faculty”

  • Margie Borschke (Organiser)
  • Marcus Boon (Participant)
  • Marcus Boon (Participant)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising a conference, workshop or event series


At the origin of much of contemporary theorizations of imitation, copying, mimesis and the like is a short text, written in 1933 by Walter Benjamin entitled “On the Mimetic Faculty”. In under four pages, Benjamin offers a concise but expansive account of imitation that is anthropological, philosophical and poetic all at once. In this masterclass, we will explore this remarkable text in detail, and Professor Marcus Boon will show the way that Benjamin’s ideas open up in the direction of contemporary debates concerning intellectual property, the commons and “luxury communism”, ideas of gift economy and the society of the spectacle. We will also examine Benjamin’s writing practice, and the challenges of producing a popular and/or populist theoretical analysis.
Period15 Aug 2015
Event typeWorkshop
LocationSydney, Australia, New South WalesShow on map