Registration for the participation in seminars from the series “Plebs, common goods and alternatives to capitalism,”

Registration open until 10 March 2020

We invite everyone to participate in the series “Plebs, common goods and alternatives to capitalism,” which consists of four lectures and four seminars conducted by our guests.

Layabouts? Sluggards? Pathology? Groups assigned to the social margin – vagrants, beggars, the impoverished and the unemployed – are usually perceived as a “problem to be solved”. Even though various ways of facing it were proposed – from repression and deportation, to education and work at the grass roots, to empowerment and raising revolutionary awareness – what they all shared was the paternalism based on the fact that the excluded plebs have nothing to offer.

Today, thanks to various revisionist research, we are gaining a completely different perspective on those erased from the history and pushed into the grey zone. We are starting to notice quiet resistance tactics, informal support and solidarity networks, alternative circuits of the embodied knowledge or subversive ambitions toward autonomy from the state and capital. The history of the plebeian way of life is composed of the fates of women accused of witchcraft, mountain-dwelling runaways and thugs, radicals and heretics from pirate ships or illegal migrant networks. Its fundamental factors include defending old and manufacturing new commons which we want to see as laboratories experimenting with non-capitalist forms of life.

In the times of the ecological catastrophe, crisis of liberal democracy, collapse of social bonds and rise of various populisms, we want to ask the question about the perspectives of radically democratic, community-based and sustainable “plebeianism”. Leading researchers of the commons will help us look for an answer. In our seminar, we start from acknowledging that in English commoner can be someone common and someone using common sense, but at the same time dependant on access to the commons and oftentimes dreaming of a genuine commonwealth. We assume that plebeian narratives have the chance to radically expand our political imagination. The latter is precisely the objective of the series of eight two-day meetings that we organize (in the form of a lecture plus a 3 hour long seminar).


Prof. Tomasz Rakowski

20.03.2020 | 18:00–20:00 | Friday | lecture

“Flows, cooperations, circles of the possible. Affective states in late socialism and post-socialist reality”

21.03.2020 | 12:00–15:30 | Saturday | seminar

“Affective states in late socialism and post-socialist reality”

Prof. Marta Petrusewicz

17.04.2020 | 18:00–20:00 | Friday | lecture

“Alternative visions and progress practices in the 19th century European peripheries”

18.04.2020 | 12:00–15:30 | Saturday | seminar

“Society against the state. Peasant banditism in southern Italy”

Lucy Finchett-Maddock PhD

08.05.2020 | 18:00–20:00 | Friday | lecture

„Protest, Property and the Commons in an era of Closed Capital Life”

09.05.2020 | 12:00–15:30 | Saturday | seminar

„Law, Resistance and the Post-Commons”

Prof. Peter Linebaugh

12.06.2020 | 18:00–20:00 | Friday | lecture

„Red Round Globe Hot Burning: A Tale at the Crossroads of Commons & Closure, of Love & Terror, of Race & Class, and of Kate & Ned Despard”

13.06.2020 | 12:00–15:30 | Saturday | seminar

„The history by the Neck. The capital Punishment and the Punishment of Capital”


Registration rules

The series consists of two parts. The first is a lecture on Friday evening, which is open for everyone. The second part is a seminar held the next day, which requires registration. The participation is free.

Open registration for participants interested in the seminar series “Plebs, common goods and alternatives to capitalism” will be open from 27 February until 10 March 2020.

Please use the registration form available on our website

The number of places is limited. Registration covers 4 seminar meetings in the first semester (to 13 June 2020). We kindly ask you to provide a short (1000 characters incl spaces max.) justification of your application to participate. Command of English is a necessary requirement. Persons accepted to the seminar series will be contacted by 12 March 2020.

We are also planning the second semester of meetings, with a separate registration process.

Admission to the lectures is free.

All questions can be directed to