David Wojnarowicz, Untitled [Burning House]

The Fall that Wasn’t: a Decade Since the Financial Crisis

Verso Books
20 Jay St
Brooklyn, NY 11201

The 2008 financial crisis shook to the core not only the global economy, but also prevailing myths about the efficiency of markets, the possibility of endless profits and growth, and the inviolability of capitalism. In The Fall that Wasn’t: a Decade Since the Financial Crisis, documentarian Astra Taylor and journalist Sarah Jaffe will join BISR faculty Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Rebecca Ariel Porte, and Raphaele Chappe for a wide-ranging panel discussion of the causes and contexts of the crash, as well as its lasting, overwhelming consequences for policy, politics, and culture. After the crash, massive governmental intervention staved off systemic collapse. But the resulting recovery, such as it was, failed to either recoup the financial losses of the vast majority of the people or restore shattered confidence in neoliberal economics and governance. What can we learn from revisiting, blow-by-blow, what happened during the financial crisis? Were the causes of the crisis incidental or endemic to neoliberalism? Why were trillions spent to save the financial system and its tiny class of stakeholders, while austerity was prescribed for the masses? What opportunities were missed? How has the crash figured in our political imaginary? How did its shocks reverberate in our art, our literature, our film? Have the crisis and subsequent challenges to the neoliberal order opened up new political possibilities beyond the old Thatcherite mantra that “there is no alternative”? Finally, how should we understand crisis itself: as a punctuation or deviation from norms; or, as Walter Benjamin famously argued nearly 80 years ago, is it the very condition of capitalism, “that things are status quo,” that is the crisis?

The Fall that Wasn’t: a Decade Since the Financial Crisis will take place Thursday, September 27th at Verso Books (20 Jay Street, Suite 1010, Brooklyn). The event is free to attend and open to the public. Please RSVP below.


  • Astra Taylor

    Astra Taylor is a writer, documentarian, and organizer. Her films include Zizek!, a feature documentary about the world’s most outrageous philosopher, and Examined Life, a series of excursions with contemporary thinkers including Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler, Cornel West, Peter Singer, and others. Both movies premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

    Taylor’s writing has appeared in The Nation, the London Review of Books, n+1, the New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, and elsewhere. She is the editor of Examined Life, a companion volume to the film, and the coeditor of Occupy!: Scenes from Occupied America. Most recently she is the author of the book The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, winner of a 2015 American Book Award.

    She helped launch the Rolling Jubilee campaign and co-founded the Debt Collective.  She is a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow and is working on a film about democracy. Her twitter handle is @astradisastra.

  • Sarah Jaffe

    Sarah Jaffe is a Nation Institute fellow and an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture. Her work has appeared in The NationSalonthe Weekthe American Prospect, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and many other publications. She is the co-host, with Michelle Chen, of Dissent magazine’s Belabored podcast, as well as an editorial board member at Dissent and a columnist at New Labor Forum. Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt is her first book.

  • Ajay Singh Chaudhary

    Ajay Singh Chaudhary is the executive director of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research and a core faculty member specializing in social and political theory. His research focuses on social and political theory, Frankfurt School critical theory, political economy, media, religion, and post-colonial studies. He has written for the The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, Quartz, Social Text, Dialectical Anthropology, The Jewish Daily Forward, Filmmaker Magazine, and 3quarksdaily, among other venues. Ajay is currently writing a book on the politics of climate change.

  • Rebecca Ariel Porte

    Rebecca Ariel Porte holds a Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research, which centers on nineteenth- and twentieth-century movements in British and American poetry, concentrates on crossings between early analytic philosophy and modern theories of poetics and aesthetics. Reviews and essays have appeared in the Boston Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and io9, among other publications.

  • Raphaële Chappe

    Raphaële Chappe holds a PhD in Economics from The New School for Social Research, an LL.M from New York University School of Law, a Master’s degree in Comparative Business Law from the University of Pantheon-Sorbonne in Paris, France, and an LL.B in Law and French Law from King’s College London. Her research interests include the link between financial markets and wealth inequality; political economy and the history of economic thought; and the philosophical foundations of microeconomics.

Event Schedule

Thursday, 7:00-9:00pm
September 27, 2018


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