(MOVED) David Payne: "The Proper of What and the Property of Whom?"

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng6-0031
  • Organiser: The Department of Literature
  • Contact person: Mats Rosengren
  • Föreläsning

The Higher Seminar in Rhetoric – Guest Lecture

NB, moved to October 25.

"The Proper of What and the Property of Whom? Political Ideas in an Age of Populist Expropriation”. Guest lecture by David Payne, Södertörn University.

Chair: Rosengren

This paper focuses on an accusation increasingly made by representatives of certain political movements against right-wing populists, namely that their own ideas are being “stolen” from them. Right-wing populists are said by their critics to be laying claim to emancipatory ideas they have no entitlement to employ. Ideas are “instrumentalised” to satisfy ends at variance with their purported design. Those who feel as though their ideas have been mis-appropriated or, even more strongly put, ex-propriated, are said to be deprived the possibility of effectively mobilising around them.

The accusation regarding the “theft” of ideas raises some important philosophical, rhetorical and political questions; not only about the veracity and discursive efficacy of this political claim, but also about the complex relation that this supposes between the historicity and universality of emancipatory ideas, between the logic of iterability, which guarantees the political productivity of the re-employment of emancipatory ideas, and notions of the ‘proper’ and ‘propriety’ that, incubated in today’s charges of political impropriety and expropriation, would point to the limits of such political productivity. This paper thus poses the question: can a robust post-foundational theoretical position be articulated that makes possible an effective critical intervention against right-wing populism and strategies of ex-propriation?”

David Payne is currently a lecturer in Rhetoric at Södertörn university. In 2012, he received his PhD in Political Theory from the University of Essex for his thesis, A Critique of Post-Emancipatory Reason: Philosophical Visibility, Political Possibility and the question of Novelty. He has written articles on continental philosophy, Marxism and Post-marxism, and is presently undertaking an investigation into the idea of the ‘proper’ in contemporary politics as well as co-editing with Alexander Stagnell and Gustav Strandberg a volume on the people and populism.