Neil Davidson, 1957-2020

Neil Davidson – the most significant Scottish intellectual of the radical left – died at the beginning of May 2020 from a brain tumour. He was 62. Davidson was a prolific writer of historical sociology and a critical analyst of contemporary politics, particularly the Scottish scene. His learning was immense, his reading power prodigious and […]

Problem and solution: Occupation and collective complaint

Dossier: Decolonising the University

In the spring and summer of 2019, a group of Black and PoC students from Goldsmiths, University of London formed Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action (GARA) and occupied Deptford Town Hall – a key administrative building on campus – to push back against the institutional racism they experienced in the university. We, two junior academics situated in […]

Bernard Stiegler, 1952-2020

The death of Bernard Stiegler in August, aged 68, will surely be met by a glut of biographies documenting a far from conventional philosophical eccentric. It is undeniable that he could be difficult, and not just because of the density of his prose and tendency to write exclusively in neologisms; but he could also be […]

Destruction styles: Black aesthetics of rupture and capture

Dossier: Decolonising the University

I think that I and many others involved with the RhodesMustFall (RMF) movement at the University of Cape Town – and beyond – might have preferred, on the 9th of April 2015, to see: A. cecil’s head explode, blast-site of bronze shards glistening in the afternoon sun, on the sprawling, clambering, continually inaccessible grounds of […]

Neoliberal antiracism and the British university

Dossier: Decolonising the University

While debates over race and higher education in the UK have long focused on questions of access, in recent years a host of campaigns have drawn attention to the alienation of students and staff of colour who succeed in entering white-dominated institutions. Their claims, often articulated on social media with the pithiness that hashtags require, […]

Ghosts in fishnets

Reivew of Elizabeth Otto, Haunted Bauhaus
Elizabeth Otto, Haunted Bauhaus: Occult Spirituality, Gender Fluidity, Queer Identities, and Radical Politics (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2019). 282pp., £28.00 hb., 978 0 26204 329 8 I once heard the artist David Shrigley remark that the reason he became an artist was due to an adolescent fascination with art students, particularly those at the […]

Agents of change

Reivew of Lilia D. Monzó, A Revolutionary Subject: Pedagogy of Women of Color and Indigeneity
Lilia D. Monzó, A Revolutionary Subject: Pedagogy of Women of Color and Indigeneity (New York: Peter Lang, 2019). 290pp., £95.59 hb., £36.74 pb., 978 1 43313 407 4 hb., 978 1 43313 406 7 pb. History is usually taught through a white, Eurocentric, male lens, erasing the contributions of women. Women of Colour and Indigenous […]

Ruined resentments

Reivew of Wendy Brown, In the Ruins of Neoliberalism
Wendy Brown, In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West (New York: Columbia University Press, 2019). 264pp., £62.00hb., £22.00 pb., 978 0 23155 053 6 hb., 978 0 23119 385 6 pb. Wendy Brown has been one of the foremost critical theorists and political commentators on the left since the […]

The Logic of Critical Theory

Reivew of Robert Pippin, Hegel’s Realm of Shadows
Robert B. Pippin, Hegel’s Realm of Shadows: Logic as Metaphysics in The Science of Logic (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019). 322pp., £34.00 hb., £24.00 pb., 978 0 22658 870 4 hb., 978 0 22670 341 1 pb. In one of Lenin’s most famous lines, he notes that ‘it is impossible to understand Marx’s Capital […]

Discriminatory data

Reivew of Ruha Benjamin, Race After Technology
Ruha Benjamin, Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2019). 172pp., £60.00 hb., £14.99 pb., 978 1 50952 639 0 hb., 978 1 50952 640 4 pb. If you’ve ever listened to Pod Save America, the voice of centrist Democratic politics presented by a crew of former Obama staff, […]

Revolutions of the past and future

Reivew of Rachel Douglas, Making The Black Jacobins
Rachel Douglas, Making The Black Jacobins: C. L. R. James and the Drama of History (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019). 320pp., £83.00 hb., £20.99 pb., 978 1 47800 427 1 hb., 978 1 47800 487 5 pb. In the same way that there are poets’ poets and communists’ communists, Rachel Douglas is a C.L.R. […]

Tools for a political psychiatry

Reivew of Frantz Fanon, Alienation and Freedom
Frantz Fanon, Alienation and Freedom, eds. Jean Khalfa and Robert J. C. Young, trans. Stephen Corcoran (London: Bloomsbury, 2018). 816pp., £30.00 hb., 978 1 47425 021 4 It is often taken for granted in the psychiatric field that the time for contestation has passed. Terms like ‘anti-psychiatry’ and ‘institutional therapy’, as well as discussions of […]

Witchcraft and magic among the Marxists

Reivew of Paul Mattick, Theory as Critique; Paul Mattick, Social Knowledge
Paul Mattick, Theory as Critique: Essays on Capital (Leiden: Brill, 2018; Chicago: Haymarket, 2019). 288pp., £110.00 hb., £19.99 pb., 978 9 00436 656 5 hb., 978 1 64259 013 5 pb. Paul Mattick, Social Knowledge: An Essay on the Nature and Limits of Social Science (Leiden: Brill, 2020). 142pp., £86.00 hb, 978 9 00441 480 […]

Bodies in space: On the ends of vulnerability

Weaker now, we mistakenly identify ourselves as our bodies. Ilona Sagar, ‘Correspondence O’, digital video, 2017 I have had twenty-five or thirty souls, with their bodies, at once under my roof, and yet we often parted without being aware that we had come very near to one another. Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854 The last […]

Pandemic suspension

The Lisbon earthquake of November 1755 was the most devastating natural disaster of the eighteenth century, and probably the first disaster on such a scale in modernity. It was an event that profoundly disturbed many Enlightenment philosophers. 1 Kant wrote three scientific studies that attempted to explain it from the standpoint of natural history, and […]

Beware: Medical Police

Cops forcibly removing someone from a bus for not wearing a face mask, arresting people for failure to socially distance on a crowded subway platform, moving people on if they look like they are socialising in excessive numbers, determining who can attend a public event. This is the new reality of policing the virus. The […]