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Podcast, Arts & Culture

Episode 129: Fascism, Fanaticism and Neoliberalism — with Alberto Toscano

July 15, 2021
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Critical theorist Alberto Toscano joins Am Johal in conversation about his work and writings, as he joins SFU as a visiting faculty member with the Digital Democracies Institute in SFU’s School of Communication.

In this episode, they discuss Alberto’s writing on the philosophy of fanaticism, and conflicting discourse and counter-histories around the figure of the fanatic, which historically takes many forms, from abolitionist leaders to peasant revolutionaries. Alberto and Am also dive into global and historical trends of authoritarianism, racial capitalism and the notion of ‘late fascism.’ Alberto speaks to expanding our concept of fascism, to recognize iterations outside of what could be thought of as European fascism. They also talk about neoliberal tendencies in post-secondary administration, and the workings of mechanisms that maintain or fortify power structures within institutions.

About Our Guest

Alberto Toscano

Alberto Toscano is Reader in Critical Theory at the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London, where he co-directs the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought. He is Visiting Faculty at the Digital Democracy Institute, School of Communication, SFU.

Alberto’s current research is divided into three main strands: a theoretical inquiry into contemporary authoritarian trends and their dis/analogies with their historical predecessors, culminating in the forthcoming book Late Fascism (Verso, 2021); the study of tragedy as a framework through which to understand political action and its discontents, from decolonisation to environmentalism; and the development of ‘real abstraction’ as a heuristic for the analysis contemporary capitalism, notably in its nexus with processes of racialisation. As the series editor of The Italian List for Calcutta-based publisher Seagull books, Alberto’s research is also concerned with the translation and reception of Italian literature, literary criticism and critical theory.

 

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