I was happy to join my doktorvater, Dr. Rudolf J. Siebert, in an introspective discussion about Joseph Ratzinger, i.e., Pope Benedict XVI. Siebert and Ratzinger’s lives paralleled in many ways: they were born in the same year; they both grew up in the Third Reich; they both attended the Hitler Youth; they both were drafted into the Luftwaffenhelfer and later the Wehrmacht; they were both imprisoned in Prisoner-of-War camps; they both were deemed “anti-Nazis” by the Allied forces, and they both attended Catholic seminary. However, Siebert chose not to be ordained, and opted for the life of a layman in academia – primarily in the United States, whereas Ratzinger chose a life in academia within the Roman Catholic Church, and later was elected as the 265th Pontiff.
My article, “Neo-Eurasianism as Ideology of Empire: Alexander Dugin and Russia’s War on Ukraine” is included in Islamic Perspective, Vol. 28, Winter 2022. It concerns the far-right influences behind Alexander Dugin’s political philosophy, Neo-Eurasianism, as well as its influence on Vladimir Putin and his war of aggression against Ukraine.
On December 17th, I took part in an online seminar with other members of the Institute for Critical Social Theory on the topic of “Social Theory and the Fundamental Challenges to Humanity,” wherein we discussed issues such as global climate change, war, political-economic injustice, miscarriages of justice, and the question: Will there even be an 22nd century. I was joined by Seyed Javad Miri (Iran), Michael Naughton (UK), Mehdi Shariati (US), and Rudolf J. Siebert (US). This event was also sponsored by Ekpyrosis Press.
On December 14th, I had the distinct pleasure to discuss the role and history of Freudian psychoanalysis in the Frankfurt School’s Critical Theory, with the critical theorist, Rudolf J. Siebert. The conversation can be viewed on the Ekpyrosis Press YouTube channel, as well as the Institute for Critical Social Theory’s YouTube channel. It is also archived in the Rudolf J. Siebert Audio-Visual Archive on YouTube.
I’m pleased to announce that Seyed Javad Miri and my latest co-edited book has been released by Brill. It includes 19 chapters on the Malay Sociologist, Syed Hussein Alatas, who remains relatively unknown in the West but is a giant in Eastern sociology. We attempt to remedy this deficiency by expanding on his corpus of work, especially on the issue of the “captive mind,” the problem of corruption, and the demythologization of the non-Western nativity.
In my chapter, I focus on using the tools of psychoanalysis and political psychology to further develop Alatas’ idea of the captive mind.
In a year, the paperback version will be published by Haymarket Books in Chicago.
Here is the link to Brill’s hardcover book: Syed Hussein Alatas and Critical Social Theory: Decolonizing the Captive Mind.
“Ideas are returning to our world. And the main battle from now on unfolds between them. Between the Russian Idea, the Catechon, the Orthodox Civilization, and the world of the Western Antichrist, coming at us. It is not us Russians who need Ukraine. It is Christ who needs it. And that is why we are there. And that is why we are not leaving.” ~ Alexander Dugin
Dustin J. Byrd, Ph.D. and Seyed Javad Miri, Ph.D., the director and co-director of the Institute for Critical Social Theory, would like to invite qualified scholars in the fields of political philosophy, political science, sociology, political psychology, religious studies, political theology, critical theory, Russian/Slavic Studies and related fields to submit abstracts for an upcoming book project on the Neo-Eurasianist Russian philosopher, Alexander Dugin. This book is intended to be a critical interrogation of Dugin and his work. We intend to secure a leading academic publisher for this project. If you are interested in joining this project, please see the official Call for Papers below:
My latest article entitled, “The Russian Restrainer of the Apocalypse: The Katechon in St. Paul, Carl Schmitt, and Alexander Dugin,” is now available in the latest edition of the journal, Islamic Perspective (Vol. 27, Spring 2022). This article was the basis of my presentation at the annual Critical Theory conference at Loyola University in Rome, Italy, this past May.
On May 11th, 2022, I had the distinct honor to join numerous other scholars discussing “Global Perspectives on War and Crisis,” as it relates to Russia’s war on Ukraine. My presentation was predominately about the Russian philosopher, Alexander Dugin, and the influence of his political ideology on Putin’s war.
On May 18th, I had the distinct honor to present my work, “A Culture cannot survive without Strong Gods,” wherein I discussed the New Testament’s notion of the Katechon, or “restrainer” of the Antichrist, and its extension into political theology. The paper was entitled, “He who restrains the Apocalypse: The Katechon in St. Paul, Carl Schmitt, and Alexander Dugin,” and it will be published later in the journal Islamic Perspective. This paper was especially important as it relates to how Russia’s current war on Ukraine is seen through apocalyptic and eschatological lenses, via the Russian philosopher, Alexander Dugin – the founder of Neo-Eurasianism and the “Fourth Political Theory.” I was joined by my dear friends Mlado Ivanovic of Northern Michigan University, Jeremiah Morelock of Boston College, and Panayota Gournari of Boston University. The 14th annual Critical Theory conference was held at Loyola University John Felice Center in Rome, Italy.
Soon after I returned to Kalamazoo from Rome, I was informed that the Board of Trustees at Olivet College had unanimously voted to confer the status of full professor on me. That’s awesome news. I started teaching as an adjunct at Olivet College in 2004, started my tenure track in 2008, and after being an Assistant and Associate Professor, I’m now Full professor! Good feeling, for sure.