Insubordinations: Italian Radical Thought (SERIES EDITOR)


Insubordinations: Italian Radical Thought offers translations of new and old works by prominent Italian thinkers belonging to the neo-workerist and biopolitical traditions. It will also foster original critical readings that, moving from these traditions, pinpoint their internal tensions and/or develop new dialogues with other strands of post-WWII Italian thought (such as feminism of difference, social psychoanalysis, anti-psychiatry, and theories of Fascism). The series will equally translate works by earlier twentieth-century seminal Italian authors who may be regarded as “forerunners” or avant la lettre critics of current trends in Italian thought.



books


The Monopoly of Man

By Anna Kuliscioff

Introduction by Jamila M.H.Mascat

Translated by Lorenzo Chiesa

 

Anna Kuliscioff (c. 1854–1925) was a prominent figure in the revolutionary politics of her era, advocating for socialism and feminism. One of the founding members of the Italian Socialist Party, she actively contributed to the late-nineteenth-century flourishing of the Socialist International and the emergence of Italian socialism. For the last decades of her life, Kuliscioff's public militancy revolved around the “woman question.” She viewed feminism through the lens of class struggle, addressing the double exploitation of women—in the workplace and at home. Kuliscioff fought a twofold battle: as a socialist, she unmasked the sexism of her colleagues; as a feminist, she criticized liberal-bourgeois feminism. In this key text, she makes her case for a socialist feminism.

Originating as a lecture Kuliscioff delivered in April 1890 at a meeting of the the Milan Philological Circle (which denied membership to women), The Monopoly of Man explicitly links feminism to labor. Kuliscioff argues that labor frees women from the prison of the household and potentially fosters their emancipation; she advances the principle of equal pay for equal work. She declares that woman is enslaved by both her husband and by capital, calls marriage a form of women's servitude, and demands that motherhood be better appreciated as work. It is only when woman is economically independent and resists capitalism, she argues, that she will achieve freedom, dignity, and the respect of man.

The Monopoly of Man is the inaugural title in a new series, Insubordinations: Italian Radical Thought, edited by Lorenzo Chiesa.



Convention and Materialism

Uniqueness without Aura

By Paolo Virno

Foreword by Giorgio Agamben

Translated by Lorenzo Chiesa

 

With the 1986 publication of this book in Italy, Paolo Virno established himself as one of the most influential Italian thinkers of his generation. Astonishingly, this crucial work has never before been published in an English translation. This MIT Press edition, translated by Italian philosopher and Insubordinations series editor Lorenzo Chiesa, is its first English-language version. Virno here engages, in an innovative and iconoclastic way, with some classical issues of philosophy involving experience, singularity, and the relation between ethics and language, while also offering a profoundly transformative political perspective that revolves around the Marxian notion of the “general intellect.”

Virno reconsiders Walter Benjamin's idea of a “loss of the aura” (brought on, Benjamin argued, by technical reproducibility), and postulates instead the existence of a new experience of uniqueness that, although deprived of every metaphysical aura, resides in the very process of late-capitalist serial reproduction. Writing after the defeat of contemporary leftist revolutionary movements in the West, Virno argues for the possibility of a “good life” originating immanently from existential and political crises. Taking speculative detours through the thought of philosophers ranging from Aquinas and Berkeley to Heidegger and Wittgenstein, with a specific focus on Kant and Hegel, Virno shows how a renewed reflection on basic theoretical problems helps us to better grasp what is happening now. This edition features a preface written by Virno in 2011.



On Freud

By Elvio Fachinelli

Introduction by Gioele P. Cima

Translated by Christina Chalmers

 

Elvio Fachinelli was one of the most original and controversial Italian psychoanalysts of the twentieth century. He viewed psychoanalytic theory as inextricably linked to the concrete experience of everyday reality and as a crucial compass for understanding the social and political turmoil of his era. This compact volume collects Fachinelli's writing on Freud, offering readers both an accessible and engaging introduction to Freud's thinking and an overview of Fachinelli's own main ideas. Written between 1966 and 1989, these essays serve to introduce readers to some of the most provocative aspects of Fachinelli's critiques of psychoanalysis and society.

On Freud includes a long essay on Freud that weaves the theoretical foundations of psychoanalysis together with a surprising number of idiosyncratic observations about Freud the person. In it, Fachinelli offers a series of parallax perspectives: Freud the conquistador, who leads psychoanalysis to the exploration of new fields of knowledge; Freud the archaeologist, who discovers antithetical and incongruous elements in the territory of the unconscious; and Freud the Victorian, whose bourgeois values clashed with the revolutionary character of his discovery. Other essays include an assessment of psychoanalysis as a general social phenomenon that is increasingly showing its historical limits; a discussion of an encounter between Freud and the poet Rainer Maria Rilke; Fachinelli's pointed account of Freud's view of psychoanalysis for “the poor”; and an examination of the importance of the element of surprise—for both analyst and analysand—in analysis. Without surprise, Fachinelli writes, psychanalysis is just a “ministering and administering of knowledge, a repetition of the already known.”

This edition includes an authoritative survey of Fachinelli's work and insight into how it continues to be relevant today.