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This class proposal is inspired by Alberto Toscano's recent Fanaticism (2010).  The contemporary terms of the debate surrounding fanaticism are such that it refers to an active danger to social order rooted in an extreme variant of fundamentalist religious belief.  Within a liberal rhetoric of reasonableness and tolerance, the project of maintaining social peace trumps that of an emancipatory politics, thus demonizing the figure of the fanatic as socially and politically destructive par excellence.  What if fanatical attitudes, however, precisely because of their irrational abstraction, have politically generative effects?  In the task of coming about an emancipatory politics, what happens when we unbelong together to the terms of the debate at play?

Further lines of questioning include: The insufficiency of enthusiasm, or: isn't it time to be fanatical about something?  Can one adopt a fanatical attitude?   How is fanaticism related to claims of radicality?  And what is actualized in the practice of truth-telling?


Fanaticism, Alberto Toscano.

Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology, David Graeber.

Fearless Speech, Michel Foucault.



jenny and ditte, hey i was away, just reading this now. i say come on by. i guess just read fanaticism or parts or whatever you want. xoT

Hi, same for me. I am in town and would like to attend the class aug.13th. is that ok and what should i prepare?

I'm in town on August 13 and am interested in attending for just that day. Is this okay, and what reading should I do to prepare?


Alberto Toscano is coming on 13. Aug. at 4pm to do a Fanaticism class with us. Tell your friends. See you there!

great! we will be back by 15th of july

I'll be in town Jul 19-22 and could meet again then.

I would be happy to meet before.
Sorry, I was not able to be last time.

Hey everybody, Toscano said he'll be in Berlin in August, which means a possible follow-up class with him could be on the horizon. July is a bit tricky for me, although not impossible. Shall we keep meeting in the meantime or wait until August?

Hey Timothy and co, this sounds really interesting. We won't get to Berlin until early July, but maybe some kind of follow-up is possible.

In NYC we've explored all kinds of (ultra) leftist excess, seemingly excessive only because it "failed", or existed outside of any kind of state/social logic that could recuperate it. (For example, we read/performed Valerie Solanas' play UP YOUR ASS, and later discussed SCUM outside of the Factory, where she shot Warhol.)

We're titling our whole visit to Berlin "Suicide or Solidarity", after some of the themes in the Dudow/Brecht film KUHLE WAMPE (1932). We wanted to do a walking tour of sites attacked/bombed by the armed groups in Berlin from the 60's-80's, as one example. Also talk about Claire Fontaine's idea of the "human strike" as another.



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