Category Archives: Books

Review of “Interventions in Contemporary Thought”

Interventions_CoverA review of my book, Interventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics, was just published here by Cynthía Krkoška-Níelsen. This book was published in hardback in the fall, but it is coming out in paperback this May. Click here to see the announcement.

Excerpt: “An intervention is not simply a more radical or highly innovative way of engaging a text, performing or interpreting an artwork, or revamping political practices. Intervention operates, so to speak, at a deeper level: it seeks to change the historical conditions of possibility and in doing so to change the activity of thought itself and, presumably, what can show up as a viable option or way of acting and being in a particular context. […]  Rockhill’s critique of Eurocentrism is refreshingly nuanced and resists falling into an overly facile binary of oppositions—geographic or otherwise—which then demonizes Europe and seems to assume that “Europe” has a stable, unchanging center. […] While such radical geography continues within the domain of critique discourses of Eurocentrism, it is attuned to the unfixed, center-less character of ‘Europe,’ which it unearths as the ‘site of striated, overlapping and contested spaces’ (31) […read more].”

Intro to Forthcoming Book Online

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The introduction to my book Counter-History of the Present: Untimely Interrogations into Globalization, Technology, Democracy, which is forthcoming in early May with Duke University Press, is now available online here. The original French version of the book was recently published by CNRS Éditions. Click here for details.

Parution de “Contre-histoire du temps présent”

41ch4pig7bl-_sx316_bo1204203200_Je suis ravi de pouvoir annoncer la parution de mon prochain livre, Contre-histoire du temps présent : interrogations intempestives sur la mondialisation, la technologie, la démocratie, chez CNRS Editions. Voici la quatrième de couverture :

« Il est communément admis que nous vivrions une ère mondiale où un réseau économique et technologique relie toujours davantage les quatre coins du globe et où la démocratie s’impose comme la condition nécessaire de la vie politique. Pourtant, cette image d’un âge global aussi avancé que civilisé est loin d’aller de soi ou d’être anodine. Enracinée dans un champ de forces sociopolitiques et économiques, elle sert souvent de véhicule clandestin pour des projets redoutables. Une telle vision du temps présent, ainsi que l’imaginaire historique et politique qui l’a produite, demandent à être interrogés, en particulier les concepts clés de mondialisation, technologie et démocratie. Et ceci non point pour présenter une description alternative de notre époque à partir des mêmes phénomènes de base mais pour développer une contre-histoire visant à reconfigurer le possible historique. Tenter d’ouvrir une brèche pour participer à un véritable futur, autre que celui qui s’impose à nous, en nous enfermant dans le destin intransigeant d’un avenir à subir, tel est l’objet de ce livre. »

Book Published and Now Available

Interventions_CoverInterventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics was published by Edinburgh University Press over the summer, and it is now available in North America (Oxford UP is the distributor).

“These timely interventions challenge us to rethink the role and influence of scholarly discourse and critique. Gabriel Rockhill has developed a highly original, ‘conjunctural’ approach, which consists in reading the works of the French cultural critics and philosophers that are at the core of his expertise, according to a judgment of relevance and urgency that is part of our own historicity as critics and academics. These sharp readings of Rancière, Derrida, Foucault and Badiou are therefore part of a welcome call to arms to revitalize and politicize Anglo-American cultural scholarship.”
– Giuseppina Mecchia, University of Pittsburgh

Table of Contents

Introduction
What Is an Intervention? Metaphilosophical Critique and the Reinvention of Contemporary Theory

I History
1. How Do We Think the Present? From Ontology of Contemporary Reality to Ontology without Being
2. The Right of Philosophy and the Facts of History: Foucault, Derrida, Descartes
3. Aesthetic Revolution and Modern Democracy: Rancière’s Historiography

II Politics
4. Is Difference a Value in Itself? Critique of a Metaphilosophical Axiology
5. Castoriadis and the Tradition of Radical Critique
6. The Hatred of Rancière: Democracy in the History of Political Cultures

III Aesthetics
7. The Art of Talking Past One Another: The Badiou-Rancière Debate
8. The Hermeneutics of Art and Political History in Rancière
9. The Forgotten Political Art par excellence? Architecture, Design and the Social Sculpting of the Body Politic

Book Published: Interventions in Contemporary Thought

Interventions_CoverInterventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics was just published by Edinburgh University Press (Oxford UP is the distributor).

“These timely interventions challenge us to rethink the role and influence of scholarly discourse and critique. Gabriel Rockhill has developed a highly original, ‘conjunctural’ approach, which consists in reading the works of the French cultural critics and philosophers that are at the core of his expertise, according to a judgment of relevance and urgency that is part of our own historicity as critics and academics. These sharp readings of Rancière, Derrida, Foucault and Badiou are therefore part of a welcome call to arms to revitalize and politicize Anglo-American cultural scholarship.”
– Giuseppina Mecchia, University of Pittsburgh

Table of Contents

Introduction
What Is an Intervention? Metaphilosophical Critique and the Reinvention of Contemporary Theory

I History
1. How Do We Think the Present? From Ontology of Contemporary Reality to Ontology without Being
2. The Right of Philosophy and the Facts of History: Foucault, Derrida, Descartes
3. Aesthetic Revolution and Modern Democracy: Rancière’s Historiography

II Politics
4. Is Difference a Value in Itself? Critique of a Metaphilosophical Axiology
5. Castoriadis and the Tradition of Radical Critique
6. The Hatred of Rancière: Democracy in the History of Political Cultures

III Aesthetics
7. The Art of Talking Past One Another: The Badiou-Rancière Debate
8. The Hermeneutics of Art and Political History in Rancière
9. The Forgotten Political Art par excellence? Architecture, Design and the Social Sculpting of the Body Politic