Dean’s New Book Published – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Dean’s New Book Published

Professor of Political Science Jodi Dean’s new book, “The Communist Horizon,” is being published this month by Verso Press in their pocket communism series. The publisher refers to Dean’s book as “an innovative work of pressing relevance,” noting “The Communist Horizon offers nothing less than a manifesto for a new collective politics.”

Philosopher Slavoj Žižek writes, “This is what everyone engaged in today’s struggles for emancipation needs: a unique combination of theoretical stringency and a realistic assessment of our predicament. To anyone who continues to dwell in illusions about liberal democracy, one should simply say: read Jodi Dean’s new book!”

In its online description of the book, Verso Press notes: “Jodi Dean unshackles the communist ideal from the failures of the Soviet Union. In an age when the malfeasance of international banking has alerted exploited populations the world over to the unsustainability of an economic system predicated on perpetual growth, it is time the left ended its melancholic accommodation with capitalism.”

“In the new capitalism of networked information technologies, our very ability to communicate is exploited, but revolution is still possible if we organize on the basis of our common and collective desires. Examining the experience of the Occupy movement, Dean argues that such spontaneity can’t develop into a revolution and it needs to constitute itself as a party.”

In an excerpt from the book, Dean writes:

“Networked information technologies have been the means through which people have been subjected to the competitive intensity of neoliberal capitalism. Enthusiastically participating in personal and social media-I have broadband at home! My new tablet lets me work anywhere! With my smartphone, I always know what’s going on!-we build the trap that captures us, a trap that extends beyond global use of mobile phones and participation in social networks to encompass the production of these phones and the hardware necessary to run these networks.”

More information about the book is available on the publisher’s website.

Dean has been with the Colleges since 1993 and also serves as the director of the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men. 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 “Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies” (Duke 2009) and “Blog Theory” (Polity 2010).