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Critical Conversations 8 - Theory In Action: The Art Of “Doing” Theory With Jonathan Fardy
Critical Conversations 8 will present some compelling topics addressed by Jonathan Fardy in his recent text, Althusser and Art (Zer0 Books, 2020). Far from simply being a book about Louis Althusser, the book addresses questions concerning theory in general, and traditional distinctions between theory and praxis. As Jonathan Fardy notes, Althusser critiqued Marxist humanism for maintaining the flawed ideology of humanism itself. Althusser also critiqued Marx’s historicism. For him, historicism masks its own ideology, which situates everything in “history” as having a place and developing toward certain ends. As Fardy notes, E.P. Thompson (and later Althusser himself) critiqued Althusserianism’s “theory of theory” as inherently elitist, allowing working classes to make history while academics determine its meaning. Still, Althusser continued to insist on the necessity of “theory,” and when we looks at Althusser’s influence on students such as Pierre Machinery and Jacques Rancière, we arguably see ways of “doing theory” even when his students were critical of him.

Mar 16, 2021 10:00 AM in Mountain Time (US and Canada)

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