Home Book editor Todd McGowan, author of “Capitalism and Desire,” will speak on February 24

Todd McGowan, author of “Capitalism and Desire,” will speak on February 24


University of Vermont

Todd McGowan

The Arkansas Global Changemakers Initiative and the U of A Graduate Net Impact Chapter will host their second annual Global Changemakers Book Club event on Thursday, February 24, featuring a discussion with Todd McGowan, author of Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets. The public and the university community are warmly invited.

The event is scheduled for 3-4:30 p.m., Thursday, February 24, via Zoom. Participants are asked to register in advance at this link, and they can also submit questions to McGowan here.

In Capitalism and desire, McGowan applies thought derived from psychoanalysis to understand how capitalism came to be seen not only as a dominant global ideology, but also as a reflection of natural human impulses. He argues that this psychic relationship between capitalism and desire is best understood as an addiction and as a “parasitic relationship” that has come to be mistakenly seen as a natural condition. Capitalism sells us the illusion of the promise that is about to be kept, and then, when it is finally kept, if at all, there is always something else, something new, something even better that awaits us in the future. As an alternative, McGowan argues for an approach that emphasizes the value of living in the present and moves away from the normalization of capitalism as a critical step for global political and social change.

McGowan teaches theory and film at the University of Vermont. He is the author of numerous books, including Universality and identity politics, emancipation after Hegel and Only a joke can save us. He is also editor-in-chief of Film theory in practice series at Bloomsbury Publishing and co-host of the Philosophy Podcast Why the theory.

The Global Changemakers Initiative is a collaboration between the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and the Sam M. Walton College of Business that brings together programs and resources from across the U of A to support a mission to strengthen academic engagement and community with a wide range of global social challenges. The Global Changemakers Book Club is an open platform to discuss the work of influential authors, theories and topics around social innovation, social entrepreneurship, international collaboration, intercultural competence, multi-sector collaboration , impact investing, impact assessment mechanisms and related topics.