Lunch Series: Theory of the Alt-Right

12/11 Friday | 1pm


A Lunch Series Virtual Conference co-hosted by the Working Group on the Global New Right at the Institute for Public Knowledge, Deutsches Haus at NYU and German Department at NYU — co-sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The Far Right has taken on a new intellectual profile in the years since 2016. Though many members of this global New or Alt-Right are markedly anti-intellectual, some have evinced a phobic fascination with the body of thought Jordan Peterson has characterized as “politically correct cultural relativism, which is cultural Marxism, postmodernism, feminism, queer and black studies—all the studies.” At the same time, there is also strong evidence that the relationship of right-wing figures to the left-wing traditions they denounce is not simply rejection, but a strategic partial or “inverted” appropriation (Andreas Huyssen). The anti-Semitic canard of “cultural Marxism,” for instance, takes perverse inspiration from the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School. The accelerationist group known as “Neoreaction” draws on what it calls the “Dark Enlightenment.” Neo-libertarians draw on the cultural theories of René Girard and Carl Schmitt, Martin Heidegger, and the internationalized Eurasianism of Alexander Dugin. Jair Bolsonaro’s new government in Brazil draws on a deep bench of neoliberal cultural-economic theory. The talks and novel-reading session of this Virtual Conference address this New Right formation as its first phase, the Trump era, draws to a close.

Tuesday, December 8th at 1 PM ET

“The Precarious State: NeoEurasianism and the Rise of the Global New Right” Leah Feldman (University of Chicago)

Leah Feldman is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago. She is the author of On the Threshold of Eurasia: Orientalism and Revolutionary Aesthetics in the Caucasus (Cornell 2018), winner of the CESS book award. She is currently working on a manuscript tentatively titled Feeling Collapse on Soviet film, art and performance from Central Asia and the Caucasus amidst the collapsing sensorium of the Soviet Empire from the 1980s-2000s. Her work has appeared in Slavic Review, boundary 2, Ab Imperio, and Global South and she serves on the editorial collective for boundary 2.

Wednesday, December 9th at 1 PM ET

“Anti-Intellectual History of the Alt-Right: from the Frankfurt School to Cultural Marxism and Back Again” Johannes von Moltke (University of Michigan)

Johannes von Moltke is Professor of German and Film, TV & Media Studies at the University of Michigan. His research interests cover German film and cultural history, Critical Theory, film and media theory, and, more recently, new media and the new right. He is the author of No Place Like Home: Locations of Heimat in German Cinema and The Curious Humanist: Siegfried Kracauer in America, as well as numerous articles on German film and several anthologies of writings by and about Kracauer. Johannes is the outgoing president of the German Studies Association.

Thursday, December 10th at 1 PM ET

“The Concept of Depoliticization” Asad Haider, Viewpoint Magazine

Asad Haider is the author of Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump (Verso, 2018) and a founding editor of Viewpoint Magazine.

Friday, December 11th at 1 PM ET

Reading session with Maya Vinokour (NYU) on Zakhar Prilepin’s novel Sankya, a fictionalized account of the rise of the National Bolsheviks — please read novel to join in discussion.

Photo credits: https://www.agendadocumentary.com/

Theory of the Alt-Right is funded by the DAAD from funds of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).

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