ANTHROPOLOGICAL POLITICAL ECONOMY. Public Seminars with Don Kalb.
Lecture and Seminar I, "The Economy is No-Thing: Simple thoughts on Complex Global Mobilizations", Donelaičio 52-423, VDU, Friday, October 3, 11:00–13:00, 15:00–17:00
The lecture will connect a key assumption of anthropological political economy with the debate about the ongoing global mobilizations. APE assumes that the economy is not a thing standing on its own, separate from society. Polanyi, Marx and Mauss all claim that economies are embedded, composed and regulated by social relations and practices, subject to cultural agency etc. While the global mobilizations around Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, CEE, Southern Europe, Turkey, Brazil etc have multiple forms and surface manifestations, embedded as they are in different societies and histories, the underlying processes that produce these various mobilizations are structured by and embedded in the uneven capitalist transformation of world society today.
Lecture and Seminar II, "Ukraine is Nothing Special", Saturday, October 4th, 11:00–13:00, 15:00–17:00, Donelaičio 52-423, VDU.
We are accustomed to seeing the Maidan and then the civil war in Ukraine as a special event entirely contingent on local idiosyncracies. However, it is not. It is a condensation and magnification of trends that we are seeing Europe-wide and indeed world-wide: double polarization, in Jonathan Friedman's sense, that pare growing social divides with increasing cultural divisions. Neo-nationalism is one regular outcome. What makes Ukraine special is how these general tendencies associated with the restructuring of capital and social relations became accelerated and magnified in a small space in just a few months time.