Ludlow 38 Archive

In Perspective: MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38 (2011–2019)

Ludlow 38

Ludlow 38

On the Imaginary Domain, Or Who Gets to Be a Person?

Nov 27, 2018

Save the Presidents, Alex Strada and Tali Keren, still, 2017

Professor Drucilla Cornell looks at our current society in which people seem to live in different universes. In “On the Imaginary Domain, Or Who Gets to Be a Person?” she suggests that is the case because of the increasingly divided way in which we imagine our world and ourselves. For her, imagination is not individual but instead thrives on the social symbols and allegories that give meaning to what it means to be a citizen of the United States—the “National Imaginary.”

Cornell’s lecture focuses on what she calls the “Imaginary Domain,” which gives all human beings the moral, legal, and ethical right to determine their primary identifications, such as sexuality and ethnic belonging. Currently in the United States, the right of some people to claim that they are persons and have equal dignity is under attack.

This lecture is part of Fictive Witness, a series where artists Alex Strada and Tali Keren have invited scholars to interpret and provide a layer of narration to their silent film, Save the Presidents. Cornell’s lecture will be the last in the series.

Fictive Witness is organized by The Agency for Legal Imagination operating throughout 2018 at MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38.


With the kind support of the Artis Grant Program



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