Mehdi Belhaj Kacem

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PublisherContinent2017
Désoeuvrement! Variously translated as unworking or inoperativity is a notion that haunts contemporary political theory and practice. Unworking overturns the typical valuation of work and action as positive and constructive and opens an avenue to think radical passivity and inactivity as aesthetic and political practices that question the modernist mantra of purposeful production and ceaseless activity. At its most basic, unworking is the critique of work and of everything that we imagine as such. The work of community-building for instance, the work of art, work as wage labour, even psychoanalysis, imagined as ‘working through’. This issue of continent is dedicated to unworking in its various guises. ...
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This set of five pamphlets documents a seminar given recently by Alexander R. Galloway at the Public School New York, a self-organizing educational program where class ideas are generated by the public. “French Theory Today” explores a new generation of French voices—Catherine Malabou, Bernard Stiegler, Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, Quentin Meillassoux, and François Laruelle—whose work has, to varying degrees, only recently emerged in the English-speaking world. Each night of the seminar consisted of a lecture followed by questions from and discussion with class participants. As Galloway suggests in the online class proposal, the goal was “not to set in aspic a ...

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