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Conference “1917/2017. Revolutions, Communist Legacies and Spectres of the Future” (St. Petersburg, October 24–26, 2017)

Independent not-for-profit educational organization of higher education
“European University at St. Petersburg”


Revolutions, Communist Legacies and Spectres of the Future

What is the meaning of the event of the 1917 revolutions for us today? What did 1917 open and what did it block? What are its legacies and what is the relation of 1917 to the perspective from which its legacies are assessed? We would like to speak particularly of the political, social, and intellectual legacy of 1917 which has not been sufficiently pronounced in comparison to the French revolution of 1789.

Does ‘revolution’ continue as a carrier for emancipatory egalitarian energies or has that possibility been fully foreclosed such that revolution now either appears as incompatible with democracy or as too much absorbed by the established regimes? What kinds of transformation does ‘revolution’ invoke and what are the limits of this imaginary? And is there anything like a revolutionary tradition of Modernity that would still continue? Or is there a beyond to revolution that escapes the dismal oppositions of reform or a retreat to personal life? Can we still dream of changing the world? What would it mean to break the continuity with capitalism in its current overwhelming forms of its ongoing crisis, debt and austerities? Will there be a pathbreaking revolution in the future? And if yes, would it fulfill 1789/1917, or produce a new unforeseeable sequence? Or we can see the tendencies already present in recent mass uprisings and revitalization of party-based left politics?

The conference will take place on October 24–26, 2017. It will include plenaries and workshops. Participants will be international critical intellectuals, scholars who have recently contributed to the analysis of capitalist modernity, the theory of revolution, and the intellectual history of 1917.

Titles and abstracts of max. 400 words should be sent to by August 15th, 2017. We expect to be able to provide conference participants with a visa support letter.

Contact Info:

Artemy Magun, Professor of Democratic Theory.

Organizing committee:

Jodi Dean, Andreas Kalyvas, Oleg Kharkhordin, Artemy Magun, Alexey Penzin, Yoel Regev, Alexander Reznik, Oxana Timofeeva.

Plenary speakers:

Susan Buck-Morss, Maria Chehonadskikh, Lorenzo Chiesa, Keti Chukhrov, Rebecca Comay, Jodi Dean, Boris Groys, Andreas Kalyvas, Gal Kirn, Artemy Magun, Alexey Penzin, Gerald Raunig, Yoel Regev, Alexander Reznik, Aaron Schuster, Oxana Timofeeva, Slavoj Žižek.


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