October 14, 2011 - October 16, 2011
Communism, A New Beginning?
Cooper Union
October 14, 2011 - October 16, 2011
6.00pm - 1.00pm
Cooper Union
New York, NY 10003 United States
Entire conference is being video-streamed live on the internet

View the conference, live.

Video stream requires free registration.

View the complete program guide below.

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.

Responding to Alain Badiou’s proposition of the ‘communist hypothesis,’ the leading thinkers of the Left convened in London in 2009 to discuss the perpetual, persistent notion that, in a truly emancipated society, all things should be owned in common.

Now Slavoj Žižek and Alain Badiou are returning to the discussion—this time 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 14–16.

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.


Entry will be by ticket only. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased here:

Sorry, tickets are sold out!


We will be video streaming the conference live over the internet. You will need to log in to access the video, so please register now if you do not have an account.



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

Session 1: Friday, Oct 14, 6:00 pm–9:00 pm (EDT)
Slavoj ŽižekShort 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