If The Beatles had read Heller

by Mark Davis

It’s an evocative theme, a ‘Top 40’. A little alarmingly for some listening no doubt, Thesis Eleven was first conceived the year I was born, 1978. Growing up here in the UK during the 1980s, encountering the ‘Top 40’ meant listening to the radio (later watching TV) to learn which songs had climbed or fallen a few places in the charts depending on the music-buying public’s affections. I used to wait, enduring the songs that didn’t excite me in order to sing the songs that did.

Jack Palmer on ‘The Making and Unmaking of Strangers’

by Jack Palmer

I first read ‘The Making and Unmaking of Strangers’ where it is republished in Postmodernity and its Discontents, a collection of wide-ranging and loosely connected essays. A form typical of this stage of his work. Some of them are transcripts from lectures delivered at invited and esteemed lectures (the Manchester Annual Peace Lecture, for instance), reflecting perhaps a new-found fame and notoriety. Thesis Eleven was clearly a testing ground, it seems, a collection of the like-minded, alongside Telos, Theory, Culture & Society and The Jewish Quarterly.

John Grumley on George Márkus’s ‘Four Forms of Critical Theory’

by John Grumley

George Márkus’s Four Forms of Critical Theory was first published in Thesis Eleven no. 1 in 1980. Reading it again meant revisiting a paper that I had first read forty years ago with fresh eyes. I always thought George was a special person and a great philosopher. He supervised my PhD and became my senior colleague after I was appointed to the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. We became close friends after his retirement.  

Stuart Macintyre 1947-2021

by Peter Beilharz and Sian Supski

Stuart Macintyre died in Melbourne on 22 November 2021. He was one of the leading Australian historians of our times, an inspiring scholar, a culture builder, and endless source of generosity and enthusiasm for the work of history as well as the social sciences. A young Althusserian, all those years ago, he was a lifelong socialist and labour movement enthusiast.

Article: My Own Private Utopia

by Peter Beilharz

Utopia has always been part of my world, ever since I started thinking about it. Was this 1968? A little after, later in high school. Utopia seemed ubiquitous; the possibilities of new worlds abundant

Cuba: autocratic governance and pandemic juncture

by Johanna Cilano Pelaez (Mexico)

While COVID-19 has impacted all of Latin America, Cuba has faced it from its own particular situation. The state’s ability to control the main resources of the economy and regulate social behaviour – important for the implementation of mitigating measures at a pandemic juncture – goes hand in hand with the absence of a rule of law and the lack of mechanisms of participation to reduce the arbitrariness of power.

Covid Disaster in America and the World

by Craig Calhoun (Tempe, Arizona)

The disaster in America points to hard truths about Covid that matter everywhere. Covid strikes rich countries as well as poor, powerful as well as weak. Vulnerability that does not map neatly onto old divisions of developed from underdeveloped or imperialist from post-colonial. Its impact is shaped by pre-existing social conditions and it is uneven inside each country as well as internationally. Politics readily compromises response and sometimes all but completely derails it.

Eleven theses or hypotheses on the way out of the pandemic

by Michel Wieviorka (Paris)

How to think about the post-pandemic? This is not a simple question. The phenomenon is global, since it concerns the whole world, but its treatment is mainly national, with considerable differences from one country to another. The pandemic is not static but moving. Paradoxically it may well be long-lasting, since we do not know if and when humanity as a whole, but also specific countries, will be able to stop living with the pandemic, and precisely envisage emerging from it.