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Tag Archives: The Communist Hypothesis

THE POLITICS OF UTOPIA: MARXISM, MYTH AND RELIGION

UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD
BAKHTIN CENTRE

The Politics of Utopia: Marxism, Myth and Religion
Friday, 19th November 2010

Workshop jointly organised by the Centre for Ernst Bloch Studies and the Bakhtin Centre

Humanities Research Institute, Gell St., University of Sheffield.

10.00 – 11.00: Reception and coffee

11.00 – 12.30 

Peter Thompson (Sheffield): “The Communist Hypothesis and the Invariant of Direction: Badiou, Bloch and the political theology of the impossible”

Craig Brandist (Sheffield): “Semantic Palaeontology and the Passage from Myth to Science and Poetry: The Work of Izrail Frank-Kamenetskii (1880-1937)”

12.30 – 13.30: Lunch

13.30 – 15.00

Esther Leslie (Birkbeck): “Mountains and Crystals: Utopia in the Snows of Weimar”

Richard Howells (King’s College London): “Creation and Creativity: Utopia and Navajo Design”

15.00 – 15.30: Coffee

15.30 – 17.00

Caitríona Ní Dhúill (Durham): “Experiments with the name of God: Bloch’s reading of mystery”

Johan Siebers (IGRS/Lancaster): “Parks and Deserts: Outline of a Blochian environmental philosophy”

17.00 – 18.00: Wine reception

18.00 – 19.30

Film screening and discussion in the Exhibition Space (titles TBA)

— 
Craig Brandist,
Professor of Cultural Theory and Intellectual History,
Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies,
University of Sheffield,
Jessop West,
1 Upper Hanover Street,
Sheffield, S3 7RA.
Tel. +44 (0)114 2227413
fax +44 (0)114 275 1198

END

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

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ALAIN BADIOU TALKS ABOUT THE COMMUNIST HYPOTHESIS

In conversation
Alain Badiou talks about
The Communist Hypothesis

18.30, Thursday 28 October 2010
Arthur & Paula Lucas Lecture Theatre (S-2.18), Strand Building
King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

This event is free – but please let us know by emailing european-studies@kcl.ac.uk if you’d like to attend.

This event is hosted by the European Studies Programme http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/humanities/depts/european/  
at King’s College London as part of the Arts & Humanities Week and in association with Verso Books.

Alain Badiou, Professor of Philosophy at the International Graduate School, is one of the most celebrated philosophers in the world. Among a vast output, his philosophical reputation rests especially on the two-volume work Being and the Event (1988) and Logics of Worlds (2006). The New Statesman has described him as ‘an heir to Jean-Paul Sartre and Louis Althusser’, seeking to continue both Althusser’s anti-humanism and Sartre’s preoccupation with 
subjectivity.

A veteran of May 1968 and a Maoist militant during the 1960s and 1970s, Badiou has emerged as one of France’s leading public intellectuals in recent years. His opposition to banning the burqa was followed by The Meaning of Sarkozy (2007). This polemic first advanced what he called the ‘Communist Hypothesis’, which reasserts the idea of an alternative to capitalism based on the universal principle of equality. These ideas are further developed in The Communist Hypothesis, recently published by Verso.

—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)

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

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Culture

MARXISM IN CULTURE READING GROUP – LONDON

Dear All

The Marxism in Culture reading group will resume its monthly meetings on Friday the 22nd of October 2010 at 5.30. The group meets on Friday evenings in SR5 at the UCL History of Art Department, 20-21 Gordon Square, and discusses key texts, both historical and contemporary, that have a bearing on Marxist aesthetics and radical cultural theory and practice more generally. Thus far, we have looked at texts by Marx and Engels, Lukács, Brecht, Adorno, Bensaid, Eagleton, Debord, Bakhtin and the Retort collective, to name just a few.

In our first meeting for this term we will discuss Alain Badiou’s The Communist Hypothesis.

If you are interested in participating then please contact Antigoni Memou at: antigonimemou@yahoo.co.uk

Best Wishes
Warren Carter, Maggie Gray, Antigoni Memou

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Alain Badiou

BADIOU’S COMMUNIST HYPOTHESIS

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Verso, America’s preeminent radical press, is proud to announce the third volume in its ongoing Pocket Communism series:

THE COMMUNIST HYPOTHESIS

By ALAIN BADIOU

“A figure like Plato or Hegel walks here among us!”—Slavoj Žižek

“In sum, a heartless bastard”—New Republic

Unwilling to neglect the stigmatizing burden of historical failure that communism has come to bear, Alain Badiou has set out to formulate a hypothesis that will resurrect and reinvigorate the communist ideal. 

In the wake of the financial crisis, Badiou presents his argument with a controlled urgency and a sincere conviction that “Communism is the right hypothesis.” Pointing to the emptiness in neoliberal capitalism’s promise of “human rights,” Badiou aims for a new kind of “universal emancipation” in his reconceptualization of communism. 

Badiou insists that his book is not a work of politics, but one that deals with the issues it raises at a fundamentally philosophical level: rather than taking for granted the “failure” of communism, he is intent on defining failure as such, crediting with sagacity only those “who are not blinded by the propagandist notion of failure.” With this in mind, Badiou takes us from May 1968 to the Cultural Revolution to the Paris Commune. Rather than flinching from the historical precedent set by these events, Badiou invites the possibility that these so-called failures may be thought of as a sequence that is far from complete. He argues, in other words, “that the apparent, and sometimes bloody, failures of events closely bound up with the communist hypothesis were and are stages in its history.”

Concerning the ultimate goal of The Communist Hypothesis, the book speaks for itself: 

“To put it in a nutshell: we have to be bold enough to have an idea. A great idea. We have to convince ourselves that there is nothing ridiculous or criminal about having a great idea. The world of global and arrogant capitalism in which we live is taking us back to the 1840s and the birth of capitalism. Its imperative, as formulated by Guizot, was: ‘Get rich!’ We can translate that as ‘Live without an idea!’ We have to say that we cannot live without an idea. We have to say: ‘Have the courage to support the idea, and it can only be the communist idea in its generic sense.’ ”

FOR INTERVIEWS & REVIEW COPIES OF ALL TITLES IN THE SERIES PLEASE CONTACT CLARA HEYWORTHclara@versobooks.com

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