Berfrois

Why do some rare individuals become the vehicles of universal ideas?

Why do some rare individuals become the vehicles of universal ideas?

Born on May 5, 1818, in Trier, a city in the German Rhineland, Marx was the third child of Jewish converts to Christianity. His father Heinrich, né Herschel, had no choice except to fall in with the Lutheran Church if he wished to practice law in Prussia.

Read More

Stuart Elden on Ernst Kantorowicz

Stuart Elden on Ernst Kantorowicz

Kantorowicz led a remarkable life, and it seems only right to wonder what else he might have achieved as a scholar had he not encountered so many challenges to his academic career.

Read More

Gerardo Muñoz on Jean-Luc Nancy

Gerardo Muñoz on Jean-Luc Nancy

Jean Luc Nancy’s The Banality of Heidegger (Fordham, 2017) is yet another contribution to the ongoing debate on Heidegger and Nazism, in the wake of the publication of the Black Notebooks in recent years.

Read More

Michael O’Rourke: The Afterlives of Queer Theory

Michael O’Rourke: The Afterlives of Queer Theory

If queer thinking were reduced to being the province of one particular thinker then its multiple localities would be worryingly narrowed and its localities would become merely parochial.

Read More

Gathering and Assembling: Judith Butler on the Future of Politics

Gathering and Assembling: Judith Butler on the Future of Politics

It is impossible to under-estimate the exceptional contribution to political understanding provided in the writing of Judith Butler.

Read More

Olivia Rao plays

Olivia Rao plays

It had been so long since I last pulled out the Snakes & Ladders set that the cardboard box had warped. I'd put it away in that attic ages ago, and if the weather hadn't been the way it was, and I hadn't needed distraction, it never would've occurred...

Read More

Ed Simon: The Grand Apprentice

Ed Simon: The Grand Apprentice

It had been twenty centuries since He’d last walked upon the Earth, and it was in the ninth year of the new reign that He quietly appeared again late afternoon on a cold Christmas Eve.

Read More

‘The error is to tie a religion to a specific culture’

‘The error is to tie a religion to a specific culture’

Islam is in many ways more European than a conventional notion of 'European heritage' suggests. From 1362 to 1924, the Ottoman sultan bore the title of Caliph.

Read More

Ed Simon: Elsewheres

Ed Simon: Elsewheres

What do you think Ishmael’s life is like after the last page of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick? What ultimately happens to that survivor of the ill-fated Pequod? Where does he go, what does he do, how does he end his days? The “scandal of fiction” is that although these questions...

Read More

Adam Staley Groves: Why I Didn’t Vote

Adam Staley Groves: Why I Didn’t Vote

You don’t get to choose when it’s over but, do you get a chance to recognize that it is? Americans have elected an accused child rapist. An accused rapist who is also accused of sexual assault he condones. And that’s just part of it as you know. Trump may...

Read More

Paws Lifted by Menachem Feuer

Paws Lifted by Menachem Feuer

While Andy Warhol told us that everyone wants to becomes a star, filmmakers like Woody Allen, Judd Apatow, and Seth Rogen show us that even the smallest people – what, in Yiddish, are called schlemiels - are really “larger than life.”

Read More

Beyond and After (Marx)

Beyond and After (Marx)

Marx After Marx takes up the question of the expansion of capitalism outside of Europe, in polemical opposition to a simplified image of ‘Western Marxism’, by constructing a non-European Marxist tradition for which ‘formal subsumption’ is the key to comprehending the unevenness and necessary incompletion of capitalist development.

Read More

Colin Campbell: Never Quite as Modern

Colin Campbell: Never Quite as Modern

In a review essay in the September 5th, 2016 issue of The New Yorker, professor Adam Kirsch poses a problem that is very similar in certain respects to the problem radical general semantics poses for us.

Read More

‘Mexican existentialism provides a template for a kind of liberationist project’

‘Mexican existentialism provides a template for a kind of liberationist project’

In 1948, a group of philosophers in Mexico began a spirited and public engagement with existentialism. The movement flourished for only four years, but Carlos Alberto Sánchez argues that the project was of considerably greater philosophical importance than its brief duration might suggest.

Read More

Ed Simon on the Whiskey Rebellion

Ed Simon on the Whiskey Rebellion

Herman Husband – itinerant preacher, politician, regulator, radical – would amble among the woods surrounding Pittsburgh. Here on the trans-Appalachian frontier, the native North Carolinian with his shoddy patchwork clothes and with his biblically long beard.

Read More

French Theory certainly was not French eventually

French Theory certainly was not French eventually

French Theory is no theory. It is a well-known fact that “Theory,” as in “French Theory,” is neither a theoretical endeavor nor a theoretical manifestation of thought.

Read More

The Frankfurt School saw no hope for escaping the pathologies of society that they diagnosed…

The Frankfurt School saw no hope for escaping the pathologies of society that they diagnosed…

Benjamin hoped that his kind of writing would be, as Jeffries puts it, “a kind of Marxist shock therapy aimed at reforming consciousness,” waking people up to the dream-world they lived in under capitalism.

Read More

“Look at reality carefully”

“Look at reality carefully”

It had a focus on being dominant for centuries without change. Whole groups get excluded because a certain kind of dominant discourse is established.

Read More

‘Love’ and ‘God’

‘Love’ and ‘God’

Various contemporary continental philosophers have taken an interest in espousing some form of a 'return to religion' but one devoid of actual, material religious belief and practice.

Read More