Matrix is located on the 8th floor of Barrows Hall, on the UC Berkeley campus, near Telegraph and Bancroft Avenues, just up the hill from Sather Gate. There are entrances at both ends of the building, but only one of the elevators on the eastern side goes directly to the 8th floor. You can alternatively take the stairs to the 7th floor and walk up the stairs.
Please join us for a discussion of the Professor Wendy Brown’s book, In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Anti-Democratic Politics in the West, which casts the hard-right turn as animated by socioeconomically aggrieved white working- and middle-class populations, but contoured by neoliberalism’s multipronged assault on democratic values.
Presented as part of Social Science Matrix “Authors Meet Critics” Series, the talk will feature Professor Brown along with two colleagues: Gillian Hart, Professor Emerita, Department of Geography, UC Berkeley; and Tianna Paschel, Professor in the Departments of African American Studies and Sociology at UC Berkeley.
About the Book
From its inception, neoliberalism flirted with authoritarian liberalism as it warred against robust democracy. It repelled social-justice claims through appeals to market freedom and morality. It sought to de-democratize the state, economy, and society and re-secure the patriarchal family. In key works of the founding neoliberal intellectuals, Professor Wendy Brown traces the ambition to replace democratic orders with ones disciplined by markets and traditional morality and democratic states with technocratic ones.
Yet plutocracy, white supremacy, politicized mass affect, indifference to truth, and extreme social disinhibition were no part of the neoliberal vision. Brown theorizes their unintentional spurring by neoliberal reason, from its attack on the value of society and its fetish of individual freedom to its legitimation of inequality. Above all, she argues, neoliberalism’s intensification of nihilism coupled with its accidental wounding of white male supremacy generates an apocalyptic populism willing to destroy the world rather than endure a future in which this supremacy disappears.
About the Speakers
Tianna Paschel is Associate Professor of Sociology and African American Studies. Her research centers on analyzing the intersection of racial ideology, politics, and globalization in Latin America and the United States. She has published in the American Journal of Sociology, the Du Bois Review, SOULS: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, and Ethnic and Racial Studies, as well as various edited volumes. She is also the author of Becoming Black Political Subjects, which won numerous awards, including the Herbert Jacob Book Award of the Law and Society Association and the Barrington Moore Book Award of the American Sociological Association.