Building Education for the Commons
ATHENS, JULY 16-19
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Sandro Mezzadra, PhD is Associate Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney.
Prof Mezzadra works as an Associate Professor of Political Theory at the University of Bologna, where he teaches postcolonial studies and contemporary political theory. He has published widely on the areas of migration, postcolonial theory, contemporary capitalism, Italianoperaismo
and autonomist Marxism. He recently completed a book with Brett Neilson,Border as method, or, the multiplication of labor(2013, Duke University Press). His writings have been translated into ten languages: Italian, French, German, Spanish, Finnish, Greek, Slovenian, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese. He is currently working on the FP7 European project MIG@NET
Aamir R. Mufti, PhD is Professor in the Comparative Literature Department, UCLA
Here is Prof. Mufti’s biography.
I did my Ph.D. in literature at Columbia University under the supervision of Edward Said. But I was also trained in Anthropology at Columbia, the London School of Economics, and Hamilton College, and my research and teaching have reflected this disciplinary range.
At the broadest level, my work has raised questions about the fate of the societies of the Global South in the modern world. I am interested in understanding a range of forms of inequality in the contemporary world and how they impede the possibilities for historically autonomous action by social collectivities in the South. As such, my work also explores the possibilities of critical knowledge of these societies within the dominant practices of the modern humanistic disciplines.
One of the main strands of my work has reconsidered the secularization thesis in a comparative perspective, with a special interest in Islam and modernity and South Asia and the cultural politics of Jewish identity in Western Europe.
Other areas of concern include: colonial and postcolonial literatures, with a primary focus on India and Britain, and 19th- and 20th-century Urdu literature in particular; Marxism and aesthetics; Frankfurt School critical theory; the comparative history of Orientalisms; the problem of national minorities; exile and displacement; the global cultures of immigration; refugees and the right to asylum; European unification and the question of the stranger; modernism and fascism; language conflicts; the history of world literature; global English in relation to the languages of the South; and the history of Anthropology.
I have authored two books: Enlightenment in the Colony: The Jewish Question and the Crisis of Postcolonial Culture (Princeton) and Forget English! Orientalisms and World Literatures (forthcoming, Harvard) My most recent contribution to the study of secularism is a special issue of the journal boundary 2, titled, “Why I Am not a Postsecularist.” Among my other editorial projects are “Critical Secularism,” an earlier special issue of boundary 2 and (the co-edited)Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation, and Postcolonial Perspectives (Minnesota), a widely used anthology. Current work includes two book projects—one concerning exile and criticism in the work of Edward Said and the other, the colonial reinvention of Islamic traditions.
My work has appeared in such scholarly periodicals as Social Text, Critical Inquiry, Subaltern Studies, boundary 2, theJournal of Palestine Studies, Lessing Yearbook, Critical Quarterly, Annual of Urdu Studies, and Theory and Event. From time to time, I have also written for such popular outlets as the Village Voice, Voice Literary Supplement, Dawn(Karachi), Avgi and Efimerida ton Syntakton (Athens),and Greek Left Review.
I have happy memories of serving for several years as a member of the editorial collective of Social Text while still a student in New York, but have long since changed my loyalties to boundary 2.
Peter Bratsis, PhD is Assistant Professor of Political Science and joined the faculty at BMCC in 2012. Previously, he taught at the University of Salford (2006-2012) and has also held positions at the London School of Economics, Brooklyn College, and Queens College.
His reseach mainly concerns the categories and ideas that our political world is based upon and how these ideas are created and reproduced. This has included studies on the production of the state, the categories of the public and private, the ways that nationalized individuals are created, and the perception of the clean and dirty in political life. He is currently working on two research projects. One is on how political corruption has come to be understood as a lack of tranparency and the other on how security, comfort, and the animal side of our nature has increasingly displaced the political and human side of our nature. The shift in how we think about the dividing line between humans and animals is a key part of the study; especially the shift away from thought,cogito, as that which marks the separation between the human and the animal to pain, sentience, as the key category in thinking about the human and animal. The growing popularity of veganism as well as new patterns in the names we give to pets are examined as symptoms of the abandoment of politics and this new way that humans think of themselves.
Bratsis’ publications include the books Everyday Life and the State and, with Stanley Aronowitz, Paradigm Lost: State Theory Reconsidered. I have also published numerous essays in academic journals, including Social Text,International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Historical Materialism, Journal of Modern Greek Studies, and New Political Science, among others. In addition to the foregoing, I am a founding editor of the journalSituations and occasionally contribute editorials and news analyses to Truthout and The Indypendent.
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