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Warren Montag: “The Revocation of the Right to Subsistence: On the Legal and Political Origins of the Market”

January 16, 2014 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm  |  Stevenson Fireside Lounge



Warren Montag is the Brown Family Professor of Literature, English Department, Occidental College. He has published widely on French and Italian thought of the 1960s and 1970s, especially Louis Althusser, as well as on literature and philosophy of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Swift, and Adam Smith. His most recent book is Althusser and His Contemporaries: Philosophy’s Perpetual War (Duke University Press,2013), and he has also published translations of Althusser, Pierre Macherey, and Étienne Balibar. His forthcoming book, co-authored with Mike Hill, is “The Other Adam Smith: Popular Contention, Commercial Society and the Birth of Necro-Economics” (Stanford University Press).

This event is part of “The Origins of Civil Society” organized by the Crisis in the Cultures of Capitalism Research Cluster. The development of the discipline of political economy, including its dialogue with modern political philosophy, is closely intertwined with the rise and expansion of capitalist society. As we turn our attention today to capitalism’s crisis tendencies and the future of market society, a critical examination of this foundational history becomes the starting point of the analysis of the present. This lecture series addresses the origins of civil society from several vantage points: the legal and political forms that underlie market relations; the transformation of the labor process; the role of gender and reproductive labor; and the history of separation from the means of subsistence.

Additional events in this series:
Feb 6, 2014 – Kathi Weeks: “The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics and Postwork Imaginaries”
Mar 6, 2014 – Michael Perelman: “Primitive Accumulation: From Adam Smith to Angela Merkel”

Presented by the Crisis in the Cultures of Capitalism Research Cluster. Staff support provided by the Institute for Humanities Research. For more information, including disabled access, please contact Evin Guy: (831) 459-5655, Maps:



January 16, 2014
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Humanites 1 University of California, Santa Cruz Cowell College
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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