Jazz as a credo

Reivew of Fumi Okiji, Jazz as Critique
Fumi Okiji, Jazz as Critique: Adorno and Black Expression Revisited (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2018), 160pp., £58.00 hb., £17.99 pb., 978 1 50360 202 1 hb., 978 1 50360 585 5 pb. During a public discussion to mark a 2018 career retrospective show at The New Museum in New York, John Akomfrah was asked a […]

Geopolitical antifuturism

Reivew of C. Heike Schotten, Queer Terror
C. Heike Schotten, Queer Terror: Life, Death, and Desire in the Settler Colony (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018). 241pp., £81.00 hb., £27.00 pb., 978 0 23118 746 6 hb., 978 0 23118 747 3 pb. When George W. Bush threw down his infamous gauntlet in the aftermath of the attacks of 11 September 2001 […]

The monochrome and the readymade

Reivew of Jaleh Mansoor, Marshall Plan Modernism
Jaleh Mansoor, Marshall Plan Modernism: Italian Postwar Abstraction and the Beginnings of Autonomia (Durham: Duke University Press, 2016). 288pp., £80.00 hb., £20.99 pb., 978 0 82236 245 6 hb., 978 0 8223 6260 9 pb. The title of Jaleh Mansoor’s Marshall Plan Modernism provides a number of clues about the author’s methodological ambitions. The juxtaposition […]

Who’s a feminist?

Reivew of Catherine Rottenberg, The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism
Catherine Rottenberg, The Rise of Neoliberal Feminism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). 239pp., £19.99 hb., 978 0 19090 122 6 It is the best of times and it is the worst of times to declare oneself a feminist today. Presentations of that creature have been shape shifting for decades, though right now she suddenly seems […]

Entrepreneurial subjectivity

Reivew of Marina Vishmidt, Speculation as a Mode of Production
Marina Vishmidt, Speculation as a Mode of Production: Forms of Value in Subjectivity in Art and Capital (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2018), 254pp., £120.00 hb., 978 9 00429 137 9 When the Swedish artists Goldin+Senneby’s Eternal Employment was chosen as one of the main public art works to feature in the massive rebuilding of the […]

Michel Serres, 1930–2019

In Serres’s works, the table of method is the method, the idea is its own image, the code is already overcoded. Serres cannot be commented but only stuttered. A repetition won’t add anything to a text that knows better than anyone how to repeat itself in its innovations, or how to innovate by repeating itself. […]

The radical intellectual legacy of Saba Mahmood

Dossier: Saba Mahmood in memoriam

But what I have come to ask of myself, and would like to ask the reader, as well, is: Do my political visions ever run up against the responsibility that I incur for the destruction of life forms so that ‘unenlightened’ women may be taught to live more freely? Do I even fully comprehend the […]

Calls, Invitations, Summons: ‘Gender’ in the aftermath of Politics of Piety

Dossier: Saba Mahmood in memoriam

Da’wa, Saba Mahmood tells us, is ‘a Quranic concept associated primarily with God’s call to the prophets and to humanity to believe in the “true religion”, Islam’. It ‘literally means “call, invitation, appeal, or summons”’. 1 Whilst cognisant of the uncompromising specificity of the demand it places on those to whom the call is addressed, […]

Planetary Utopias

This conversation was recorded on Sunday 24 June 2018 as part of the closing plenary of the symposium ‘Planetary Utopias: Hope, Desire and Imaginaries in a Postcolonial World’ (curated by Nikita Dhawan) in the ‘Colonial Repercussions’ event series at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. It was transcribed by Anna Millan and has been revised for […]

Thinking critically with Saba Mahmood

Dossier: Saba Mahmood in memoriam

Saba Mahmood made immensely important contributions to the critical understanding of secular power and its operations, without which the field would be significantly impoverished. Tragically cut short by her untimely death, her scholarship offers especially powerful insights into the critical turn in secularism studies: first and foremost that secularism is a modality of governance involved […]

What a body can do

On 11 Brumaire, Year XI [November 2, 1803], a Guadeloupe tribunal sentenced Millet de la Girardière to be placed in an iron cage in the square at Pointe-à-Pitre and left there until dead. The cage employed for this public torture is eight feet tall. The criminal confined therein straddles a sharp blade. His feet are […]

Narcos (and their discontents)

Reivew of Laurent De Sutter, Narcocapitalism
Laurent De Sutter, Narcocapitalism: Life in the Age of Anaesthesia (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2018). 140pp., £41.50 hb., £9.99 pb., 978 1 50950 683 5 hb., 978 1 50950 684 2 pb. In A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right Marx remarked that religious devotion performed a fundamental role in the reproduction of […]

The promise of a pantheist politics

Reivew of Saul Newman, Political Theology: A Critical Introduction
Saul Newman, Political Theology: A Critical Introduction (Cambridge: Polity Press 2019), 180pp., £15.99 pb., 978 1 50952 840 0 pb. In The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy, first published in the midst of political turmoil in Weimar era Germany, Carl Schmitt attempted a theoretical amputation of liberal parliamentarianism from democracy by excavating the contradictory principles on […]

A clash of spatialisations

Reivew of Chris Hesketh, Spaces of Capital/Spaces of Resistance
Chris Hesketh, Spaces of Capital/Spaces of Resistance: Mexico and the Global Political Economy (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2017), 240pp., £76.95 hb., £23.95 pb., 978 0 82035 174 2 hb., 978 0 82035 284 8 pb.. In Spaces of Capital/Spaces of Resistance, Chris Hesketh provides an overview of the possibilities and challenges for anti-capitalist […]

Hegel’s racism for radicals

Contemporary societies are not the first to confuse their desires not to be racist with their desires to minimise the scope of race. A few years ago, for instance, the University of California Humanities Research Institute summer workshop, ‘Archives of the Non-Racial’ (2014), noted that by the nineteenth century, the ‘non-racial’ emerged as an intellectual, […]