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In Motion, At Rest

The Event of the Athletic Body

2014
Author:

Grant Farred

In Motion, At Rest

A penetrating new analysis of “the event” from a surprising source: sport

Grant Farred takes up the event as a philosophical problem from a novel perspective, examining infamous events in sport and arguing that theorizing the event through sport makes possible an entirely original way of thinking about it. He shows how what was inherent in the event is opened to new possibilities for understanding ontological being by thinking about sport philosophically.

This is innovative work of the highest order, very smartly and incisively bringing onto the field two teams that very seldom meet in inter-league play: the philosophers and the sociologists of sports. But in these pages there are also crucial interventions staged in cultural studies, race theory, globalization discourse, and media studies. In Motion, At Rest is a book that speaks to many audiences, without giving up its singular focus on the athletic body.

Jeffrey Nealon, Penn State University

In Motion, At Rest takes up the event as a philosophical problem from a novel perspective. Grant Farred examines three infamous events in sport, arguing that theorizing the event through sport makes possible an entirely original way of thinking about it.

In the first event, Ron Artest committed a flagrant foul in a National Basketball Association game, which provoked fans to hurl both invectives and beer cups. Artest and some teammates then attacked the fans. Drawing from Alain Badiou, Farred suggests that this event extends far beyond Artest and into the actions of many others, including those of Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and Emmett Till. In the second event Eric Cantona—a professional footballer (soccer player)—was ejected from a game. On his way to the locker room a fan verbally assaulted him, and in response Cantona kicked the fan. Farred utilizes Gilles Deleuze’s insights on cinema to theorize “the most famous kung-fu kick in football.” In the third event, Zinedine Zidane, captain of the French national team, head butted an opposing player. Applying concepts from Jacques Derrida, Farred explores xenophobia and the politics of immigration.

Throughout, Farred shows how what was already inherent in the event is opened to new possibilities for understanding ontological being by thinking about sport philosophically.

In Motion, At Rest

Grant Farred teaches at Cornell University. He is the author of four books, including What’s My Name? Black Vernacular Intellectuals (Minnesota, 2003).

In Motion, At Rest

This is innovative work of the highest order, very smartly and incisively bringing onto the field two teams that very seldom meet in inter-league play: the philosophers and the sociologists of sports. But in these pages there are also crucial interventions staged in cultural studies, race theory, globalization discourse, and media studies. In Motion, At Rest is a book that speaks to many audiences, without giving up its singular focus on the athletic body.

Jeffrey Nealon, Penn State University

In Motion, At Rest

Contents

Introduction: Sport and the Event

1. Ron Artest: The Black Body at Rest (Alain Badiou)
2. Eric Cantona: The Body in Motion (Gilles Deleuze)
3. Zinedine Zidane: Coup de Boule (Jacques Derrida)

Epilogue: Being, Event, and the Philosophy of Sport

Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

In Motion, At Rest

UMP blog: Anything can happen in sport.

Sport confounds us. It confounds us for a reason ripe with the following paradox: sport does what it is supposed to do and when it does that, we are totally surprised. We know that anything can happen in sport so we watch sport expecting the unexpected and yet when the unexpected happens it still catches us off guard.

Read the full article.