Emmanuel Renault

Labour and the Experience of Exploitation

Friday, Arpil 21, 2023

Emmanuel Renault (Université Paris Nanterre) will join Dramaturgies of Resistance for a lecture and workshop on Friday, April 21. In these two events, Renault will address the return of labour within critical theory and the experience of exploitation in theories of domination.

In his morning lecture, entitled "Abolishing division of labour or making it better?," Renault will speak on Axel Honneth’s account of democracy and the division of labour.

The afternoon workshop will take up Renault’s manuscript Exploités and include responses by Nicole Yokum (University of Toronto, St. George), Natasha Hay (University of Toronto, Scarborough), and Matthew Delhey (University of Toronto, St. George).

Those interested in participating in the workshop should email Matthew Delhey (matt.delhey@mail.utoronto.ca) to obtain the reading materials.


Lecture:               10:00 — 12:00 p.m. ("Abolishing division of labour or making it better?")

Lunch break:      12:00 — 1:30 p.m.

Workshop on "The Experience of Exploitation" (Part Three of Exploités)

Session 1:            1:30 — 2:30 p.m. (précis by Emmanuel Renault; comments by Nicole Yokum)

Break:                  2:30 — 2:45 p.m.

Session 2:            2:45 — 3:45 p.m. (comments by Natasha Hay)

Break:                  3:45 — 4:00 p.m.

Session 3:            4:00 — 5:00 p.m. (comments by Matthew Delhey)

Excerpt from Exploités: "The term exploitation is frequently employed in everyday language, and it is the object of a renewed interest in various contemporary political projects, yet it remains largely discredited in the academic fields of social philosophy, political theory and critical social sciences. If exploitation is frequently considered to be uninteresting in these fields, it is more often due to prejudice rather than because it is not a concept that merits serious discussion. Academic disinterest in exploitation is therefore intellectually and politically problematic. We have already suggested that exploitation lies at the heart of a revival that is politically significant. This sets a mandate for social philosophy, political theory, and critical social science to think about exploitation in a new way. Hence the twofold objective of this book: to dismantle the foundations of the academic consensus that sees the concept of exploitation as theoretically less interesting than other critical concepts or even as a politically useless or dangerous concept; to rethink the meaning and functions of the concept of exploitation in accordance with contemporary renewals of the critique of exploitation the theorisations to which they give rise."

Emmanuel Renault is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris Nanterre. He is the author of numerous publications on Hegel, Marx, and pragmatism within the tradition of critical theory. His books in English include The Experience of Injustice: A Theory of Recognition (Columbia University Press, 2019), Marx and Critical Theory (Brill, 2018), and The Return of Work in Critical Theory: Self, Society, Politics (Columbia University Press, 2018).

Date and time: Friday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: JHB 100 at the Jackman Humanities Building (262 Bloor St W)

Pietro Bianchi & Ling Zhang

Cinema and Labour

Friday, March 31, 2023

On March 31, 2023, please join the Dramaturgies of Resistance for Cinema and Labour, an event focusing on the unique relationship film has with labour processes. We will begin with a 4pm screening of Margot Benacerraf’s 1959 poetic meditation on salt mining in Venezuela, Araya. Araya is, according to Benacerraf, “a great metaphor, a poem.” Filmed by a two-person crew, the film takes place in and around the Araya peninsula’s salt marsh. Depicting the metabolic relation between a community and their natural surroundings, Araya is a one-of-a-kind meditation on extraction and exertion.

Following the screening will be two talks: Pietro Bianchi’s paper, entitled “Araya, or the Problem of the Cinematographic Representation of the Double Nature of Labor,” will focus on the peculiar problems posed for representations of labour under the capitalist mode of production, given the seismic importance of Marx’s concept of abstract labour. Ling Zhang’s paper, entitled “Crystallizing Labor with Cinema: Salt Mining and Routine Rhythm in the Global South,” will center on quotidian and iterative elements of labour processes.

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Michael Heinrich

The Changing Concept of Labour in Marx

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Recording: https://youtu.be/ht7X_Utt3R8

Michael Heinrich will join Dramaturgies of Resistance for a virtual talk on Thursday, January 19, 2023 from 3 to 5 p.m. The talk will occur on Zoom. See the abstract and author biography below.

Labor was a central concept for Marx, both for his analysis and for his respective critique of domination. However, over time not only the content of the concept of labor (alienated/non-alienated labor, division of labor/abolition of labor, abstract/concrete labor) but also the theoretical coordinate systems within which Marx used this concept changed considerably. I will discuss these changes and their consequences for Marx's analysis of capitalism and his critique of domination.

Michael Heinrich was for several years a collaborator of the new Marx Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA) and until 2016 professor of economics at the Hochschule fuer Technik und Wirtschaft (University of Applied Sciences) Berlin. Available in English is his Introduction to the Three Volumes of Karl Marx's Capital (2012), How to Read Marx's Capital (2021) and the first volume of his Marx biography Karl Marx and the Birth of Modern Society (2019).

Register for the event on Facebook and Zoom.

Nick Nesbitt

What is Capitalist Slavery?

Friday, November 18, 2022

This talk will consider Marx’s construction of the idea of capitalist slavery in Capital, as well as some of its implications for the black Jacobin tradition of revolutionary Caribbean thought.

Nick Nesbitt is Professor in the Department of French and Italian at Princeton University. He received his PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures (French) with a Minor in Brazilian Portuguese from Harvard University. He has previously taught at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) and at Miami University (Ohio), and in 2003–4 he was a Mellon Fellow at the Cornell University Society for the Humanities. He is the author of Caribbean Critique: Antillean Critical Theory from Toussaint to Glissant (Liverpool 2013); Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment (Virginia 2008); and Voicing Memory: History and Subjectivity in French Caribbean Literature (Virginia 2003). He is also the editor of The Concept in Crisis: Reading Capital Today (Duke 2017), Toussaint Louverture: The Haitian Revolution (Verso, 2008); co-editor of Revolutions for the Future: May '68 and the Prague Spring (Suture 2020); and co-editor (with Brian Hulse) of Sounding the Virtual: Gilles Deleuze and the Philosophy of Music (Ashgate 2010). His most recent book is entitled The Price of Slavery: Capitalism and Revolution in the Caribbean (Virginia, 2022).

This event is supported by the Jackman Humanities Institute's Program for the Arts.

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