Political economy of life

The translation of Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge’s Geschichte und Eigensinn, now finally appearing in English in an edited, shortened version under the title History and Obstinacy, introduces an English-reading public to one of the most eccentric and ambitious books to have emerged from the legacy of the Frankfurt School.* Originally published in 1981, History […]

Hunger games

he often does, inadvertently, the words uttered by Samuel Fuller (playing himself) in Godard’s Pierrot le fou: ‘The ilm is like a battleground: love, hate, action, violence, death.’ Above all, and to judge from the introductory interview, Badiou appears simply to be pleased with the fact that the compiler of these diverse texts, Antoine de […]

184 Reviews

REViEWS The cunning of capital explained? Neil Davidson, How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions?, Haymarket Books, Chicago, 2012, xxi + 812 pp., £22.99 pb., 978 1 60846 067 0. In ‘The Notion of Bourgeois Revolution’ (1976) Perry Anderson wrote: ‘Among the concepts traditionally associated with historical materialism, few have been so problematic and contested as that […]

89 Reviews

Jane Gallop is an American academic whose writings on psychoanalysis, feminism and related topics are as dazzling in their intelligence as they are scintillating in their wit. Their humour is part of the thought processes embodied in her texts. A careful argument, proceeding by tentative steps, will finally reach an explosive and paradoxical conclusion, inducing […]

Empire and I: Terra Incognita, Pitshanger Manor and Gallery, London, 22 January–13 March 1999

Exhibition review Empire and ITerra Incognita, Pitshanger Manor and Gallery, London, 22 January–13 March 1999Empire and I is an exhibition of nine visual artists, who, in the words of its press release, ʻhave been commissioned to respond to the impact of colonial thought and history on contemporary ideas of “race” and nation.ʼ Situated in Pitshanger […]

Annual Conference of the Hegel Society of Great Britain, 6–8 September 1999, Oxford; Annual Conference of the Society for European Philosophy, 8–10 September 1999, Cambridge

Conference reports PleasantvilleAnnual Conference of the Hegel Society of Great Britain, 6–8 September 1999, OxfordThe Hegel Society of Great Britain annually ensconces itself in the fortified quaintness of Pembroke College, Oxford, whose charms of exclusivity are as menacingly kitsch as its dining table mats, which picture an idyllic escape that is merely the quadrangle outside, […]

99 Reviews

Reviews Appreciating our beginningsRachel Blau DuPlessis and Ann Snitow, eds, The Feminist Memoir Project: Voices from Womenʼs Liberation, Three Rivers Press, New York, 1998. xii + 531 pp., $20.00 pb., 0 609 80384 0. Sheila Rowbotham, Threads Through Time: Writings on History and Autobiography, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1999. 432 pp., £8.99 pb., 0 1402 275541. The […]

106 Reviews

Friedrich Schlegelʼs two-hundred-year-old fragment ʻNothing is more rarely the subject of philosophy than philosophy itselfʼ shows its age. Now, its inversion seems true. Whether through recognition that philosophyʼs self-legitimating critique of the unexcavated presuppositions of other disciplines threatens to prove itself wanting; or, through various concerns for philosophyʼs apparently imminent death (which philosophers frequently seem […]

Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, Tate Modern, London, 3 June 2001

News Hegemony or Socialism? 15 Years: Hegemony and Socialist StrategyTate Modern, London, 3 June 2001 The historical claims of the conference celebrating the fifteenth (actually, the sixteenth) anniversary and second edition of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffeʼs Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics, were ambivalent. Sitting in the Tate Modernʼs ʻRed Roomʼ […]

Return(s) to Marx? Institut français and Tate Modern, London, 31 May–1 June 2002

Rendezvous Return(s) to Marx? Institut français and Tate Modern, London, 31 May–1 June 2002 In the summer of 1977 more than 6,000 people attended the Communist Partyʼs ʻPeopleʼs Jubileeʼ at Alexandra Palace in London, at a time when the Party could boast 28,000 comrades. Twenty-five years later, ʻReturn(s) to Marx?ʼ was one of the few […]

118 Reviews

Reviews Revenge or revival? Daniel Bensaïd, Marx for Our Times: Adventures and Misadventures of a Critique, trans. Gregory Elliott, Verso, London and New York, 2002. xvii + 392 pp., £20.00 hb., 1 85984 712 9. ^ The translation of Marx for Our Times presents to an Anglophone readership one of the more ambitious and, in […]

121 Reviews

Reviews Dead in AmericaJacques Derrida, Without Alibi, edited, translated and with an introduction by Peggy Kamuf, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2002. 304 pp., £37.95 hb., £17.95 pb., 0 8047 4400 6 hb., 0 8047 4411 4 pb. There is a mordant untimeliness to this new collection of translations of Derridaʼs occasional pieces. The dateline of […]

A new world art?

Documenta 11 was one of the most radically conceived events in the history of postcolonial art practice. It is exemplary of the influence of postcolonial discourses on critical art practice over the last twenty years in breaking profoundly with the colonial presuppositions of the nineteenth-century tradition of ethnographic or anthropological exhibitions of non-Western art as […]

127 Reviews

Reviews Let’s talk about sexLuciana Parisi, Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Bio-technology and the Mutations of Desire, Continuum, London/New York, 2004. x + 227 pp., £60.00 hb., £18.99 pb., 0 8264 6989 2 hb., 0 8264 6990 6 pb. Mario Perniola, The Sex Appeal of the Inorganic: Philosophies of Desire in the Modern World, trans. Massimo Verdicchio, […]

Politics, Subjectivity, Event: A Workshop with Antonio Negri on his book Time for Revolution, Birkbeck College, University of London, 25 June; Antonio Negri in Conversation, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 26 June

Conference report Il profeta? Politics, Subjectivity, Event: A Workshop with Antonio Negri on his book Time for Revolution, Birkbeck Col ege, University of London, 25 June. Antonio Negri in Conversation, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 26 June. Antonio Negri visited London this summer for the first time since 1978. His recent release from prison and […]

131 Reviews

Reviews Culs-de-sacJacques Rancière, The Politics of Aesthetics: The Distribution of the Sensible, trans. Gabriel Rockhill, Continuum Press, London and New York, 2005. x + 116 pp., £14.99 hb., 0 8264 7067 X. Alain Badiou, Handbook of Inaesthetics, trans. Alberto Toscano, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2005. xi + 148 pp., £29.95 hb., £12.50 pb., 0 80474408 […]

W.G. Sebald and the modern art of memory

W.G. Sebald and the modern art of memory Stewart martin been repressed within cultural consciousness, but with what has been repressed by the dominant scenes and institutions of memory, with what the memory of the repressed itself represses. This is controversial but also timely, as the recent commemorations of the bombing of Dresden indicate. It […]

An aesthetic education against aesthetic education

An aesthetic education against aesthetic education Stewart martin Documenta 12ʼs commitment to the question of what is to be done in education is to be welcomed from an institution that has sought to sustain itself as an autonomous cultural realm, a public sphere, in the face of its fabulous state sponsorship and relations to the […]

The absolute artwork meets the absolute commodity

The absolute artwork meets the absolute commodity Stewart martin Art’s relation to commodification is an unavoidable and entrenched condition for much of the theory, history and practice of art today; so entrenched, in fact, as to have become implicit and assumed for many. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, considerations of this relation have […]