Reading Group - Chapter 5 | The Hard Road to Renewal

12 November 2013

Reading Group | Chapter 5: The Hard Road To Renewal with Peter Osborne

12 November, 7:00pm - 9:00pm


"There is no alternative to making anew the 'revolution of our times' or sinking slowly into historical irrelevance.  I believe, with Gramsci, that we must first attend 'violently' to things as they are, without illusions or false hopes, if we are to transcend the present. ... And from that starting point, begin to construct a possible alternative scenario, an alternative conception of 'modernity', an alternative future."

                                                                               Stuart Hall, The Hard Road to Renewal, 1988.


Chapter 5, led by Professor Peter Osborne, will take as its starting point the introduction and conclusion of Stuart Hall's 1988 collection of essays The Hard Road to Renewal: Thatcherism and the Crisis of the Left.  In the twenty-five years since the publication of The Hard Road to Renewal, a period that included thirteen continuous years of Labour government, how has the Left in Britain (both the Labour party and the non-Labour left) responded to Thatcherism's 'authoritarian populism' and 'the decisive break with the post-war consensus, the profound reshaping of social life which it has set in motion'?  And does Hall's analysis of Thatcherism as a 'hegemonic conception of politics as a war of position', and his adoption of a 'discursive conception of ideology' and, after Ralph Milliband, of a notion of 'an accelerated process of recomposition' of class provide the basis for an 'alternative conception of modernity, an alternative future'? 

Peter Osborne is Professor of Modern European Philosophy and Director of the Centre for
Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), Kingston University London, and an editor of the journal Radical Philosophy. Recent publications include The State of Things (co-ed. with Marta Kuzma and Pablo Lafuentes), Walter Koenig/OCA, London/Oslo, 2012 - lectures from the Norwegian Representation at the Venice Biennale 2011 - and Spheres of Action: Art and Politics (co-ed. with Éric Alliez), Tate Publishing, London, 2013. His books include The Politics of Time: Modernity and Avant-Garde (1995; 2011), Philosophy in Cultural Theory (2000), Conceptual Art (2002), Marx (2005) and most recently, Anywhere or Not at All: Philosophy of Contemporary Art, Verso, 2013.


Reading material: Please click here to download

Carroll / Fletcher would like to thank Verso for kindly providing the pdf of the reading material.


Chapter 5: The Hard Road to Renewal

Tuesday 12 November, 7:00-9:00pm

Tickets £5.00 including refreshments. 


Book here:


Carroll / Fletcher

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