New book on Ernst Bloch: The Privatization of Hope

This one is due out soon with Duke University Press, edited by Peter Thompson and part of the renewed interest in Ernst Bloch:

Privatization of Hope a


The concept of hope is central to the work of the German philosopher Ernst Bloch (1885–1977), especially in his magnum opus, The Principle of Hope (1959). The “speculative materialism” that he first developed in the 1930s asserts a commitment to humanity’s potential that continued through his later work. In The Privatization of Hope, leading thinkers in utopian studies explore the insights that Bloch’s ideas provide in understanding the present. Mired in the excesses and disaffections of contemporary capitalist society, hope in the Blochian sense has become atomized, de-socialized, and privatized. From myriad perspectives, the contributors clearly delineate the renewed value of Bloch’s theories in this age of hopelessness. Bringing Bloch’s “ontology of Not Yet Being” into conversation with twenty-first-century concerns, this collection is intended to help revive and revitalize philosophy’s commitment to the generative force of hope.

. Roland Boer, Frances Daly, Henk de Berg, Vincent Geoghegan, Wayne Hudson, Ruth Levitas, David Miller, Catherine Moir, Caitríona Ní Dhúill, Welf Schröter, Johann Siebers, Peter Thompson, Francesca Vidal, Rainer Ernst Zimmermann.

And Fredric Jameson writes of the collection:

Late capitalism has been celebrated by its apologists as that stage of society in which nothing more, nothing new, will ever happen (except for wars, catastrophes, bankruptcy and Armageddon): the end of history as the death of the future. In this affluent desolation, at the tail-end of all thought, we confront the immense enigmatic figure of Ernst Bloch and that tangle of the Not-Yet-Conceived —the heritage of unfinished business, loose ends and tired aporias, in which new problems are somewhere hidden, new futures slumber, and a freshening and a renewal of history is promised. The present collection makes a start on renewing Bloch himself as a living multiplicity of themes and questions, and may even mark a beginning of that new beginning with which he tantalized us.


2 thoughts on “New book on Ernst Bloch: The Privatization of Hope

  1. Looks good. I’m fond of Ernst Bloch.

    Have you seen Hollis Phelps’ Alain Badiou: Between Theology and Anti-Theology (Acumen, 2013)? Looks like she may agree with you on the “fifth truth procedure”.

    1. Bloch’s been one of my all-time favourites for well on 30 years. Re Badiou etc, I must admit to preferring Stalin and Mao in my reading these days, but it’s nice that Hollis (who I believe is male) has taken this up. However, he does tend towards a type of radical orthodox theology-is-at-the-centre-of-all-our-thought argument.

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