Fascism and Crisis – Nottingham, 2 May

17th Apr 2019

Fascism and Crisis

Workshop with Alberto Toscano

Date: Thursday 2 May, 1 – 4 pm

Venue: A19 Trent Building, University of Nottingham


The recent strengthening of the far-right in political arena around the world has been increasingly diagnosed by the left, liberals and conservatives alike as a return of fascism. Today, for some commentators (i.e. Snyder, Butler, Stanley), names like Trump, Le Pen and Bolsonaro (among others) often reappear as old and awkward ghosts of Italian and German fascism. As Dylan Riley suggests (Riley 2018), such perspectives mobilise a form of analogical thinking in order to categorize, explain or dismiss today`s political events by way of a comparison to twentieth-century European Fascism. However, this transhistorical account of fascism does not account for its inherent links with the current economic, political, and border crises. 

This workshop will follow contemporary left-wing thinkers (Balibar, Traverso, Farris) in probing the limits of analogical thinking and problematizing the abundance of meanings ascribed to fascism. This task requires rethinking the various definitions of fascism in their relation to the current economic and political crises.

Alberto Toscano’s talk entitled ‘Afterlives of Fascism’ will work with ‘analogies’ and ‘dis-analogies’ of the contemporary situation, comparing current events with the early 1970s Black Liberation Movement. The talk will be followed by a workshop centred on questions such as: What are the benefits and limitations of analogical thinking for analysing the rise of the far-right today? How can we think of fascism in its glocality? What role do global colonial interdependencies play in our understanding of ‘new’ fascism/s? We will have a discussion in relation to two theoretical approaches touching on these issues: √Čtienne Balibar’s account of the racism-nationalism relationship, and Enzo Traverso’s concept of post-fascism. These texts will be distributed beforehand via email.

Those interested please e-mail us at: theoryandmodernity@gmail.com