IN MEMORIAM: COUZE VENN

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IT IS WITH GREAT SADNESS THAT VIAD ANNOUNCES THE PASSING OF COUZE VENN, WHOSE TEN-YEAR ASSOCIATION WITH THE CENTRE PROFOUNDLY INFLUENCED ITS RESEARCH CULTURE AND DIRECTION. AFTER A LONG AND COURAGEOUS STRUGGLE, COUZE WAS ADMITTED TO THE ROWCROFT HOSPICE IN TORQUAY (UK), WHERE HE DIED ON 13 MARCH 2019.

“On a personal level, I would like to express my deep appreciation for the mentoring role Couze played in my artistic and academic journey, and to acknowledge the fine thinker and humble, generous person that he was. Thank you Couze, your contributions will challenge and influence generations to come” Leora Farber, VIAD Director

“Couze Venn was an outstanding academic who published on a number of fields. One who had the temerity to think outside the frame, as After Capital, the title of his last book suggests. At the same time, he was also a person of great understanding and humility who always had time to positively encourage others. He was a wonderful friend, colleague and mentor to many. The spirit of his encounters and words will live on” Mike Featherstone (Click here read the full tribute in Theory, Culture & Society)

JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO, AND DESPITE SERIOUS HEALTH STRUGGLES, COUZE VENN PUBLISHED AN OPINION PIECE IN OPEN DEMOCRACY. FROM WORKING CONDITIONS TO WELFARE POLICIES, FROM IMMIGRATION TO THE INTERNET, HE DEMONSTRATED (AND HISTORICALLY LOCATED) NEOLIBERALISM’S NORMALISED ECONOMY OF HOSTILITY AS A ZERO SUM GAME OF WINNERS AND LOSERS, WHOSE ONLY BENEFICIARIES ARE THE FAR RIGHT.

“Neoliberalism has promoted a self-centeredness that pushes Adam Smith-style individualism to an extreme, turning selfishness into a virtue, as Ayn Rand has done. It is a closed ontology since it does not admit the other, the stranger, into the circle of those towards whom we have a duty of responsibility and care. It thus completes capitalism as a zero-sum game of winners and ‘losers’”

Click HERE to read his Open Democracy piece

 
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Couze Venn

Couze Venn was Emeritus Professor in the Media and Communications Department, Goldsmiths, University of London, and was a Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg (VIAD) for ten years. He was a founder member of the Ideology & Consciousness Collective in 1976. He is a co-author of Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation and Subjectivity (Methuen, 1984 and Routledge, 1998), author of Occidentalism. Modernity and Subjectivity (Sage, 2000), The Postcolonial Challenge: Towards Alternative Worlds (Sage, 2006), co-author of Inequality, Poverty, Education (Palgrave, 2014).

He was the Managing Editor and Reviews Editor of Theory, Culture & Society, Reviews Editor of Body & Society. His many papers have appeared in Ideology & Consciousness, Theory, Culture & Society, Body & Society, Subjectivity, New Formations, Critical Arts, Parallax, Social Identities, Political Geography, PsychCritique. He has edited or co-edited special issues and sections on Michel Foucault (with Tiziana Terranova), Affect (with Lisa Blackman), Problematizing Global Knowledge (with Mike Featherstone et al), Cosmopolis (with Mike Featherstoone et al), and Rethinking Race. His research interests included decolonial theory, cultural theory, contemporary philosophy, science and technology studies, the critique of capitalism.