March – Populism as Political Theology

Richard II Act II, Scene II - 'Lay aside life-harming heaviness' and cultivate a cheerful disposition, with Libby's meats [front]

In Thursday’s lecture, Dr. William Mazzarella will consider “populism as political theology.” The lecture will examine the populist ground for political authority, reconsidering questions of sovereignty, embodiment and mediation that were introduced in prior sessions. On Friday’s seminar session, we will continue examining these themes, focusing on the question of "the neoliberal" and its relation to political enjoyment. Specifically, we will consider the relationship between fantasy, affect, and economy that shape the libidinal relation between liberalism and right-wing populist projects across the globe.

Lecture (open to the public): Thursday, March 4, 2021, 6-7:30pm MST

Seminar: Friday, March 5, 2021, 11am-12:30pm MST

Curator: Luciana Chamorro, Postdoctoral Research Associate for the Neoliberalism at the Neopopulist Crossroads Sawyer Seminar

William Mazzarella headshotWilliam T.S. Mazzarella writes and teaches on the political anthropology of mass publicity, critical theory, affect and aesthetics, psychoanalysis, ritual and performance, and the occult shadow of the modern. His books include Shoveling Smoke: Advertising and Globalization in Contemporary India (Duke, 2003), Censorium: Cinema and the Open Edge of Mass Publicity (Duke, 2013), The Mana of Mass Society (Chicago, 2017), and, with Eric Santner and Aaron Schuster, Sovereignty, Inc: Three Inquiries in Politics and Enjoyment (Chicago, 2020). He is also the co-editor, with Raminder Kaur, of Censorship in South Asia: Cultural Regulation from Sedition to Seduction (Indiana, 2009), and the editor of K D Katrak: Collected Poems (Poetrywala, 2016). His article 'The Anthropology of Populism: Beyond the Liberal Settlement' appears in the 2019 issue of Annual Review of Anthropology. For a sampling of Dr Mazzarella’s publications, please visit his profile.