Elena Lange

Elena Lange, Dr.

Oberassistenz Japanologie

Tel.: +41 44 634 31 16

Fax.: +41 44 634 49 21

Raumbezeichnung: ZUB 3-327


Student advisory by appointment
Current courses at the University of Zurich

Short Bio

Elena Louisa Lange (born 1976) has studied Philosophy and Japanese Studies at the University of Hamburg where she graduated with a work on Sartre and Hegel’s Logic in 2005. In 2011, she received her PhD from the University of Zurich with her dissertation “The Overcoming of the Subject: Nishida Kitarō’s Way to Ideology” which has partly been funded by the Monbushō for the University in Fukui (Japan), where she was a doctoral researcher from 2006–2008. From 2010–13, she has been assistant to Prof. Raji C. Steineck. Since 2009, Lange has been teaching classes on intellectual history, Japanese philosophy, Marxism and anarchism, and eminent Japanese intellectuals such as Tosaka Jun, Umemoto Katsumi, and Uno Kōzō. She has co-edited a book on modern Japanese philosophy (Begriff und Bild der modernen japanischen Philosophie, frommann-holzboog 2014), is currently co-editing an anthology on Philosophy in Asia (What Is Philosophy?, Brill, forthcoming in 2016) and is co-editor of a Reader in Japanese Critical Thought, a project to translate texts from the Japanese tradition that critically deal with capitalist modernity (forthcoming). She regularly gives lectures and conducts workshops on Marx’s Capital.

Research Focus

Modern Japanese intellectual history, especially the reception of the Marxian Critique of Political Economy in Japan, Critical Theory in and outside of Japan, continental philosophy (Kant and German Idealism), theoretical philosophy (theory of dialectics, epistemology and logic), criticisms of postcolonial theory and cultural studies

Post-Doctoral Project

The post doctoral study focuses on a critical evaluation of Uno Kōzō’s (1897–1977) new conception of the Marxian Critique of Political Economy. Uno and his School’s reconstruction in order to provide a new method and object of political economy is in our view problematic and leads to a truncated view of the global capitalist production and reproduction process. This is primarily reflected 1) in a stage-theoretical approach to capitalist modernity and 2) the disavowal of the labour theory of value as the heuristic approach to the analysis. Our study aims to show why an in-depth analysis of the relation between value and labour, as well as the relation between cycles of reproduction and (social) crises is eminent for understanding the critical impetus of the Marxian critique of the capitalist mode of production. We also hope to show that the undisputed political leadership of the LDP has structural reasons in the decline of political relevance of Marxian scholarship in Japan, which has partly also been promoted by the ‘social-democratic turn’ within Uno School interpretations of Marx.

More information about the project: Fetish and Value – Uno Kōzō (1897–1977) and his school in light of the Marxian Critique of Political Economy

Publications (selection)

  • Concepts of Philosophy in Asia and The Islamic World. Vol. 1: China and Japan (edited volume, co-editor), Brill, Leiden, June 2018.
  • "Moishe Postone: Marx’s Critique of Political Economy as Immanent Social Critique", Chapter 31 of The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory, ed. Bonefeld/Best/O'Kane, Sage Pub., London 2018, pp. 514-532.
  • "Geldtheorie ohne Fetischcharakter: Zur problematischen Rezeption des ersten Kapitalbandes bei Uno Kōzō und der Uno-Schule", Zeitschrift für kritische Sozialtheorie und Philosophie 2017 (4:1-2): 177-208.
  • "The Critique of Political Economy and the New Dialectic: Hegel, Marx, and Christopher J. Arthur's 'Homology Thesis", Crisis & Critique, vol. 3 no. 3, 2016, pp. 234-272. (Brazilian-Portuguese translation as 'A Crítica da Economia Política e a “Nova Dialética”: Marx, Hegel e o Problema da “Tese da Homologia” de Christopher J. Arthur', Revista Opinião Filosófica, Porto Alegre, v. 07; nº. 01, 2016. pp. 88-135).
  • “Karatani Kōjin: The Structure of World History – Review Article”, Historical Materialism 23.3, Brill, Leiden (Nov. 2015)
  • “Sur le marxisme japonais”, Période, interview published on 29 October 2014 http://revueperiode.net/sur-le-marxisme-japonais
  • Bild und Begriff moderner japanische Philosophie (with Raji C. Steineck and Paulus Kaufmann)Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart 2014
  • “Failed Abstraction: The Problem of Uno Kōzō’s Reading of Marx’s Theory of the Value Form”, Historical Materialism 22.1, Brill, Leiden, pp. 1–31.
  • “Auf der Suche nach der Weltrepublik von Karatani Kōjin. Review Article.” Asiatische Studien/Etudes Asiatiques, vol. 68, de Gruyter, Berlin, S. 413–422.
  • Tosaka Jun. Ideologie-Medien-Alltag von Fabian Schaefer. Review Article.” Asiatische Studien/Etudes Asiatiques ,2, 2012. Peter Lang, Bern, pp. 498–504.
  • Die Überwindung des Subjekts – Nishida Kitarôs Weg zur Ideologie (University of Zurich/Zürcher Katalog der Hochschulschriften http://www.zora.uzh.ch)
  • “Re-politicizing the Kyôto School as Philosophy by Ch. Goto-Jones. Review Article. Asiatische Studien / Etudes Asiatiques LXIII, 3, 2009, Peter Lang, Bern, pp. 746–755.
  • “The Ideology of Identity in the Thought of Nishida Kitarô” (with Hayashi Sho), Memoirs of the Faculty of Education and Regional Studies, University of Fukui, Series I: Humanities, 47, 2007, 12