Professor of Political Science Jodi Dean recently spoke at two events in New York City. On Friday, Oct. 14, she participated in a debate about Occupy Wall Street before a crowd packed into Bluestockings, a bookstore, fair trade café and activist center. The debate was sponsored by the magazine Jacobin and moderated by editor-at-large Seth Ackerman.
In addition to Dean, panelists included: Doug Henwood, editor of Left Business Observer, host of “Behind The News,” contributing editor at The Nation, and author of “Wall Street” and “After The New Economy;” Malcolm Harris, managing editor of The New Inquiry, a contributing editor at Sharable.net, and blogger for Jacobin; Natasha Lennard, who currently freelances for The New York Times; and Chris Maisano, activist, public librarian in Brooklyn and a contributing writer for Jacobin.
The debate can be seen online. [http://jacobinmag.com/blog/?p=1937]
On Oct. 16, Dean spoke at a conference titled “Communism: a New Beginning?” Her paper, Communist Desire, is a chapter from her new book “The Communist Horizon” which will be published next year by Verso. The conference was hosted by Slavoj Zizek, a senior researcher at the Institute of Sociology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and a professor at the European Graduate School. [conference site: http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/706-communism-a-new-beginning-alain-badiou-and-slavoj-zizek-with-verso-books-at-cooper-union-new-york-october-14th-16th-2011]
Aaron Leonard wrote about the conference in “Rabble News,” noting:
“It was one of those ‘snap to attention’ statements. Political theorist Jodi Dean was asked ‘What is the point of theory?’ Her response? ‘It is to provide weapons.’ Dean was speaking metaphorically of course but the quote resonated. The world we find ourselves in needs a theory that can cut through the leaden fog that says we have for better or worse the best world we can hope for.”
Leonard’s full article about the conference is available online. http://rabble.ca/news/2011/10/occupy-political-change-report-communism-new-beginning-conference-nyc
Dean has been with the Colleges since 1993. She received a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University. She is a past recipient of the faculty award for scholarship. Dean is also the author of a wide-ranging body of work including “Aliens in America: Conspiracy Cultures from Outerspace to Cyberspace” and “Publicity’s Secret: How Technoculture Capitalizes on Democracy.” Her most recent books are “Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies” (Duke University Press 2009) and “Blog Theory” (Polity 2010).