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Disavowal. Distinction and Repetition: Alain Badiou and the Radical Tradition of Antisemitism

Seymour, D. ORCID: 0000-0001-6736-937X (2019). Disavowal. Distinction and Repetition: Alain Badiou and the Radical Tradition of Antisemitism. In: Campbell, J. G. & Klaff, L. D. (Eds.), Unity and Diversity in Contemporary Antisemitism: The Bristol-Sheffield Colloquium on Contemporary Antisemitism. (pp. 203-218). Boston: Academic Studies Press.


My focus in this chapter on the militant French philosopher, Alain Badiou, emerges from my work into the various ways that the Shoah has been incorporated into antisemitic ways of thinking. In what follows, I argue that Badiou’s thoughts on what he terms “uses of the word ‘Jew’”3 in general, as well as on the Shoah in particular, offers a series of continuities with what can be called the radical tradition of antisemitism—a tradition that reaches back at least as far as Bruno Bauer’s anti-emancipationist, and avant le lettre, antisemitic texts of the 1840s. It simultaneously questions the notion of a sharp rupture between what have been termed “classical” and “new” antisemitism. It questions also the place of the Shoah in recent critical thinking within a dialectic of disavowal, dis-tinction, and repetition.

Publication Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BM Judaism
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
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