Revising 'Nights of Labour': Talk by Jacques Ranciere- Part 1





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Published on Feb 16, 2009

Video recording of a public talk at Sarai CSDS, by renowned philosopher Jacques Ranciere on the release of the Hindi translation of his book Nights of Labour: Workers' Dream in 19th Century France. (Sarvahara Raatein: Unneesaveen sadi ke Frans mein Mazdoor Swapna). The book has been translated from the English by Abhay Kumar Dube. This the first in a series of translations of outstanding texts to be published by Sarai-CSDS and Vani Prakashan.

The talk on the 6th of February 2009 was followed by a workshop and roundtable with Jacques Ranciere, the next day.

Jacques Ranciere is a well known philosopher and writer. As a young student, Ranciere, co-authored Reading Capital (1968), with the Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser. Ranciere later broke with Althusser over the 1968 uprising in France. Since the 1970s Ranciere has produced a number of remarkable texts that range from working class history, philosophy, education, politics, and aesthetics. His books include The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation(1991), The Names of History: On the Poetics of Knowledge (1994), The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible Tr. Gabriel Rockhill (2004),The Future of the Image (2007).

Ranciere wrote The Nights of Labour after years of archival work. It traces the world of worker intellectuals in 19th century France, who, through their poems, music, letters, produced a world that did not celebrate work as in conventional socialist texts, but a life outside it. Radical in its style and argument, Nights of Labour, offers not just a revision of working class history, but the relation between politics, knowledge, aesthetics and equality, all of which have become topics of Ranciere's future books.

This event was made possible by the support of the French Embassy, Delhi.

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