Massimiliano Tomba

DivisionHumanities Division
DepartmentHistory of Consciousness Department
Web Site Academia
Next Generation Global Studies
Office1156 High Street 415 Humanities One Santa Cruz, CA 95064,
Office #436
Campus Mail StopHistory Of Consciousness
Massimiliano Tomba

Research Interests

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.

Biography, Education and Training

Massimiliano Tomba (Ph.D. in Political Philosophy at the University of Pisa) 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.



Selected Publications



  • Krise und Kritik bei Bruno Bauer. Kategorien des Politischen im nachhegelschen Denken, trans. L. Schröder, Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang, 2005

  • La vera politica. Kant e Benjamin: la possibilità della giustizia, Macerata, Quodlibet, 2006

  • Marx’s Temporalities, trans. Sara Farris and Peter Thomas, Leiden, Brill, 2013, 206 pp. (2nd Edition: Chicago, Haymarket Books, 2013)

  • Attraverso la piccolo porta. Quattro studi su Walter Benjamin. Milano, Mimesis, 2017


  • “Historical Temporalities of Capital: An Anti-Historicist Perspective.” Historical Materialism, Vol. 17, Nr. 4 (2009), pp. 44-65

  • "La ‘véritable politique.’ Observations sur justice et politique.” Actuel Marx, n. 47 (2010), pp. 150-64    

  • "Marx as the Historical Materialist. Re-reading The Eighteenth Brumaire.” Historical Materialism, Vol. 21, Nr. 2 (2013), pp. 21-46

  • "Accumulation and Time. Marx's Historiography from the Grundrisse to Capital.” Capital & Class, Vol. 37 Issue 3 (2013), pp. 355-372

  • "Clash of Temporalities: Capital, Democracy, and Squares,” South Atlantic Quarterly, Vol. 113 Issue 2 (2014), pp. 353-366

  • "Marx et les limites du capitalisme: relire le ‘fragment sur les machines’” Période, September 2015 (Co-authored with Riccardo Bellofiore.)     

  • "1793: The Neglected Legacy of Insurgent Universality,” History of the Present. A Journal of Critical History, Vol. 5, n. 2 (2015), pp. 109-136

  • "Storia e modernità. Per una provinciliazzazione del tempo” in Scienza & Politica, Vol. XXVIII, N. 55 (2016), pp. 43-59    

  • "Justice and Divine Violence: Walter Benjamin and the Time of Anticipation”, in Theory & Event, Volume 20, Number 3 (2017), 579-598