Innovating in the South: new forms of co-operation as practices of active citizenship (Part Two)

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This article belongs to the Figli di Annibale stream.

The «Forum on the gift» was a two-day event held (on October 7 and 8, 2015) at the «Federico II» University of Naples, under the aegis of the interdisciplinary research group «A piene mani: dono e beni comuni» (literally, With Hands Full: Gift and the Commons). The first day untangled conceptually the thorny triad of paid employment, volunteer work and gift. Read more

Everything Gardens reviewed in Transition Culture


Book review by Rob Hopkins, originally appeared on Transition Culture on August 28, 2015.

Academic work on Transition can often be infuriating rather than illuminating.  I was once asked to peer review a paper on Transition, a movement I was central in kickstarting and shaping, but I had to decline on the grounds that the paper was utterly incomprehensible.  While some research is excellent, and offers useful insights and meaningful data, there is also much that leaves me cold, or bewildered.  With this in mind, I picked up a copy of Luigi Russi’s ‘Everything Gardens and other stories: growing Transition Culture‘ with a certain trepidation. Read more

Calling the Southern Question into question

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This article belongs to the Figli di Annibale stream, and was co-authored with Giovanni Travaglino.

Whenever the topic of the «Southern Question» is introduced, a patient is already lying ready on the couch: the «sick man» being the Italian Mezziogiorno, plagued by social backwardness and weighing down on the development of the rest of the country with its criminal legacy. A diagnosis of this tenor is usually a precondition for summoning hordes of experts to craft possible treatments, in the hope that they will work. To call into question the «Southern Question» Read more

How to describe the moving of Transition?


Originally published in Transition Consciousness on May 1, 2015.

Towards the end of 2013, I spent four months in Totnes, seeking to know more about Transition. Like many academics who have studied the Transition movement, I, too, came to Devon having already devoted many months to reading about it, working my way up from Rob Hopkins’ The Transition Handbook. When I came to Totnes, therefore, I thought I had a few certainties about Transition Read more

The Global Politics of the Plate

Moving Units

This is an interview with Daniel Tucker in conjunction with the Moving Units event series at Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, originally published online on May 20, 2015.

Luigi Russi, a law graduate of Bocconi University and the University of Oxford, is currently a doctoral candidate in Sociology at University of Exeter. His first book Hungry Capital: The Financialization of Food (Zero Books, 2013) tries to bring home the effects of something as apparently virtual as finance on one of the most intimate aspects of everyday living, namely our food. His second book Everything Gardens and Other Stories: Growing Transition Culture (University of Plymouth Press, 2015) explores the cultural politics of Transition Town initiatives. Read more

Preface for Everything Gardens by R.C. Smith


This preface opens my forthcoming book Everything Gardens and Other Stories: Growing Transition Culture (University of Plymouth Press, April 2015).

That fundamental system change constitutes a vital requirement of this century is no mystery. The reorganisation of society, the alteration of shared coordinates for the benefit of a more socially and ecologically just world—this is our collective challenge. It is by no means an easy endeavour. Even the most progressive theories and discourses, which see revolutionary change as a continuous and many-sided process, do not fail to show awareness of the complexity of the challenge. Read more

The First Firangis: How Foreigners Became Indian

Originally published in on February 13, 2015.

Book Review
Jonathan Gil Harris
The First Firangis:
Remarkable Stories of Heroes, Healers, Charlatans, Courtesans & other Foreigners who Became Indian

318 pp. – ₹495
ISBN: 978-93-82277-63-7
Aleph Book Company, 2015

Giambattista Vico, a Neapolitan philosopher from the late seventeenth century, suggested that it was ‘from Jove that the muse begun’. Jove, or Zeus, is the Greek god of thunder, and the cracking of thunder, its sudden irruption over the tapping of rain, startles the body and jolts it out of position, constellating in an instant a horizon of questions. What was that?

Read more

Oedipus is So Bourgeois: Zizek and the Mediating Subject


Originally published in the Oxford Left Review, vol. 14 on February 12, 2015.

Book Review
R.C. Smith
The Ticklish Subject?
A Critique of Žižek’s Lacanian Theory of Subjectivity, with Emphasis on an Alternative

152 pp. – £14.99
ISBN: 978-0-9570961-3-4
Heathwood Press, December 2013

No slave is more deluded than one who turns dependence from a master into condescendence or, worse, appreciation for ‘the way things are’. This, in a nutshell, is the dilemmatic condition of the neoliberal subject, Read more