The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, Goldsmiths University of London

Research Centre run jointly between the Departments of Sociology and English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths University, London

Goldsmiths Annual Philosophy Lectures 2023: Bruno Bosteels (Columbia), 6 and 8 June 2023; online

Leave a comment

The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought cordially invites you to the

Goldsmiths Annual Philosophy Lectures 2023

Bruno Bosteels (Columbia)

Part 1

Tuesday, 6 June 2023

3:00-5:30 pm BST, online

Join Zoom Meeting

The State and Insurrection

Respondent: Camila Vergara (Politics, Cambridge) 

Over the past decades, politics has taken a clear insurrectionary turn. Long before the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, the Left too had begun identifying its momentum with various popular uprisings and insurrectionary movements. An updated version of Lenin’s classic text therefore could be titled The State and Insurrection, insofar as the focus on the takeover of state power has become a thing of the past for the radical Left. In Europe, for example, this trend had been growing ever since the events of 1968, while in Latin America the declining power and electoral defeats of the Pink Tide governments contributed to a similar exhaustion of state-oriented politics. The result in both cases, however, is an extreme impoverishment in the theory of the state—long considered a major lacuna in classical Marxism and nowadays for the most part replaced with a vague libertarian consensus against the cold monster of the state.

Facebook event page for Pt. 1

Part 2

Thursday, 8 June 2023

3:00-5:30 pm BST, online

Join Zoom Meeting

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.

Facebook event page for Pt. 2


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). 

Camila Vergara is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the University of Cambridge and the author of Systemic Corruption. Constitutional Ideas for an Anti-Oligarchic Republic (Princeton University Press 2020).  

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s