Rhythm is rhythm

Janina Wellmann, The Form of Becoming: Embryology and the Epistemology of Rhythm, 1760-1830, trans. Kate Sturge (New York: Zone Books, 2017). 424pp., £27.00 hb., 978 1 93540 876 5 Janina Wellmann’s ambitious, cross-disciplinary book, first published in German in 2010, sets out to achieve two main aims. First, it attempts to retell and reframe the […]

How can a word be bad?

David Sosa (ed.) Bad Words: Philosophical Perspectives on Slurs (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). 256pp., $60 hb., 978 01 98758 655. ‘Slurs’ – understood here to be particular words designed by convention to derogate targeted individuals or groups – are a puzzling category of speech, which raise a variety of philosophical questions pertaining to their […]

Companion for a damaged world

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen and Lowell Duckert, eds, Veer Ecology: Companion for Environmental Thinking (Minneapolis; London: University Of Minnesota Press, 2017). 536pp., £83.72 hb., £20.93 pb., 978 1 5179 0076 2 hb., 978 1 51790 077 9 pb. The resource depletion, environmental degradation and global climate change that characterise our present time warrant an urgent questioning […]

On the value of social reproduction

Radical feminist analyses have always placed considerable emphasis on the crucial role played by social reproduction for the development of capitalism. Early social reproduction analyses – primarily premised on housework but also more broadly concerned with wagelessness – developed a robust critique of Marxian views that identified processes of value-generation only with the productive sphere, […]

Interview: Critical Theory’s contexts of cooperation

Johan F. Hartle: I want to discuss the possibilities of Critical Theory that you and Alexander Kluge develop in your collective project. To that end, I would like to ask you to reconstruct a few points from your biography. Let’s start off by having you describe your path to the Institute for Social Research in […]

Late style and contrapuntal histories

If the category ‘late’ has generally served to designate an ever-extending period of Jean-Luc Godard’s filmmaking career – typically dated from his return to cinema at the end of the 1970s when Godard was approaching fifty – with the release of his latest feature, Le Livre d’image: Image et parole [The Image Book: Image and […]

After the housewife

Human reproduction in the form of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and nurturing of infants and children has been at the core of Marxist feminist understandings of reproductive labour. When this labour is overtly commercialised, as in the case of surrogacy, it brings together biological processes of gestational and social processes of nurture and parenting into market […]

Is logos a proper noun?

During Jacques Derrida’s visit to China in 2001, he held a meeting with the Chinese philosopher Wang Yuanhua. 1 Derrida opened their dialogue with a sentence that had the effect, no doubt involuntary, of aggravating his interlocutor and all of those Chinese listeners present: ‘China doesn’t have philosophy, but/only thought [中国没有哲学, 但/只有思想, Zhongguo meiyou zhexue […]

Social reproduction theory

As the articles contained in this issue of Radical Philosophy indicate, ‘social reproduction’ is today more than ever at the centre of feminist debates. Yet the same articles also express a legitimate concern that recent theorisations obfuscate the political significance of this concept and its ability to describe the changes that have taken place in […]

‘By contraries execute all things’

‘Savages’ were invented in the Old World but encountered in the New. J.G.A. Pocock, Barbarism and Religion It is imperative to accept the idea that negation does not signify nothingness; that when the mirror does not reflect our own likeness, it does not prove there is nothing to perceive. Pierre Clastres, ‘Copernicus and the Savages’ […]

Laboratories of gender

In 2018, the Feminist Archive South received funding from the UK Government Equalities Office to run events in community locations across the South West. This programme enabled cross-generational engagements with inspiring histories of the recent feminist past. 1 Activities were open to self-identified women and non-binary people – a point that enraged so-called ‘gender-critical feminists’ […]