Ernesto Laclau, The Rhetorical Foundations of Society – forthcoming collection from Verso


Laclau’s The Rhetorical Foundations of Society – forthcoming in May from Verso. Sad this is, now, a posthumous collection…


Coauthor of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy shows how rhetoric constitutes the social order
The essays collected in this volume develop the theoretical perspective initiated in Laclau and Mouffe’s classic Hegemony and Socialist Strategy,
taking it in three principal directions. First, this book explores the specificity of social antagonisms and answers the question “What is an antagonistic relation?”—an issue which has become increasingly crucial in our globalized world, where the proliferation of conflicts and points of rupture is eroding their links to the social subjects postulated by classical social analysis. This leads Laclau to a second line of questioning: What is the ontological terrain that allows us to understand the nature of social relations in our heterogeneous world?” This is a task he addresses with theoretical instruments drawn from analytical philosophy and from the phenomenological and structuralist traditions. Finally, central to the argument of the book is the basic role attributed to rhetorical tropes—metaphor, metonymy, catachresis—in shaping the “non-foundational” grounds of society.


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Althusser’s On the Reproduction of Capitalism reviewed

300Althusser’s On the Reproduction of Capitalism is reviewed at Review 31.

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Stefano Liberti, Land-Grabbing: Journeys in the New Colonialism

Land_Grabbing__CMYK-300dpi_Interesting read from Verso - Stefano Liberti, Land-Grabbing: Journeys in the New ColonialismI ordered this as paper copy, and a bunch more in the Verso sale, but because of the bundled e-books was able to read this while on the road. A very readable account – more extended journalism than an academic book – on a pressing political-geographical concern.

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Adrian Johnston interviewed by Graham Harman

9780748673292At the EUP site, Adrian Johnston is interviewed by Graham Harman, mainly about his latest book Adventures in Transcendental Materialism (via Graham’s blog). When you’re done with that, you can also check out Peter Gratton’s interview with Adrian at the Society and Space open site.

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Interview with Gastón Gordillo by Stuart Elden in Society and Space

gordillo, soc&space interviewOver the past few weeks I’ve been working on an interview with Gastón Gordillo, Professor of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, and the author of several books including Landscapes of Devils: Tensions of Place and Memory in the Argentinean Chaco and the forthcoming Rubble: The Afterlife of Destruction. He also runs the wide-ranging blog Space and Politics. The interview discusses his fieldwork, theoretical interests, the above books, the different nature of writing for a blog, and his current project on the concept of terrain.

Read the interview at the Society and Space open site. Lots more interviews, including Shiloh Krupar, Lauren Berlant, Adrian Johnston, Jenny Edkins, Adrian Ivakhiv, Dean Spade… here.

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Ernesto Laclau


Another nice tribute to Laclau, by Jon Beasley-Murray

Originally posted on Posthegemony:

Ernesto Laclau

I have spent almost the entirety of my academic career reading, and responding to, Ernesto Laclau, who has died at the age of 78. Ernesto was one of the great systematic thinkers of the past fifty years, possibly the most influential Latin American theorist of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and one of the most significant influences on Anglo-American cultural and political theory as a whole. We all write to some extent in his shadow and in his debt, myself perhaps more than anyone.

“Hegemony” was Laclau’s signature concept. He was not the first theorist of hegemony, but he made the term his own and spent decades elaborating a theoretical structure around the basic recognition of the contingency of political allegiances. This insight first came to him as an activist in 1960s and 1970s Argentina, faced with Peronism’s extraordinary capacity to mobilize people of all classes and every political inclination…

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The Marking Boycott And Its Aftermath


A good analysis of the latest developments in the UK higher education pay dispute.

Originally posted on The Disorder Of Things:

Justice League Super Hero Strike

In the face of a UK higher education marking boycott due to start in 11 days time, universities have come forth with a new pay offer. Having unilaterally imposed a 1% rise (read: real terms cut) for 2013/14, they are now proposing 2% for 2014/15, with a small bonus for those on the lowest band to bring them up to a living wage level (at Sussex, that’s an increase on the existing annual pay of £13,621). A consultative ballot is open to union members, and the boycott is delayed. It seems likely that there will be appetite for the deal, given the general tone of despondency and how drained staff are by repeated small scale actions and by mounting work pressures. There had, after all, been doubts that a boycott could compete with aggressive tactics from management (including threats to deduct full pay from anyone who participated in the boycott).

We might…

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