9 June 2012

Recorded Lecture: "Interview with J. Hillis Miller as part of 'Signing, Sealing, Sailing: The Life and Work of J. Hillis Miller"

On 2 June 2012, a certain seminar room of the Humanities Institute of Ireland at the University Colleges Dublin campus saw a star-studded lineup of speakers and guests to honour the life and work of legendary literary critic J. Hillis Miller. The event, "Sign, Sealing, Sailing: The Life and Work of J. Hillis Miller", involved speakers such as Martin McQuillan, Nicholas Royle and Miller himself, as well as the first Irish screening of the feature-length, The First Sail: J. Hillis Miller (2012), introduced by the director, Dragan Kujundžić.

The interview with Miller which closed the event has been recorded and archived online at the UCD Humanities Institute of Ireland website; the podcast is also freely available via iTunes. Delightfully conversational and crowded with Miller's charming personal anecdotes, the interview is conducted by the organisers Michael O'Rourke and Éamonn Dunne, and is comprised of a selection of questions formulated beforehand by the speakers. Stay tuned to the end to hear Miller's recollections of Barbara Johnson and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and a curiously (and self-acknowledged) evasive reply on the subject of his mother.

"Which philosopher would I chose to be my mother? ... It wouldn't be Derrida or de Man or Kant or Hegel. I think I would have like to have had J. L. Austin, the author of How to Do Things with Words ... I never met him - and I don't think he was particularly motherly - but, nevertheless, it's a nice fantasy."

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