Video: Vrasidas Karalis on Castoriadis and the Project of Autonomy

Professor Vrasidas Karalis (University of Sydney) as a part of the 2018 Castoriadis in the Antipodes symposium:

‘Cornelius Castoriadis and the project of Autonomy in Greco-Western Civilization’

After dissociating himself from traditional Marxism Cornelius Castoriadis embarked in a sustained and systematic re-interpretation  of the project of autonomy as the central element in what he characterised as Greco-Western tradition.

With his continuous reading of ancient Greek poets, philosophers and historians between 1984 and 1986 (published in French as Ce Qui Fait la Grèce) he re-iterated a new understanding of the Western tradition as the contested cultural space in which for the first time the idea and the praxis of autonomous subjectivity became the most salient axis of political activity.

This lecture examines Castoriadis’ understanding of autonomy as the ongoing legacy of ancient Greece to contemporary politics and attempts to predict its future transfromations.

Vrasidas Karalis holds the Sir Nicholas Laurantos’ Chair in Modern Greek Studies at the University of Sydney. He has published extensively on Byzantine historiography, Greek political life, Greek Cinema, European cinema, the director Sergei Eisenstein and contemporary political philosophy. He has also worked extensively as a translator (on novels by Patrick White) and the theory of the transcultural translation. He has edited volumes on modern European political philosophy, especially on Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt and Cornelius Castoriadis. His recent publications include A History of Greek Cinema (2013) and Greek Cinema from Cacoyannis to the Present (I.B. Tauris. 2017).

This public lecture concluded a day meeting at the Greek Cultural Centre celebrating and examining the intellectual contribution of Cornelius Castoriadis. The event was Co sponsored by Thesis Eleven Forum for Social and Political Theory, the Greek Cultural Centre, Sydney University Greek Department and Melbourne University Centre for Public Culture.


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