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Concrete Utopianism with Gary Wilder

January 24, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm  |  Virtual and In Person


A discussion of excerpts from Wilder’s Concrete Utopianism: The Politics of Temporality and Solidarity. In his book, Wilder insists that we place solidarity and temporality at the center of our political thinking. He develops a critique of Left realism, Left culturalism, and Left pessimism from the standpoint of heterodox Marxism and Black radicalism. Concrete Utopianism makes a bold case for embracing what Wilder calls a politics of the possible-impossible.

Attentive to the non-identical character of places, periods, and subjects, insisting that axes of political alignment and contestation are neither self-evident nor unchanging, reworking Lenin’s call to “transform the imperial war into a civil war,” he invites Left thinkers see beyond inherited distinctions between here and there, now and then, us and them. Guided by the spirit of Marx’s call for revolutionaries to draw their poetry from a future they cannot fathom yet must nevertheless invent, he calls for practices of anticipation that envision and enact, call for and call forth, seemingly impossible ways of being together.

Format: In-person in Hum1 Room 420 & Zoom
Zoom link:

Gary Wilder is Professor of Anthropology at the City University of New York. He has a joint degree in Anthropology and History from the University of Chicago and works on the French empire, colonial states, historical anthropology and social/political theory, with a focus on western Africa, the Antilles, and Europe. He is the author of Freedom Time. Negritude, Decolonization, and the Future of the World (Duke University Press Durham and London 2015).

Presented by the History of Consciousness Department. To download the excerpts in discussion and for information on upcoming lectures, please visit The History of Consciousness website.


January 24, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm