Programme notes

articles
Susan WatkinsBritain’s Decade of Crisis

Boris Johnson’s ‘Get Brexit Done’ victory set in the context of the multiple crises that have roiled the UK since its financial bubble burst in 2008—economic, social, regional, national, European—to which the new Tory ascendancy poses as solution.

R. Taggart MurphyPrivilege Preserved

The first major economy to pass through the sequence of financial implosion and electoral upset, Japan is also ahead of the West in stabilizing its political order. But is the stasis of the elite mirrored in the society it sits atop? Renewed deflation and the dwindling of the seishain as backdrop to Abe’s third term.

Franco MorettiAlways Allegorize?

For Fredric Jameson, allegory exposes the contradictions that ideology obscures: capturing the multiplicities of modernity and forging an interpretive mechanism for the cultural critic. From transforming the text to terraforming the planet, insights into the method of a leading Marxist theorist gleaned from his most recent—and most playful—work.

Michael BurawoyA Tale of Two Marxisms

The political-intellectual career of sociologist Erik Olin Wright (1947–2019), traced by a friend and collaborator. Amid the demise of actually existing socialism, a passage from class analysis to utopian imaginings, science to critique. Can Polanyi offer insights on how these strands might be joined?

Dylan RileyReal Utopia or Abstract Empiricism?

Where to locate real utopias, as conceptualized by Wright, in the historical context of capitalist development? A rejoinder to Burawoy, emphasizing production over marketization, Marx over Polanyi, and analyses of the present over visions of the future, as the key to this theoretical conundrum.

Zep Kalb & Masoumeh HashemiTehran’s Universal Studios

A political history of Iranian film, tracing the origin of its plural genres through New Wave minimalism, war documentaries and cosmopolitan montage. In a society often caricatured as closed and backward, censorship and market pressures have unintentionally produced a world-class film culture—but how will it fare under the us sanctions regime?

reviews

Rob Lucas on Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. Google and Facebook as pioneers of a troubling new regime of capitalist accumulation.

Emilie Bickerton on Jonathan Kirshner and Jon Lewis, eds, When the Movies Mattered. Brief efflorescence of a radicalized cinema in Hollywood, driven by the political anxieties of the seventies.

Jacob Collins on Peter Schöttler, Du Rhin à la Manche. Historio­graphical treatments of the Rhine as reflective of Franco-German nationalist imaginaries.