University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

"Excavating Contemporary Capitalism: Toward a Critique of Extraction Writ Large," Prof. Sandro Mezzadra Public Lecture

April 10, 2017

Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Location: Wilson142


Is globalization over in the age of Trump? The talk will take this question as a point of departure and will focus on actually existing global processes in order to suggest that what is currently at stake is rather a set of conflicts and tensions surrounding the direction of globalization and the organization of its spaces. It will attempt to shed light on the specific “rationality,” or “logic” underlying operations of capital in strategically important “sectors” of economic activity – such as extraction, logistics, and finance. The talk aims to show that such operative logic eschews containment and articulation by the nation state and has rather “global” characteristics. It argues for the need to work toward an expanded notion of extraction and to look at the ways in which extraction writ large shapes contemporary capitalism. The talk will end by asking a set of important questions regarding a politics capable of effectively confronting this increasingly extractive capitalism and opening up new vistas of liberation and life beyond the rule of capital.




Sandro Mezzadra teaches political theory at the University of Bologna. In the last decade his work has centered on the relations between globalization, migration and capitalism as well as on postcolonial criticism. He is an active participant in the ‘post-workerist’ debates and one of the founders of the website Among his books: Diritto di fuga. Migrazioni, cittadinanza, globalizzazione (“The right to escape: Migration, citizenship, globalization”, ombre corte, 2006), La condizione postcoloniale. Storia e politica nel presente globale (“The postcolonial condition: History and politics in the global present”, ombre corte, 2008) and Nei cantieri marxiani. Il soggetto e la sua produzione (“In the Marxian Workshops. The Subject and its Production”, Manifestolibri, 2014). With Brett Neilson he is the author of Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor (Duke University Press, 2013).

Homer Statue
Wilson 142
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm