Book Discussion: From Fascism to Populism

Book Discussion: From Fascism to Populism

October 26, 2017
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Room C205

Federico Finchelstein (The New School for Social Research), author of From Fascism to Populism, in conversation with Ruth Ben-Ghiat (New York University), Mary Roldán (Hunter College), and Ritchie Savage (Pratt Institute).

Thursday, October 26, 4.30-6.30 pm
Rooms C204/C205

What is fascism and what is populism? What are their connections in history and theory, and how should we address their significant differences? What does it mean when pundits call Donald Trump a fascist, or label as populist politicians who span left and right such as Hugo Chávez, Juan Perón, Rodrigo Duterte, and Marine Le Pen? Federico Finchelstein, one of the leading scholars of fascist and populist ideologies, synthesizes their history in order to answer these questions and offer a thoughtful perspective on how we might apply the concepts today. While they belong to the same history and are often conflated, fascism and populism actually represent distinct political and historical trajectories. Drawing on an expansive history of transnational fascism and postwar populist movements, Finchelstein gives us insightful new ways to think about the state of democracy and political culture on a global scale.

Book Discussion: Cold War Freud

Book Discussion: Cold War Freud

November 13, 2017
4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Room 9204, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Dagmar Herzog (The Graduate Center), author of Cold War Freud, in conversation with Gary Wilder (The Graduate Center), Judith Surkis (Rutgers University), and Zahid R. Chaudhary (Princeton University).

Monday, November 13, 4.30-6.30pm
ooms 9204/9205

In Cold War Freud Dagmar Herzog uncovers the astonishing array of concepts of human selfhood which circulated across the globe in the aftermath of World War II. Against the backdrop of Nazism and the Holocaust, the sexual revolution, feminism, gay rights, and anticolonial and antiwar activism, she charts the heated battles which raged over Freud’s legacy. From the postwar US to Europe and Latin America, she reveals how competing theories of desire, anxiety, aggression, guilt, trauma and pleasure emerged and were then transformed to serve both conservative and subversive ends in a fundamental rethinking of the very nature of the human self and its motivations. Her findings shed new light on psychoanalysis’ enduring contribution to the enigma of the relationship between nature and culture, and the ways in which social contexts enter into and shape the innermost recesses of individual psyches.


Fortress Europe? Borders, Bodies, Politics

Fortress Europe? Borders, Bodies, Politics

December 04, 2017
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
CUNY Graduate Center, Skylight Room

Monday, December 4th, 5.30-7.30 pm
Skylight Room (9100), The Graduate Center

Nicholas de Genova (Independent Scholar, Chicago, most recently Reader in Geography, King’s College London), Sandro Mezzadra (University of Bologna), Françoise Verges (Collège d’Études Mondiales, Paris). Moderated by Gary Wilder (The Graduate Center).

A reception will be held in Room 5109 following the event.


Book Discussion: Sex and Secularism

Book Discussion: Sex and Secularism

February 13, 2018
12:00 am
CUNY Graduate Center, Skylight Room

Joan Wallach Scott (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; History, the Graduate Center, CUNY), author of Sex and Secularism, in conversation with Nadia Abu El-Haj (Anthropology, Barnard) and Todd Shepard (History, Johns Hopkins)

Tuesday, February 13
4:30pm – 6:30
Skylight Room (9100)

In Sex and Secularism, Joan Wallach Scott challenges one of the central claims of the “clash of civilizations” polemic—the false notion that secularism is a guarantee of gender equality. Drawing on a wealth of scholarship by second-wave feminists and historians of religion, race, and colonialism, Scott shows that the gender equality invoked today as a fundamental and enduring principle was not originally associated with the term “secularism” when it first entered the lexicon in the nineteenth century. In fact, the inequality of the sexes was fundamental to the articulation of the separation of church and state that inaugurated Western modernity. Scott points out that Western nation-states imposed a new order of women’s subordination, assigning them to a feminized familial sphere meant to complement the rational masculine realms of politics and economics. It was not until the question of Islam arose in the late twentieth century that gender equality became a primary feature of the discourse of secularism.

Challenging the assertion that secularism has always been synonymous with equality between the sexes, Sex and Secularism reveals how this idea has been used to justify claims of white, Western, and Christian racial and religious superiority and has served to distract our attention from a persistent set of difficulties related to gender difference—ones shared by Western and non-Western cultures alike.


Political Concepts

Political Concepts

March 15, 2018 - March 16, 2018
12:00 am - 7:00 pm
CUNY Graduate Center

The goal of Political Concepts is to serve as a platform for revising, inventing, and experimenting with concepts while exploring the political dimension of their use and dissemination. Participants operate under the assumption that our era urgently needs a revised political lexicon that would help us better understand the world in which we live and act, and that the humanities at large can and should contribute toward such a revision.

This gathering of Political Concepts will be hosted by the CUNY Graduate Center’s Committee on Globalization and Social Change. Since 2010, along parallel lines, this group has spent successive years critically reconsidering and reworking foundational concepts in an effort to more adequately grasp the global political present and to envision alternative political futures.




Opening Remarks > 3:00pm
Susan Buck-Morss & Ann Stoler, political concepts board members

Panel I > 3:30–5:30pm
Chaired by Joan Scott, Institute for Advanced Study

Erotic Transformation/ Drucilla Cornell, Rutgers University  
Bios/ Brooke Holmes, Princeton University 

Panel II > 6:00–8:00pm
Chaired by Jacques Lezra, UC Riverside

Unmixing/ Sadia Abbas, Rutgers University 
Universal History/ Antonio Y. Vázquez-Arroyo, Rutgers University 


FRIDAY // ROOM 9205/9206

Opening Remarks > 10:45am
Gary Wilder, Director of the committee on Globalization and Social Change

Panel III > 11:00AM–1:00pm
Chaired by Jay Bernstein, The New School 

Lex Animata/ Jesús R. Velasco, Columbia University
Dictatorship/ Andreas Kalyvas, The New School

Panel IV > 2:30–4:30pm
Chaired by Duncan Faherty, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Occult/ Banu Bargu, University of California, Santa Cruz
Decolonization/ Seloua Luste Boulbina, Denis Diderot University

Panel V > 5:00–7:00pm
Chaired by Gary Wilder, The Graduate Center, CUNY

仁“The one” and “the many”/ Lydia Liu, Columbia University
Diaspora/ Ato Quayson, New York University

A live-stream of this event will be available through the Graduate Center website.


Political-Historical Unconscious: CLR James and Frantz Fanon

Political-Historical Unconscious: CLR James and Frantz Fanon

March 22, 2018
12:00 am
CUNY Graduate Center, Room C198

Thursday, March 22
4:30 pm – 6:30
Room C198

Tracy McNulty (French and Comparative Literature, Cornell)
“Intersubjective Acts: Unconscious Transmission in Freud and James”

Camille Robcis (History, Cornell)
“Frantz Fanon: the Pathologies of Freedom and the Decolonization of the Mind”

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