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The Dimensions of Hegemony

Language, Culture and Politics in Revolutionary Russia

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Craig Brandist

Though generally associated with the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, the idea of hegemony had a crucial history in revolutionary Russia where it was used to conceptualize the dynamics of political and cultural leadership. Drawing on extensive archival research, this study considers the cultural dimensions of hegemony, with particular focus on the role of language in political debates and in scholarship of the period. It is shown that considerations of the relations between the proletariat and peasantry, the cities to the countryside and the metropolitan centre to the colonies of the Russian Empire demanded an intense dialogue between practical politics and theoretical reflection, which led to critical perspectives now assumed to be the achievements of, for instance, sociolinguistics and post-colonial studies.

Dialectics of the Ideal

Evald Ilyenkov and Creative Soviet Marxism

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Edited by Alex Levant and Vesa Oittinen

In Dialectics of the Ideal: Evald Ilyenkov and Creative Soviet Marxism Levant and Oittinen provide a window into the subterranean tradition of ‘creative’ Soviet Marxism, which developed on the margins of the Soviet academe and remains largely outside the orbit of contemporary theory in the West. With his ‘activity approach’, E.V. Ilyenkov, its principal figure in the post-Stalin period, makes a substantial contribution toward an anti-reductionist Marxist theory of the subject, which should be of interest to contemporary theorists who seek to avoid economic and cultural reductionism as well as the malaise of postmodern relativism. This volume features Levant’s translation of Ilyenkov’s Dialectics of the Ideal (2009), which remained unpublished until thirty years after the author’s tragic suicide in 1979.

Contributors include: Evald Ilyenkov, Tarja Knuuttila, Alex Levant, Andrey Maidansky, Vesa Oittinen, Paula Rauhala, and Birger Siebert.

Gramsci and Languages

Unification, Diversity, Hegemony

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Alessandro Carlucci

Winner of the prestigious 'Giuseppe Sormani International Prize' for the best monograph on Antonio Gramsci (4th edition, 2012-2017).
Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) is one of the most translated Italian authors of all time. After the Second World War his thought became increasingly influential, and remained relevant throughout the second half of the century. Today, it is generally agreed that his Marxism has highly original and personal features, as confirmed by the fact that his international influence has continued to grow since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Gramsci and Languages offers an explanation of this originality and traces the origins of certain specific features of Gramsci’s political thought by looking at his lifelong interest in language, especially in questions of linguistic diversity and unification.