Stuart Hall’s Archive: A One-Day Symposium and Policing the Crisis Today: Conjunctures of the Past and of the Present – Birmingham, 2 July 2019 (with pre-events in Birmingham 24 June and London 26 June)


Policing the Crisis Today:
Conjunctures of the Past and of the Present
An open invitation to a study workshop
Monday 24 June
Ikon Gallery
1 Oozells Square
Birmingham, B1 2HS


Wednesday 26 June
New York University in London 
6 Bedford Square
London, WC1B 3RA
If you would like to attend, and for further details, please contact Dr Nick Beech:
Policing the Crisis was a response to events concerning the robbery and injury of a man in Birmingham by three boys of mixed ethnic backgrounds. They were given long, exemplary sentences (twenty years, in one case). However, these events were not used to illustrate a pre-existing theoretical argument. Written over six years, the prolonged, difficult process of collective research served as the intellectual “laboratory” out of which the ideas, theories and arguments that animate the text was produced. The book ends by making connections and offering explanations that could not have been anticipated at the beginning.’
—Stuart Hall, Chas Critcher, Tony Jefferson, John Clarke, Brian Roberts, ’Preface to the Second Edition’ (2013), Policing the Crisis (1978/2013).
This year the Cadbury Research Library at the University of Birmingham opened Stuart Hall’s archive. To mark this event, a Symposium will be held on the 2 July 2019, providing an opportunity to consider the value of Hall’s archive for scholars, teachers and political activists critically engaged in the examination and transformation of our past and present (see
In preparation for the Symposium, two study sessions will be held, offering an opportunity to discuss one of the most profound works of cultural studies and Marxist social analysis in the twentieth century: Policing the Crisis (London: Macmillan, 1978), produced by Stuart Hall in collaboration with Chas Critcher, Tony Jefferson, John Clarke and Brian Roberts. The outcomes of these study sessions will be relayed to the Symposium and inform future research programmes and projects. 
For many inheritors of the New Left and cultural studies, Policing the Crisis has provided a guide to the political, economic and cultural transformation of Britain in the 1970s and beyond. It continues to inspire research and political activism within specific fields—particularly in the analysis of urbanism and urban crisis, class-conflict, policing, race, and media—as well as broader enquiries examining periods of political crisis and settlement. 
As a work, Policing the Crisis can be considered:
  • a theoretical model—providing concepts and categories for the critical analysis of capitalist crises, state coercion, hegemony, and racism
  • a methodological model—presenting a procedure of analysis that begins with ‘concrete’, lived experiences, and leads from these to the elaboration of deep social, political and cultural structures in transformation
  • a model of practice—as the product of sustained collaboration between the authors and a wider network of researchers and political activists, in dialogue, and supported by critical readings over a six year period
But it is doubtful that Hall and his co-authors would consider any simple mobilisation of their work in the present as at all adequate. Hall remarked that Antonio Gramsci’s work ‘often appears almost too concrete: too historically specific, too delimited in its references, too “descriptively” analytic, too time and context-bound’. This might be just as true of Policing the Crisis itself, and just as Hall argued that Gramsci’s ideas had to be ‘delicately dis-interred from their concrete and specific embeddedness and transplanted to new soil with considerable care and patience’, we may need to do the same with Hall’s work.
These two study sessions will ask—how might we ‘disinter’ the ideas contained in Policing the Crisis in the analysis and transformation of our present? Where would a Policing the Crisis project begin today, in what conditions, and by whom? The aim of the sessions is not a scholarly one, but an attempt to identify questions, research agendas, and political actions in the present that may be informed by a carefully ‘transplanted’ Policing the Crisis.
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Henri Lefebvre, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche or the Realm of Shadows – Verso, February 2020

71ZRRk3Z5OLI’m pleased to be able to share the news that Henri Lefebvre’s book Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche or the Realm of Shadows is forthcoming in English translation with Verso in early 2020. It’s not yet up on the Verso site, but their US distributors have it listed, and it’s in some online stores.

I’ve known about this book for quite some time now – it’s in a very fine translation by David Fernbach, and it has an introduction by me. The cover is interesting too. I’m really pleased that this book will finally be available in English. It’s one of my favourite books by Lefebvre, and along with Metaphilosophy, one of his key philosophical works. It was published in 1975, immediately after The Production of Space, and just before his epic four-volume De l’État.

With the translation of Lefebvre’s philosophical writings, his stature in the English-speaking world continues to grow. Though certainly within the Marxist tradition, he consistently saw Marx as an ‘unavoidable, necessary, but insufficient starting point’. Unsurprisingly, Lefebvre always insisted on the importance of Hegel to understanding Marx. But the imposing Metaphilosophy also suggested the significance he ascribed to Nietzsche, in the ‘realm of shadows’ through which philosophy seeks to think the world. Lefebvre proposes here that the modern world is at the same time Hegelian in terms of the state; Marxist in terms of the social and society; and Nietzschean in terms of civilization and its values. As early as 1939, Lefebvre pioneered a French reading of Nietzsche that rejected the philosopher’s appropriation by fascism, bringing out the tragic implications of Nietzsche’s proclamation that ‘God is dead’ long before this approach was followed by such later writers as Foucault, Derrida and Deleuze. Forty years later, in the last of his philosophical writings, Lefebvre juxtaposes the contributions of the three great thinkers, in a text whose themes remain surprisingly relevant today.

I’ve also updated my guide – Where to start with reading Henri Lefebvre?

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Gatherings: The Heidegger Circle Annual – 2019 issue published and open access

2019gatheringscover.jpgGatherings: The Heidegger Circle Annual has now been published – available open access.

The first piece, an archival text of William Richardson’s letter to Heidegger leading to the famous preface is especially interesting.


Download complete issue
Download individual texts:

Letter from the Editor
Richard Polt

From the Archives

William Richardson’s Questions for Martin Heidegger’s “Preface”
Edited, translated, and with a commentary by Richard Capobianco and Ian Alexander Moore


Accidental Origins: The Importance of Tuchē and Automaton for Heidegger’s 1922 Reading of Aristotle
Jennifer Gammage

Heidegger’s Epicureanism: Death, Dwelling and Ataraxia
Paul Gyllenhammer

The Place-Being of the Clearing and Language: Reading Thomas Sheehan Topologically
Onur Karamercan

From Matter to Earth: Heidegger, Aristotle, and “The Origin of the Work of Art”
Khafiz Kerimov


Beyond Presence?
Jussi Backman, Taylor Carman, Daniel O. Dahlstrom, Graham Harman, Michael Marder, and Richard Polt

Book Reviews

Kevin Aho, ed., Existential Medicine: Essays on Health and Illness
Casey Rentmeester

Jussi Backman, Complicated Presence: Heidegger and the Postmetaphysical Unity of Being
Pascal Massie

Andrew Benjamin and Dimitris Vardoulakis, eds., Sparks Will Fly: Benjamin and Heidegger
Benjamin Brewer

Gregory Fried and Richard Polt, eds., After Heidegger?
Jessica Elkayam

Lawrence J. Hatab, Proto-Phenomenology and the Nature of Language: Dwelling in Speech I
Daniel O. Dahlstrom

Texts Cited

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Gregory Jones-Katz reviews Jacques Derrida, Theory and Practice and Byung-Chul Han, Shanzhai: Deconstruction in Chinese

Gregory Jones-Katz reviews Jacques Derrida, Theory and Practice the 1976–’77 seminar at the École Normale Supérieure, along with Byung-Chul Han’s Shanzhai: Deconstruction in Chinese (via Enowning)

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Chloë Taylor, Foucault, Feminism, and Sex Crimes – reviewed at NDPR by Jemina Repo

TaylorChloë Taylor, Foucault, Feminism, and Sex Crimes: An Anti-Carceral Analysis, Routledge, 2019 is reviewed by Jemina Repo at NDPR.

Here’s the publisher description:

This book brings together Foucault’s writings on crime and delinquency, on the one hand, and sexuality, on the other, to argue for an anti-carceral feminist Foucauldian approach to sex crimes. The author expands on Foucault’s writings through intersectional explorations of the critical race, decolonial, critical disability, queer and critical trans studies literatures on the prison that have emerged since the publication of Discipline and Punish and The History of Sexuality.

Drawing on Foucault’s insights from his genealogical period, the book argues that those labeled as sex offenders will today be constructed to re-offend twice over, once in virtue of the delinquency with which they are inculcated through criminological discourses and in the criminal punishment system, and second in virtue of the manners in which their sexual offense is taken up as an identity through psychological and sexological discourses. The book includes a discussion of non-retributive responses to crime, including preventative, redistributive, restorative, and transformative justice. It concludes with two appendixes: the original 19th-century medico-legal report on Charles Jouy and its English translation by the author.

Foucault, Feminism, and Sex Crimes will be of interest to feminist philosophers, Continental philosophers, Women’s and Gender Studies scholars, social and political theorists, as well as social scientists and social justice activists.

Unfortunately only available as expensive hardback, and e-book at the moment.

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Death Valley acid trips and cocktails with Einstein — The SoCal lives of exiled minds (2019)

Foucault News

Michel Foucault, left, and Michael Stoneman in a photo from the book “Foucault in California.” (David Wade)

SCOTT BRADFIELD, Death Valley acid trips and cocktails with Einstein — The SoCal lives of exiled minds, Los Angeles Times, MAY 17, 2019

“Foucault in California” by Simeon Wade, Heyday, 2019,

Over the decades, many intellectuals came to Southern California from somewhere else; and often they came to escape the systems of politics, logic and art they left behind. This seems especially true of French philosopher and social theorist Michel Foucault, the subject of this odd memoir.

Foucault was one of the most influential philosophers of the 20 century, producing numerous “disciplinary histories” documenting how systems of knowledge (sexual, linguistic, medical) were more effective at controlling populations than at disseminating knowledge. (He was also an early proponent of shaved heads and cool Kraftwerkian demeanor.)


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Tony Fisher and Kélina Gotman (eds.), Foucault’s Theatres – Manchester University Press, October 2019

9781526135704Tony Fisher and Kélina Gotman (eds.), Foucault’s Theatres – Manchester University Press, October 2019

Among other things it includes a piece by me on Foucault and Shakespeare, and a new translation of an interview with Foucault from one of his visits to Japan. (The cover image is of the book’s earlier working title.)

The volume contributes to a new articulation of theatre and performance studies via Foucault’s critical thought. With cutting edge studies by established and emerging writers in areas such as dramaturgy, film, music, cultural history and journalism, the volume aims to be accessible for both experienced researchers and advanced students encountering Foucault’s work for the first time. The introduction sets out a thorough and informative assessment of Foucault’s relevance to theatre and performance studies and to our present cultural moment – it rereads his profound engagement with questions of truth, power and politics, in light of previously unknown writings and lectures. Unique to this volume is the discovery of a ‘theatrical’ Foucault – the profound affinity of his thinking with questions of performativity. This discovery makes accessible the ‘performance turn’ to readers of Foucault, while opening up ways of reading Foucault’s oeuvre ‘theatrically’.

Introduction: theatre, performance, Foucault Tony Fisher and Kélina Gotman
1 Foucault’s philosophical theatres Mark D. Jordan
2 The dramas of knowledge: Foucault’s genealogical theatre of truth Aline Wiame
3 Foucault live! A Voice That Still Eludes the Tomb of the Text. Magnolia Pauker
4 Foucault, Oedipus, Négritude Kélina Gotman
5 Foucault’s critical dramaturgies Mark Robson
6 Heterotopia and the mapping of unreal spaces on stage Joanne Tompkins
7 Foucault and Shakespeare: the theatre of madness Stuart Elden
8 Philosophical phantasms: ‘the Platonic differential’ and ‘Zarathustra’s laughter’ Mischa Twitchin
9 Cage and Foucault: musical timekeeping and the security state Steve Potter
10 Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: reassessed Tracey Nicholls
11 Sightlines: Foucault and Naturalist theatre Dan Rebellato
12 Theatre of poverty: popular illegalism in the nineteenth century Tony Fisher
13 The philosophical scene: an interview with Moriaki Watanabe Michel Foucault (translated by Robert Bononno)
14 After words, afterwards: teaching Foucault Ann Pellegrini

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Draft programme for the Truth, Fiction, Illusion: Worlds and Experience – Association for Philosophy and Literature conference

The draft programme for the Truth, Fiction, Illusion: Worlds and Experience – Association for Philosophy and Literature conference is available here. I’ll be giving a plenary lecture on ‘Foucault, Shakespeare and the Oath’ on the Thursday Friday afternoon, and there will be a ‘Close Encounter’ discussion of my work on the Saturday morning.’

The conference, organised in association with Theory, Culture & Society, will be held at Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt, Austria, 29 May-2 June.

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New Perspectives, 01/2019 – full Issue to download

NP_2019_01_Cover_HiRes2.jpgNew Perspectives, 01/2019 – full Issue to download


1. Über Berlin

Benjamin Tallis

Research Articles

2. Great Expectations: The EU’s Social Role as a Great Power Manager

David M. McCourt & Andrew Glencross

3. The (Small) State of the Union: Assessing the EU’s Ability to Implement Its Global Strategy

Rebecca Pedi

4. The Wrong Critiques: Why Internal Border Controls Don’t Mean the End of Schengen

Markéta Votoupalová


5. Russia and the World: IMEMO Forecast 2018

Mark Galeotti, Minda Holm, Tuomas Forsberg, Ruth Deyermond & Irina Kobrinskaya

6. Twilight of the Proletariat: Reading Critical Balkanology as Liberal Ideology

Catherine Baker, Nataša Kovačević, Dragan Kujundžić & Rade Zinaić

Cultural Cut

7. Bauhaus Imaginista: Framing Renshichirō Kawakita’s Transcultural Legacy and Pedagogy

Helena Čapková


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Thomas Nail, Theory of the Image – OUP, May 2019

9780190050085Thomas Nail, Theory of the Image – OUP, May 2019

We live in an age of the mobile image. The world today is absolutely saturated with images of all kinds circulating around the world at an incredible rate. The movement of the image has never been more extraordinary than it is today. This recent kinetic revolution of the image has enormous consequences not only for the way we think about contemporary art and aesthetics but also for art history as well.

Responding to this historical moment, Theory of the Image offers a fresh new theory and history of art from the perspective of this epoch-defining mobility. The image has been understood in many ways, but it is rarely understood to be fundamentally in motion. The original and materialist approach is what defines Theory of the Image and what allows it to offer the first kinetic history of the Western art tradition. In this book, Thomas Nail further develops his larger philosophy of movement into a comprehensive

“This is an engaging book with a fascinating argument. Thomas Nail stakes out new territory, building a theory from the group up of the image as kinetic” — David Morgan , Duke University

“Thomas Nail’s Theory of the Image is an ambitious and original attempt to re-theorize the material and cognitive dynamics of the image. In this respect, his model is kinetic as opposed to representational, mimetic, or hermeneutical. The book is eminently suitable for use on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, in particular, philosophy, cultural theory, and art history.” — John Roberts , University of Wolverhampton

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