Jean-Sébastien Hardy is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature at Johns Hopkins University. After receiving his Ph.D. from the Paris-Sorbonne University, he spent two years at the Université catholique de Louvain, where he conducted research on affectivity in contemporary continental philosophy. At the crossroads of philosophy of religion and media studies, he is now working on temporality and affectivity in global culture, more precisely on the feeling of imminence, understood as a secularized form of messianism. He signed various papers on Husserl, Derrida and Ricoeur, and will soon publish a book on Husserl’s conception of body movement at the Presses universitaires de France.
Jean-Sébastien Hardy’s research sheds light on temporal affects, i.e. feelings through which the present is perceived as being historical. Against the idea that “presentism” (Hartog) now defines our cultural relationship to time, this project examines how imminence – the anticipation of an ever impending future – permeates our experience of events. The contours and roots of this concept are traced through readings of key texts on eschatology in contemporary continental philosophy (early Heidegger, Moltmann, Benjamin, Derrida). Drawing from literature (Blanchot, McCarthy) and recent media practices (online prophetic communities) as well, this research project ultimately attempts to see if our “post secular” times are witness to a paradigm shift beyond a temporality once governed by an implicit messianism.