Eurocentrism is nothing but bourgeois ideology, quipped Samir Amin in his eponymous book. Does it mean that we should reject European ideals as mere bourgeois ideology or is there a way to rethink the European project after Eurocentrism? Simply rejecting the European project on the basis that it is just a tool for capital and labour management risks obscuring the fact that the same holds for nation-states. The critical question is not rejecting or supporting the European project but rather trying to understand the possibilities that such a process opens (or closes) for those who are inside as well as outside of it. By showing how Europe was created in its colonial peripheries and still thrives there, it is also possible to look at the project of European integration with a double lens. In particular, Chiara Bottici and Benoit Challand reflect on the theories produced by those who are in or in the margins of, but not from, Europe to rethink the European project in a global context marked by mass migration, challenges to established forms of citizenship, and the new forms of oppression created by climate change and global warming.
About the Speakers
Chiara Bottici is a philosopher and writer. She is Associate Professor in Philosophy at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College (New York). She is the author of Imaginal Politics: Images beyond Imagination and The Imaginary (Columbia University Press, 2014), A Philosophy of Political Myth (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and Men and States (Palgrave, 2009). She also co-edited the collections of essays The Anarchist Turn (Pluto 2013, with Simon Critchley and Jacob Blumenfeld) and Feminism, Capitalism and Critique (Palgrave 2017, with Banu Bargu). Her short stories have appeared in Il Caffe illustrato and L’immaginazione, while her feminist experimental writing Per tre miti, forse quattro was published by Manni Editore in 2016 and is forthcoming in an English translation with Bloomsbury.
Benoit Challand is Associate Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research, NYC. His research focuses on civil society in Palestine and Tunisia, Marxist theory, and European identity. He has taught at the Scuola Normale Superiore (Florence), New York University, and the University of Fribourg (CH). He is the author, among others, of Palestinian Civil Society. Foreign Donors and the Power to Promote and Exclude (Routledge, 2009), and guest editor of a special issue of Constellations on social theory and the 2011 Arab Uprisings. He is currently completing a book on Violence and Representation in the Arab Uprisings for the Global Series at Cambridge University Press. He also co-edited with F. Bicchi and S. Heydemann, The Struggle for Influence in the Middle East: The Arab Uprisings and Foreign Assistance (Routledge, 2017).
Together, they have co-authored two books: Imagining Europe: Myth, Memory, Identity (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and The Myth of the Clash of Civilizations (Routledge, 2010), and have co-edited the collection of essays The Politics of Imagination (Routledge, 2011).
Chair: Riccardo Bocco, Professor of Anthropology and Sociology, Graduate Institute.