Boyan Manchev, born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1970. Ph.D. from Sofia University. Assistant Professor at the Department of New Bulgarian Studies, New Bulgarian University, Sofia.
Mellon Fellow (1 September 2003 – 31 January 2004)
VISIONS OF SACRED COMMUNITY. GEORGE BATAILLE AND THE COLLEGE OF SOCIOLOGY
During my five-month stay at NIAS under the perfect working conditions at the Institute, I made significant progress in my research on George Bataille’s political thought and the context of ‘Antimodernity’. The manuscript of a book entitled “The Logic of Political” was almost completed. The book consists of two parts. The first part presents a critical investigation of European political philosophy, re-examined in the perspective of the ‘discontinuous’ genealogy of the concepts of political community, sovereignty and of the political function of the notions of life and death. The main focus is on Ancient Greek political thought (mainly on Plato and Aristotle, and on the political implications of the classical tragedy), on the beginning of Modern political thought (mainly on Hobbes, Spinoza and Rousseau), and on the so-called ‘anti-modern’ period, (on Carl Schmitt, Ernst Jünger, Janko Janeff, Georges Bataille), which is considered a period of crisis in modern political thought.
The second part of the book aims at studying the genesis and the further development of George Bataille’s concepts of community. It reconstructs the political, intellectual and artistic context of these concepts and analyses their inherent link to philosophical and esthetical phenomena that are typologically close to them. The last part of the manuscript consists of philosophical analysis of Bataille’s theory of community. It formulates the problem of representation of community, related to the concepts of myth, figure, and form, typical for the communitarian projects from German romanticism to the totalitarianism of the 1930s.