• New issue of Stasis is out: #2, 2017, Antiquity and Modernity of Soviet Marxism

    2018-03-01

    The issue includes articles by Antonio Negri, Merab Mamardashvili, Evgeni Pavlov, Pascal Sévérac, Maria Chehonadskih, Andrey Maidansky, Evald Ilyenkov, Giuliano Vivaldi, Alex Levant, Artemy Magun, Keti Chukhrov, Alexei Penzin, Valery Podoroga.

    Fredric Jameson once pointed out that the Marxist tradition is already our Antiquity due to its significance and historical distance. This distance allows us to view it from the outside, and to reinvent Marxism for our own time. The same could be said about the most paradoxical version of this tradition—Soviet Marxism. However, there are particular qualities that single it out from the "classical antiquity" of Marxist tradition. Even internationally known Soviet works (by Vygotsky, Bakhtin, amongst ­others) are not perceived as belonging to a unitary theoretical tradition, and are even less associated with Marxism and the heritage of 1917.
    It may therefore seem that the October Revolution of 1917, although being recognized as the key event of the "short twentieth century," has not created a universally recognizable and consolidated body of thought. It is, therefore, a difficult task to outline this field, and this is why the current lens of historical distance might be helpful in attempting to grasp both this unity and the richness of its internal differentiations.

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  • New issue of Stasis is out: #1, 2017

    2018-03-01

    The issue includes articles by Jodi Dean, Valery Podoroga, Evert van der Zweerde. The rubric "The End of the World" features Slavoj Žižek, Serge Margel, Torah Lane, Artemy Magun.

    Here is an excerpt from the intro to the topic by Susanna Lindberg, the editor of the rubric:
    The idea of the end of the world has an air of banality. Aren't we drifting along a neverending flow of sci-fi books and catastrophe films with whirls of special effects, in which the world ends in a sea of flames, in nuclear radiation, in a technological Armaggedon?—Drifted along by, but not drowned, for don't we also trust that the world is actually not at its end but only purified, reduced to another nuclear family who will start out a better world that is actually more pure and honest than our rotten civilization. Nothing really distinguishes these stories from the ancient myths of Utnapishtim, Noah, or Deucalion and Pyrrha. The point is really to tell a reassuring story of hope of a better future. Maybe it is in reaction to this imagery (and not by poltroonery) that many philosophers today tend to reject the thought of the end of the world. After all, philosophy has spent much effort to settle its affairs with a teleological notion of the end that was important in the middle of the twentieth century (the important debates on the end of history, the end of man, the end of philosophy, etc). But in reality, the problem of the end of the world is not the same as the problem of the the telos of time and human endeavors: The question of the world's end does not boil down to the question of meaning but it refers to the thought of the possibility of the impossibility of the world itself, in which meaning can take place or not.

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  • Stasis announces a new call for papers for a thematic issue to be published in 2018: Between the Public and the Common

    2018-03-01

    Since the mid twentieth century, the notion of the public, or Öffentlichkeit, has become a focal point for most normative reflections on democracy. It appeared that electoral democracy and the protection of rights were not enough to integrate the people and to create an atmosphere of freedom: something else was needed, something that was not a procedure or an object but rather a space or a system of relationships. The renaissance of republicanism and the theories of deliberative democracy were developed to understand this need and to establish its conditions. Today, fifty years on, the need to foster public spirit in the twenty-first century is more urgent than ever. However, history has taught us of the structural obstacles that get in the way: the industrialization and commercialization of the media, the terrorist tactics of militant groups, and the elitism of the existing public sphere make the ideal of an inclusive common world look dim. Alternative notions, such as "counter-publics" and the "commons" have been advanced instead, but do they manage to capture the initial intuition of the ephemeral public spirit? Can the public and republican space be extended into the zones of poverty or postcolonial liminality, for example? Can it be imagined above or apart from international and geopolitical divisions?
    These and related questions will be the focus of the upcoming issue of Stasis: the deadline for submission is September 15, 2017.

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  • New issue of Stasis is out: #2, 2016, Art, Politics, Ideology: A Problematic Triangle

    2018-03-01

    In contemporary debates within philosophy, as much as in the arts, it seems impossible not to con rm the assumption that art is political. Art is one of the contemporary battle elds or resources, media, or whatever term one privileges for political action or articulation. One might even go as far as noting that art as a speci c material form of practice often intervenes in the social and political sphere. One attributes to art a sovereignty of re ection, distortion, impact that no other practice—including politics—is ever able to attain. Art seems to be the better form of political action, simply because it is politics without what is problematic in politics (questions of hierarchy, power, exclusion, violence, etc.). Such descriptions often function as a kind of plea for an artistic politics against a "political politics," and they often, if not always, are constructed from what seems to be evident, namely that art is political. Yet, one can raise the question as to whether the very evidence of the art's political dimension is not rather an expression of a problem. For evidences are, as one knows at least since Plato, never simple and pure evidences. Rather it is precisely that which seems evident that one should investigate, as it can be the very reason why the true problem does not come into sight. In this very sense, the evidence of art's inherent politicality might also be conceived of as being an ideological expression, as something like a cover up, for what is really at stake. One might, as some have argued, need to again free art from politics to be able to articulate their respective contemporary relevance, speci city, and modalities. Yet, this might be seen as just another ideological gesture, as a gesture of ideologically struggling on the eld, neither only of art nor only of politics, but precisely of their relation. What the articles by Robert Pfaller, Ray Brassier, Frank Ruda, Michaela Wünsch, and Oxana Timofeeva, gathered here, in one way or the other, do, is to seek to redefine the relation of politics and art, either by addressing both or by addressing one of these terms, as part of an ideological struggle for clarity.

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  • New issue of Stasis is out: #1, 2016, What is to be done with sex?

    2018-03-01

    This issue continues the discussion between Slavoj Žižek, Alenka Zupancic, Mladen Dolar, Keti Chukhrov, Aaron Schuster, and Oxana Timofeeva, which took place in Ljubljana in May 2014. The idea for this discussion was inspired by the short essay “The Anti-Sexus,” written by Andrey Platonov in 1926. In contemporary capitalism, the economy of sex has again become a problem, but the stakes are different. They vary from a wide movement of sexual liberation on the level of private and individual freedoms in Western countries, to puritanism or growing restrictions and prohibitions in countries like Russia; from the widespread commodification of pleasure (the “society of enjoyment”) to asexuality as an identity or individual choice. New moral dilemmas appear when one prefers to masturbate rather than encounter another human being in a potentially destructive (non-)relation. Can or should sexuality be liberated? Can sexuality liberate? Can or should one liberate oneself from sexuality? Why should sexuality be conceived as a uniquely troublesome point of human existence? From our historical experience, relating to the sexual heritage of revolutionary struggles of the past century, and in light of contemporary forms of solitude and libidinal malaise, we raise and discuss these questions.

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  • New issue of Stasis is out: #2, 2015, Political Theology

    2018-03-01

    This issue of STASIS deals with the topic of “political theology.” Although the term has a wide range of meanings, the articles presented here deal with the more radical forms of both politics and religion. The catch that emerges is that such radicalism may be either reactionary, seeking to restore a lost and mythical Golden, or it may seek a progressive and revolutionary overthrowing of the current situation. This tension within radicalism pertains not merely to politics, but very much to religion itself. So, how does one assess such a tension? The articles in this issue do so by means of either theoretical interventions or case studies.

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  • New issue of Stasis is out: #1, 2015, Vladimir Bibikhin and his thought

    2018-03-01

    This issue is devoted to the discussion of the work of a great Russian contemporary philosopher, Vladimir Bibikhin (1938-2004). Virtually unknown to the English-speaking audience, Bibikhin is one of the most widely respected thinkers in Russia. His open lecture courses gathered full auditoria in the 1990s. Bibikhin simultaneously translated and imported 20th century German philosophy to Russia. He is also an author of original philosophical essays and treatises that continue and enrich the Russian intellectual tradition. His books are devoted to key philosophical notions, such as world, property, and energy, as well as to some specific phenomena that he elevated into the rank of concepts, such as Wood(s). All of his works are written in a virtuoso style and build upon a thorough knowledge of the history of thought. All of them incessantly circulate between issues of contemporary relevance and metaphysical arguments. This voluminous issue is the first attempt to introduce Bibikhin’s thought to the international audience. It includes a fragment from Bibikhin’s own work, followed with articles by Bibikhin’s friends, disciples, and commentators.

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  • New issue of Stasis is out: #1 2014, Revolutions and protest movements

    2018-03-01

    The second issue of STASIS brings together quite diverse articles. Each is excellent in its own right and was individually considered by the editors and reviewers. Nevertheless, the articles are united by the common theme of revolutions and social movements, a topic that has defined the global political agenda over the last three or four years. Apart from its obvious topicality, revolution was chosen as the focus of this issue because it refers back to the journal’s title, which in Greek denotes a kind of revolution. The issue is both interdisciplinary and multipolar. All the articles strive towards concrete empirical or historical analysis while producing new theoretical generalizations, which will be one of the journal’s most privileged modes as STASIS moves forward.

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  • "Stasis and Agonistic Democracy" - Dimitris Vardoulakis lecture

    2018-03-01

    The lecture of Dimitris Vardoulakis "Stasis and Agonistic Democracy" will take place in the European University in Saint-Petersburg on June, 2 at 3.30 p.m.

    Description of the lecture:

    Aristotle’s Athenian Constitution (8.5) mentions a strange law devised by Solon according to which whoever does not participate in stasis (discord) is to lose his citizenship and to be expelled from the city. This statement is surprising – even paradoxical – given that Solon was chosen by the Athenians precisely in order to put an end to the stasis (civil strife) that was ravaging the city. In the present paper, I will discuss the relevance of this Solonian law. I will argue that it provides the model for an alternative conception of agonistic democracy, which is not commensurable with liberalism. In fact, it is an agonism which is closer to radical democracy. In particular, by drawing a distinction between different types of stasis, it is possible to adumbrate a democratic agonism which consists in the imbrication of the political, the ontological and ethical. In this sense, the Solonian law of stasis is a precursor to Spinozan politics.

    Dimitris Vardoulakis is the chair of the Philosophy Research Initiative at the University of Western Sydney. He is the director of the lecture series “Thinking out Loud: The Sydney Lectures in Philosophy and Society” (which is also published by Fordham University Press), and the co-editor of the book series “Incitements” (Edinburgh University Press). His books include, the monographs: The Doppelgänger: Literature’s Philosophy (Fordham UP, 2010) and Sovereignty and its Other: Toward the Dejustification of Violence (Fordham UP, 2013) and the edited collections Spinoza Now (U of Minnesota P, 2011), The Politics of Nothing: on Sovereignty (Routledge, 2013) and “Sparks will fly”: Walter Benjamin and Martin Heidegger (SUNY, 2014). His book Stasis: On Agonistic Democracy is forthcoming by Fordham University Press in 2015.

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  • #1 Politics of negativity (October 2013)

    2018-03-01

    The issue is dedicated to the concept of negativity which is currently in the center of philosophical discussion. The articles take different positions on the role and value on negation in thought, but they all agree on the undeniable importance of denying. From the study of idyosincratic declinations and tropes, philosophy returns to simpler and at the same time more dramatic logical concerns. How to deal with the unwanted past, how to carve a space of subjectivity in the sea of information, and where to derive the negative force to do it? The authors search negativity in different loci, such as theatre, literature, animal nature; some criticize it, some praise, some see it as a critical, others, as an attacking violent power. All of this taken together gives a great introduction to contemporary thinking.

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