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Banu Bargu: “Catching a Moving Train: Decolonizing Aleatory Materialism”

May 8, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm  |  Humanities 1, Room 210

Banu Bargu: “Catching a Moving Train: Decolonizing Aleatory Materialism” 5.8.19

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This paper analyzes Althusser’s proposal for an aleatory materialism through his engagement with historical materialism, and particularly with Marx on “primitive accumulation.” It identifies two different legacies of Marx’s reflections on the origins of capitalism and discusses how Althusser attempted to rework Marx to reach a non-teleological conception of history. At the same time, taking both thinkers to task on their approach to colonialism, and especially settler colonialism, the paper moves toward decolonizing the aleatory materialist imaginary.

Banu Bargu is associate professor of History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a political theorist, with a focus on modern and contemporary political thought and critical theory. Bargu is the author of Starve and Immolate: The Politics of Human Weapons (Columbia UP, 2014), which received APSA’s First Book Prize given by the Foundations of Political Theory section and was named an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice. She is the editor of Turkey’s Necropolitical Laboratory: Democracy, Violence, and Resistance (Edinburgh UP, forthcoming in 2019) and co-editor of Feminism, Capitalism, and Critique (Palgrave, 2017). Her next book, Friends of the Earth: Althusser and the Critique of Teleological Reason, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press in 2020.

The Center for Cultural Studies hosts a weekly Wednesday colloquium featuring work by faculty and visitors. The sessions consist of a 40-45 minute presentation followed by discussion. We gather at noon, with presentations beginning at 12:15 PM. Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunches; the Center provides coffee, tea, and cookies.

All Center for Cultural Studies events are free and open to the public. Staff assistance is provided by the Humanities Institute.


May 8, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Humanities 1, Room 210
1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States
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