The Theory and Politics of Subsumption
Birkbeck University, London
25th May 2013, 12 – 6 pm
Max Tomba (University of Padua) – Hybrid subsumption and modern forms of slavery
Christopher J. Arthur – Subsumption as a logical category
Rob Lucas (Endnotes) – On the Uses and Abuses of Abstract Temporal Concepts for History
Anthony Iles (Mute) – Subsumption and Autonomisation
There is increasing recognition of the importance of subsumption, in Marx and beyond, as a category through which to think domination in the present. And yet despite this, proper research into the concept is still in its incipience. So whilst it has become almost a commonplace to refer to practices, social spheres or even life as such as ‘subsumed’ under capital, there is rarely clarity or agreement about what such pronouncements should be taken to mean. As such, subsumption is all too often employed as a synonym for capitalist power in the most general sense (‘everything has been subsumed under capitalism’, we are now living ‘in’ real subsumption, etc..), in a manner that tends to obscure rather than disclose the actual structures and dynamics of exploitation that shape our world.
This is the first in a series of workshops bringing together thinkers working on the theoretical and political dimensions of subsumption, with aim of clarifying what is at stake in the concept. The series is intended to provide a space for extended and focused discussion, with short presentations rather than lengthy papers, and an emphasis on working through problems collectively and identifying new directions for research.
The workshop costs nothing, but in the interests of a fruitful discussion the number of participants will be quite limited; priority will be given to those with an active research interest in subsumption (although this need not be academic). To register you interest in participating please contact Andrés Saenz De Sicilia: firstname.lastname@example.org