Massimiliano Tomba

Professor of Humanities

University of California Santa Cruz

Massimiliano Tomba (Ph.D. in Political Philosophy at the University of Pisa) is Professor in the Humanities Division at University of California Santa Cruz. Previously, he has taught Political Philosophy at the University of Padova (Italy). In 2012 he was Visiting Scholar at Columbia University; in 2014-15 Distinguished Visiting Fellow (Advanced Research Collaborative) at The Graduate Center; in 2015-15 Visiting Professor at The New School for Social Research; and in 2016-17 member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

His new project, “Insurgent Universality” is about the plurality of revolutions that intersected in the French Revolution, which he considers from the perspective of the insurgency of the slaves in the Haitian revolution and the insurgencies of women and the poor in France. He makes a case for an alternative tradition of “insurgent universality” that challenges the dominant conception of universalism in several ways. “Insurgent universality” constitutes a different tradition that, on the one side, holds together political experiments, such as the Paris Commune and the first Soviet Constitution, both of which question the statist-juridical conception of citizenship, and on the other side, allows us to think of different pathways of modernization, which bridge Western and non-Western juridical, political and economic conceptions.