Alexei Penzin is Reader in Art at the University of Wolverhampton and Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. His major fields of interest are philosophical anthropology, Marxism, Soviet and post-Soviet studies, and philosophy of art. Penzin has published his research in numerous journals as such as «Rethinking Marxism», «Mediations», «South Atlantic Quarterly», «Manifesta Journal», as well as in many edited collections. His essay ‘Rex Exsomnis’ (Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2012) was part of the dOCUMENTA13 series. Currently he is working on a book titled Against the Continuum: Sleep and Subjectivity in Capitalist Modernity, which will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2017. He is also a member of the group Chto Delat (www.chtodelat.org), which works in the space between theory, art, and political activism. Conference: Communism of the sensible
Until 2009 Augusto Illuminati has been professor in History of Philosophy at the University of Urbino. He wrote for the radical journals «Luogo comune» and «Alfabeta», and he still continues to write for the new «Alfabeta2». He regularly teaches at LUM (The Free Metropolitan University) which is based in ESC Atelier. He published Sociologia e classi sociali (Einaudi), Gli inganni di Sarastro (Einaudi), Winterreise (Dedalo), Del comune (manifestolibri), Per farla finita con l’idea di sinistra (DeriveApprodi). Round table: Communisms
Brett Neilson is professor at the Western Sidney University. His research and writing aims to provide alternative ways of conceiving globalisation, with particular emphasis upon its social and cultural dimensions. Drawing on cultural and social theory as well as on empirical and archival information, this research has derived original and provocative means for rethinking the significance of globalisation for a wide range of contemporary problems and predicaments, including the circulation of popular culture, the proliferation of borders, the ascendancy of global financial markets, the pressures of population ageing and the growing heterogeneity of labour. Conference: A critique of politica economy
Bruno Bosteels is a literary critic, a translator, and Professor of Romance Studies at Cornell University. Bosteels is best known for his work on Latin American literature and culture and his translations of the work of Alain Badiou (in particular the Theory of the Subject which came out in 2009). His research covers a wide range of topics in literature, culture, and politics in modern Latin America as well as contemporary philosophy and political theory. He is the author of Badiou o el recomienzo del materialismo dialéctico (Palinodia), Alain Badiou: une trajectoire polémique (La Fabrique), Badiou and Politics (Duke), The Actuality of Communism (Verso) and Marx and Freud in Latin America (Verso). Conference: Communists powers
Ceren Özselçuk is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. Her thesis, entitled “Post-Marxism after Louis Althusser,” is forthcoming in the New Political Economy Series (Routledge, 2016). She has recently published and co-published in journals such as SAQ, Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society, Rethinking Marxism, and in edited volumes. She is in the editorial board of the journal Rethinking Marxism and at same time its current managing editor. Currently, with her colleague Yahya Madra, she is writing a book manuscript called Sexuating Class: A Psychoanalytical Critique of Political Economy. She is also developing her research on the associations among populism, neoliberalism and neo-conservatism, with a geographical focus in Turkey, and through asking the following questions regarding the relations between populism and contemporary forms of authoritarianism and violence, on the one hand, and the role of populist identifications both in democratic as well as neoliberal transformations, on the other. Conference: A critique of political economy
Christian Laval is Professor of Sociology at the Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense. He is best known for his work on rethinking and actualizing marxism (Marx, prénom Karl, Gallimard) and for his critical analyses of neoliberalism ideology (The new way of the world, Verso), both developed with the french philosopher Pierre Dardot. He has worked on the thought of Saint-Simon and Bentham. His last work, still in collaboration with Pierre Dardot, is about the concept and practice of Commons. Conference: Communists powers
Christian Marazzi obtained a degree in Political Science at the University of Padova, a master’s degree at the London School of Economics and a doctoral degree in Economics at the City University of London. He has taught at the University of Padova, the State University of New York, and at the University of Lausanne. He is currently Director of Socio-Economic Research at the Scuola Universitaria della Svizzera Italiana. He is one of the core theorists of the Italian postfordist movement. He is the author of Capital and Language: From the New Economy to the War Economy (Semiotext(e)). Conference: A critique of political economy
A Paris-based collective founded in 2004, Claire Fontaine is named after a brand of French notebooks and stationery. In an attempt to identify the transformed position of “the artist”, Claire Fontaine in fact invented the “readymade artist,” which considers the contemporary artist as equivalent to Marcel Duchamp’s urinal or Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box. The collective has developed a practice in which existing forms and materials—such as ephemeral-object sculpture, installation, video, painting, infographics, and neon—are crafted into works that question political and aesthetic norms of the art world. Conference: Communism of the sensible
After living and working in France for over 20 years, Enzo Traverso is currently the Susan and Barton Winokur Professor in the Humanities at Cornell University. He specializes in contemporary Europe, focusing on intellectual history and the political ideas of the first half of the twentieth century, especially totalitarianism, in a comparative and transnational perspective. He has been visiting professor at several European as well as Latin American Universities. Several of his works investigate the impact of political and mass violence on the European culture. He is currently preparing a book on the representations of the Jewish intellectual in Germany, France and Italy at the turn of the XXth Century. Conference: Communisms
Étienne Balibar is professor emeritus of Political and Moral Philosophy at the Université Paris Ouest, and presently teaches at the University of California at Irvine. He is one of the most well known and influential Marxist thinkers, and his political writings on Europe, democracy and citizenship have been translated all over the world. In recent years he has developed an intense dialogue with part of Western feminist thought, and with scholars like Judith Butler, Rosi Braidotti and Wendy Brown.Spinoza and Politics, The Philosophy of Marx and co-author of Race, Nation and Class (with Immanuel Wallerstein) and Reading Capital (with Louis Althusser), all published by Verso. Conference: Communists powers
Franco Berardi "Bifo"
Franco Berardi Bifo is a contemporary writer, theorist and activist. He founded the magazine A/traverso (1975-1981) and was part of the staff of Radio Alice, the first free pirate radio station in Italy (1976-1978). Like others Involved in the political movement of Autonomia in Italy during the 1970’s, he fled to Paris, where he worked with Felix Guattari in the field of schizoanalysis. During the 1980’s he contributed to the magazines Semiotexte (New York), Chimerees (Paris), Metropoli (Rome) and Musica 80 (Milan). His recent published works include Ethereal Shadows (New York, 2007), Felix Guattari (New York, 2008), Precarious Rhapsody (New York, 2009), The Soul at Work (Los Angeles, 2010) and After The Future (Edinburgh, 2011). He is currently collaborating on the magazines Loop and Alfabeta2 as well as teaching social history of communication at the Accademia di belle Arti in Milan. He is the co-founder of the e-zine rekombinant.org and the tele street phenomenon. Conference: A critique of political economy
Giacomo Marramao is a professor of Political Philosophy and Theoretical Philosophy at the Università di Roma Tre, and scientific director of Fondazione Lelio e Lisli Basso. During the 1970s his work compared the European Marxism of the 1920s and 1930s with Schmittian analyses of the transformations of the concept of politics. In dialogue with the school of Frankfurt, he has also proposed a reinterpretation of modernity in a genealogical-symbolic vein. He is the author of The Political and the Transformations and Power and Secularization. He has been one of the most important italian re-discoverers of Carl Schmitt’s thought and of decisions. Conference: Communists powers
Jacques Rancière is a French philosopher, Professor of Philosophy at European Graduate School in Saas-Fee and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris VIII: Vincennes—Saint-Denis who came to prominence when he co-authored Reading Capital (Verso), with the structuralist Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser. The central theme of Rancière’s educational and political philosophies is radical equality. According to him, the division of labour, responsibility, and power characteristic of inegalitarian social orders is based in part on spurious assumptions about differences in the mental capacities of individuals. Furthermore, one of the more original aspects of Rancière’s thought is his emphasis on the “aesthetic” dimension of politics and the “political” dimension of aesthetics. His books include The Politics of Aesthetics, On the Shores of Politics, Short Voyages to the Land of the People, The Nights of Labor, Staging the People, and The Emancipated Spectator, all edited by Verso. Conference: Communism of the sensible
Jodi Dean is a political philosopher and professor in the Political Science department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Drawing from Marxism, psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, and postmodernism, she has made contributions to contemporary political theory, media theory, and feminist theory, most notably with her theory of communicative capitalism; the online merging of democracy and capitalism into a single neoliberal formation that subverts the democratic impulses of the masses by valuing emotional expression over logical discourse. She is the co-editor of the journal Theory & Event and most known for her book The communist horizon (Verso). Conference: Communists powers
Kaushik Sunder Rajan
Kaushik Sunder Rajan is Associate Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the University of Chicago was initially trained as a biologist, obtained his PhD in the History and Social Studies of Science and Technology, and works on the anthropology of science, technology and medicine. His work has focused on a number of interrelated events and emergences: firstly, the increased corporatization of life science research; secondly, the emergence of new technologies and epistemologies within the life sciences, such as, significantly, genomics; and thirdly, the fact that these technoscientific and market emergences were not simply occurring in the United States, but rather globally. His book, Biocapital: The Constitution of Post-Genomic Life, tries to capture a flavor of these emergences. Conference: A critique of political economy
A dedicated activist, journalist and intellectual, Luciana Castellina was one of the founders of the italian left-wing newspaper «il manifesto» and a parliamentary member of the Communist Party in Italy from 1976 to 1994. During her adolescence and early youth she kept a diary tracing the development of her political ideas: La scoperta del mondo (Nottetempo). Round table: Communisms
Manuel Borja-Villel was director of the Antoni Tàpies Foundation, in Barcelona, from its opening, in June 1990, to July 1998, where he organised exhibitions such as Els límits del museum (The Limits of the Museum) and La ciutat de la gen (The City of the People), as well as shows featuring the work of artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Brassaï, Marcel Broodthaers, Lygia Clark, Hans Haacke and Krzysztof Wodiczko, among others. From July 1988 to January 2008, he was director of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA). Under his supervision the museum’s collection was also expanded and consolidated and the MACBA Library and Research Centre, in the Convent dels Àngels building, increased in size. Since January 2008 he has been director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS). The core of his programme in the Museo is also represented in the development and reorganisation of the Collection – the systematic approach to a series of thesis exhibitions and the creation of a Public Activities area as well as, in general, the start-up of an international museum network. Moreover, under his supervision a Law for the Museo has been approved. Conference: Communism of the sensible
Manuela Bojadzijev is professor at the University of Leuphana and University of Lüneburg and a member of the Berliner Institut für empirische Integrations – und Migrationsforschung (BIM) at Humboldt-University in Berlin. Previously she was Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the Goldsmiths, University of London. She co-published among other the book Turbulente Ränder. Neue Perspektiven auf Migration an den Grenzen Europas and co-edited with Alex Demirovic Konjunkturen des Rassismus (2002). Conference: Who are the communists?
Marcel van der Linden
Marcel Marius van der Linden was director of research at the International Institute of Social History until 2014, is now Senior Researcher at the Institute, and also holds a professorship dedicated to the history of social movements at the University of Amsterdam. He was the first president of International Social History Association, founded in Sydney in 2005 with current residency at Amsterdam. Van der Linden is widely recognized in his field for his approach of a “global labour history” which he has developed since the 1990s. Global labour history is seen by many scholars of labour studies as a new paradigm that wants to overcome both traditional labour history and the “new labour history” developed in the 1960s by scholars like Eric Hobsbawm and E.P. Thompson. Round table: Communisms
Marcelo Expósito is MP for En Comú Podem, Third Sectetary in the Congress and Executive Board Member of Barcelona en Comú, the citizen electoral platform that has governed Barcelona since 2015. For twenty years he has been activist in political movements against neoliberalism and for democracy such as the anti/globalization movement and the EuroMayDay, He has collaborated with militant networks for research in Europe and in Latin America such as the Universidad Nomada, the Red Conceptualismos del Sur and the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies (eipcp). He is an artist and cultural operator. He has written, curated and translated relevant contributions in the debate on the relations between artistic avant-garde, cultural activism and political practices, among which Modos de hacer. Arte crítico, esfera pública y acción directa (2001), Producción cultural y prácticas instituyentes (2008), Walter Benjamin, productivista (2013) and Conversación con Manuel Borja-Villel (2015). Conference: Communists powers
Maria Luisa Boccia
Maria Luisa Boccia has taught political philosophy at the University of Siena. From 1964 to 1982 she engaged in political activity with the Italian Communist Party (PCI), first as member of the party’s central committee and then of the executive. In 1974, together with others, she founded the feminist collective “Rosa”, and the journal «Rosa. Quaderno di studio e di movimento sulla condizione della donna». She is one of the most prominent thinkers in the field of Italian theory of sexual difference. Currently she is president of the Centro Studi per la Riforma dello Stato – Archivio Pietro Ingrao. She is the author of La differenza politica. Donne e cittadinanza (Il Saggiatore), Con Carla Lonzi. La mia vita è la mia opera (Ediesse), L’eclissi della madre (Pratiche editrice) with Grazia Zuffa. Round table: Communisms
Mario Candeias is a political scientist and since 2013 director of Institut für Gesellschaftsanalyse of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Berlin. His research focuses on the organic crisis of financial market capitalism and radical strategies of social-ecological transformation. He first studied political science at the Freie Universität Berlin. Subsequently, he thaught there and was member of the interdisciplinary research group “Transformation Processes in an Interdependent World” led by Elmar Altvater. From 2004 to 2007 he was a research assistant at the Institute for Sociology at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. Since 2007 he has been working for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. He is an editor of the magazines Luxemburg and Das Argument, and is working on the Historisch-kritischen Wörterbuch des Marxismus (historico-critical dictionary of Marxism). In 2012 he joined the Left Party (Die Linke). Conference: Communists powers
Mario Tronti (born 24 July 1931, in Rome) is an Italian philosopher and politician, considered as one of the founders of the theory of Italian “operaismo” (workerism) in the 1960s. An active member of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) during the 1950s, he was, with Raniero Panzieri, amongst the founders of the «Quaderni Rossi» (Red Notebooks) review from which he split in 1963 to found the «Classe Operaia» (Working Class) review. He gradually distanced himself from the PCI, which he never formally left, and became engaged in the radical experiences of workerism. Such an experiences, considered by many to be the matrix of the Italian New Left in the 1960s, was characterised by a challenge to the roles of the traditional organisations of the workers’ movement (the unions and the parties) and by direct engagement, without intermediaries, with the working class itself and to the struggles in the factories. He is actually Senator with the Italian center-left party Partito Democratico. Round table: Communisms
Michael Hardt is an American literary theorist and political philosopher. Hardt is best known for being the co-author of the book Empire (Harvard University Press), written with Antonio Negri. Hardt and Negri suggest that several forces which they see as dominating contemporary life, such as class oppression, globalization and the commodification of services (or production of affects), have the potential to spark social change of unprecedented dimensions. A sequel, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire was published in August 2004, while the third and final part of the trilogy, Commonwealth, was published in 2009 by the Harvard University Press. Conference: Communism of the sensible
Morgane Merteuil is a French sex-worker and a feminist militant, struggling for prostitutes’ rights. From 2011 until 2016 she was secretary of the Sex-Work Union STRASS. In 2012 she published the book Libérez le féminisme. Conference: Who are the communists?
Paolo Virno teaches Philsophy of Language at Roma Tre University. His initial area of interest was heterodox Marxism of Italian workerism. He then developed, working extensively on authors such as Saussure, Wittgenstein, Austin, Benveniste a materialist theory of language, and a linguistic anthropology. Among his many publications are: A Grammar of the Multitude and Multitude Between Innovation and Negation, both published in English by Semiotext(e). Conference: Who are the communists?
Peter D. Thomas has studied and worked at the University of Queensland, Freie Universität Berlin, L’Università “Federico II”, Naples, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Vienna. He has published widely on Marxist political theory and philosophy (particularly Gramsci), the history of political thought and the history of philosophy.He has also translated the work of Roberto Finelli, Antonio Negri, Mario Tronti and Slavoj Zizek, among others. He is a member of the Editorial Board of «Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory», and co-editor of the Historical Materialism Book Series. He also coordinates the English translation and publication of articles from Das historisch-kritische Wörterbuch des Marxismus (HKWM) in the pages of «Historical Materialism». Round table: Communisms
Pierre Dardot is a philosopher and specialist in Hegel and Marx. His books include Sauver Marx?: Empire, multitude, travail immatériel with Christian Laval and El Mouhoub Mouhoud (La Découverte) and, in cooperation with Christian Laval,: Marx, prénom: Karl (Gallimard), The new way of the world (Verso), Commun (La Découverte). Conference: Who are the communists?
Riccardo Bellofiore is Professor of Political Economy at the “Hyman P. Minsky” department of Economic Sciences of the Bergamo University, where he teaches Monetary Economics, History of Political Economy and International Monetary Economics. His interests include Marxian labor theory of value and of crisis, modern trends in capitalism, endogenous money approach, philosophy of economics. Bellofiore is member of the scientific committee of the Italian edition of the complete works by Marx and Engels, and of the International Symposium on Marxian Economic Theory. He has curated, alone and in collaboration, works on Mises, Marx, Luxemburg, workerism and globalization. He has collaborated with various journals, among which Quaderni Piacentini” and “Primo Maggio”, and writes for “il manifesto”. Conference: A critique of political economy
Roberto Finelli is Professor of the History of Philosophy at Roma Tre. He has published numerous studies dedicated to Hegel, Marx, Freud and modern and contemporary philosophy. He is the editor of the online journal «Consecutio temporum. Hegeliana. Marxiana. Freudiana» (www.consecutio.org). He recently published the conclusion to his studies on the confrontation between Marx and Hegel: A Failed Parricide Hegel and the Young Marx (Brill, 2015). Conference: Communism of the sensible
Sandro Mezzadra teaches Political Philosophy at the Università di Bologna. His work has concentrated for many years on the various questions involved in the development of contemporary political theory. In recent years his studies have focused in particular on the relationship between globalization, migrations, citizenship and transformations of labor, in dialogue with postcolonial studies, which he has contributed to introduce in the Italian and Spanish debate. He recently completed a book with Brett Neilson, Border as method, or, the multiplication of labor (Duke University Press). Conference: Communists powers
Saskia Sassen is the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and a Member of its Committee on Global Thought, which she chaired till 2015. She is a student of cities, immigration, and states in the world economy, with inequality, gendering and digitization three key variables running though her work. Her most recent project is developed in Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy (Harvard University Press/Belknap), and the forthcoming Ungoverned Territories? (Harvard University Press 2018). The organizing thesis in Expulsions is that our global modernity is marked by systemic expulsions of all sorts: we are beyond simply more inequality, more poverty, more refugees in the global south, and so on. Round table: Communisms
Silvia Federici is a researcher and activist. She was born and raised in Italy but came to the US in 1967 on a scholarship to study Philosophy at the University of Buffalo. A veteran feminist activist, Federici’s work is informed by and in dialogue with the many struggles which have animated her career. Federici has also been co-founder of the Committee for Academic Freedom in Africa (CAFA), a support organization for the struggles of students and teachers in Africa against structural adjustment. In 1995, she co-founded the Radical Philosophy Association (RPA) anti-death penalty project. Her ground-breaking 2004 book is Caliban and the Witch: Women, The Body and Primitive Accumulation (Autonomedia), about the witch trials of the 16th and 17th century who were part and parcel of the systematic destruction of women’s power over biological and social reproduction and social creativity, a process essential to the enclosure and colonial movements and the scene of the nascence of both capitalism proper and the modern state. In other work, Federici has addressed themes of enclosure, colonialism, labour, patriarchy and racism in areas as diverse as the advance of capitalist accumulation, international development policy, the labour of “immaterial workers,” the analysis of social movement strategy and anti-colonial struggle. Conference: A critique of politica economy (video)
(in video) Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include Living in the End Times, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, In Defense of Lost Causes, four volumes of the Essential Žižek, and many more.Slavoj Žižek is a Slovenian philosopher, psychoanalyst and cultural critic. He is a professor at the European Graduate School, International Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. His books include Living in the End Times, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, In Defense of Lost Causes, four volumes of the Essential Žižek (Verso), and many more. He was co-organizer with Alain Badiou of the various conferences on «The Idea of Communism». Round table: Communisms (video)
Terence Francis “Terry” Eagleton is a prominent British literary theorist, critic and public intellectual. He is currently Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University. Eagleton has published over forty books, but remains best known for Literary Theory: An Introduction (University of Minnesota Press), in which he elucidated the emerging literary theory of the period. He has also been a prominent critic of postmodernism, publishing works such as The Illusions of Postmodernism (Blackwell). Conference: Communism of the sensible
Antonio “Toni” Negri is an Italian Marxist sociologist and political philosopher, best known for his co-authorship of Empire, and secondarily for his work on Spinoza. Born in Padua, he became a political philosophy professor in his hometown university. Negri founded the Potere Operaio (Worker Power) group in 1969 and was a leading member of Autonomia Operaia. As one of the most popular theorists of Autonomism, he has published hugely influential books urging “revolutionary consciousness.” After having moved to France he taught at the Paris VIII (Vincennes) and the Collège international de philosophie, along with Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze. Conference: Who are the communists?