Professor emeritus at the Université Paris X, the philosopher Étienne Balibar has made the question of racism and its new forms of expression an important theme of his political philosophy, notably in his critique of capitalism and of liberal society. He is the author, among others, of Citoyen Sujet et autres essais d’anthropologie philosophique (2010) and La proposition de l’égaliberté (2011), published by Presses Universitaires de France. Passing through Montreal last November, he was keen to answer our questions.
Relations: Given the predominance of the question of human rights in our societies, as well as the official condemnation of racism, one might think that racism is a relic of ages past. Yet this is not the case. To what extent is it still a central – indeed, structural – phenomenon, particularly in the era of capitalist globalisation? In other words, what does it say about our societies?
“Anglophone readers now have a chance to see what all the fuss is about…”: Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art, the latest from esteemed philosopher and literary critic Jacques Rancière, has been hailed as the magnum opus on aesthetics from one of the subject’s leading theorists. Rancière utilizes a series of “scenes,” or critical historical events in Western art, through which he interrogates our understanding of modernism, and subsequently, the fraught relationship between the aesthetic and the political. Perhaps most startling in the age of the hyper-inundated and fast-paced reader, it’s evident that Aisthesis has inspired the very same “close reading” in its readers that the philosopher himself employs.