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Title: The radical subject : an intellectual biography of Raoul Vaneigem (1934 - present)
Author: Hemmens, Alastair J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 651X
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis proposes an intellectual biography of Raoul Vaneigem (1934-Present). Vaneigem was a member of the Situationist International (SI) between 1961 and 1970. Today the SI is widely recognised as one of the significant avant-garde groups to have contributed to the historical events that shook France in May 1968. Most people will have come to Vaneigem through his Traité de savoir-vivre à l'usage des jeunes générations (1967), which he wrote as a member of the SI and was published just months before the largest wildcat strike in French history. Vaneigem is therefore of interest from a cultural history or history of ideas perspective because his work embodies both a political moment and because it emerged out of debates that are still informing contemporary theory. Moreover, Vaneigem is something of an anomaly in that he has always worked outside and against intellectual and political institutions, he comes from a working-class background and he has lived the great majority of his life in the province of Hainaut, the old industrial heartland of Belgium, where he was born. This makes Vaneigem an outsider in a world that has ostensibly been dominated by the Parisian intellectual elite. More often than not Vaneigem has been dismissed, even vilified, by academics interested in the Situationist International. This is all the more surprising given that his Situationist comrade Guy Debord (1931-1994) has become a cause célèbre among the intellectual left since his death, igniting a veritable publishing industry in France and the English-speaking world. The intention of this thesis is not an attempt to earn Vaneigem the dubious acclaim that has feted Guy Debord these past decades. Rather, it endeavours to contextualise, clarify and bring out the complexity of the life and work of Raoul Vaneigem, making him the focus of a critical commentary that will reassess his place in the field.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Raoul Vaneigem ; Situationist International ; Guy Debord ; Critique of value ; Critical Theory ; Anselm Jappe ; Belgium ; Social History ; Avant-Garde ; Revolution ; May '68 ; strike ; class struggle ; Representation ; psychogeography ; de´tournement ; Praxis ; Karl Marx ; Nietzsche ; recuperation ; Utopia ; Lautre´amont ; Surrealism ; everyday life