"Peter Kropotkin and his Work "The Conquest of Bread" - report by Sonia Arribas
On April 2, 2019, within the framework of the seminar "West and East: Universalism of Culture" of the International Laboratory for the Study of Russian and European Intellectual Dialogue there will be a lecture by the Professor of the University of Pompeu Fabra, Sonia Arribas
"I analyse Kropotkin’s The Conquest of Bread, focusing on the symbol of ‘bread’. This allows me to offer a reading of it that is different from the way in which it is usually read – as a revolutionary program anchored in the belief in scientific progress. In my view, we should rather take it as literature, the fruit of Kropotkin’s imagination. I explain how ‘bread’ serves different functions: it is a rhetorical device; it is a link between the natural and the social; it serves as a representation of materiality as opposed to mere ideas; it conveys the satisfaction of needs; it represents the specific form of anarchism defended by Kropotkin; it serves him to argue against the political economy of his time; and it functions as the foundation of ethics. I also read the book backwards, starting from its last sentences, where Kropotkin denies that he is writing fiction. I take this as a Freudian negation, and argue that the book can only be read today as literature".
Sonia Arribas (Ph.D New School for Social Research, New York, 2004) is Professor of Humanities at the UPF. She teaches at the MA Program in Literature, Art and Philosophy (UPF, Barcelona), and at the MA Program in Theatre Creation (University Carlos III, Madrid). Complete List of publications: https://producciocientifica.upf.edu/CawDOS/jsf/principal/principal.jsf.
Venue: Room 503, Building 1, 21/4 Staraya Basmannaya Street, Moscow
The lecture will be in English.
Admission is free for HSE students and staff. If you need to order a pass to the HSE, please send an application indicating the full name to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org until 6:00 pm Friday, March 29.