AUTONOMY: A Reading Group

The group will run on four  Tuesdays, 7-9pm, throughout July and early August. Tuesdays 5th July,  12th July and 26th July and 2nd August. 

Venue: The Free Hetherington, 13 University Gardens, Glasgow University, Glasgow.

Autonomy is a concept much discussed, but perhaps less well understood. This may well be due to the relative neglect of autonomist thought in the UK compared to other European countries such as Italy, France and Greece. This reading group aims to make inroads into that neglect by exploring in detail four classic texts from the movement of Italian Autonomist Marxism; a movement widely considered as the most advanced expression of autonomist thought in the 20th century.

The reading group will explore key selections from Mario Tronti, Antonio Negri, Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Sergio Bologna. We introduce a broad sweep of theoretical innovation from 1964 to 1977, covering such key ideas as the mass worker; the refusal of work and the autonomy of the class; the critique of the Keynesian planner-state; feminism, reproduction and the social factory, and class composition as a mode of radical research and transformative activity.

The group is not afraid to be caught learning: our aim is to encourage an open collective learning process for working through some of the fundamental texts of autonomism and autonomia. The group aims to develop deeper critical engagement with some of what we regard as the most important revolutionary writing of the last century. To make the discussion more participatory, reading the texts before each session is encouraged, but this is not mandatory. The group is open to all.


Week 1 Tuesday, 5th, July, 2011, 7.00-9.00pm:

Mario Tronti, The Strategy of Refusal, Italy: Autonomia. Post-political politics. Ed. Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi, Semiotext,1980,pp. 28-35.
Week 1_Tronti_1965_ Strategy of refusal

Week 2 Tuesday, 12th July, 2011, 7.00-9.00pm:

Toni Negri, Keynes and the Capitalist Theory of the State Post-1929, Revolution Retrieved: Selected Writings on Marx, Keynes & New Social Subjects, 1967-1983. Ed. Ed Emery, London: Red Notes, 1988.
Week 2_Negri_1967_Keynes

Week 3 Tuesday, 26th July, 2011, 7.00-9.00pm:

Mariarosa Dalla Costa and Selma James. The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, Bristol: Falling Wall Press, 1972. With an introduction by Selma James (optional).
Week 3_Della Costa & James_ 1972_The power of women

Week 4 Tuesday, 2nd August, 2011, 7.00-9.00pm:

Sergio Bologna, The Tribe of Moles, Italy: Autonomia. Post-political politics. Ed. Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi
(New York: Semiotext, 1980), 36-61.
Week 4_Bologna_ 1978_Tribe of moles


Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi, eds. Italy: Autonomia. Post-political politics. Ed. Sylvere Lotringer and Christian Marazzi, New York: Semiotext, 1980.

Harry Cleaver. Introduction, Reading Capital Politically, Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1979, pp.3-66.

Steve Wright, Storming Heaven: Class Composition and Struggle in Italian Autonomist Marxism, Pluto Press, 2002.