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COMMUNISM, A NEW BEGINNING? Alain Badiou and Slavoj Žižek with Verso Books at Cooper Union, New York, October 14th-16th 2011

Rowan Wilson19 September 2011

Verso will LIVE STREAM the conference on this website, from Friday, Oct 14th at 6pm. 

A new conference with leading thinkers to discuss the continued relevance of the communist idea.

“The long night of the Left is coming to a close” wrote Slavoj Žižek and Costas Douzinas in their introduction to The Idea of Communism. The continuing economic crisis, the shift away from a unipolar world defined by American hegemony, and the ecological crisis mean that growing numbers of people are keen to explore an alternative, and to rediscover the idea of communism. With the advent of the Arab Awakening, millions have sought new ways to overcome corruption and dictatorship—and they’ve now been joined by the wave of occupations in the US, challenging runaway inequality and the power of corporations and the super-rich.

Responding to Alain Badiou’s proposition of the ‘communist hypothesis,’ the leading thinkers of the Left convened in London in 2009 to discuss the persistent notion that, in a truly emancipated society, all things should be owned in common. Now Slavoj Žižek is hosting a new discussion, at Cooper Union in New York.

Organised with Verso Books, eight leading thinkers will be discussing 'Communism, A New Beginning? at Cooper Union on the weekend of October 14th-16th. Entry will be by ticket only, and all tickets are now sold out. Please register on the Verso website to watch the event LIVE on this discussion page

With great regret we have to announce that, due to illness, Alain Badiou will not be able to attend the conference this weekend. We are all extremely disappointed but we hope you'll join us in wishing Alain a swift recovery. He has prepared a text to be read by Bruno Bosteels—so he will still be able to contribute to the conference, and we still expect the conference to be an extraordinary event. 



COOPER UNION, New York, October 14-16, 2011
Organizers: Slavoj Žižek and Alain Badiou

Session 1: Friday, Oct 14, 6:00 pm–9:00 pm
Slavoj Žižek: Short Introductory Remarks
Frank Ruda: Remembering the Impossible: For a Meta-Critical Anamnesis of Communism
Alain Badiou: Politics and State, Mass Movement and Terror (read by Bruno Bosteels)

Session 2: Saturday, Oct 15, 10:00 am–1:00 pm
Bruno Bosteels: On the Christian Question
Susan Buck-Morss: Communism and Ethics

Session 3: Saturday, Oct 15, 3:00 pm–6:00 pm
Adrian Johnston: From Scientific Socialism to Socialist Science: Naturdialektik Then and Now 
Étienne Balibar: Communism as Commitment, Imagination, and Politics

Session 4: Sunday, Oct 16, 10:00 am–1:00 pm
Jodi Dean: Communist Desire
Slavoj Žižek: Conclusion: Freedom in the Clouds