Marxology research residency/

Marxology research residency

Facundo C. Rocca is an Argentinian postdoctoral researcher. He was hosted at IMEC as part of an Odyssée residency between 9 January and 20 February 2024. His residency project is based on research into the Marxological quarrel between Louis Althusser and Jacques Rancière.

"Having arrived in Normandy with the snow, I immersed myself in the archives while the white melted around my first days at the beautiful Ardenne Abbey. Since then, I've been enjoying the warm welcome from the IMEC team, the majesty of the abbey's library, which invites concentration, the stimulating discussions with the researchers who come every week, and above all the opportunity to study the collections held in the archives. These archives bear witness to the undulating paths of thought: the detours, the transformations, even the blockages that leave their mark in unfinished manuscripts or completed works that never managed to be published.

In my residency, I'm trying to follow one of these winding stories, and some of the reasons for it: the story of a young Jacques Rancière's encounter with the Althusserian enterprise of restarting historical materialism. This encounter was based on a re-reading of another form of thought and its own transformations, that of Marx.

By comparing the documents preserved at the IMEC, I have made progress in understanding the stages of this encounter, the theoretical and political conditions and issues that gave it meaning, its effects, and the disagreements that ensued. I was able to reconstruct the successive quarrels concerning the history of the editions and re-editions of the collective work - Lire le Capital - in which Rancière and Althusser participated. I also found a new clue as to the theoretical space in which the first differences took root, culminating in Rancière's open criticism of Althusser after the events of May 1968. I learned that it was in a research project on Ludwig Feuerbach that Rancière undertook in the second half of the 1960s, and which remains unpublished to this day, that he seems to have developed ideas that diverge from Althusserian antihumanism. Feuerbach's thought was also the subject of one of Althusser's first projects, with the translation and critical commentary of his Philosophical Manifestos. This is a Feuerbachian diversions that I shall try to explore in the remaining weeks of my residency."