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Archive for the ‘Radical Thinkers’ Category

Art in America reviewed the launch of Radical Thinkers set 4 held at the Tate Britain on 26th November  DON’T LOOK BACK: RADICAL THINKERS AND THE ARTS SINCE 1909:

On American Thanksgiving last week, a number of leading British intellectuals gathered under the aegis of the Tate Britain to discuss a different sort of historical legacy to which contemporary culture is indebted, if ambiguously grateful for. Two months after the Tate Modern’s centenary Futurist exhibition, Terry Eagleton, Simon Critchley, Kate Soper and Eyal Weizman considered postmodernism’s future, in the wake of Futurist poet F.T. Marinetti.

Politely moderated by long-haired Goldsmiths lecturer Alberto Toscano, the panel discussion “Don’t Look Back: Radical thinkers and the arts since 1909,” didn’t aspire to the same riotous tenor as Marinetti’s debut lecture at the Lyceum Club in 1911, when the firecracker frontman sought to “hurl defiance at the stars.” Eagleton began by cautiously repudiating the talk’s title, quoting Trotsky: “We Marxists have always lived in tradition,” as well as Walter Benjamin’s backward-facing Angel of History. He then lamented last summer’s almost-collapse of capitalism as a missed opportunity to stoke revolution in the mire of postmodern status quo….

Read the full review here.

Radical Thinkers set 4 is available to buy individually from all good bookshops, or as a full set for a special discountprice.

Theodor Adorno In Search of Wagner

Louis Althusser and Étienne Balibar Reading Capital

Jean Baudrillard The Transparency of Evil: Essays on Extreme Phenomena

Walter Benjamin The Origin of German Tragic Drama

Simon Critchley Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity: Derrida, Levinas, and Contemporary French Thought

Guy Debord Panegyric

Terry Eagleton Walter Benjamin: Or, Towards a Revolutionary Criticism

Fredric Jameson The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern, 1983–1998

Georg Lukács Lenin: A Study on the Unity of His Thought

Chantal Mouffe The Democratic Paradox

Gillian Rose Hegel Contra Sociology

Paul Virilio War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception

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Nina Power interviews Chantal Mouffe, Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster, for the New Statesman about, amongst other things, the public sphere and the financial crisis:

What I have in mind is not simply a space for the expression of any kind of disagreement, but a confrontation betweenconflicting notions about how to organise society. This does not exist in Britain at the moment, because no political party clearly challenges the hegemony of neoliberalism. There are, of course, disagreements about a variety of issues, but what is lacking is a debate about possible alternatives to the current neoliberal model of globalisation. We have been told by advocates of New Labour that politics now takes place at the centre and that the categories of right and left have become obsolete…

There was a moment at the beginning of the financial crisis when it seemed that the hegemony of neoliberalism had received a serious blow. After decades of being demonised, the state was suddenly called to the rescue. However, instead of implementing redistributive policies, the intervention of the state has been limited to rescuing the banks. There is, though, a positive aspect. I think there is an increasing awareness that the current model of development is unsustainable.

Read the full interview here.

Chantal Mouffe’s The Democratic Paradox is published in the latest set of Verso’s Radical Thinkers series. Her other books include Return of the Political in Set 2, and Hegemony & Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics with Ernesto Laclau.

The fourth set of the series will be launched on 26 November at Tate Britain by a panel discussion entitled DON’T LOOK BACK: RADICAL THINKERS AND THE ARTS SINCE 1909

On the 100th anniversary of the Futurism Manifesto, join critical thinkers TERRY EAGLETON, SIMON CRITCHLEY, KATE SOPER, EYAL WEIZMAN and CHAIR ALBERTO TOSCANO  in exploring a century of radical thinking and the arts – and debating what lies ahead. The recent Futurism exhibition at Tate Modern reminds us of an age when politics and aesthetics were densely interwoven in an explosive rejection of the past. This distinguished panel will assess the legacy of modernism to ask how today’s radical thinkers might understand the role of the arts at the dawn of the twenty first century and beyond.

Tate Britain Auditorium
£8 (£6 concessions)
For tickets book online here or call 020 7887 8888.

Nina Power is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Roehampton University, author of One-Dimensional Woman and blogger. Venture into “the chaos of a still unrevealed nosography” at her blog infinite thought

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Join us for the London launch for Set 4 of Verso’s highly popular Radical Thinkers series, bringing together the seminal texts of the world’s leading intellectuals.Radical Thinkers Series 4 Logo

DON’T LOOK BACK

RADICAL THINKERS AND THE ARTS SINCE 1909

Thursday 26 November 2009, 18.30–20.00

Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1P 4RG


WITH TERRY EAGLETON, SIMON CRITCHLEY, KATE SOPER, EYAL WEIZMAN AND CHAIR ALBERTO TOSCANO

 

On the 100th anniversary of the Futurism Manifesto, join critical thinkers TERRY EAGLETON, SIMON CRITCHLEY, KATE SOPER, EYAL WEIZMAN and CHAIR ALBERTO TOSCANO  in exploring a century of radical thinking and the arts – and debating what lies ahead. The recent Futurism exhibition at Tate Modern reminds us of an age when politics and aesthetics were densely interwoven in an explosive rejection of the past. This distinguished panel will assess the legacy of modernism to ask how today’s radical thinkers might understand the role of the arts at the dawn of the twenty first century and beyond.

Tate logo

Tate Britain Auditorium
£8 (£6 concessions)
For tickets book online here or call 020 7887 8888.

 

 

 

Verso 9781844673506 Walter Benjamin or Towards a Revolutionary Criticism smallTERRY EAGLETON is Professor of English Literature at the University of Lancaster. His many books include Walter Benjamin: Or, Towards a Revolutionary Criticism in Set 4 of Radical Thinkers, Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate and the forthcoming The Task of the Critic: Terry Eagleton in Dialogue

Read Terry Eagleton’s ‘Waking the Dead’ article in the New Statesman, reflecting on what Benjamin’s approach to history and memory can tell us about America in the 21st century.

 

Critchley 1SIMON CRITCHLEY is Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York and author of  Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity: Derrida, Levinas and Contemporary French Thought in Set 4 of Radical Thinkers, Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance, The Book of Dead Philosophers, On Humour and Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction.

 

Verso 978-1-85984-461-8 Relish the SublimeKATE SOPER is a Professor in the Department of Humanities, Arts and Languages at London Metropolitan University and author of To Relish the Sublime? Culture and Self-Realization in Postmodern Times.

Eyal high resEYAL WEIZMAN is an architect and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths College, University of London and author of Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation.

 

FINAL FRONT COVER_Toscano_Fanaticism smallChair: ALBERTO TOSCANO, editor of Historical Materialism, lecturer in sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London and author of The Theatre of Production: Philosophy and Individuation Between Kant and Deleuze and the forthcoming Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea.

 

 

 

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Praise for Radical Thinkers:

“An extremely pleasant surprise: a new imprint from Verso called Radical Thinkers, and a pile of white-covered paperbacks by the likes of Theodor Adorno, Fredric Jameson, Guy Debord and Walter Benjamin. Not only do they have nifty cover designs, they are ridiculously cheap.” Nick Lezard, Guardian

“A compendium of left-wing philosophical and political thought, inoculating it against the ‘great idea’ of philosophy-as-self-help. As a way of transforming… formless disgust into educated critique, these books are a fine, cheap and decidedly elegant starting point.” Owen Hatherley

“A golden treasury of theory” Eric Banks, Bookforum

“Verso’s beautifully designed Radical Thinkers series, which brings together seminal works by leading left-wing intellectuals, is a sophisticated blend of theory and thought. The 12 authors whose writings are included in the series have worked tirelessly to expose the mechanisms by which culture and knowledge are manufactured, managed and controlled.” Ziauddin Sardar, New Statesman

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Listen here to a conversation with Simon CritchleyJudith Butler and Jacques Rancière for the Philosophy Department Thursday Night Workshop Series at the New School in New York.

Marking the release of a new set of titles in the acclaimed Radical Thinkers series, as well as publication of their own key texts, three of Verso’s most respected and influential writers met on Friday 23 October in New York to discuss the future of radical thought and the importance of critical theory to social movements today.

Frames Grid.qxd:Layout 1JUDITH BUTLER is Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Her many books include Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence and, most recently Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?
Verso 9781844673513 Ethics Politics Subjectivity small
SIMON CRITCHLEY is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research and at the University of Essex, UK. Among his numerous books are Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance and his contribution to the new set 4 of Radical Thinkers, Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity: Derrida, Levinas and Contemporary French Thought

Verso 9781844673438 Emancipated Spectator smallJACQUES RANCIÈRE is a professor of philosophy at the University of Paris-VIII. His many books include On the Shores of Politics (part of Verso’s Radical Thinkers 2),The Future of the Image and Hatred of Democracy. The Emancipated Spectator is new from Verso.

LONDON LAUNCH!

‘Don’t Look Back: Radical Thinkers and the Arts Since 1909′ is at the Tate Britain on Thursday 26 November 2009, 18.30–20.00

On the 100th anniversary of the Futurism Manifesto, join critical thinkers Terry EagletonSimon CritchleyKate Soper, Eyal Weizman, and chair Alberto Toscano in exploring a century of radical thinking and the arts – and debating what lies ahead. The recent Futurism exhibition at Tate Modern reminds us of an age when politics and aesthetics were densely interwoven in an explosive rejection of the past. This distinguished panel will assess the legacy of modernism to ask how today’s radical thinkers might understand the role of the arts at the dawn of the twenty first century and beyond.

Tate Britain Auditorium £8 (£6 concessions), booking recommended
For tickets book online here or call 020 7887 8888.

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Third Text, Volume 23, Issue 5, September 2009 announced a call for papers for its centenary issue and is itself a special issue entitled ‘Art: A Vision of the Future”.

Verso 9781844674282 First as Tragedy smallSlavoj Žižek‘s piece, Notes on a Poetic-Military Complex, argues “the predominance of religiously (or ethnically) justified violence can be accounted for by the very fact that we live in an era that perceives itself as post-ideological. Since great public causes can no longer be used to incite mass violence, that is, since our hegemonic ideology calls on us to enjoy life and to realise our Selves, it is difficult for the majority to overcome their revulsion at torturing and killing another human being. The majority would need to be ‘anaesthetised’ against their elementary sensitivity to the suffering of others in order to do this. Religious ideologists usually claim that religion makes some otherwise bad people do some good things; from today’s experience, one should give more weight to Steven Weinreich’s claim that, while without religion good people would do good things and bad people bad things, only religion can make good people do bad things.”

His latest book First as Tragedy, Then as Farce is out now.

Susan Buck-Morss, author of Thinking Past Terror: Islamism and Critical Theory on the Left‘ argues in Radical Cosmopolitanism that”‘Art’Verso 1844675629 Thinking Past Terror is a modern concept, limited in time and space. Its role has been taken over by the ‘artworld’, which thrives in our era of globalisation. Is YouTube today a more creative space than the artworld? Should we be concerned? Rasheed Araeen calls for a ‘true universalism’ to replace the fragmented orientations of creative work in the recent past. What would this mean as an alternative to the artworld? What strategy of creative work, in theory as well as art, could produce a social field that defies boundaries, real and imagined? What would a radical, cosmopolitan space look like that understood its task as refusing to align itself with a particular political position (even a ‘progressive’ position)?”

FINAL FRONT COVER_Toscano_Fanaticism smallAlberto Toscano, author of the forthcoming Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea and chair of the launch event for set 4 of the Radical Thinkers series at the Tate Britain ‘Don’t Look Back: Radical Thinkers and the Arts Since 1909’, also contributed to the series of Special Issues. The Sensuous Religion of the Multitude: Art and Abstraction in Negri, in Volume 23 Issue 4 ‘Art, Praxis and the Community to Come’, through a detailed reading of Antonio Negri’s collection of letters on art, Arte e Multitudo, “enquires into the place and the uses of art in his writings. It identifies abstraction as the pivotal theme in the Italian philosopher’s reflections on aesthetics. Abstraction is a cipher for the defeats of the extra-parliamentary left and the imposition of a seemingly inescapable postmodern capitalism, but it is also the starting-point for an attempt to reconstruct a potent political subject in the midst of a world wholly subsumed by capital and the commodity-form. The article critically explores Negri’s attempt to tie together a theory of the periodisation of capitalism (and anti-capitalism) with a prophetic discourse on sensuous politics which explicitly repeats the early German Idealists’ search for a ‘sensuous religion’ that would serve as the prelude to a new politics.”

‘Don’t Look Back: Radical Thinkers and the Arts Since 1909’ is at the Tate Britain on Thursday 26 November 2009, 18.30–20.00

On the 100th anniversary of the Futurism Manifesto, join critical thinkers Terry Eagleton, Simon Critchley, Kate Soper, Eyal Weizman, and chair Alberto Toscano in exploring a century of radical thinking and the arts – and debating what lies ahead. The recent Futurism exhibition at Tate Modern reminds us of an age when politics and aesthetics were densely interwoven in an explosive rejection of the past. This distinguished panel will assess the legacy of modernism to ask how today’s radical thinkers might understand the role of the arts at the dawn of the twenty first century and beyond.

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VOLUME 10 (2009) ISSUE 2 of Critical Horizons: A Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory is special issue edited by Robert Sinnerbrink and Philip A. Quadrio entitled Ethics of Commitment and Politics of Resistance: Simon Critchley’s Neo-Anarchism .

The issue includes Simon Critchley’s article Mystical Anarchism. For the full contents list, see Continental Philosophy.

Verso 9781844672967 Infinitely Demanding smallFor the clearest, boldest and most systematic statement of Simon Critchley’s influential views on philosophy, ethics, and politics, try Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance. Part diagnosis of the times, part theoretical analysis of the impasses and possibilities of ethics and politics, part manifesto, Infinitely Demanding identifies a massive political disappointment at the heart of liberal democracy and argues that what is called for is an ethics of commitment that can inform a radical politics.

Verso 9781844673513 Ethics Politics Subjectivity small

For more of Critchley’s ethics, his contribution to the latest set of Radical ThinkersEthics-Politics-Subjectivity: Derrida, Levinas and Contemporary French Thought takes up three questions at the centre of contemporary theoretical debate:What is ethical experience? What can be said of the subject who has this experience? What, if any, is the relation of ethical experience to politics? Through spirited confrontations with major thinkers, such as Lacan, Nancy, Rorty, and, in particular, Levinas and Derrida, Critchley finds answers in a nuanced “ethics of finitude” and defends the political possibilities of deconstruction. Democracy, economics, friendship, and technology are all considered anew in Critchley’s bold excursions on the meaning and value of recent French philosophy.


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How do we cope with the crisis of theory?

Owen Hatherley, writing for 3AM, thinks it best for us to Keep Calm and Carry On (ho ho!) with Verso’s new set of Radical Thinkers:

As a way of transforming this formless disgust into educated critique, these books are a fine, cheap and decidedly elegant starting point. Verso 9781844673469 War and Cinema small

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