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Jan. 19: Chicago Public Library Forum on Noted Chicago Feminist Thinker

A forum on The Power of Negativity: Selected Writings on the
Dialectic in Hegel and Marx, a just-published collection of writings by Chicago author Raya Dunayevskaya (1910-87), will be held on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 2:00 p.m. at the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St., 7th floor author's room. The book launching is sponsored by the Chicago Public Library Society in Focus Series.
Dunayevskaya, an immigrant from Ukraine who began her career
as an independent activist and writer in Chicago in the 1920s, became one of the most innovative American woman philosophers. Her early writings analyzed Soviet totalitarianism. In the 1950s she issued the
first English translation of Marx's much-discussed 1844 Manuscripts and developed an original philosophy which she called Marxist-Humanism. The author of numerous works in dialectical and feminist theory, and on social issues in the U.S., Africa, the Middle East, and Russia, she lived in Chicago at the time of her death in 1987.

The Power of Negativity, a 400-page collection of
Dunayevskaya's writings, is published by the Maryland-based scholarly press Lexington Books. It contains 40 essays, speeches, letters, and commentaries on G.W.F. Hegel and Karl Marx, Jean Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, Frantz Fanon and Erich Fromm, and many others. The book sheds new light on one of America's most penetrating and provocative critical thinkers.

Speakers at the book launching include the volume's editors: Peter Hudis, a Chicago-based author and editor, whose writings have appeared in, Socialism and Democracy, and Journal of Political and Military Sociology; and Kevin B. Anderson, Northern Illinois University, whose books include Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism: A Critical Study and Erich Fromm and Critical Criminology: Beyond the Punitive Society, both published by University of Illinois
Press. Other speakers are: Terry Moon, author of the entry on
Dunayevskaya for the biographical dictionary Women Building Chicago, 1790-1990 (Indiana University Press, 2001); and Madhuri Deshmukh,
Oakton Community College, writer on women's issues in South Asia and feminist thought.

From the Pre-Publication Comments on The Power of Negativity:
"Brilliant theorist, committed activist, and passionate
scholar, Raya Dunayevskaya was a role-model for my generation. We are fortunate to have her back in this wonderfully edited work that conveys the excitement of a time when philosophy and the struggle against social injustice were two sides of the same urgent endeavor.
Her understanding of dialectics as a method whereby each generation has to discover its own revolutionary task, her insistence that Marxism means humanism in the most inclusive sense and that socialism means the social actualization of individual freedom—these are ideas that appear young and fresh against the weary and sophistic pessimism that dominates much theory in the academy today." -Susan Buck-Morss, author of The Arcades Project: Walter Benjamin and the Dialectics of Seeing



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