ahaider2


Asad Haider

Photo of Asad Haider

Department of Politics

Assistant Professor

Email: ahaider2@yorku.ca


Asad Haider completed his Ph.D in the History of Consciousness Department at UC Santa Cruz in 2018. He also holds a degree in Cultural Criticism and Theory from Cornell University. After finishing his Ph.D, Haider was the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Penn State University, and then Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. His dissertation, Party and Strategy in Postwar European Marxist Theory, was a comparative study of social movements in France and Italy in the 1960s and 1970s, focusing on developments in Marxism that arose as Communist Parties and extra-parliamentary movements addressed the social and political changes of the period. The methodological approach of this dissertation was to study the texts produced by social movements as works of political theory, in which concepts were proposed as interventions into particular political conjunctures.

In this regard his dissertation research paralleled his work as founding editor of Viewpoint Magazine, which combined journalism on contemporary social movements, intellectual histories of past movements, and translations of historically significant texts of revolutionary theory. Alongside this research Haider pursued a project on the theoretical interventions of anti-racist movements in the United States, resulting in the book Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump, which was published by Verso in May 2018. In this book Haider juxtaposed a genealogy of the term “identity politics” with an account of the theory and practice of the mass organizations of the Black Freedom Movement. The book was widely reviewed and debated, including in The Guardian, The New Statesman, and elsewhere, and has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean.

Haider has published articles in scholarly journals including History of the Present, Radical Philosophy, and Comparative Literature and Culture, with others forthcoming in décalages, Foucault Studies, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Polity. He also frequently publishes in popular publications like The Baffler, n+1, The Point, Slate, and Salon. He has been invited to speak in both academic and public contexts at universities and institutions around the world, including Germany, Brazil, China, and Russia, as well as numerous places in the United State and Canada.

Building on his past research and the discussions emerging from his previous publications, Haider is in the course of a research project which aim to bridge between producing a concept of emancipation and studying the specificity of particular episodes of emancipatory politics. This entails understanding politics as the invention of new categories of thought and action, rather than an invariant and continuous feature of society. Fundamental to this project is problematizing and theorizing the relationship between the analysis of the social structure and the political categories that seek to transform it. This relationship has often been understood in “expressive” terms: in Marxism, the sociological category of class also plays the role of the revolutionary subject, while for other kinds of political ideologies identity or experience serves as the foundation of politics. A central conceptual question of Haider's project is whether it is possible to understand the relationship between the social structure and political action without making politics the expression of a social foundation. This theoretical investigation will be conducted through a study of the political sequences of the French, Haitian, Russian, and Chinese revolutions, and the national liberation struggles which followed.

More...

Asad Haider completed his Ph.D in the History of Consciousness Department at UC Santa Cruz in 2018. He also holds a degree in Cultural Criticism and Theory from Cornell University. After finishing his Ph.D, Haider was the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Penn State University, and then Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. His dissertation, Party and Strategy in Postwar European Marxist Theory, was a comparative study of social movements in France and Italy in the 1960s and 1970s, focusing on developments in Marxism that arose as Communist Parties and extra-parliamentary movements addressed the social and political changes of the period. The methodological approach of this dissertation was to study the texts produced by social movements as works of political theory, in which concepts were proposed as interventions into particular political conjunctures.

In this regard his dissertation research paralleled his work as founding editor of Viewpoint Magazine, which combined journalism on contemporary social movements, intellectual histories of past movements, and translations of historically significant texts of revolutionary theory. Alongside this research Haider pursued a project on the theoretical interventions of anti-racist movements in the United States, resulting in the book Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump, which was published by Verso in May 2018. In this book Haider juxtaposed a genealogy of the term “identity politics” with an account of the theory and practice of the mass organizations of the Black Freedom Movement. The book was widely reviewed and debated, including in The Guardian, The New Statesman, and elsewhere, and has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean.

Haider has published articles in scholarly journals including History of the Present, Radical Philosophy, and Comparative Literature and Culture, with others forthcoming in décalages, Foucault Studies, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Polity. He also frequently publishes in popular publications like The Baffler, n+1, The Point, Slate, and Salon. He has been invited to speak in both academic and public contexts at universities and institutions around the world, including Germany, Brazil, China, and Russia, as well as numerous places in the United State and Canada.

Building on his past research and the discussions emerging from his previous publications, Haider is in the course of a research project which aim to bridge between producing a concept of emancipation and studying the specificity of particular episodes of emancipatory politics. This entails understanding politics as the invention of new categories of thought and action, rather than an invariant and continuous feature of society. Fundamental to this project is problematizing and theorizing the relationship between the analysis of the social structure and the political categories that seek to transform it. This relationship has often been understood in “expressive” terms: in Marxism, the sociological category of class also plays the role of the revolutionary subject, while for other kinds of political ideologies identity or experience serves as the foundation of politics. A central conceptual question of Haider's project is whether it is possible to understand the relationship between the social structure and political action without making politics the expression of a social foundation. This theoretical investigation will be conducted through a study of the political sequences of the French, Haitian, Russian, and Chinese revolutions, and the national liberation struggles which followed.