Basic information
1 April 2012–31 March 2014

I use Paris – Walter Benjamin’s and David Harvey’s capital of modernity, and Pascale Casanova’s and Franco Moretti’s centre of world literature – as a viewpoint from which a body of texts can be not only analyzed, but recognized as a body of texts in the first place. The texts I’m interested in all introduce the theme of uncles and nephews, set it in Paris, and treat it in materialist way. They are Denis Diderot’s Le Neveu de Rameau, Karl Marx’s Der achtzehnte Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte, Louis Althusser’s L’avenir dure longtemps and Jacques-Alain Miller’s Le Neveu de Lacan. And their respective historical contexts are the Enlightenment of pre-revolutionary France, the 1848–51 phase of the French bourgeois revolution and the structuralist movement in post-May ‘68 France. A set of texts on Jean-François Rameau, Louis Bonaparte, Louis Althusser and Jacques-Alain Miller as respective nephews of Jean-Philippe Rameau, Napoleon Bonaparte, an elder Louis Althusser and Jacques Lacan can thus be read from the standpoint of some of the most world-historic moments in the history of Paris. A series of quasi-(auto)biographies becomes a history of materialism from Enlightenment, through historical materialism, to structuralism; a history of inception and immanent critique of the Enlightenment project.


Habjan, Jernej. World-Systems Analysis and Form: Distant Reading as Structural Poetics of World Literature. In: Deterritorializing Practices in Literary Studies. Ed. María Constanza Guzmán and Alejandro Zamora. Cuernavaca: Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos; Toronto: Contornos Publishing, 2014. 21–35.

Habjan, Jernej. From Cultural Third-Worldism to the Literary World-System. CLCWeb 15.5 (2013): n. pag.

Project manager

Funded by

DFG – Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Fields of research

General and comparative literature, literary criticism, literary theory H390 


world literature • capitalism • Enlightenment • historical materialism • Psychoanalysis