Jacques Bidet Professor Emeritus, University of Paris-Nanterrre

A Critical History of Socio-Political Modernity: Foucault, Marx and the Project of Human Emancipation

April 8, 2014, 4pm, Curti Lounge (Humanities Building, Room 5243)

Co-sponsored by the Havens Center, the University Lectures Committee, the Goldberg Center, the Geography Department, the Department of European Languages and Literature, the Department of History, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute for Research in the Humanities

JACQUES BIDET is Professor emeritus at the University of Paris-Nanterre. He is a reputed social theorist, philosopher and historian, who has done path-breaking work on both the origins and theory of modernity.  Specifically, while many scholars focus on the idea of capitalism as being at the heart of modernity, Bidet theorizes modernity in terms of three layers, organization, market and a world system of nation-states. Through this more complex theorization, he is able to show both how the above structures and system reproduce hierarchies and domination and also how the ideas associated with these structures, such as equality and freedom, which are essential for the functioning of the market, make possible an oppositional politics with transformative potential.