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Mr Edward Lamberti

Biographical details

In 2016, I received a PhD from King's College London for my thesis on Levinasian ethics and performativity in the films of the Dardenne brothers, Barbet Schroeder and Paul Schrader. For this work, I also received a 2017 Elsevier Prize for Outstanding PhD Thesis.

I am a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Film Studies department at King's for 2016-2017. I have also been a screenwriting mentor at the London Film School.

During my time studying I took on the roles of student representative on the department's Staff-Student Liaison Committee and the student representative on the Faculty of Arts and Humanities' Graduate Studies Committee.

Research interests

PhD title
Levinasian Ethics and Performativity in the Films of the Dardenne Brothers, Barbet Schroeder and Paul Schrader

PhD abstract
In recent years Film Studies has begun to engage with the ethical philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas. One of the defining characteristics of Levinas's work is the emergence, notably in the text Otherwise than Being or Beyond Essence, of an 'ethical' language, a prose style that seeks not just to describe but to perform the ethics. Recognition of this performative dimension to Levinas's ethics is of central importance in understanding the turn his philosophy makes in this text towards what is beyond the ontological finitude of earlier conceptualisations of ethics. This aspect of his work has, however, been underrepresented in film scholarship to date. How, then, might we transpose this intersection of Levinasian ethics and performative style into the filmic realm? How might a film seek to engage with ethical concerns not just through its story and subject matter but also through its style? Concentrating primarily on films directed by the Dardenne brothers, Barbet Schroeder and Paul Schrader, my thesis will seek to articulate a relationship between Levinasian ethics and performativity in film. I shall investigate several of Levinas's key concepts - including the face-to-face encounter, responsibility and substitution, and the Saying and the Said - and relate them to the films in question. In doing so, I shall bring in theories of performativity, from J. L. Austin, Jacques Derrida, Judith Butler and others, in order to help illustrate ways in which film style can be said to be performing a Levinasian ethics. Thus, I will argue that the films of these directors can be seen as exemplifications of a Levinasian ethics on film, their performative effects enabling of the possibility, for the viewer, of a transformative experience of ethics through film.

Participation in conference

“‘Forgive her. Forgive yourself.’: Emotion through Film Style in Quantum of Solace”, Spies on British Screens Conference

Edward Lamberti (Participant)
19 Jun 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Fantasy/Animation: A Conference on Media, Medium and Genre

Edward Lamberti (Organiser)
4 Sep 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

The Wild Things of World Cinema: The 2011 Graduate Student Work-in-Progress Conference

Edward Lamberti (Organiser)
11 May 201113 May 2011

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

“Point of View in Three Comedies Directed by Pietro Germi”, Popular Italian Cinema Conference

Edward Lamberti (Participant)
29 May 2009

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Types of External academic engagement - Invited talk

"Ethics Without Choice: Performing Levinasian Encounters in Film", King's College London

Edward Lamberti (Speaker)
20 Jan 2016

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk

"Performative Uncertainty in Reversal of Fortune (Barbet Schroeder, 1990)", University of Warwick

Edward Lamberti (Speaker)
22 Jan 2014

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk

Le Fils (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2002)”, London Film School

Edward Lamberti (Speaker)
11 Mar 2013

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk

“Ethics and Style in Barbet Schroeder’s Terror’s Advocate”, Imperial College London

Edward Lamberti (Speaker)
17 Jan 2012

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk

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