Precarious euphoria

Reivew of Tina Managhan, Unknowing the `War on Terror'
Tina Managhan, Unknowing the ‘War on Terror’: The Pleasures of Risk (London: Routledge, 2020). 132pp., £120.00 hb., 978 1 35104 860 6 It is a wild adventure we are on. Here, as we are rushing along through the darkness, with the cold from the river seeming to rise up and strike us; with all the […]

The doctor’s knife

Reivew of Silvia Federici, Beyond the Periphery of the Skin
Silvia Federici, Beyond the Periphery of the Skin: Rethinking, Remaking, and Reclaiming the Body in Contemporary Capitalism (Oakland, CA: PM Press, 2020). 145pp., £11.55 hb., 978 1 62963 706 8 Silvia Federici is one of contemporary feminism’s celebrity thinkers, and with good reason. Her work since the 1970s on capitalism and gender has been of […]

Moribund elegance

Reivew of Philipp Ekardt, Benjamin on Fashion
Philipp Ekardt, Benjamin on Fashion (London: Bloomsbury, 2020), 256pp., £74.59 hb., 978 1 35007 599 3 In Daniel Mourenza’s Walter Benjamin and the Aesthetics of Film (2020), we learn that Walter Benjamin, in the summer of 1938, went to see a Katharine Hepburn film at the cinema — it might have been Holiday, it might […]
Photograph of Helen Hessel with eyes closed

Between speculation and discipline

Reivew of Christopher Tomlins, In the Matter of Nat Turner
Christopher Tomlins, In the Matter of Nat Turner: A Speculative History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020). 376pp., £25.00 hb., 978 0 69119 866 8 Christopher Tomlins is not the first historian to have focused on the Nat Turner rebellion. In 1831, the slave Nat Turner led a group of blacks in an insurrection in St. […]

Contingent contagions

Reivew of Angela Mitropoulos, Pandemonium
Angela Mitropoulos, Pandemonium: Proliferating Borders of Capital and the Pandemic Swerve (London: Pluto Press, 2020). 132pp., £14.99 pb., 978 0 74534 330 3 ‘When every home becomes a quarantine zone, and every epidemiological map is mistaken for an accurate representation of molecular spread, the convergence of neoliberalism and fascism around an oikonomic understanding of health […]
Photograph of windows opening out onto red walls.

Troubled pleasures

Reivew of Kate Soper, Post Growth Living
Kate Soper, Post Growth Living: For an Alternative Hedonism (London: Verso, 2020). 240pp., £16.99 hb., 978 1 78873 887 3 Kate Soper has made some vitally important contributions to ecosocialist and feminist political theory over the last four decades and more. Her interventions around ‘troubled pleasures’, humanism and its discontents, realism/constructionism, and more, have often […]

Solidarity to fraternity

Reivew of Elleni Centime Zeleke, Ethiopia in Theory
Elleni Centime Zeleke, Ethiopia in Theory: Revolution and Knowledge Production, 1964-2016 (Leiden and Boston: Brill/Haymarket, 2019/2020). 281pp., £135 hb., £20 pb., 978 9 00441 475 4 hb., 978 1 64259 341 9 pb. One objective of Elleni Centime Zeleke’s Ethiopia in Theory: Revolution and Knowledge Production, 1964-2016 is to trace the contours of the nationalities […]
Letter of support for Iranian students by Ehtiopian Students Association in North America

Homo desiderans

Reivew of Miguel de Beistegui, The Government of Desire
Miguel de Beistegui, The Government of Desire: A Genealogy of the Liberal Subject (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 2018). ix+295pp., £34.00 hb., 978 0 22654 737 4 Miguel de Beistegui’s new book is one of the most important contributions to the study of desire since the publication of René Girard’s Things Hidden Since […]

Migrant multiplicities

Reivew of Martina Tazzioli, The Making of Migration
Martina Tazzioli, The Making of Migration: The Biopolitics of Mobility at Europe’s Borders (London: Sage, 2019). 184pp., £79.00 hb., £25.99 pb., 978 1 52646 403 3 hb., 978 1 52646 404 0 pb. It has been five years since the peak of what European states labelled a ‘refugee crisis’. The idea that this was an […]

The sociality of theory

Reivew of Fadi A. Bardawil, Revolution and Disenchantment
Fadi A. Bardawil, Revolution and Disenchantment: Arab Marxism and the Binds of Emancipation (Durham: Duke University Press, 2020). 280pp., £83.00 hb., £21.99 pb., 978 1 47800 616 9 hb., 978 1 47800 675 6 pb. A Flood in Baʿath Country, the 2003 documentary by Syrian filmmaker Omar Amiralay, opens with a stark confession on the […]

Whose law is it anyway?

Reivew of Nadine El-Enany, (B)ordering Britain
Nadine El-Enany, (B)ordering Britain: Law, Race and Empire (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2019). 312pp., £20.00 hb., 978 1 52614 542 0 On the 11th August 2020, in the midst of a tabloid maelstrom around people travelling from Calais to Dover in small boats, the UK Home Office released a statement that departed from their usual […]

All that Hegel allows

Reivew of Robert Pippin, Filmed Thought
Robert Pippin, Filmed Thought: Cinema as Reflective Form (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019). 312pp., £79.00 hb., £28.00 pb., 978 022667 1 956 hb., 978 022667 2 007 pb. The course of the relationship between philosophy and film studies never did run smooth. The encounter of these two disciplines, while producing both influential and exciting […]

Cyborgs without organs

Reivew of Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism
Legacy Russell, Glitch Feminism (London and New York: Verso, 2020), 192pp., £9.99 pb., 978 1 78663 266 1 In her endorsement of Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto, culture and media theorist McKenzie Wark locates its author Legacy Russell among those who are ‘playing in the ruins’ of ‘the old empire of imperatives about both flesh and […]

Normativity at the edge of reason

Reivew of Cecile Malaspina, An Epistemology of Noise
Cecile Malaspina, An Epistemology of Noise (London: Bloomsbury, 2018). 256pp., £90.00 hb., £28.99 pb., , In recent years noise seems to have become an interdisciplinary concept par excellence, apt to capture important dynamics at work whether in technological, scientific, social or aesthetic domains. But when economists, biologists, psychologists, and musicians speak of noise, are they […]

Gimmickification

Reivew of Sianne Ngai, Theory of the Gimmick
Sianne Ngai, Theory of the Gimmick: Aesthetic Judgement and Capitalist Form (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2020), 416pp., £28.95 hb., 978 0 67498 454 7 ‘[I]f only we could forget for a while about the beautiful and get down instead to the dainty and the dumpy’. In this oft-cited remark, made […]

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. […]