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Thomas Dumm (Political Science, Amherst College)

Dec 2, 2016 @ 3:30 pm

“I Would Prefer Not To”: Bartleby, Neo-liberalism, and the Great Refusal

Recorded video (YouTube)

Thomas Dumm discusses the confrontation taking place between the forces of neoliberal capital and the refusals by those who are excluded from its benefits.

He will discuss this in the context of the American case: Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump voters are engaging in a great refusal against the pure abstractions and concrete deprivations entailed in the execution of the neoliberal agenda. This current confrontation is anticipated in Herman Melville’s allegory, Bartleby, the Scrivener. Using that tale as a template, Dumm will explore the current impasse in American political culture.

Brown bag lunch discussion

Friday, December 2
12 noon Curtin 939
Reading: Thomas L. Dumm, “Resignation,” (PDF) Critical Inquiry 25, no. 1 (Autumn 1998): 56-76.

Thomas Dumm is the William H. Hastie ’25 Professor of Political Science at Amherst College. His recent books include My Father’s House: On Will Barnet’s Paintings (Duke, 2014) and Loneliness as a Way of Life (Harvard, 2010).


Dec 2, 2016
3:30 pm
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Curtin 175
3243 N Downer Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53211 United States
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