Our reading group is composed of graduate students from Comparative Literature, Geography, English, Cinema Studies and Art History, and one of its primary functions has been to bring together students from different disciplinary backgrounds to discuss thinkers including Karl Marx, Kristin Ross, Karatani Kōjin, Louis Althusser, Jacques Derrida and others outside the frame of their respective disciplinary assumptions.
Our aim has been to explore the idea of revolutionary time, by thinking through its components both separately and together, via an investigation of their historical and textual development. Some overarching themes that have guided our reading and will form the basis for the conference programme include:
- Representations of the structure of time in radical texts; strategies of spontaneity and slowness in revolutionary movements; repetitions and futurities.
- Thinking multiple temporalities as a way of undermining the homogeneity and hegemony of capitalist time.
- The remembrance and anticipation of revolutionary moments; the pre-history and the afterlife of a revolutionary event
- The historiography of revolution; different modes of transmission of revolutionary thought and the im/possibility of the transhistorical revolutionary text.
- How do Marxism and other schools of theory conceive of time as unfolding in a revolutionary fashion, and what is the configuration of that time?
- How have theories of revolutionary time impacted real-life events (both historical and contemporary)?
- Is it possible to retrieve modes of revolutionary time and mobilize them in the present?
These are just some of the questions with which we are engaged.