Reading for hope: a conversation about texts and method
van der Vlies, Andrew
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In a conversation about their shared interests, the authors discuss methodology, reading strategies, and comparative historiographies relating to the recuperation of residues of hope that linger in the wake of failed revolutionary projects. The conversation draws connections between people power (poder popular) in Chile during the Allende era and ideals of participatory democracy circulating in South Africa concurrently (during the so-called Durban moment), discusses in detail the work of Nadine Gordimer, considers the politics of contemporary South African activism, and weighs the usefulness of the insights of thinkers from Karl Marx and Walter Benjamin to David Scott and Achille Mbembe.