Marxist morphologies: a critique of new materialisms
Michał Murawski (University College London )
Paper short abstract:
This paper critiques some assumptions often made by urban anthropologists and other scholars of cities, with a focus on the New Materialisms.
Paper long abstract:
This paper critiques some assumptions often made by urban anthropologists and other scholars of cities, with a focus on the New Materialisms. It problematizes some of the ways in which scholarship informed by ANT, assemblage theory and other varieties of 'object-oriented' thinking inclines towards morphological optics to represent both mental and material words (and everything in between) as 'flat', complex', 'emergent' or 'partial'. As a corrective, this article posits a 'vertical' Marxist notion of infrastructure - founded on a dynamic understanding of the relationship between determining economic base and determined superstructure - as a way of providing a glimpse into another material world. A world in which heretic shapes and scales - vertical planes, totalities, reductions of complexity - continue to thrive.