This June I will be the keynote speaker for the Summer Institute on Philosophy and Social Movements at Douglas College in Vancouver, British Columbia:
“Critical Theory and Antifascist Strategy Today”
Joan Braune, Gonzaga University
Abstract: Understanding resurgence of participation in fascism includes examining three dimensions: (1) structural-political forces, (2) individual and social psychology, and (3) subjective agency. Only by understanding and reckoning with these intersecting dimensions, which Frankfurt School Critical Theory and existentialism help us to reconcile, can we effectively fight fascism. Too often approaches ignore one dimension or focus exclusively on a single one. Fascism is a social movement seeking power, always already connected to sources of power. Yet at the same time, its appeal for those who join it is structured upon individual psychological appeals and tendencies, as well as the ways that fascist recruitment plays upon certain human needs. Finally, fascists are making a choice for which they can and should be held morally and in some cases legally responsible, and they are not the passive playthings of economic and political forces, nor of personal trauma. I will address each of these three dimensions and show how Critical Theory and existentialism, and especially the Critical Theory of Erich Fromm, help us to understand the relationship between these three dimensions. I will also discuss the implications of these three dimensions for antifascist practice.
More information is available here: https://www.douglascollege.ca/programs-courses/explore-programs-courses/faculties/humanities-and-social-sciences/philosophy/summer-institute.