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Thinking about intellectuals : Edward Said and Antonio Gramsci

Dates:
  • Fri 10 Apr 2020 10.00 - 12.00
  Add to Calendar 2020-04-10 10:00 2020-04-10 12:00 Europe/Paris Thinking about intellectuals : Edward Said and Antonio Gramsci

Please note that this meeting will be held remotly via zoom. In order to receive the link to join the session, please contact Elisavet Papalexopoulou.

One of the consequences of the current pandemic can be seen in a plethora of opinions, op-eds, analyses and interviews written by scholars, publicists and thinkers. Philosophers offer us numerous interpretations of the ongoing events; mathematicians and virologists build and publish models that try to predict the closest future; economists present analyses that aim at preparing the public for the financial crisis. How can we, as historians, understand and reflect on this surge of intellectual debate? How can we think about the people that take stances and make their voices heard – and about their connection with the publics they speak to and aspire to represent?

In order to approach these questions, we propose a reading of two thinkers, widely considered as intellectuals: the Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci and the American-Palestinian scholar, Edward Said. Gramscian classification of intellectuals proposes a different language for the description of numerous relationships between thought, people who work with (and on) ideas, politics and efficiency and, finally, people who do not seem to have much to do with the so-called intellectual life. The author who has perhaps understood Antonio Gramsci’s intentions best and put them into action, both in his theoretical approach and in his public persona, was Edward Saïd one of the founders of postcolonial studies.

Departing from these two thinkers and their texts, we would like to discuss, among other things, how Gramsci’s and Said’s understanding of the category of intellectuals and their place within the society can be used to enhance our understanding of the contemporary plexus of politics, power and language and the implications of using intellectuals as a category of analysis on the way we practice intellectual history.

Readings:

Edward W. Said, Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures, The Reith Lectures 1993 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1994) [pages 3-25] 

Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, trans. Geoffrey Nowell Smith and Quintin Hoare (New York: International Publishers, 1971) [p 3-14]

Outside EUI premises - DD/MM/YYYY
  Outside EUI premises -

Please note that this meeting will be held remotly via zoom. In order to receive the link to join the session, please contact Elisavet Papalexopoulou.

One of the consequences of the current pandemic can be seen in a plethora of opinions, op-eds, analyses and interviews written by scholars, publicists and thinkers. Philosophers offer us numerous interpretations of the ongoing events; mathematicians and virologists build and publish models that try to predict the closest future; economists present analyses that aim at preparing the public for the financial crisis. How can we, as historians, understand and reflect on this surge of intellectual debate? How can we think about the people that take stances and make their voices heard – and about their connection with the publics they speak to and aspire to represent?

In order to approach these questions, we propose a reading of two thinkers, widely considered as intellectuals: the Italian Marxist thinker Antonio Gramsci and the American-Palestinian scholar, Edward Said. Gramscian classification of intellectuals proposes a different language for the description of numerous relationships between thought, people who work with (and on) ideas, politics and efficiency and, finally, people who do not seem to have much to do with the so-called intellectual life. The author who has perhaps understood Antonio Gramsci’s intentions best and put them into action, both in his theoretical approach and in his public persona, was Edward Saïd one of the founders of postcolonial studies.

Departing from these two thinkers and their texts, we would like to discuss, among other things, how Gramsci’s and Said’s understanding of the category of intellectuals and their place within the society can be used to enhance our understanding of the contemporary plexus of politics, power and language and the implications of using intellectuals as a category of analysis on the way we practice intellectual history.

Readings:

Edward W. Said, Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures, The Reith Lectures 1993 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1994) [pages 3-25] 

Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, trans. Geoffrey Nowell Smith and Quintin Hoare (New York: International Publishers, 1971) [p 3-14]


Location:
Outside EUI premises -

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Working group

Contact:
Elisavet Papalexopoulou - Send a mail

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