Friday, October 18, 2013


Several years ago, I went to a lecture by the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman at a European university. I really just happened upon it, but I’d read some of his books and even used them in teaching and the topic of the talk was related to what I was working on at the time, so I went.

The lecture was well attended and interesting, although as I recall I had several criticisms. I took notes, as I usually do, which I’ve saved. Last week, I was thinking of some of his arguments and how they might relate to what I’m currently writing about. Before going to look for my notes, I did a quick search online to see what he’s published on the topic since.

I was shocked to discover that I'd missed the news of an incident at a lecture by Bauman at Wroclaw University in June. Several people captured on video the intrusion of rightwing thugs chanting, according to people who posted videos on YT, “Get the fuck out!” and “Both the hammer and the sickle for the red horde!”* (I have no idea what the members of the audience are chanting back at them or what Bauman is saying when he begins to speak.)

*Referring to Bauman’s Communist past.

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