The crisis of socialism and the transformation of catastrophe, 1890-1945
Supervisor: Dr Duncan Kelly
Vincent’s doctoral research concerns the transfiguration of the concept of catastrophe in European socialism at the turn of the 20th century, focusing on the work of Georges Sorel, and his influence on Marxism and fascism through the differing Sorelianisms of the Italian Futurist F. T. Marinetti and the German-Jewish critical theorist Walter Benjamin. Vincent’s main interest is in the emergence of a new understanding of catastrophic time in this period, based on a crisis theory of machine overproduction that collapsed science, nature, and technology, and the transposition of the expectation of economic breakdown into a proactive Nietzschean project of moral transvaluation. The thesis will also analyse the effect of this transformation on global intellectual history by studying its influence in Japan, and its implications for similar contemporary trends in political theory, especially "left" and "right" accelerationism.