In am very pleased to announce that my article “Are your children old enough to learn about May ’68?: Recalling the radical event, refracting utopia and commoning memory” will be appearing in the excellent journal Cultural Critique in issue #78, spring 2011.
To see a penultimate version of this piece, please click here.
This article tries to think through the importance of memory and, specifically, the memory of radical events for the project of the commons or commoning. It draws on two books about the events of 1968 in Southern Europe: Lucia Passerini’s Autobiography of a Generation and Kristen Ross’s May ’68 and its Afterlives to suggest that radical events gesture toward (but do not embody) a utopian moment beyond alienation. This “flash” of utopia makes them both impossible to fully represent or “recall” but also makes the imperative to recall impossible to refusable. I conclude with some comments on the project of “commoning memory” as a means to render recallings of the past militant and transformative.