Geannuleerd: The Enemy of All: On the Return of Piracy

02 juni 2016 tot 02 juni 2016
| | | |

Today, more than ever before, the pirate seems to dominate our cultural and political imagination. From the old-fashioned enemy of the sea to computer hackers and political parties, humanity’s arch foe could be found almost everywhere. Celebrating the publication of the Dutch translation of Daniel Heller-Roazen’s The Enemy of All. Piracy and the Law of Nations the author will discuss piracy then and now with Gert-Jan van der Heiden. Bram Ieven will present a short column.

Because of strikes in France and Belgium this event is cancelled.


'Wherever today’s pirate may be – in vessels of the sea or in the air, in a foreign country or even in a city in the national territory – there, the legal and political principles that regulate the just treatment of citizens and enemies, civilians and the military, may be set aside.'

Who is today’s enemy? The discourses of our time suggest ‘the enemy of all’ or ‘the enemy of humanity’ is everywhere. However, despite his omnipresence there is little reflection on what today’s ‘enemy of all’ ties to the universal adversary of ancient times. In his The Enemy of All: Piracy and the Law of Nations (2009) Daniel Heller-Roazen investigates the history of this curious figure that haunts our conceptualization of humanity. Every time the pirate shows his face, humanity is forced to run up against its own limits. With the Dutch translation of the book, Gert-Jan van der Heiden and Daniel Heller-Roazen will discuss the consequences of the figure of the enemy for our understanding of human rights and international law. Bram Ieven will present a short column.

About the speakers

Daniel Heller-Roazen is professor of Comparative Literature at Princeton University and the author of Fortune’s Faces: The Roman de la Rose and the Poetics of Contingency (2003), Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language (2005), The Inner Touch: An Archaeology of a Sensation (2007), The Fifth Hammer: Pythagoras and the Disharmony of the World, and Dark Tongues: The Art of Rogues and Riddlers (2013). De vijand van iedereen. Piraten en het volkenrecht is the first Dutch translation of his work.  

Gert-Jan van der Heiden is professor of Metaphysics at Radboudt University, Nijmegen. He is a member of The Young Academy of the KNAW and the author of Ontology after Ontotheology: Plurality, Event and Contingency in Contemporary Philosophy (2014), The Truth (and Untruth) of Language (2010), and De stem van de doden: Hermeneutiek als spreken namens de ander (2012).

Bram Ieven is assistant professor of Dutch literature & culture at Leiden University. He is the author of Machinic Deconstruction: Literature/Technics/Politics (2007) and edited De nieuwe Franse filosofie (2011). Currently, he is writing a book on Theo van Doesburg and the politics of De Stijl.


You can sign up for this program for free. If you subscribe for the program we count on your presence. If you are unable to attend, please let us know via | T: +31 (0)20 525 8142.


MINDBOOKSATH : athenaeum