Jodi Dean in 2017
|Born||April 9, 1962|
|Alma mater||Princeton University (B.A.)|
Columbia University (MA, MPhil, PhD)
|School||Marxism, psychoanalysis, postmodernism|
|Institutions||Hobart and William Smith Colleges|
Jodi Dean (born April 9, 1962) is an American political theorist and professor in the Political Science department at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in New York state. She has also held the position of Erasmus Professor of the Humanities in the Faculty of Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Dean received her B.A. in History from Princeton University in 1984. She received her MA, MPhil, and PhD from Columbia University in 1992. Before joining the Department of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, she taught at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has held visiting research appointments at the Institute for the Human Sciences in Vienna, McGill University in Montreal, and Cardiff University in Wales.
Emphasizing the use of Leninism, psychoanalysis, and certain postmodernist theories, Dean has made contributions to political theory, media studies and third-wave feminism, most notably with her theory of communicative capitalism—the online merging of democracy and capitalism into a single neoliberal formation that subverts the democratic impulses of the masses by valuing emotional expression over logical discourse. She has spoken and lectured in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Turkey, the United States, and Wales. She was formerly co-editor of the political theory journal Theory & Event.
The Communist Horizon
In the first few chapters of her 2012 book The Communist Horizon, Dean surveys the contemporary political landscape, noting the persistence of anti-communist rhetoric more than twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. She says that capitalists, conservatives, liberals, and social democrats all agree that 20th century communist regimes were unqualified failures, thereby limiting the scope of discussion around political alternatives to liberal democracy and free markets (a fusion of which constitutes Dean's conception of neoliberalism). She asserts that when people think of capitalism they don't consider what she believes are its worst results (unemployment, economic inequality, slavery, hyperinflation, climate change, robber barons, the Great Depression, and the Great Recession) because the history of capitalism is viewed as dynamic and nuanced. By contrast, Dean writes, communism is not considered dynamic or nuanced. Instead, there's a fixed historical narrative of communism that emphasizes authoritarianism, the gulag, starvation, and violence.
First, Dean holds that communism is widely viewed as interchangeable with the Soviet Union; communist experiments in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, or Latin American are often given little attention. Second, Dean asserts that the seventy-year history of the Soviet Union is condensed to the twenty-six years of Joseph Stalin's rule. Third, Dean thinks it is reductive to consider Stalin's violence, political suppression, and authoritarian rule—the purges, the great famines and the gulag—as the events that accurately represent communism because that ignores the industrialization of the economy, the successes of the Soviet space program, and the relative increase in the standard of living in the formerly agrarian economy. Fourth, Dean holds that the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was the result of the political and economic rigidity of Stalin and his successors, until Gorbachev began glasnost and perestroika. Thus, in Dean's view, the history of Stalinism becomes the basis on which discussions around alternatives to capitalism are silenced. Lastly, Dean contends that Stalinism is seen as proof that communism cannot work in practice because any challenge to the political status quo will inevitably result in purges and violence.
- Solidarity of Strangers: Feminism after Identity Politics (University of California Press 1996)
- Feminism and the New Democracy: Resisting the Political (editor, Sage 1997)
- Aliens in America: Conspiracy Cultures from Outerspace to Cyberspace (Cornell University Press 1998)
- Political Theory and Cultural Studies (editor, Cornell University Press 2000)
- Publicity's Secret: How Technoculture Capitalizes on Democracy (Cornell University Press 2002)
- Empire's New Clothes: Reading Hardt and Negri (co-editor with Paul A. Passavant, Routledge 2004)
- Žižek's Politics (Routledge 2006)
- Reformatting Politics: Information Technology and Global Civil Society (co-editor with Geert Lovink and Jon Anderson, Routledge 2006)
- Democracy and Other Neoliberal Fantasies (Duke University Press 2009)
- Blog Theory (Polity 2010)
- The Communist Horizon (Verso 2012)
- Crowds and Party (Verso 2016)
- "Academics". hws.edu. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Politics without Politics".
- "AEJMC". aejmc.org. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- "The Johns Hopkins University Press - Theory & Event". jhu.edu. Johns Hopkins University Press. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- Jodi Dean (2012). The Communist Horizon. New York: Verso.
- Joseph G. Ramsey (July 11, 2013). "Admitting the Communist Desire". CounterPunch. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
- Jule Ehms (March 9, 2014). "The Communist Horizon". Marx & Philosophy Society. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
- Ghodsee, Kristen (2015). The Left Side of History: World War II and the Unfulfilled Promise of Communism in Eastern Europe. Duke University Press. p. xvi–xvii. ISBN 978-0822358350.
- "Solidarity of Strangers". cdlib.org. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Feminism and the New Democracy: Resisting the Political". sagepub.com.
- "Aliens in America". cornell.edu. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Publicity's Secret". cornell.edu. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Zizek's Politics". routledge.com. 14 August 2006. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "Duke University Press". dukeupress.edu. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- Blog Theory: Feedback and Capture in the Circuits of Drive: Jodi Dean: 9780745649702: Amazon.com: Books. amazon.com. ASIN 074564970X.CS1 maint: ASIN uses ISBN (link)
- "VersoBooks.com". versobooks.com. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
- "VersoBooks.com". versobooks.com. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
- Jodi Dean (June 29, 2013). "The Limits of the Web in an Age of Communicative Capitalism". Public lecture in Dublin in June 2013.
- Jodi Dean (July 2, 2013). "Complexity as Capture: Neoliberalism and Communicative Capitalism". Public lecture at the University of York in July 2013.
- Jodi Dean (January 17, 2015). "Communicative capitalism and the challenge for the left". Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung. January 2015.
- Jodi Dean (June 10, 2015). "Jodi Dean - The Communist Horizon". Public lecture in Belgrade at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory and the Institut Français de Serbie in cooperation with the Center for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy (CELAP), Center for Advanced Studies in Southeastern Europe (CAS – SEE) and the Faculty of Media and Communications in Belgrade (FMK).