Bodies and power, revisited

Foucaultʼs early approach to the question of bodies and power is perhaps best known in his analysis of the body of the prisoner in Discipline and Punish. [1] Many of us have read and reread this analysis, and tried to understand how power acts upon a body, but also how power comes to craft and […]

‘The history of truth’

The twenty-first meditation in Alain Badiouʼs LʼEtre et lʼévénement, which is devoted to Pascal, opens with the following quotation from the Pensées: ʻThe history of the Church should properly be called the history of truth.ʼ [1] The pensée in question is numbered 858 by Brunschwicg, and 776 by Lafuma. Although it is not my intention […]

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 […]

Jacques Derrida, 1930–2004

Obituary symposium Jacques Derrida, 1930–2004 David Cunningham In an interview with Le Monde published a couple of months before his death at the age of 74 from pancreatic cancer on Friday 9 October 2004, Jacques Derrida confirmed what many already knew, that he was ʻdangerously illʼ, ʻat war against myselfʼ. If questions of ʻsurvivalʼ had […]

Democratic materialism and the materialist dialectic

Democratic materialism and the materialist dialectic Alain badiou Franceʼs agony was not born of the flagging reasons to believe in her: defeat, demography, industry, etc., but of the incapacity to believe in anything at all. André MalrauxWhat do we all think, today?* What do I myself think when I donʼt monitor myself? Or, rather, what […]

Nihilism and faith

Nihilism and faith Rose, Bernstein and the future of Critical Theory Tony gorman In a succession of books the late Gillian Rose and Jay Bernstein have sought to defend and elaborate upon the Adornian inheritance both within Critical Theory, contra Habermas, [1] and beyond Critical Theory, contra post-structuralist and postmodernist thought. [2] In these works, […]

Risked democracy

The delay involved in the publication of lectures or seminars has strange effects: what comes late and in a different time to its own is research and words which were caught up – more so than the books – in the historical circumstances of their elaboration; and the text that is finally published, with the […]