Cleaning artefacts

Dan Kidner and Alex Sainsbury, eds., Nightcleaners and ’36 to ’77 (London: Raven Row, LUX and Koenig Books, 2018). Box-set containing two books (214pp.) and two DVDs/Blu-Rays. £24.00, 978 3 96098 381 1 From campaign film to experiment in documentary representation, and from exemplary instance of anti-realist and self-reflexive ‘Brechtian’ counter cinema (according to some […]

Human rights in a wrong world

Ratna Kapur, Gender, Alterity and Human Rights: Freedom in a Fishbowl (Cheltenham and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018). 307pp., £90.00 hb., £19.95 pb., 978 1 78811 252 9 hb., 978 1 83910 447 3 pb. Over the past few decades, various critical scholars have emphasised the limitations of human rights. Such scholars have, for […]

Symbols and spirits

Erich Hörl, Sacred Channels: The Archaic Illusion of Communication, trans. Nils F. Schott (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2018). 344pp., € 52,95 pb., 978 90 8964 770 2 Originally published in German in 2004, Sacred Channels: The Archaic Illusion of Communication, Erich Hörl’s unorthodox genealogy of thinking about thinking, is now available to readers in English. […]

Reformist radicalism

Chantal Mouffe, For a Left Populism (London: Verso, 2018). 112pp., £10.99 hb., £9.99 pb., 978 1 78663 755 0 hb., 978 1 78663 756 7 pb. Despite its present ubiquity, the term ‘populism’ remains ambiguous. Does populism describe a set of radically democratic demands, or the appeal to an exclusive society predicated on sameness? Can […]

Decolonisation and deconstruction

Abdelkebir Khatibi, Plural Maghreb: Writings on Postcolonialism, trans. P. Burcu Yalim (London: Bloomsbury, 2019). 197pp., £24.29 pb. 978 1 35005 395 3 Abdelkebir Khatibi’s collection of essays was first published in French in 1983 as Maghreb Pluriel. It comprises six essays originally published between (roughly) 1970 and 1982 in various venues. The first three essays […]

Fully automated luxury barbarism

Aaron Bastani, Fully Automated Luxury Communism: A Manifesto (London: Verso, 2019). 288pp., £16.99 hb., 978 1 78663 262 3 ‘This is not a book about the future but about a present that goes unacknowledged’, Aaron Bastani writes in Fully Automated Luxury Communism. Bastani does not set out to describe what an ideal communist society would […]

Critical universalism

Franziska Dubgen and Stefan Skupien, Paulin Hountondji: African Philosophy as Critical Universalism (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). 192pp., €67,62 hb., 978 3 03001 994 5 During the extraordinarily intense debates on the future trajectory of modern African philosophy at the dawn of African independence, Paulin J. Hountondji, along with the likes of Kwasi Wiredu in […]

Border crossings

Brigitta Kuster, Grenze filmen. Eine kulturwissenschaftliche Analyse audiovisueller Produktionen an der Grenze Europas (Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag, 2018). 344pp., € 29,99, 978 3 83763 981 0 ‘We did not cross the border, the border crossed us’. So say the migrant activists at the Mexican-US-American border. The categorisation of migration and the individual migrant does not exist […]

The presence of the past

Chris Moffat, India’s Revolutionary Inheritance: Politics and the Promise of Bhagat Singh (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019). 238pp., £75.00 hb., 978 1 10849 690 2 The twin defeats marked by the disappearance of the dreams of the late 1960s and the demise of the Soviet Union unanchored the Left from much of the certainty that […]

Liquidated subjects

Alexi Kukuljevic, Liquidation World: On the Art of Living Absently (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2017). 152pp., £11.99 pb., 978 0 26253 419 2 When Gilles Deleuze described his work on the history of philosophy as an act of buggery, and showed how Kant and his likenesses could be made the fathers of monsters each […]

The monochrome and the readymade

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 […]