Harun Farocki, 1944–2014

OBITUARY The image scout Harun Farocki, 1944–2014often accompanied by texts. [1] From his first militant films, his first creations for television, and his first critical writings onwards, a theoretical and materialist concern sustained his intentions, had always addressed themselves to the medium that received them. And so he studied the way people saw the Vietnam […]

Realism and moral being

OBITUARy Realism and moral being Andrew Col ier, 1944–2014Andrew Collier, who died on 3 July after more than a decade living with cancer, was a member of the Radical Philosophy editorial collective during the 1990s and a longstanding contributor to the journal. Born in Edmonton, North London, towards the end of World War II, he […]

Rhetorics of populism

Rhetorics of populism Ernesto Laclau, 1935–2014 John kraniauskas The publication of Ernesto Laclau’s The Rhetorical Foundations of Society, only weeks after his death in April 2014, confirms his status as one of the foremost contemporary political theorists of the Left.* Since the 1980s, his influence has been extraordinary, particularly in the UK and Latin America: […]

Stuart Hall, 1932–2014

Edward W. Said died in 2003. Jacques Derrida died in 2004. Kofi Awoonor was killed in Westgate Mall last year. Now Stuart Hall is gone. A generation of intellectuals and activists, and intellectual–activists, is disappearing. Academics worldwide could not think ‘Black Britain’ before Stuart Hall. And in Britain the impact of Cultural Studies went beyond […]

Marshall Berman, 1940–2013

OBiTUARiES Marshal Berman, 1940–2013 Humanist Marxist and prophet of modern life, Marshall Berman passed away on 11 September 2013, aged 72. ^ He died of a heart attack, breakfasting with his son, in one of his favourite Upper West Side eateries, the Metro Diner. Marshall Howard Berman grew up in humble Jewish Morrisania in the […]

Rock as minimal modernism

Rock as minimal modernism Lou Reed, 1942–2013I wouldn’t recommend me as entertainment. Lou Reed, 1978It has acquired the status of a primal scene. 1964. A party in New York’s Lower East Side, the mythical site of the period. Terry Phillips, an executive at Pickwick Records, meets two ‘long-haired’ young men. Thinking they look the part, […]

Socialism and the sea

Obituary Socialism and the sea Allan Sekula, 1951–2013 Photographer, film-maker, cultural theorist and political activist, Allan Sekula was one of the outstanding Marxist intellectuals of his generation. The author of pioneering histories of photography, he produced genre-shifting exhibitions, books and videos. Almost at the end of his life, he co-directed an award-winning documentary film, and […]

Eric Hobsbawn, 1917-2012

Obituary ‘He knew everything’ Eric Hobsbawm, 1917–2012 Eric Hobsbawm often told the story of his life, saying that it offered an interesting point of view for the historian he became. He was born in 1917 in Alexandria, in an Egypt then a British protectorate, to Jewish parents. His paternal grandfather was a Polish cabinetmaker who […]

Mary McIntosh, 1936–2013

Obituary A founder of Feminist Review Mary McIntosh, 1936–2013 Mary McIntosh was an intellectual, a socialist and a feminist activist. She was a woman of strong principles, combined with an abundance of personal kindness. She occupied a pioneering role in many social movements of the late twentieth century, in particular the Gay Liberation Front and […]

John Mepham, 1938–2012

Obituaries An English Marxist John Mepham, 1938–2012 John Mepham, one of the founding editors of Radical Philosophy, died in London, in September, aged 73. ^ He was a fine thinker and much valued teacher, whose expertise ranged across science, philosophy and literature. During his period as a lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Sussex […]

Neil Smith, 1954-2012

Neil Smith, 1954–2012 ‘g regarious’, ‘brilliant’, ‘inspiring’, ‘mischievous’, ‘cheeky’, ‘complicated’ and ‘revolutionary’ are all terms used over the years to describe Neil Smith, who has died from liver failure. While the full influence of his legacy on radical social theory, and Marxist spatial theory in particular, remains to be seen, he stands among the most […]

Chris Marker, 1921–2012

Obituaries Future anterior Chris Marker, 1921–2012 Should we start with the death in Paris, on 29 July 2012, at the age of 91? Or with the birth, on the same day in 1921 in Ulan Bator (or Belleville, or Neuillysur-Seine, depending on who you ask)? We could start, perhaps, with the names, like a proper […]

Shulamith Firestone, 1945–2012

Shulamith Firestone, 1945–2012Shulamith Firestone was perhaps the most infamous radical feminist theorist of the twentieth century. As a student at the Art Institute of Chicago, she became an early activist in the women’s movement, founding (with Jo Freeman) the Westside Group in 1967, in large part in response to the patronizing sexism of left politics […]

Jean Laplanche, 1924–2012

Obituary Forming new knots Jean Laplanche, 1924–2012 Jean Laplanche, one of Europe’s most eminent and original psychoanalytic thinkers, died on 6 May, at the age of 87. ^ His death brings to an end a remarkable intellectual career dedicated to the meticulous analysis and rigorous critical expansion of the Freudian discovery. Laplanche was born on […]

Friedrich Adolf Kittler, 1943–2011

Obituary ‘Switch off all apparatuses’ Friedrich Adolf Kittler, 1943–2011 It is a mark of how far Kittler’s reputation had spread in the English-speaking world that he had acquired his own cutely alliterative epithet: ‘the Derrida of the digital age’. It was probably an inevitable moniker for a figure who brought his own brand of poststructuralist […]

León Rozitchner, 1924–2011

Obituary Politics and subjectivity, head-to-head León Rozitchner, 1924–2011 When León Rozitchner passed away on 4 September 2011 after months in the hospital where he had been battling the complications of a cancer operation, his long-time friend and the current director of the National Library of Argentina, Horacio González, referred to him as ‘the philosopher the […]