Wendy Brown. Neoliberalism, Financialization and Democracy: Ten Theses

Keynote Lecture Thu 20 Oct 2016 6.30PM-8.00PM The New School, Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Building
The Auditorium at 66 West 12th Street
New York City
Free Admission

Launching the public seminar series Mobility in Post Democracy
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With many states on the brink of a democratic collapse, the Mobility in Post Democracy series connects to the simultaneous disdain and opportunity revealed in this moment. Kicking off the Mobility in Post Democracy event series, acclaimed theorist Wendy Brown delivers a keynote address, co-sponsored with the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, to map current landscapes and possible futures in a post democratic era.

In her work, Wendy Brown has explored the changing nature of citizenship, identity, free speech, democratic theory, and sovereignty from the 19th century to the present. Speaking about the impacts of financialization on democracy and citizenship, and with particular attention to the crisis of democracy in the European Union, Brown will expand on her 2015 book Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution, hailed as a clarion call to take back democracy. In Brown's striking analysis, the political subject, homo politicus, has been overcome by the value-enhancing, anti-solidaristic homo economicus, with far reaching implications for the institutions of citizenship, higher education, social justice, and democracy itself.

With responses by Carlos Forment and Jasmine Rault.

Mobility in Post Democracy
Post Democracy has recently arisen as a complex and contradictory term: for some it promises a new participatory platform for the mobilizing forces of social media, considered catalysts for political imagination. Others equate Post Democracy with democracy's demise due to the penetration of global capitalism into every regime type coupled with the increasing intervention of international actors in domestic politics. Decried as "democratic melancholy," such skepticism is considered ill placed by yet others for whom "democracy" was never a political system to aspire to.

Under the heading Mobility in Post Democracy, the Vera List Center is presenting a series of interdisciplinary panels, seminars, and lectures that examine Post Democracy as a condition informed by mobility – across institutions, states, and ideologies. The series brings together an international group of scholars, activists, students, and artists to probe the concept of democracy more generally at the time of the contested U.S. presidential elections, and the concurrent emergence and demise of democratic regimes throughout the world.

Artist-driven, the events aim to ask questions such as: How can new social movements counter networks of power? What creative organizing tactics are being developed to reinvigorate a democratic ethos? What forms of political institutions and alliances are flexible and resilient?
Wendy Brown, Class of 1936 First Chair of Political Science at the University of California Berkeley, received her Ph.D in Political Philosophy from Princeton University in 1983. Prior to coming to Berkeley in 1999, she taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and at Williams College. She lectures around the world and has held a number of distinguished visiting fellowships and lectureships. Most recently, she has been a visiting faculty member of the European Graduate School in Saas Fe, the Birkbeck Critical Theory Summer School and the Law School at the London School of Economics. She is the author of Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism's Stealth Revolution (Zone Books, 2015), Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (Zone Books, 2010), and Regulating Aversion: Tolerance in the Age of Identity and Empire (Princeton University Press, 2006) among numerous others. Her work has been translated into more than twenty languages.

Carlos Forment, Associate Professor of Sociology, New School for Social Research

Jasmine Rault, Assistant Professor of Culture and Media, The New School

Wendy Brown: Neoliberalism, Financialization and Democracy: Ten Theses is keynote lecture for the seminar series Mobility in Post Democracy. The seminars include:

Right of Refusal
October 24, 2016 4:00-8:30 PM

Prefigurative Politics on the Eve of the U.S. Presidential Elections
November 7, 2016 4:00-8:30 PM

Post Human, Affect, Proliferation
February 13, 2017 4:30-8:30 PM

Indigeneity, Stack, Sovereignty
March 2, 2017 4:00-8:00 PM

Mobility in Post Democracy is a Vera List Center public seminar series, supported by the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility.