Who Can Be Defended

Jodi Dean considers constraints on speaking and thinking in light of the requirement that certain concessions be made for one to be allowed to speak at all. Rather than providing a genealogy that considers such requirements in light of McCarthyism’s demonization of communists, U.S. imperialism’s labeling of resistance struggles as terrorist, or the university culture of cancellation and language policing that renders discomfort with what is said a sign of the violent infliction of suffering, Dean situates the refusal to countenance violence in the enervation of a Left that gave up on communism, the Party, and the state and turned to ethics and aesthetics instead. Such a turn effaces the division constitutive of politics, displacing political speech and the political subject such that only the acts of non-resistant subjects are legible as resistance. It obscures the material histories of occupation and liberation and installs impossible standards of moral purity as conditionalities. To counter this depoliticization and displacement, Dean attends to images of flight and the Leninist theorization of struggles for self-determination.

Speaker

Jodi Dean is a Professor of Politics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. She is the author or editor of fourteen books, including The Communist HorizonCrowds and PartyComrade: An Essay on Political Belonging and the recent collection Organize, Fight, Win: Black Communist Women’s Political Writing, co-edited with Charisse Burden-Stelly, all published by Verso.

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Event Contact Information:
Erin Fae
ef2713@columbia.edu

Date

Feb 22 2024
Expired!

Time

12:15 pm - 2:00 pm

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Hybrid

Venue

Columbia University - The Heyman Center
74 Morningside Dr, New York, NY 10027

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online
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Organizer

Columbia University - Heyman Center for the Humanities
Phone
(212) 854-8443
Website
www.heymancenter.org
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