Faculty Writing: On International Pro-Palestinian Solidarity, The New Right’s Theft of Left-Wing Ideas, and the Value of the Mimetic

In Khrono journal, BISR faculty Sami Al-Daghistani explains why pro-Palestinian student demands should be all of ours. Reporting from Norway, Al-Daghistani sheds light on the encampments formed at the University of Bergen and the University of Oslo in solidarity with students at Columbia. In lieu of wading into distracting local controversies, he implores his reader to “demand an immediate ceasefire and continuously express solidarity with the victims of the brutal war in Gaza on the streets, on university campuses, and elsewhere.”

Then, Suzy Schneider, writing in Strange Matters magazine, offers an explanation as to why right-wing intellectuals like to steal left-wing economic ideas—and what they’re up to with them. Why, Schneider asks, were speakers at a national conservatism conference in London invoking Karl Marx, historical materialism, and The German Ideology?  She suggests—with significant caveats in mind—that many influential figures among the New Right “[have] come around to the idea that social conditions are directly related to the material means of production, and that you cannot support an atomistic economic order…while expecting to maintain 1950s-era domestic bliss.” 

Lastly, fellow faculty RH Lossin has this review in e-flux journal on multimedia artist Vija Celmins’s mimetic objects. When Celmin was in art school, she dreamed of painting like the great American abstract expressionists. Her gradual shift to representing everyday objects permitted, in her words, a “simpler sort of looking,” and a means to “bypass [her] intellect.” Lossin then goes on to push back against partisans of the abstract, asserting that “our pleasure in a perfect copy made by a human hand is anything but superficial.”

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