Staging equality: Rancière's theatrocracy

Hallward, Peter (2006) Staging equality: Rancière's theatrocracy. New Left Review (37) . pp. 109-129. ISSN 0028-6060 [Article]


In the last few years the work of Jacques Rancière has finally, after a long period of neglect, begun to receive the attention it deserves. One of the most brilliant of Althusser’s students at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in the mid 1960s, he contributed an important section to the Reading Capital project at the precocious age of 25. Several years later, however, in the wake of May 68 and a move to the new philosophy department at Vincennes, he wrote a stinging critique of his former teacher and collaborators (La Leçon d’Althusser, 1974) before devoting himself to a series of archive-based projects—The Nights of Labour, 1981; The Philosopher and His Poor, 1983; The Ignorant Schoolmaster, 1987—that essentially turned Althusser’s theoreticist principles on their head. Althusser had privileged scientific insight over popular delusion; Rancière has explored the consequences of the opposite presumption—that everyone is immediately and equally capable of thought. Against those who argue that only the appropriately educated or privileged are authorized to think and speak, Rancière’s most fundamental assumption is that everyone thinks. Everyone shares equal powers of speech and thought, and this ‘equality is not a goal to be attained but a point of departure, a supposition to be maintained in all circumstances.’

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts
Item ID: 2294
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 14 May 2009 11:24
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:14

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