Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

Monthly Archives: February 2011


Over the next few weeks, I’ll be meandering around, given talks at the following events in the UK and the US. Perhaps I’ll see some of you there…

18 February – London – Birkbeck: 6:30-8:00 p.m.

I’ll be giving a talk to the Capital reading group that meets fortnightly at Birkbeck. They are currently working on chapter 19 of volume 1, so my talk will involve a bit of regression for the group. I’ll be focusing on the opening chapters of Capital, as I have on the blog, trying to present a bit more systematically on how an appreciation of Marx’s presentational strategy can clarify how Marx understands the reproduction of emancipatory possibilities as an integral aspect of the reproduction of capital.

If anyone is interested in attending – or would just like to know more about the reading group – please email samdolbear @ for more information. The exact location of the talk will depend on the numbers expressing an interest in attending, and will be announced closer to the date.

22 February – New York – New School: 6:00-8:00 p.m.

I’ll be giving this talk as part of the NSSR/Lang Speaker Series, organised by the Political Theory Colloquium at the New School. My focus will again be on Marx’s presentational strategy – specifically, his sardonic sense of humour – and on the ways in which many passages in Capital that are often read “straight”, should instead be read as burlesque parodies of political economic theories. Political economy, for Marx, stops short in awe at the complex patterns generated by the reproduction of capital – assuming that intelligibility implies Reason, beneficence, or efficiency. Capital seeks to go beyond this awestruck reaction, providing a robust theory of the practical generation of specific historical patterns, while also demonstrating how the same practices that reproduce capital, also reproduce the potential for its emancipatory transformation.

Location: The New School, Room 529, 80 Fifth Ave., NYC

It’s possible to RSVP via Facebook here:, although it’s also okay to show up on the night without having registered. The event is free.

24-26 February – College Station – Texas A&M University

As I’ve mentioned previously on the blog, the Society for Social and Political Philosophy is organising a Roundtable on Marx’s Capital, with an eye to new readings, and new readers, of Marx. The event is open and free to all, and the format encourages in-depth presentations and discussions.

Location: Bolton Hall, Texas A&M Campus

For more information contact: Texas A&M Philosophy Department, (979) 845-5660. The event schedule is available online.

Egypt – Signal Boost

Just reposting the link to a blog set up by regular commenter John, which has been publishing content from the uprising in Egypt. As of the present moment, the internet connection that had been enabling updates has been cut off, but the following was phoned in:

Tomorrow we will march on the palace

The last remaining internet connection in Cairo (the one we have been using to update this blog) has just been shut down (11pm Egyptian time). Sources say all the mobile phone lines will again be cut off tonight.

But despite the media blackout a million man march has been organized for 9am tomorrow morning, from Tahrir square to the presidential palace.

Spirits remain high, everyone knows that the time of this regime is over.

– Phoned in from Cairo, 11:10pm