Skip to content


Massimiliano Tomba

1918: The Constitutional Anomalies of Insurgent Universality

Monday, May 7, 2018, 12:00-1:20pm

Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, Wilder House

Massimiliano Tomba will be presenting his paper “1918: The Constitutional Anomalies of Insurgent Universality” at the Political Theory Workshop.

Massimiliano Tomba is a professor at the History of Consciousness Department in UC Santa Cruz. His new project, “Insurgent Universality” is about the plurality of revolutions that intersected in the French Revolution, which he considers from the perspective of the insurgency of the slaves in the Haitian revolution and the insurgencies of women and the poor in France. He makes a case for an alternative tradition of “insurgent universality” that challenges the dominant conception of universalism in several ways. “Insurgent universality” constitutes a different tradition that, on the one side, holds together political experiments, such as the Paris Commune and the first Soviet Constitution, both of which question the statist-juridical conception of citizenship, and on the other side, allows us to think of different pathways of modernization, which bridge Western and non-Western juridical, political and economic conceptions.