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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Research Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics Events & Colloquium

DemCP colloquium - LEIGH CLAIRE LA BERGE (CUNY/FU Berlin): "Marx for Cats: A Radical Bestiary"

When:We 24-11-2021 16:00 - 18:00
Where:1315.0042, Harmonie building and online

Research colloquium of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics

Leigh Claire La Berge (CUNY/FU Berlin), Marx for Cats: A Radical Bestiary


Marx for Cats argues that the history of Western capitalism can be told through the cat and that doing so reveals a heretofore unrecognized animality at the heart of Marx’s critique and of Western Marxist critique. That feline animality has been present in how Marxists have represented what constitutes the economy and imagined how the economy could be transformed from a site of exploitation into one of equality. From capitalism’s feudal pre-history to its contemporary moment of financialization, those seeking to maintain economic power as well as those seeking to challenge it have recruited cats into their efforts. Using a textual and visual archive that spans 800CE through the present, this talk (and Dr La Berge's forthcoming book with Duke University Press) details how they did so. In offering a feline narrative of our economic past, it argues that Marxism not only has the potential to be an interspecies project but that it already is one. And in using that knowledge and those histories located in cat-form, the talk suggests that we may collectively plot a new future together, one which recognizes the work that cats have always done for Marxists and one which wonders: what political commitments can Marxists make to cats?


Due to restricted space, those wishing to attend in person should register in advance by contacting t.jelfs