Forms of Survival and the Politics of Vulnerability / Liquidity

As a way of making a foray into understanding some of the obscure processes of finance capital—securitized debt, derivatives, the shadowbanking institution—we’ll read the beginning of short book by Christian Marazzi called “The Violence of Financial Capitalism,” which will prepare us for the discussion and lecture with Professor Meister.

Robert Meister is a professor in the History of Consciousness Department at UC Santa Cruz and is the Executive Director of the Bruce Initiative project entitled Re-thinking Capitalism. Meister works at the intersection of jurisprudence, political economy, theology, and cultural theory. His early publications focus on American constitutional development (especially in the area of rights and regulation) and theories of the state implicit and explicit in the work of Marx and Hegel. Professor Meister’s most recent work, “After Evil,” pursues a critique of the discourse of human rights by paying particular attention to moments when states undergo significant regime change. Since 2008, his research has returned to issues of valuation and regulation, focusing on late twentieth-century theories that foreground the pricing of options. An active critic of University of California privatization, Professor Meister has served ten years as President of the Council of UC Faculty Associations and for five years on the Academic Senate Budget and Planning committees of his campus.

Readings: selections from Christian Marazzi’s The Violence of Financial Capitalism (pages 9-66).

Co-presented with the Townsend Center Working Group, Rethinking Debt.