Mediating Autonomia Workshop

Thursday workshop 2pm-3:15pm
Location: Friedl 225

Autonomia is a strong current within contemporary Marxism that seeks to update and recalibrate the aims of traditional Marxism to better understand and account for the changing social and economic conditions that have come into being under capitalism in the late 20th Century. Emphasizing post-industrial and information economies, and the new formations within the working classes that have emerged along with them, Autonomist Marxism seeks to engage the new political challenges of our time. This workshop is oriented around several key problematics in contemporary culture and shows how the tactics and conceptual tools of Autonomia can be effectively deployed to better understand and trouble issues such as innovation, immediacy, communication, and consumption. Stemming from these questions within our individual research, we will explore how Autonomia has engaged these ideas in the past and how these arguments continue to be valuable. The presenters will each make a few opening remarks (of about 7-10 minutes) in order to frame the conversation and to offer some broad provocations regarding Autonomia and, in particular, how media studies and media theory can illuminate and contribute to these problematics. Following the opening remarks, we hope to open the floor to discussion between the presenters as well as any and all participants who would like to join in. We aim to explore how Autonomist frameworks can continue to evolve into a vital resource for media theory as a means of understanding our present and future.

Participants may wish to peruse the volume Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics, co-edited by Paolo Virno and Michael Hardt. While the texts in this volume together provide an overview of recent Autonomist scholarship, the Introduction and Maurizio Lazzarato’s essay “Immaterial Labor” may be especially helpful as quick background reading. We would be happy to provide (and receive!) onward reading references.


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