ASCP Members' Books 2012

The ASCP community is prolific in producing work that encompasses a variety of areas of scholarship in Continental Philosophy. The following book descriptions provide some recent examples of this work published in 2012.


Nicole Anderson, Derrida: Ethics Under Erasure (Continuum Press, 2012)

Derrida's work is controversial, its interpretation hotly contested. Derrida: Ethics Under Erasure offers a new way of thinking about ethics from a Derridean perspective, linking the most abstract theoretical implications of his writing on deconstruction and on justice and responsibility to representations of the practice of ethical paradoxes in everyday life. The book presents the development of Derrida's thinking on ethics by demonstrating that the ethical was a focus of Derrida's work at every stage of his career. In connecting Derrida's earlier work on language with the ethics implicated in his later work on justice and responsibility, Nicole Anderson traverses literary, linguistic, philosophical and ethical interpretative movements, thus recontextualising Derrida's entire oeuvre for a contemporary readership. She explores the positive ethical implications of Derrida's work for representation and practice and asks the reader to consider how this new ethical reading of Derrida's work might be applied to concrete instances of his or her own ethical experience.


Miriam Bankovsky & Alice Le Goff (eds.), Penser la reconnaissance : Entre théorie critique et philosophie française contemporaine (CNRS Editions Alpha: 2012)

La théorie de la reconnaissance a récemment fait l’objet d’un regain d’intérêt de la part de la théorie critique, qu’il s’agisse d’élaborer une grille d’analyse de la grammaire des conflits sociaux au prisme de la reconnaissance ou d’interroger les modes d’articulation entre reconnaissance et redistribution au sein des débats sur la justice sociale. La théorie de la reconnaissance a ainsi contribué à une revitalisation de la théorie critique, en se nourrissant, entre autres, de l’apport de la philosophie et de la sociologie françaises. L’enjeu de ce volume est d’examiner les usages de la philosophie et de la sociologie françaises par la théorie de la reconnaissance. Mais il vise également à mettre l’accent sur la façon dont la philosophie et la sociologie françaises attirent notre attention sur des dimensions souvent occultées des processus de reconnaissance – caractère agonistique des processus de construction identitaire, rôle de l’inconscient dans l’acceptation des normes, vulnérabilité des corps... L’exploration du dialogue entre sociologie et philosophie françaises et théorie critique peut ainsi contribuer au développement d’une approche plus riche de la reconnaissance car plus consciente de ses aspects à la fois positifs et négatifs dans la vie intersubjective et sociale.

Contributions by: Professor Axel Honneth, Catherine Malabou, Professor Christian Lazzeri, Professor Jean-Michel Salanskis, Professor Yves Cusset, Associate Prof. Jean-Philippe Deranty, Associate Prof. Robin Celikates, Dr Alice Le Goff, Dr Claire Pagès, Dr Gabriel Rockhill, Dr Isabelle Aubert, Dr Marie Garrau, and Dr Miriam Bankovsky.


Miriam Bankovsky and Alice Le Goff (eds.), Recognition theory and contemporary French moral and political philosophy: Reopening the dialogue (Manchester University Press, 2012)

The revival of recognition theory has brought new energy to critical theory. In general terms, recognition theory aims to critically evaluate social structures against a standard of social freedom identified with norms of interaction which are freely recognized by all parties. Until now, attention has primarily focused on the categories and forms of recognition theory. However, the influence of contemporary French theory upon the development of theories of recognition has not yet received the consideration it merits. The book takes up this task. With chapters by internationally recognized authors, the collection outlines the current state of recognition theory, studies the impact of French theory, and uses French thought to identity aspects of the recognitive process which are often overlooked. Exploring French accounts of agonistic identity construction, vulnerability, power, ethical obligation, and reflexive theory construction, this book supports the intentions of critical theory with heightened attentiveness to oppression in all of its forms.


Miriam Bankovsky, Perfecting justice in Rawls, Habermas and Honneth: A deconstructive perspective (Continuum, 2012)

In this exciting new work, Miriam Bankovsky shows how the pursuit of justice requires two orientations. The first is a practical commitment to the possibility of justice, which is the clear starting point for the broadly constructive theories of Rawls, Habermas and Honneth. Indeed, if justice were not possible, it would be difficult to see why it is worthwhile for human beings to live on this earth. However, a second orientation qualifies the first. It can be expressed as a deconstructive attentiveness to the impossibility of determining justice’s content. This impossibility results from the tension between the appeal for individual consideration and the appeal for impartiality, demands that Derrida believes our historical concept of justice includes.
Framed by these two orientations, this ambitious book explores the promise and shortcomings of the constructive theories. Attentive to concrete experiences of injustice that these thinkers tend to overlook, Bankovsky provocatively challenges Rawls’ account of civil disobedience, Habermas’ defence of rational consensus, and Honneth’s ideal of mutual recognition, providing new insights into deconstruction’s relevance for contemporary theories of justice.

"In this clearly written and carefully argued book, Miriam Bankovsky brings Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction to bear on Rawls, Habermas and Honneth to develop a deconstructive perspective on justice that does not simply deny the possibility of justice. The book will be hard to ignore for anyone interested in the relationship between these thinkers." Lasse Thomassen, Queen Mary University of London, UK

"Miriam Bankovsky's exemplary book offers a thoughtful reflection on theorizing justice, which demonstrates the benefits of bringing different traditions of thought into dialogue with one another. Lucidly written and compellingly argued, it offers both a distinctive account of theorizing justice as a civic activity and provides the basis for a productive rapprochement between contrasting approaches to this activity." David Owen, University of Southampton, UK


Arne De Boever, Alex Murray, Jon Roffe and Ashley Woodward, Gilbert Simondon: Being and Technology (EUP, 2012)

The first sustained exploration of Simondon's work in English

This collection of essays, including one by Simondon himself, outlines the central tenets of Simondon's thought, the implication of his thought for numerous disciplines and his relationship to other thinkers such as Heidegger, Deleuze and Canguilhem.

Complete with a contextualising introduction and a glossary of technical terms, it offers an entry point to this important thinker and will appeal to people working in philosophy, philosophy of science, media studies, social theory and political philosophy.

Gilbert Simondon's work has recently come to prominence in America and around the Anglophone world, having been of great importance in France for many years.


Geoff Boucher, Adorno Reframed (Ibtaurus, 2012)

Dismissed as a miserable elitist who condemned popular culture in the name of 'high art', Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) is one of the most provocative and important yet least understood of contemporary thinkers. This book challenges this popular image and re-examines Adorno as a utopian philosopher who believed authentic art could save the world. Adorno Reframed is not only a comprehensive introduction to the reader coming to Adorno for the first time, but also an important re-evaluation of this founder of the Frankfurt School. Using a wealth of concrete illustrations from popular culture, Geoffrey Boucher recasts Adorno as a revolutionary whose subversive irony and profoundly historical aesthetics defended the integrity of the individual against social totality.


Geoff Boucher, Understanding Marxism (Acumen, 2012)

Marxism as an intellectual movement has been one of the most important and fertile contributions to twentieth-century thought. No social theory or political philosophy today can be taken seriously unless it enters a dialogue, not just with the legacy of Marx, but also with the innovations and questions that spring from the movement that his work sparked, Marxism.

Marx provided a revolutionary set of ideas about freedom, politics and society. As social and political conditions changed and new intellectual challenges to Marx’s social philosophy arose, the Marxist theorists sought to update his social theory, rectify the sociological positions of historical materialism and respond to philosophical challenges with a Marxist reply. This book provides an accessible introduction to Marxism by explaining each of the key concepts of Marxist politics and social theory. The book is organized into three parts, which explore the successive waves of change within Marxist theory and places these in historical context, while the whole provides a clear and comprehensive account of Marxism as an intellectual system.

A clearly written introduction to the major thinkers and philosophical schools of the Western Marxist tradition. This is the only book that will get students from the Frankfurt School to Habermas and on to Žižek with clarity and even-handedness.” – Terrell Carver, University of Bristol"


Sean Bowden and Simon Duffy (eds.), Badiou and Philosophy (EUP, 2012)

The first reassessment of Alain Badiou’s work since the English translation of his Logics of Worlds in 2009

From Cantor to category/topos theory, from Lacan to Lautman and from Sartre to the subject, these 13 essays engage directly with the work of Alain Badiou. They focus on the philosophical content of Badiou’s work and show how he connects both with his contemporaries and his philosophical heritage.


Russell Daylight, What If Derrida Was Wrong about Saussure? (EUP, 2012)

Over the past 100 years there has been no more important reading of Saussurean linguistics than that of Jacques Derrida. This book is the first comprehensive analysis on the importance of that reading and what it means for cultural studies, philosophy, linguistics and literary theory today.

The main themes of the text include the originality of Saussure within the history of Western metaphysics, the relationship between speech and writing, and the intervention of time in structuralism.


Jean-Philippe Deranty and Alison Ross (eds.), Jacques Rancière and the Contemporary Scene: The Philosophy of Radical Equality (Continuum, 2012)

This book forms the first critical study of Jacques Rancière’s impact and contribution to contemporary theoretical and interdisciplinary studies. It showcases the work of leading scholars in fields such as political theory, history and aesthetic theory; each of whom are uniquely situated to engage with the novelty of Rancière’s thinking within their respective fields.

Each of the essays provides an investigation into the critical stance Rancière takes towards his contemporaries, concentrating on the versatile application of his thought to diverse fields of study (including, political and education theory, cinema studies, literary and aesthetic theory, and historical studies). The aim of this collection is to use the critical interventions Rancière’s writing makes on current topics and themes as a way of offering new critical perspectives on his thought. Wielding their individual expertise, each contributor assesses his perspectives and positions on thinkers and topics of contemporary importance. The edition includes a new essay by Jacques Rancière, which charts the different problems and motivations that have shaped his work.


Jean-Philippe Deranty and Nicholas Smith, New Philosophies of Labour: Work and the Social Bond (Brill, 2012)

One of the most vexing questions in contemporary political philosophy and social theory concerns the framework within which to undertake a normatively well-grounded, empirically attuned critique of capitalist society. This volume takes the debate forward by proposing a new framework that emphasizes the central anthropological significance of work (its role in constituting human subjectivity) as well as the role work has in the formation of social bonds. Drawing on the philosophy of Hegel and the post-Hegelian tradition of critical social theory, special attention is given to the significance of recognition in work, the problems of misrecognition generated in the present culture of capitalism, and the normative resources available for criticising it.

ferrell sacred

Robyn Ferrell, Sacred Exchanges: Images In Global Context (Columbia UP, 2012)

As the international art market globalizes the indigenous image, it changes its identity, status, value, and purpose in local and larger contexts. Focusing on a school of Australian Aboriginal painting that has become popular in the contemporary art world, Robyn Ferrell traces the influence of cultural exchanges on art, the self, and attitudes toward the other.

Aboriginal acrylic painting, produced by indigenous women artists of the Australian Desert, bears a superficial resemblance to abstract expressionism and is often read as such by viewers. Yet to see this art only through a Western lens is to miss its unique ontology, logics of sensation, and rich politics and religion. Ferrell explores the culture that produces these paintings and connects its aesthetic to the brutal environmental and economic realities of its people. From here, she travels to urban locales, observing museums and department stores as they traffic interchangeably in art and commodities.

Ferrell ties the history of these desert works to global acts of genocide and dispossession. Rethinking the value of the artistic image in the global market and different interpretations of the sacred, she considers photojournalism, ecotourism, and other sacred sites of the western subject, investigating the intersection of modern art and postmodern culture. She ultimately challenges the primacy of the “European gaze” and its fascination with sacred cultures, constructing a more balanced intercultural dialogue that deemphasizes the aesthetic of the real championed by western philosophy.



Craig Lundy, History and Becoming: Deleuze's Philosophy of Creativity (EUP, 2012)

How are we to understand the process of transformation, the creation of the new, and its relation to what has come before? In History and Becoming, Craig Lundy puts forward a series of fresh and provocative responses to this enduring problematic. Through an analysis of Gilles Deleuze's major solo works and his collaborations with Guattari, he demonstrates how history and becoming work together in driving novelty, transmutation and experimentation. What emerges from this exploration is a new way of thinking about history and the vital role it plays in bringing forth the future.




Knox Peden & Peter Hallward (eds.), Concept and Form: Volumes 1 and 2 (Verso, 2012)

Concept and Form is a two-volume monument to the work of the philosophy journal the Cahiers pour l’Analyse (1966–69), the most ambitious and radical collective project to emerge from French structuralism. Inspired by their teachers Louis Althusser and Jacques Lacan, the editors of the Cahiers sought to sever philosophy from the interpretation of given meanings or experiences, focusing instead on the mechanisms that structure specific configurations of discourse, from the psychological and ideological to the literary, scientific, and political. Adequate analysis of the operations at work in these configurations, they argue, helps prepare the way for their revolutionary transformation.

The first volume comprises English translations of some of the most important theoretical texts published in the journal, written by thinkers who would soon be counted among the most inventive and influential of their generation. The second volume collects newly commissioned essays on the journal, together with recent interviews with people who were either members of its editorial board or associated with its broader theoretical project.

Contributors include Alain Badiou, Étienne Balibar, Edward Baring, Jacques Bouveresse, Yves Duroux, Alain Grosrichard, Peter Hallward, Adrian Johnston, Serge Leclaire, Patrice Maniglier, Tracy McNulty, Jacques-Alain Miller, Jean-Claude Milner, Knox Peden, Jacques Rancière, François Regnault, and Slavoj Žižek.


Kate Schick & Amanda Russell Beattie (eds.), The Vulnerable Subject: Beyond Rationalism in International Relations (Palgrave Macmillan: 2012)

International Relations scholarship has typically engaged with vulnerability as a problem to be solved through 'rational' attempts to craft a global order marked by universality, predictability and stability. By recovering an awareness of the persistently vulnerable human subject, this book argues that we can re-engage with issues of emotion, relationality, community and history that are often excluded from the study of global politics. This collection proposes an agonistic approach to international ethics and politics, eschewing a rationalism that radically privileges white Western conceptions of the world and that actively oppresses alternative voices. The Vulnerable Subject addresses issues such as trust, judgement, climate change, identity, and post-colonial relations, allowing for a profound rethinking of one of the core driving assumptions at the heart of international politics.

Review: 'The Vulnerable Subject is a wonderful book. The volume's editors have assembled a collection of essays that collectively take the reader beyond now-familiar critiques not only of mainstream 'explanatory' IR theory, but also of rationalist normative theory. Eschewing well-worn oppositions and dichotomies, the authors challenge us to consider the implications of 'the vulnerable subject' in a wide range of theoretical and empirical positions related to global politics. If you teach or research in international relations or moral and political philosophy, this book may change the way you think about ethics, politics, your 'subject' and your self.'
— Fiona Robinson, Professor of Political Science, Carleton University, Canada


Schick, Kate, Gillian Rose: A Good Enough Justice (EUP, 2012)

Makes the case for the rediscovery of British philosopher Gillian Rose’s unique but neglected voice. Gillian Rose draws on idiosyncratic readings of thinkers such as Hegel, Adorno and Kierkegaard to underpin her philosophy, negotiating the ‘broken middle’ between the particular and the universal. While of the left, she is sharply critical of much left-wing thought, insisting that it shirks the work of coming to know and of taking political risk in pursuit of a ‘good enough justice’.

Kate Schick presents the core themes of Rose’s work and locates her ideas within central debates in contemporary social theory (trauma and memory, exclusion and difference, tragedy and messianic utopia), engaging with the works of Benjamin, Honig, Žižek and Butler. She shows how Rose’s speculative perspective brings a different gaze to bear on debates, eschewing well-worn liberal, critical theoretic and post-structural positions.

"In this book Kate Schick brings off the seemingly impossible: she renders Gillian Rose's thought clear without losing sight of its subtle profundity and obstinate difficulty. In doing so she makes it apparent just why we might now be more receptive to this thought and what it still has to teach us: that against the already actualised dystopic utopia of the right, and an increased left oscillation between impossible utopia and entire resignation to evil, Rose offers us the abstract contours of a hopeful realism or a realistic hope. Schick rightly edges that vision a little further away from aporia and a little further towards practical realisation. Thereby she has crafted a real contribution not just to scholarship and political theory, but to the future of political practice in the UK and beyond." John Milbank, The University of Nottingham


Liam Sprod, Nuclear Futurism: The work of art in the age of remainderless destruction (Zero, 2012)

In the time of ends, the most dangerous technology of nuclear weapons confronts us with a new philosophy of the future.  Starting from the end of history, the end of art and the failure of the future set out by such ends, Nuclear Futurism reinvigorates art, literature and philosophy through the unlikely alliance of hauntology and the Italian futurists. Tracing the paradoxes of the possibilities of total nuclear destruction reveals the terminal condition of culture in the time of ends, where the logic of the apocalyptic without apocalypse holds sway. These paradoxes also open the path for a new vision of the future in the form of experimental art and literature. By re-examining the thought of both Derrida and Heidegger with regards to the history of art, the art of history and their responses to the most dangerous technology of nuclear weapons the future is exposed as a progressive event, rather than the atrophied and apocalyptic to-come of the present world. It is happening now, opening up through the force of art and literature and charting a new path for a futural philosophy.


Marcelo Svirsky & Simone Bignall (eds.), Agamben and Colonialism (EUP, 2012)

Svirsky and Bignall assemble leading figures to explore the rich philosophical linkages and the political concerns shared by Agamben and postcolonial theory. Agamben's theories of the 'state of exception' and 'bare life' are situated in critical relation to the existence of these phenomena in the colonial/postcolonial world.

Features an international set of expert contributors who approach postcolonial criticism from an interdisciplinary perspectiveo Deals with colonial and postcolonial issues in Russia, Israel and Palestine, Africa the Americas, Asia and Australiao Offers new insights on colonial exclusion, racism and postcolonial democracyo A timely intervention to debates in poststructuralist, postcolonial and postmodern studies for students of politics, critical theory and social & political philosophy.