Jamila M.H. Mascat studied Philosophy at the University La Sapienza in Rome. In 2008 she received her PhD in philosophical sciences at the University of Siena with a dissertation on ‘Hegel in Jena and the critique of abstraction’. In 2009 she was visiting scholar at the University of Paris 8. From 2011 to 2012 she has been research fellow at the Theory department of the Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, investigating the issue of spatiality and the role played by the semantics of space in the French philosophical milieu of the 1960s and 70s.
Her current research focuses on Hegel’s philosophy and twentieth century French Hegelianism. She is also interested in postcolonial studies and feminist theory, in particular in contemporary re-declinations of the category of subalternity.
Adventures of the Totality.
Between Hegel and His Posterity
ICI Project 2013-14
Philosophers in the twentieth century, with a few exceptions, seem to have largely supported Lyotard’s call to ‘wage a war on totality’, sharing his horror and terror of it. This research project aims to approach the notion and function of wholeness by addressing the trope of totality, namely the controversial Hegelian concept of totality and some of its most striking contemporary reinterpretations within the context of the French reception of Hegel (Kojève, Hyppolite, Sartre, and Althusser, as well as Césaire, Fanon, and Glissant). Against this background, my investigation doesn’t intend to seek what exceeds the presumed exhaustiveness of totality; rather, it attempts to understand totality as an excess which from both an epistemological and a political standpoint might be worth reactivating.
Indeed, though it may be obvious why one can metaphysically invoke totality in order to conceive the Absolute, construct philosophy as a system, assert the end of history and with it the achievement of reason, we still need to investigate whether one can claim totality with the aim of multiplying the understanding of temporalities, abandoning the metaphysics of presence, inventing freedom and plasticity, and re-imagining political transformation. The purpose of this project is to explore these possibilities.