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Archive for the ‘Alberto Toscano’ Category

Alberto Toscano talks about his new book Fanatisicm: On the Uses of an IdeaToscano Fanaticism Cover Image for the Guardian Comment is Free site.

Watch the video here.

Toscano will be giving talks at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the 25th and 26th August. More information is available here.

To see more Toscano on this blog, simply click here.

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Edinburgh Book Festival Logo

Verso authors Alberto Toscano, Dan Hind, Gideon Levy and Tariq Ali will be giving talks based on their new books at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which runs from the 14th-30th August.

14:30/ Wednesday 25th August 2010:Toscano Fanaticism Image

Alberto Toscano, “Fanaticism and Anarchism in a New Light”. Toscano will be giving a talk about his new book Fanaticism on the Uses of an Idea at Peppers Theatre.

19:00/ Thursday 26th August 2010:

Alberto Toscano and M J Hyland give a talk called “The Culture of Fear” at the Highland Spiegeltent.

1The Punishment of Gaza Image2:30/ Wednesday 18th August 2010:

Gideon Levy and Gilbert Achcar, “Dipping Toes into the Toxic Waters of Neverending Conflict”. Levy will be talking about his new book, The Punishment of Gaza at Peppers Theatre.

15:30/ Thursday 26th August 2010: Return of the Public

Phillip Blond and Dan Hind, “How to Rebuild a Democracy we Believe in”. Dan Hind will be talking about his new book The Return of the Public at the Scottishpower Studio Theatre.

16:30/ Wednesday 25th August 2010:

TariqNight of the Golden Butterfly 01 Ali, “Acclaimed Writer and Commentator Brings Book Cycle to an End”. Ali will be talking about his new book Night of the Golden Butterfly at RBS Main Theatre.

Tickets for all of these talks are available for £8.00-£10.00.

Full information about the festival can be found here.

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Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea was one of Steven Poole‘s Non-Fiction Choices in last Saturday’s Guardian Review:

The text is often highly abstract, with theoretical discussions of Kant, Hegel, Marx, Badiou, Sloterdijk, Arendt, Schmitt, and others, but then Toscano is after all explicitly engaged in a defence of abstraction in “emancipatory politics”. By the end he has at least irrefutably demolished our lazy opposition between rational-moderate liberalism and “fanatical” religion; while his sorrowful comparison of modern blowhards with “the great reactionaries of yesterday” is a slyly humorous touch.

Meanwhile, Johnathan Wright of Catholic Herald wrote a thought-provoking review of the book, published last Friday:

Toscado Fanatacism Image

Gets the synapses firing… The book has brio, it is bolstered by wide-ranging scholarship and it will make you re-examine one of the most dangerous words in the political lexicon.

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Nathan Coombs reviews Alberto Toscano’s Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea to argue that ‘We’re not enlightened yet’ on the Guardian’s Cif Belief:

Since 9/11 there has been a resurgence of the “political religion” thesis…

Alberto Toscano’s new book, Fanaticism, provides a powerful response to the argument. His central thesis is that crying “fanaticism!” has been a strategy across the ages used by conservatives to pathologise radical political projects, including by those “raving with reason” and dedicated to the highest ideals of the Enlightenment.

By blurring the line between both religious fanaticism and “Enlightenment fanaticism”, Toscano undermines the growing consensus that the Enlightenment is something already established and in need of defence. Yet he also manages to avoid the cynical position of Gray, who simply denounces the deluded “Enlightenment cult”. Rather, Toscano argues, “If we can speak of it as a project, much of the Enlightenment is not merely unfinished: it has been ignored, buried or traduced…

if, as Toscano argues, the Enlightenment has barely started, progress may require the radical breaks that only fanatics can see through to the end.”

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Alberto Toscano talks about Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea on BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed with Laurie Taylor. Listen here – the discussion begins about 14 minutes in.

Life in a High Crime Area and Fanaticism

How do young peopel use myths and stories to make sense of life in a high crime area? Laurie discusses a new report by Kaye Haw. And how has the word fanaticism been used and misused by history? Alberto Toscano and John Gray discuss.

TALK:

The Uses of Fanaticism

8 July 2010 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

£12 / £11 Concessions / £10 ICA Members

The idea of fanaticism as a deviant or extreme variant of an already irrational set of religious beliefs is today invoked by the West in order to demonise and psychologize any non-liberal politics.

Cultural critic, philosopher and lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths, Alberto Toscano, explores the critical role fanaticism played in forming modern politics and the liberal state, and undermines the idea that liberalism and fanaticism are irrevocably opposed.

Toscano tears apart the sterile opposition of “reasonableness” and fanaticism and, in a radical new interpretation, places the fanatic at the very heart of politics, arguing that historical and revolutionary transformations require a new understanding of its role.

To book, call Box Office+44 (0)20 7930 3647 or online here.

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Alberto Toscano will be launching his new book

Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea at the ICA on 8 July 2010, 6.45pm

The Uses of Fanaticism

£12 / £11 Concessions / £10 ICA Members

The idea of fanaticism as a deviant or extreme variant of an already irrational set of religious beliefs is today invoked by the West in order to demonise and psychologize any non-liberal politics.

Cultural critic, philosopher and lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths, Alberto Toscano, explores the critical role fanaticism played in forming modern politics and the liberal state, and undermines the idea that liberalism and fanaticism are irrevocably opposed.

Toscano tears apart the sterile opposition of “reasonableness” and fanaticism and, in a radical new interpretation, places the fanatic at the very heart of politics, arguing that historical and revolutionary transformations require a new understanding of its role.

Watch Alberto discussing Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea at the RSA:

Watch Alberto talking about Fanaticism at University of Chichester with the Theory Research Group here.

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Alberto Toscano‘s Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea has been reviewed for Marx & Philosophy by Tom Eyers:

It is no coincidence that Alberto Toscano, a young lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, has been central in translating Badiou’s work and extending its analytic scope in his own writings. Toscano shares with Badiou an admirable and rather rare sense of the mutual compatibility of rigorous political theory and the most militant, direct forms of political critique. His book usefully conjoins an historical and theoretical genealogy of the uses and abuses of the idea of fanaticism, particularly in various strains of liberal discourse, with a wider polemic against attacks on the emancipatory Left. …

What renders Toscano’s account particularly strong, and what distinguishes it from the theory/polemic dichotomy discussed above, is the rich and varied historical resources that he marshals in favour of his argument.

Read the full article here.

Tom Eyers is a PhD student at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Middlesex University – the Centre is under threat of closure, despite being the highest rated research department at the university – see http://www.savemdxphil.com

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