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Cognitive Capitalism

COGNITIVE CAPITALISM, EDUCATION AND DIGITAL LABOR – MICHAEL PETERS & ERGIN BULUT

Michael A. Peters & Ergin Bulut (eds.)
Cognitive Capitalism, Education and Digital Labor 
Year of Publication: 2011 
Peter Lang Publishing Group
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien,
2011. XLII, 341 pp.
ISBN 978-1-4331-0981-2 pb. 

http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=54297&concordeid=310981

Contents

Antonio Negri: Foreword 

Michael A. Peters & Ergin Bulut: Introduction 

Timothy Brennan: Intellectual Labor 

George Caffentzis: A Critique of Cognitive Capitalism

Silvia Federici: On Affective Labor 

Christian Fuchs: Cognitive Capitalism or Informational Capitalism? The Role of Class in the Information Economy 

Jonathan Beller: Cognitive Capitalist Pedagogy and Its Discontents 

Ergin Bulut: Creative Economy: Seeds of Social Collaboration or Capital’s Hunt for General Intellect and Imagination? 

Mark Coté / Jennifer Pybus: Learning to Immaterial Labour 2.0: Facebook and Social Networks 

Emma Dowling: Pedagogies of Cognitive Capitalism – Challenging the Critical Subject 

Alex Means: Creativity as an Educational Problematic within the Biopolitical Economy

Toby Miller: For Fun, For Profit, For Empire: The University and Electronic Games 

Michael A. Peters: Algorithmic Capitalism and Educational Futures 

Alberto Toscano: The Limits of Autonomy: Cognitive Capitalism and University Struggles 

Nick Dyer-Witheford: In the Ruined Laboratory of Futuristic Accumulation: Immaterial Labour and the University Crisis 

Tahir Wood: The Confinement of Academic Freedom and Critical Thinking in a Changing Corporate World: South African Universities 

Cameron McCarthy: Afterword. The Unmaking of Education in the Age of Globalization, Neoliberalism and Information

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Michael A. Peters is Professor of Education at the University of Waikato (New Zealand) and Emeritus Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the executive editor of Educational Philosophy and Theory and editor of two international e-journals, Policy Futures in Education and E-Learning. His interests are in education, philosophy and social policy and he has written over fifty books, including Creativity and the Global Knowledge Economy (Lang, 2009) (with Simon Marginson and Peter Murphy).

Ergin Bulut is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is interested in political economy of labor and its intersection with education, communication and culture. 

Reviews

“Cognitive Capitalism, Education and Digital Labor’ provides us with a series of very thoughtful and provocative analyses of the relationship among political economy, education and new forms of knowledge and labor. It is definitely worth reading and then discussing its implications at length.” (Michael W. Apple, John Bascom Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison)

“This volume is a ‘tour de force’. Through its chapters, a new space is opened for understanding education in the contemporary world. With an magisterial introduction by its indefatigable editor, Michael A. Peters, and his colleague Ergin Bulut, ‘Cognitive Capitalism, Education and Digital Labor’ implicitly shows the limitations of postmodernism and offers a large conceptual framework that will surely be mined and critically examined for some years to come.” (Ronald Barnett, Emeritus Professor of Higher Education, Institute of Education, London)

“‘Cognitive Capitalism, Education and Digital Labor’ is extraordinarily instructive in studying the living bestiary of capitalism, a provocative text that enervates capitalism through helping us cultivate our critical faculties creatively and exultantly in the service of its demise. An important advance in our understanding the production of subjectivity in capitalist societies.” (Peter McLaren, School of Critical Studies in Education, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland)

“This valuable, lithe volume explores the ever-evolving, mutating forms of capitalism. It is a work of craft, intelligence and provocation. It reflects on some of the most important subterranean trends in contemporary societies. These unite the material and the immaterial, biology and power, economics and education. The contributors parse the intersections of intellectual and physical labour, paid and unpaid work, labour and pedagogy, research and gaming, free information and multi-national corporations, autonomy and liberalism, accumulation and enclosure, class and creativity. They do so with verve, steel and tenacious insight.” (Peter Murphy, Professor of Creative Arts and Social Aesthetics, James Cook University)

“If you read just a single book in the field of educational theory this year, make sure it’s this one. Drawing on the rich tradition of Marxist autonomism, the contributors pinpoint what the transmutation of labor and opening of new domains of class struggle under cognitive capitalism mean for education. The editors have assembled an impressive team, all accomplished scholars adept at envisioning changes in the sites and forms of knowledge-making, acquisition and contestation. For anyone interested in the educational implications of technologically-driven shifts in capitalism’s socio-economic structures, this is the volume to buy. Brimming with insight, balanced and lively – it will attract attention from scholars and students well beyond the confines of education faculties.” (James Reveley, Associate Professor, Faculty of Commerce, University of Wollongong)

“We have now for some time been undergoing intense technological and social revolutions that transformed the nature of labor, education and the capitalist economy. Peters and Bulut and their collaborators in ‘Cognitive Capitalism, Education and Digital Labor’ chart out the changes in the new economy and social life and explore its consequences for education. All educators and those concerned with transformations of contemporary culture and society should be concerned with these issues and learn from this book.” (Douglas Kellner, UCLA; Author of ‘Guys and Guns Amok’ and ‘Media Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy’)

“The mainstream discourse of the knowledge economy is empty. The digital-Taylorist routinisation of much of the work that was once the preserve of knowledge workers and the offshoring of knowledge jobs to countries where skilled labour is much cheaper have given the game away. But it would be wrong to assume that the electronic/IT revolution has not changed our lives and our labour when it clearly has. This outstanding collection raises fundamental questions about knowledge, the role of education and labour in the digital world. It brings current debates to a new level and should be read by students, academics and policy makers across the globe.” (Hugh Lauder, Professor of Education and Political Economy, University of Bath)

“’Cognitive Capitalism, Education and Digital Labor’ presents a new theory of capitalism and digital labor. It is a very valuable resource and will spark an industry of debate and elaboration. This book presents such a wealth of diverse material that any reader will find something new and challenging, and each chapter in this collection makes a welcome contribution to the growing literature in the field.” (George Lazaroiu, Principal Research Fellow, Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, New York)

“Cognitive capitalism is a crucial category for conceptualizing the workings of contemporary globalization. Using the theories of the Italian Autonomist Marxist tradition, or ‘operaismo’, Peters and Bulut along with the other authors in this collection present important, fascinating insights into capitalism, education and labor today. It should be read immediately by anyone concerned about how the daily practices of education prepare the multitude for the travails of their immaterial and material labor.” (Timothy W. Luke, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University)

“Peters and Bulut have provided us with a brilliant set of papers that take us to the heart of the political economy. Under ‘cognitive capitalism’ subjectivity is both the realm of freedom and the source of value, raising the stakes in control (governmentality). Hence the continuing fecundity of interpretations at the intersection of Marx/Foucault/Deleuze. We experience both larger productive community and heightened public surveillance, together with unsolvable tensions in education and research. But this book also reminds us that the circuits of cognitive capitalism continue to rest on a mountain of physical commodities, generated largely in the emerging economies and subject to more traditional (and more traditionally Marxist) forms of manufacture, energy consumption and hyper-exploitation of labour.” (Simon Marginson, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne, Australia)

“Education cannot be understood outside of the diverse national and global forces in which it is situated, including the increasing separation of power from local politics. This book brings together a number of first-rate theorists in making clear the relationship among knowledge, power and digital labor. The book is a tour de force for anyone interested in the new registers of power that are now shaping education on a global level. This is an important book and should be put on the class list of every educator who views education central to politics.” (Henry A. Giroux, Global Television Network Chair Professor, English and Cultural Studies Department, McMaster University)

“The exceptional contributions assembled for this timely volume carefully anatomize – and critically question – the category of cognitive capitalism and its composition. This book is a major resource for a generation of academic workers with a very real stake in developments, conflicts and debates surrounding the edu-factory.” (Greig de Peuter, Co-author of  ‘Games of Empire’).

**END**

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

‘Cheerful Sin’ – a new song by Victor Rikowski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIbX5aKUjO8

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Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

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Cultural Marxism

MARXISM IN CULTURE: PROGRAMME FOR THE AUTUMN TERM 2011

Friday 14 October
Financialisation, Monetisation, Privatisation: Creating the New Market in Higher Education
Andrew McGettigan (Central Saint Martins)

Friday 28 October
Self-emancipation, activity theory, and political deskilling / reskilling: Some thoughts on organising into a big fish
Alex Levant (Wilfred Laurier University)

Friday 25 November
A Socialist Realist Sander: Comparative Portraiture as a Marxist Model in the German Democratic Republic
Sarah James (University College London)

Friday 09 December
Cultures of Marxism 1: Publishing and the Left
Contributors to be confirmed

All seminars start at 5.30pm, and are held in the Court Room (unless otherwise indicated) at the Institute of Historical Research in Senate House, Malet St, London. The seminar closes at 7.30pm and retires to the bar.

Organisers: Matthew Beaumont, Dave Beech, Alan Bradshaw, Warren Carter, Gail Day, Steve Edwards, Larne Abse Gogarty, Owen Hatherley, Esther Leslie, David Mabb, Antigoni Memou,Chrysi Papaioannou, Nina Power, Dominic Rahtz, Pete Smith, Peter Thomas & Alberto Toscano.

For further information, contact Warren Carter, at: w.carter@ucl.ac.uk
or Esther Leslie at: e.leslie@bbk.ac.uk

Cheers,
Warren

Warren Carter
Teaching Fellow
History of Art
University College London
Tel:- 020 3108 4023

 

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Glenn Rikowski

ITALIAN RESEARCH SEMINARS 2011 – 2012

Dear All

The Italian Department is organising a new series of interdisciplinary research seminars. Our first guest speaker will be Dr Alberto Toscano (Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Goldsmiths) (http://www.gold.ac.uk/sociology/staff/toscano/) who will present a paper entitled ‘The Non-State Intellectual: Franco Fortini and Communist Criticism’. The seminar will take place on Thursday September 29 at 6pm in Woolf College Seminar Room 3. All welcome.

For a list of forthcoming seminars, please, see below. For further information, contact Dr Lorenzo Chiesa (L.Chiesa@kent.ac.uk<mailto:L.Chiesa@kent.ac.uk>) or Dr Francesco Capello (F.L.Capello@kent.ac.uk<mailto:F.L.Capello@kent.ac.uk>).

Best wishes
Lorenzo & Francesco

Dr Lorenzo Chiesa
Reader in Modern European Thought
Head of Italian
SECL

Dr Francesco Capello
Lecturer in Italian
SECL

ITALIAN RESEARCH SEMINARS 2011/2012:

AUTUMN TERM

Thursday, 29 September 2011 (Week One):
Dr Alberto Toscano (Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Goldsmiths), ‘The Non-State Intellectual: Franco Fortini and Communist Criticism’

Thursday, 13 October 2011 (Week Three):
Dr Andrea Mammone (Lecturer in Modern History, Kingston University London), ‘Italian Neofascism and the Idea of Europe since 1945’

Thursday, 17 November 2011 (Week Eight) [date TBC]:
Dr Manuele Gragnolati (Reader in Italian, Oxford), ‘On Pasolini’s Petrolio’

Confirmed speakers for the Spring Term include Dr Deborah Holmes (Lecturer in German, Kent); Dr Luisa Lorenza Corna (Researcher, Jan Van Eyck Academie, Maastricht) & Dr Lynda DeMatteo (Researcher, CNRS-Laios, Paris).

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

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Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Karl Marx

MARXISM 2011 TIMETABLE

Central London 30 June – 4 July

Final timetable out now: www.marxismfestival.org.uk/2011/timetable.html

Book online: www.marxismfestival.org.uk/2011/bookonline.html

 

New speakers and sessions now confirmed:

* Kamal Abu Aita of the Egyptian tax collectors’ union will join the general secretary of the PCS civil service workers’ union Mark Serwotka and striking workers at the opening rally, which takes place on the evening of a day of coordinated strike action by up to a million workers

* Panos Garganas of the Greek Socialist Workers Party will speak on “Greece & the Eurozone Crisis”

* Laurie Penny (Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism) will join Nina Power (One Dimensional Woman) and Judith Orr (Sexism and the System) to discuss “Women, Class & Capitalism”

*Mireia Rosello of the Spanish “indignados” movement will join Sean Vernell of the lecturers’ UCU union to speak on “Youth, Anger and Revolution in Egypt, Spain, Britain…”

* Omar Bargouti, Mohammed Tonsi & Wassim Wagdy will participate on the panel “Eyewitnesses to the Arab Spring”

* Gilbert Achcar (The Arabs and the Holocaust and The Clash of Barbarisms) will debate Simon Assaf on the Libyan intervention

 

Other highlights:

* Owen Jones launches his acclaimed book Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class

* Terry Eagleton (Why Marx was Right) speaks on the Communist Manifesto

* John Bellamy Foster (The Ecological Rift) on “Marxism and Ecology”

* Tariq Ali speaks on “The Arab Intifada and American Power”

* Iain Sinclair (Hackney: That Rose-Red Empire) on “London and the Olympics”

* Graham Turner (No Way to Run an Economy) asks “Where is the Global Economy Going?”

* Peter Thomas (The Gramscian Moment) on “Gramsci and us: Building Socialist Hegemony Today”

* Danny Dorling launches Bankrupt Britain

* Alberto Toscano (Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea) on “University Struggles then and Now”

* Ben Fine (From Political Economy to Economics) on “Reading Marx’s Capital”

* Peter Hallward (Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide and the Politics of Containment) on “Marx against Fatalism”

* Owen Hatherley speaks on his book A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain

* Stuart Christie and Andy Durgan debate the Spanish Revolution

* Authors China Mieville and Max Schaefer discuss “Committed Fictions: Politics and Writing”

* Ronnie Kasrils launches The Unlikely Secret Agent

* Guglielmo Carchedi (Behind the Crisis) on “Marxism and Crisis Theory”

* Alex Callinicos (Bonfire of Illusions) on “Crisis and Revolution after the Arab Revolts”

* Istvan Meszaros (Beyond Capital) on “The Structural Crisis of Capitalism”

Join thousands of others at Europe’s biggest festival of radical ideas—featuring over 200 meetings, debates, film screenings, and musical performances.

For more go to: http://www.marxismfestival.org.uk

 

**END**

 

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

 

‘Maximum levels of boredom

Disguised as maximum fun’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Stagnant’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjxeHvvhJQ (live, at the Belle View pub, Bangor, north Wales)  

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Anarchist Book Fair

THE ANARCHIST TURN

May 05, 2011—May 06, 2011
Theresa Lang Center, The New School for Social Research, Arnold Hall, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor

The Anarchist Turn
Featuring Verso authors Judith Butler, Stephen Duncombe and Alberto Toscano, and Simon Critchley, Banu Bargu and others
See: http://www.versobooks.com/events/138-the-anarchist-turn

For a long time, the word “anarchist” has been used as an insult. This is because, at least since Thomas Hobbes, the concept of anarchy has been extended from its etymological meaning (absence of centralized government) to that of pure disorder—the idea being that, without a sovereign state, the life of individuals can only be brutish, miserable, and chaotic. This move was certainly functional to the ideological justification of the formation of modern sovereign states, but not to an understanding of what anarchy might be.

In the last decade, this caricature of anarchy has begun to crack. Globalization and the social movements it spawned seem to have proved what anarchists have long been advocating: an anarchical order is not just desirable, but also feasible. This has led to a revitalized interest in the subterranean anarchist tradition and its understanding of anarchy as collective self- organization without centralized authority. But the ban on “anarchism” has not yet been lifted.

The aim of this conference is to argue for an “anarchist turn” in political philosophy. We want to discuss the anarchist hypothesis with specific reference to the philosophical tradition in its many historical and geographical variants, but also in relation to other disciplines like politics, anthropology, economics, history and sociology. By bringing together academics and activists, past and present, this conference will assess the nature and effectiveness of anarchist politics in our times.

For the full programme and list of speakers: http://www.newschool.edu/nssr/subpage.aspx?id=64753

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Capitalist Crisis

CAPITALISM IN CRISIS AND POLITICAL ALTERNATIVES

The Critical Studies Graduate Research Group at the Universityof Brighton is pleased to invite you to a day of workshops on ‘Capitalism in Crisis and Political Alternatives’ on Friday 20th of May with Mary Mellor, Alberto Toscano, Mark Fisher and Mark Devenney.

You can find a link with more information on our webpage: http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/csrg.

The event is free, but registration is essential. There are only a few places remaining which will distributed on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis. If you would like to attend, please send an email to B.A.Hofstaetter@brighton.ac.uk

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

World Crisis

FILMING THE CRISIS

SOAS Centre for Media & Film Studies

Spring 2011 Seminar Series

* All seminars take place from 5 to 7 pm in room G3 *

23 March 2011

Filming the Crisis: A Critical Survey

Alberto Toscano: (Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London)

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Roy Bhaskar

THE LAW OF LAW

The Westminster International Law & Theory Centre cordially invite you to
a one-day workshop on:

THE LAW OF LAW: Dialectics and Research

Organisers:
Pravin Jeyaraj, School of Law, University of Westminster
Prof Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, School of Law, University of Westminster

Friday, 1 April, 2011
10:00-18:00

A one-day workshop to examine how different dialectical traditions have been applied to research in different legal and related non-legal disciplines. We aim to assert the relevance of various dialectical traditions – from its origin in ancient philosophies to its subsequent interpretation and reformulation by theorists such as Hegel, Marx, Luhmann and Bhaskar – to contemporary socio-legal and critical research and sketch potential future developments either confirming or moving away from this tradition.

Speakers:
Dr Brenna Bhandar (University of Kent)
Dr Alejandro Colás (Birkbeck University)
Dr Alex Fischer (SOAS)
Ms Kay Lalor (University of Westminster)
Professor Alan Norrie (University of Warwick)
Professor Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos (University of Westminster)
Dr Joseph Tanega (University of Westminster)
Dr Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths College)

University of Westminster
The Boardroom, 309 Regent Street
London
W1B 2UW

Attendance is free, but places are limited
RSVP to Pravin Jeyaraj pravin.jeyaraj@my.westminster.ac.uk

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

Zizek

THE IDEA OF COMMUNISM

Edited by SLAVOJ ZIZEK AND COSTAS DOUZINAS

Published 7th February, 2011

——————————-

ALAIN BADIOU

JUDITH BALSO

BRUNO BOSTEELS

SUSAN BUCK-MORSS

COSTAS DOUZINAS

TERRY EAGLETON

PETER HALLWARD

MICHAEL HARDT

JEAN-LUC NANCY

ANTONIO NEGRI

JACQUES RANCIERE

ALESSANDRO RUSSO

ALBERTO TOSCANO

GIANNI VATTIMO

SLAVOJ ZIZEK

——————————-

‘The long night of the left is coming to a close’ write Slavoj Zizek and Costas Douzinas in their introduction to The Idea of Communism. The continuing economic crisis which began in 2008, the shift away from a unipolar world defined by American hegemony, and the ecological crisis mean that growing numbers of people are keen to explore an alternative, and to re-discover the idea of communism. This volume, which emerges from the landmark ‘Idea of Communism’ conference in 2009, marks the theoretical beginning of that re-discovery.

Bringing together an all-star cast of radical intellectuals, including Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, Terry Eagleton, Michael Hardt, and Antonio Negri, The Idea of Communism explores the historical, philosophical, and political dimensions of the communist ideal, in order to clarify its meaning and relevance today. The volume brings together their discussions from the landmark conference, highlighting both the idea of communism’s continuing significance and the need to reconfigure the concept within a world marked by havoc and crisis.

The contributors argue that multiple crises of the modern world lay bare the limits of mainstream liberal capitalist ideology. Blending astute analysis with compelling theoretical sophistication, The Idea of Communism complements the themes and arguments in other works in Verso’ ‘Pocket Communism’ series, including Badiou’s The Communist Hypothesis, Boris Groys’ The Communist Postscript, and Bruno Bosteel’s forthcoming The Actuality of Communism.

The collection opens with an exhilarating call to arms by France’s greatest living intellectual, the ‘last man standing’ of ’68. The iconic Badiou examines the link between the communist idea and political practice, highlighting what he calls “the anonymous action of millions of militants, rebels, fighters” who, although “unrepresentable as such”, have throughout history represented, “elements of the Idea of Communism at various stages”.

Capturing the sense of intellectual confidence and excitement in renewing the communist ideal, Slavoj Zizek concludes the collection with a characteristically wide-ranging contribution taking in Lenin, Bill Gates and Samuel Beckett. He addresses the question, ‘how to begin from the beginning?’ and posits an answer by way of identifying new revolutionary subjects which correspond to today’s ‘post-industrial’ capitalism.

——————————-

Praise for SLAVOJ ZIZEK:

“Zizek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation.” New Yorker

“A great provocateur… Zizek writes with passion and an aphoristic energy that is spellbinding.” Los Angeles Times

“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.” New Republic

——————————

SLAVOJ ZIZEK is today’s most controversial public intellectual. His work traverses the fields of philosophy, psychoanalysis, theology, history and political theory, taking in film, popular culture, and literature to provide acute analyses of the complexities of contemporary ideology as well as a serious and sophisticated philosophy. The author of over 30 books, SLAVOJ ZIZEK’S provocative prose has challenged a generation of activists and intellectuals. His latest book is LIVING IN THE END TIMES. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

COSTAS DOUZINAS is a Professor of Law and Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, University of London. He is the author of numerous works, including HUMAN RIGHTS AND EMPIRE, THE END OF HUMAN RIGHTS, and LAW AND THE IMAGE: THE AUTHORITY OF ART AND THE AESTHETICS OF LAW.

——————————–

ISBN -13: 978 1 84467 459 6 / $26.95 / £14.99 / $33.50 / Paperback / 240 pages

ISBN -13: 978 1 84467 455 8 / $95.00 / £55.00 / $118.50 / Hardback / 240 pages

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

The Ockress: http://www.theockress.com

Rikowski Point: http://rikowskipoint.blogspot.com

Glenn Rikowski on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/glenn.rikowski

Volumizer: http://glennrikowski.blogspot.com

LONDON SEMINAR ON CONTEMPORARY MARXIST THEORY – UPDATE 9th FEBRUARY 2011
 
 
9th February, 5pm
King’s College London, Strand Campus, S2.28
 
Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Marxism: A Realism of the Abstract?
The global economic and financial crisis has witnessed a deepening of interest in different forms of critical and radical thought and practice. This seminar will explore the new perspectives that have been opened up by interventions of contemporary Marxist theory in this political and theoretical conjuncture. It involves collaboration among Marxist scholars based in several London universities, including Brunel University, King’s College London, and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Guest speakers – from both Britain and abroad – will include a wide range of thinkers engaging with many different elements of the various Marxist traditions, as well as with diverse problems and topics. The aim of the seminar is to promote fruitful debate and to contribute to the development of more robust Marxist analysis. It is open to all.

 

2010/11 Seminar Series
  
9th November, 5pm
King’s College London, Strand Campus, S-1.04, Raked Lecture Theatre
Massimiliano Tomba (University of Padua)
The Historical Materialist at work: Re-reading “The Eighteenth Brumaire”
 
15th December, 5pm
King’s College London, Strand Campus, K.3.11 Raked Lecture Theatre
Peter D. Thomas (Brunel University)
Contours of Contemporary Western Marxism
  
19th January, 5pm
King’s College London, Strand Campus, S2.28
David Leopold (University of Oxford)
Stathis Kouvelakis (King’s College, London)
In Search of the Young Marx’s Politics
 
9th February, 5pm
King’s College London, Strand Campus, S2.28
Alberto Toscano (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Marxism: A Realism of the Abstract?
 
2nd March, 5pm
King’s College London, Strand Campus, room TBA
Gérard Duménil (Université de Paris X Nanterre)
Explaining the crisis of neoliberalism: Neither the falling profit rate nor mere financial craze
23rd March, 5pm
King’s College London, Strand Campus, room TBA
Esther Leslie (Birkbeck College)
Flat Screens and Liquid Crystals: On the Politics of Aesthetics and Vice Versa
4th May, 5pm
King’s College London, Strand Campus, room TBA
Costas Lapavitsas (SOAS)
Three Cheers for Marxist Monetary Theory: The Eurozone through the Prism of World Money
18th May, 5pm
King’s College London, Strand Campus, K.3.11 Raked Lecture Theatre
Gail Day (University of Leeds)
Dialectical Passions: Art Theory, Art History and Marxism

For further information, please contact:
Alex Callinicos, European Studies, King’s: alex.callinicos@kcl.ac.uk
Stathis Kouvelakis, European Studies, King’s:
stathis.kouvelakis@kcl.ac.uk
Costas Lapavitsas, Economics, SOAS:
cl5@soas.ac.uk
Peter Thomas, Politics and History, Brunel:
PeterD.Thomas@brunel.ac.uk

 

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Ben Linus Taking Control

TAKING CONTROL- UPDATE 21st JANUARY 2011

Taking Control: registration now open
SOAS, University of London, 12th March 2011

Keynote: Professor Jodi Dean

Other speakers include: Professor Peter Hallward, Dr Alberto Toscano, Dr Paul Blackledge

This conference is concerned with control.  On what it means today – under globalised late capitalism – to take or be in control of institutions, whether political, economic, or academic.  We are concerned with theorising how to take control, and on what to do when we take it.  We want to focus not on the dangers of control – since the corrupting effects of power have been amply theorized – but rather on what it means to take responsibility and effect change, and what this change could be.

That is, how can a vision for society be enacted in practical terms? What is the role of democratic participation in this process of mastering social change?  And how do we remain accountable as we take control.  Does taking control mean working against, within or beside the existing institutional structure?

This question remains under-theorised in contemporary critical political theory – which often remains limited to the critique of the status quo. Without the impulse to take responsibility and take control, this critique becomes meaningless – it results in a de facto acceptance.  Where projects like the ‘Idea of Communism’ stop, this conference seeks to take the next step.  It must be situated along work such as the Turbulence Collective’s ‘What it means to win’ volume and Erik-Olin-Wright’s ‘Envisioning Utopias’.

We are clear that the idea of communism remains important and a project to be fought for.  However in the strategic question we are at an impasse, how to take control and implement a new communism? The vanguard model seems discredited, but the model of the multitude seems non-committal, a mere waiting for things to gradually come together, resulting in a de facto withdrawal from the social. Even more than this impasse, in times of late capitalism the very meaning of what being in control entails is no longer clear.  We want to move from thinking about the idea of communism to implementing it.

The event is free to attend but registration is essential.  Please email takingcontrol2011@gmail.com

Organised by ES: Philosophy Research Collective

With support from the Department of Politics and International Studies, SOAS

Department of Politics, Goldsmiths

For more information see http://takingcontrol2011.wordpress.com

Update 2nd March 2011:

Full Programme: http://takingcontrol2011.wordpress.com

Registration: takingcontrol2011@gmail.com

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Critical Pedagogy

EDUCATIONAL SPACES OF ALTERITY

CALL FOR PAPERS

Educational Spaces of Alterity
University of Nottingham, Tuesday 26th April 2010

Nottingham Critical Pedagogy invites contributions for a day of workshops considering spaces (both inside and outside the academy) that may help challenge the dominance of neoliberal logics, alienated practices and Eurocentric hegemony in contemporary educational practice, and in so doing contribute to radical social change. We are pleased to announce that John Holloway will be hosting a keynote workshop at the event.

We hope to welcome contributions from a variety of disciplines and from inside and outside the academy. These can be in any format, but we especially encourage those that break from traditional conference paper models: workshops, artistic engagements, poster presentations and performances would all be welcomed. We welcome suggestions for entire workshop sessions (90 minutes), or single contributions, which we will group into workshops.

Our event partners Spaces of Alterity: a conference hosted by the University of Nottingham’s Department of Culture, Film and Media on Wed 27th-Thurs 28th April, with keynote addresses by China Miéville and Alberto Toscano. Both events are designed to work on their own, but participants are more than welcome to attend both should they wish, and we will be co-curating an Annexinema film night with Spaces of Alterity (details tbc) to show short films which touch upon the themes of the two events.

A non-exhaustive list of themes you may wish to consider is offered over the page. Please do not feel these are mutually exclusive:

Critical Education and ‘The Crisis’

  • How can critical education respond to the crisis in higher education and wider societal crises?
  • Do these crises close down or create spaces of hope for critical education?
  • Defending the university? Transforming the university? Abandoning the university?

 

Education and the Affective

  • Emotional epistemologies and pedagogies.
  • The role of hope in critical education.
  • ‘Radical love’.

 

Community Education

  • Skillshare workshops.
  • Social movements/community politics.
  • Challenging the borders between HE and community.
  • The role of non-traditional educational spaces (art galleries, social centres, etc).

 

Border Thinking and Hybridity

  • The importance of identity and difference for critical education.
  • Challenging hegemonic and Eurocentric perspectives.
  • How can we introduce the subaltern into the classroom?

 

Reflections on Practice

  • Experiences of critical education.
  • What can we learn from past experiences, experiments and struggle?

 

Art, Music and Critical Education

  • The role of art and music in critical education.
  • Resonances between critical education and contemporary theory and practice in art and music.
  • Problems of assessment in critical and artistic education: or is assessment the problem?

 

Please send abstracts and information on the format you wish your presentation to take to nottinghamcriticalpedagogy@gmail.com no later than Tuesday 8th February. These should be no more than 300 words, but may contain links to further reading regarding your chosen method of presentation.

Registration is free for Educational Spaces of Alterity but there are fees for Spaces of Alterity: attendance for one day is £25/£35; for both days it’s £45/55 (cheaper price for students and unwaged).

We have a limited amount of money to help cover the travel and accommodation costs of participants who would not otherwise be able to attend, or to help with fees for those who wish to stay for Spaces of Alterity. Details will be announced once abstracts have been received. Food and drink will be provided for all.

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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