Category Archives: Books

Paperback Release of “Interventions”

I am very pleased to announce the publication of the paperback edition of Interventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017). Edinburgh UP is offering 30% off the new edition: click here, and then enter the coupon code ADISTAS.NAC0Vt5C.pdf

Publication of “Counter-History of the Present”

I am very pleased to announce the publication of my latest book, Counter-History of the Present: Untimely Interrogations into Globalization, Technology, Democracy (Duke University Press). This is an English version of Contre-histoire du temps présent: interrogations intempestives sur la mondialisation, la technologie, la démocratie (CNRS Editions), which was also just published. Emily Rockhill and John V. Garner gratiously prepared the English translations of chapter 1 and chapters 2 and 3 respectively, which I reviewed and slightly modified. The rest of the translations are my own. Please see below for Duke’s summary of the book, endorsements, and Duke’s coupon code for a 30% discount.

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“In Counter-History of the Present Gabriel Rockhill contests, dismantles, and displaces one of the most widespread understandings of the contemporary world: that we are all living in a democratized and globalized era intimately connected by a single, overarching economic and technological network. Noting how such a narrative fails to account for the experiences of the billions of people who lack economic security, digital access, and real political power, Rockhill interrogates the ways in which this grand narrative has emerged in the same historical, economic, and cultural context as the fervid expansion of neoliberalism. He also critiques the concurrent valorization of democracy, which is often used to justify U.S. military interventions on the behalf of capital. Developing an alternative account of the current conjuncture that acknowledges the plurality of lived experiences around the globe and in different social strata, he shifts the foundations upon which debates about the contemporary world can be staged. Rockhill’s counter-history thereby offers a new grammar for historical narratives, creating space for the articulation of futures no longer engulfed in the perpetuation of the present.”

“In an era that, according to Lyotard, was supposed to have seen the end of the grand narratives, a grand narrative is spreading according to which globalization, technological development, and democracy are irresistibly marching forward in step. Gabriel Rockhill refutes this apologetic discourse not simply by appealing to growing social polarization, to shantytowns condemned to backwardness, to the toppling of democratically elected governments established by self-styled champions of democracy. Counter-History of the Present is also an occasion for critical reflection on a series of theoretical categories (beginning with that of history) that dominant contemporary thought employs in an apologetic and often Eurocentric sense. In this way, Rockhill’s book is thus an important reference point for understanding and transforming the present.” — Domenico Losurdo, author of War and Revolution: Rethinking the Twentieth Century

“A high level polemic attacking the current enthusiasm for the notion of globalization—which Gabriel Rockhill regards as a feature of the political imaginary of our time—Counter-History of the Present will be discussed alongside work by Jameson, Harvey, and Lyotard.” — Andrew Feenberg, author of The Philosophy of Praxis: Marx, Lukács, and the Frankfurt School

For more information, and to order the paperback edition at a 30% discount, please visit dukeupress.edu/counter-history-of-the-present and enter coupon code E17ROCKH during checkout.

 

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. »