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Guy Debord and French Marxism

Grant number: 15/23316-9
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): March 15, 2016
Effective date (End): August 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Sociology of Knowledge
Principal researcher:Ricardo Musse
Grantee:Gabriel Ferreira Zacarias
Supervisor abroad: Michael Lowy
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), France  
Associated to the scholarship:14/20813-9 - The theory of the spectacle and the Marxist learning of Guy Debord, BP.PD


The period of documental research here proposed is part of a postdoctoral research that aims to elucidate the conceptual bases of Guy Debord's critical theory of society, as presented in The Society of the Spectacle (1967). Its main objective is to clarify the importance of Marxist theory in the theoretical formation of Guy Debord. On that purpose, we shall study the author's intellectual learning through the study of the unpublished documents preserved at the Fonds Guy Debord at the French National Library. It's namely Guy Debord's reading notes that shall allow us to reconstruct his intellectual experience in detail. Such documents reveal not only the fundamental importance of Marxian concepts in the theoretical elaborations of Guy Debord, but they also reveal the contextual mediations that determine the author's reception of Marx's theory. Such a theory is filtered by the interpretations of French Marxists in the vivid debates of the 1950's and 1960's. Guy Debord was an attentive reader of Marxist magazines such as Les Temps Modernes and Arguments, he was a friend of Henri Lefebvre and a temporary member of the group "Socialisme ou Barbarie". In Guy Debord's archives one can find traces of all those activities. The study of this unpublished documentation shall allow us to put Debord's oeuvre into context, a necessary effort to reassess the pertinence of his theory.

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