Antonio Negri

Portrait of Antonio Negri
Year of birth, place
1933, Padua, Italy
lives and works in
Venedig und Paris

Antonio Negri studied philosophy at the University of Padova, Italy, at the École normale supérieure in Paris, and at the Istituto di Studi Storici Benedetto Croce in Naples, Italy. He became professor of state doctrine at the University of Padova. In 1969, in the aftermath of the workers’ and student protests, in which he took an active part, he founded the political organization Potere Operaio [Workers’ Power] together with Oreste Scalzone and Franco Piperno. From that moment he became one of the main points of reference within the Workers’ Autonomy movement. In 1979, he was arrested in relation to the »April 7 trial«, along with numerous other members of the extraparliamentary and academic Left, and charged with being the leader of a terrorist organization – a charge that was promptly dropped. In 1983, after four and a half years in prison awaiting trial, he was elected to the Italian parliament as a deputy with the Radical Party. Released thanks to parliamentary immunity, he escaped to Paris. In France, where he lived for the next fourteen years, he returned to teaching at the university level, at University of Paris 8 and the Collège international de philosophie. During his exile in France, Negri met up again with old intellectual friends (Louis Althusser, Félix Guattari, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault), and started new friendships, in particular with a group of academics from the Paris 8, with whom he created a new magazine, »Futur antérieur« (1990–1997). During the 1990s, his original thirty-year prison sentence was reduced to eighteen. In July 1997, he returned to Italy to raise the political question of amnesty for political crimes committed during the »Years of Lead.« He additionally served six years in prison. Negri teaches at various foreign universities, particularly in Europe and Latin America.

[Last update: August 2015]