Book launch of Keti Chukhrov’s Practicing the Good

Book launch of Keti Chukhrov’s Practicing the Good


Courtesy e-flux.

May 1, 2021
Book launch of Keti Chukhrov’s Practicing the Good
May 6, 3–4:30pm

Practicing the Good. Desire and Boredom in Soviet Socialism (University of Minnesota Press, e-flux, 2020), a philosophical consideration of Soviet socialism, is not meant simply to revisit the communist past. In its four parts—Political Economy, Sexuality, Aesthetics, and Philosophy—the book unravels the epistemes generated by socialist society and political economy and witnesses the extent to which certain zones where capitalism’s domination is resisted—the zones of anti-capitalist critique in continental thought since the 1960s, institutions of civil society and present theoretical provisions of emancipation—are in fact permeated by unconscious capitalism and thus unwittingly affirm the capitalist condition.

Thus, by means of the philosophical and politico-economical consideration of Soviet socialism of the 1960 and 1970s, this book manages to reveal the hidden desire for capitalism in contemporaneous anticapitalist discourse and theory. The research is marked by a broad cross-disciplinary approach based on political economy, philosophy, psychoanalysis and art theory that redefines old Cold War and Slavic studies’ views of the post-Stalinist years, as well as challenges the interpretations of this period of historical socialism in Western Marxist thought.

This event is organized by the Institute of Advanced Studies at UCL, in collaboration with PPV (Perverting the Power Vertical: Politics and Aesthetics in the Global East), an art and research platform based at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies.


Keti Chukhrov is ScD in philosophy and an associate professor at the Department of Сultural Studies at the Higher School of Economics, Moscow. From 2017 to 2019, she was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow at the University of Wolverhampton in the UK. She has authored numerous texts on art theory and philosophy. Her full-length books include: To Be—To Perform. ‘Theatre’ in Philosophic Critique of Art (European Un-ty, 2011) and Pound &£ (Logos, 1999), as well as a volume of dramatic writing: Merely Humans (2010). Her book Practicing the Good. Desire and Boredom in Soviet Socialism deals with the impact of socialist political economy on the epistemes of historical socialism.

Boris Groys is a philosopher, essayist, art critic, media theorist, and internationally renowned expert on Soviet-era art and literature, especially the Russian avant-garde. He is a Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University, a Senior Research Fellow at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe and a professor of philosophy at the European Graduate School (EGS). His work engages radically different traditions, from French post-structuralism to modern Russian philosophy, yet is firmly situated at the juncture of aesthetics and politics.

Vijay Prashad is an Indian historian, editor, and journalist. He is a writing fellow and chief correspondent at Globetrotter. He is the chief editor of LeftWord Books and the director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research. He is a senior non-resident fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. He has written more than 20 books, including The Darker Nations and The Poorer Nations. His latest book is Washington Bullets, with an introduction by Evo Morales Ayma.

Angela Dimitrakaki is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Edinburgh and director of the MSc in Modern and Contemporary Art. Her books include ECONOMY: Art, Production and the Subject in the 21st Century (co-edited with Kirsten Lloyd, 2015), Gender, ArtWork and the Global Imperative (2013), Art and Globalisation: From the Postmodern Sign to the Biopolitical Arena (2013, in Greek), Politics in a Glass Case (co-edited with Lara Perry, 2013). She has co-edited the special issues “Social Reproduction and Art” (2017) and “Anti-fascism/Art/Theory” (2019) for Third Text, where she is an Editor. She is a Corresponding Editor of Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory and co-organiser of the Marxist feminist stream of the journal’s annual London conference. She contributed to the collectively authored “On Social Reproduction and the Covid-19 Pandemic.” Angela lives in Edinburgh and Athens.

Samo Tomšić holds a PhD in Philosophy and is currently a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Laboratory Image Knowledge Gestaltung at the Humboldt University Berlin. His research areas comprise contemporary European philosophy, structuralism and poststructuralism, psychoanalysis (Freud and Lacan), epistemology and political philosophy. Recent publications include The Capitalist Unconscious (2015) and The Labour of Enjoyment (2018).

Frank Ruda is a senior lecturer in philosophy at the University of Dundee, UK. His most recent publications include Reading Marx (with Slavoj Žižek and Agon Hamza, Polity 2018), The Dash – the Other Side of Absolute Knowing (with Rebecca Comay, MIT Press, 2018) and Abolishing Freedom. A Plea for a Contemporary Use of Fatalism (Nebraska UP 2016). With Agon Hamza, he is the co-editor of the journal Crisis and Critique.

Michał Murawski (chair)
Michał Murawski is Lecturer in Critical Area Studies at UCL (SSEES) and co-convener of PPV.

Maria Mileeva (chair)
Maria Mileeva is Lecturer in Art History at The Courtauld Institute and co-convener of PPV.

This talk forms part of the IAS fifth anniversary festival on the theme of “Alternative Epistemologies.”

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May 1, 2021

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