Adorno, Marcuse and the Spectre of Left Fascism

14 MAY 2018



Speaker: Prof. Samir Gandesha
Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Venue: Sigmund Freud Lecture Hall
Institute of Psychoanalysis
112a Shirland Road
London, W9 2BT

Tickets: £15 + £1.76 booking fee

The talk will address some of Adorno’s conception of the “Authoritarian Personality” – in particular, the complaint that it isn’t sensitive enough to the authoritarianism of the Left. He challenges this criticism through exploring Adorno’s correspondence with Herbert Marcuse which provides an account of the authoritarianism of the Left.

He will relate such an account to contemporary Left politics in the US, in which there has been an increasing propensity to shut down debate and discussion, an insistence on ever-tighter speech codes on campus and the pervasiveness of “no-platforming” speakers whose speech is taken to be “offensive.


Prof. Samir Gandesha is Professor in the Department of the Humanities and the Director of the Institute for the Humanities at Simon Fraser University, Canada.

He specializes in modern European thought and culture, with a particular emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. His work has appeared in Political Theory, New German Critique, Kant Studien, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Topia, the European Legacy, the European Journal of Social Theory, Art Papers, the Cambridge Companion to Adorno and Herbert Marcuse: A Critical Reader, as well as in several other edited books.

He is co-editor with Lars Rensmann of Arendt and Adorno: Political and Philosophical Investigations (Stanford, 2012). His book (coedited with Johan Hartle) Reification and Spectacle: On the Timeliness of Western Marxism (Amsterdam University Press) and Aesthetic Marx (Bloomsbury Press) also co-edited with Johan Hartle (2017).