The second of two lectures from Bruno Bosteels (Columbia) hosted by the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought (CPCT)
Marx in Mexico, Mexico in Marx
Respondent: Andrés Saenz de Sicilia (Central Saint Martins)
Among the so-called peripheries of the capitalist body, Marx always had a special interest in Mexico. While his and especially Engels’s support for the US invasion of Mexico long overshadowed this part of his investigations, the late Marx would devote some of his most fascinating Ethnological Notebooks to the interpretation of precapitalist economic formations and kinship structures among the Aztecs. In fact, long before he would copy and annotate the chapter on “The Aztec Confederacy” from Lewis H. Morgan’s 1877 Ancient Society, already in the 1850s William H. Prescott’s The Conquest of Mexico had given him access to the notion of the calpulli, which forms the basis for a long underground history of communal revolts, all the way to Emiliano Zapata during the Mexican Revolution. Marx thus provides us with the materials for an alternative history and theory of the commune, independently of the 1871 Paris Commune.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
Bruno Bosteels is professor in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, USA. 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 currently preparing two new books, the first a sustained polemical engagement with contemporary post-Heideggerian thought, titled Philosophies of Defeat: The Jargon of Finitude (Verso), and the other, its utopian counterpart, The Mexican Commune (Duke). A collection of essays is forthcoming under the title The State and Insurrection: New Interventions in Latin American Marxist Theory (Pittsburgh).
Andrés Saenz de Sicilia is a British-Mexican philosopher and artist who teaches at Central Saint Martins. He has published widely on social and political philosophy in addition to leading socially engaged research projects and collaborations.
Dates & times
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|8 Jun 2023||3:00pm - 5:30pm|
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