Jonathan Flatley (Wayne State University)
On the Refreshment of Revolutionary Mood: Considering the League of Revolutionary Black Workers
This talk considers the success of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (or DRUM) in organizing workers in 1968 into a revolutionary collective through the publication and circulation of a modest shop-floor newspaper. Still working with DRUM and the group that grew out of it – the League of Revolutionary Black Workers – this paper examines what happens after that initial formation of a revolutionary collective. How can a revolutionary counter-mood, once awakened, be maintained? How does such a collective sustain and refresh itself? I will analyze the League’s approach to the task of sustaining a collective revolutionary mood (or Stimmung, Martin Heidegger’s conception of which is crucial for my approach here) through an examination of two different texts: a handbill calling for a strike shortly after the initial formation of DRUM, and the film the League made with the Newsreel collective, Finally Got the News (1970).
Workshop with Jonathan Flatley from 2-4 pm, IG Building, Room 7.312 (Film Studies Room). For registration and information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan Flatley is Associate Professor in the English Department at Wayne State University, where he was the Editor of Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts from 2007-2012. He is the author of Affective Mapping: Melancholia and the Politics of Modernism (Harvard UP, 2008) and Like Andy Warhol (forthcoming from University of Chicago Press). He is co-editor (with Charles Kronengold) of a special issue of Criticism (Winter, 2008) on Disco and of Pop Out: Queer Warhol (Duke University Press, 1996), with Jennifer Doyle and José Esteban Muñoz. He is currently working on two projects, one on the relations between the traditions of black radicalism and Leninism (Black Leninism), and another on art and collectivity after the Soviet Union (Commonism).