Work in Progress

Pour une sociophilosophie du monde actuel (book manuscript with Pierre-Antoine Chardel)

Rethinking, Reworking Revolution (book project)

Nota bene: excerpts from some of the books listed below are available for download here


Contre-histoire du temps présent: interrogations intempestives sur la mondialisation, la technologie, la démocratie (Paris: Éditions CNRS, 2017).


English edition: Counter-History of the Present: Untimely Interrogations into Globalization, Technology, Democracy (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2017).

“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

“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


Interventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016.

“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

“Rockhill issues a timely critique of continental philosophy. […] [His] 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… [read more]” —Cynthia Nielsen, University of Dallas

Final Cover

Radical History & the Politics of Art.  New York:  Columbia University Press, Series “New Directions in Critical Theory,” 2014, p. 288.

“In this passionate and rigorous meditation on the politics of art, Gabriel Rockhill argues that neither art nor politics can be founded ontologically. This lack of transcendence brings a saving grace: understood as a historical field of collective negotiations, art recaptures its critical edge, activist agency, and social relevance.”—Jean-Michel Rabaté, University of Pennsylvania

“In this invaluable study, Rockhill vanquishes the myth that either there is some privileged moment—of form, content, or effect—uniting art and politics or there is none.With subtlety and analytic rigor, he demonstrates that the nexus connecting—or separating—art and politics is always bound to the dense weave of social practices located at concrete historical times in specific geographical locales. Along the way, Rockhill provides a scintillating new analysis of the avant-garde and the most acute analysis of Rancière’s aesthetic theory I have come across. Anyone interested in the question of art and politics will want to read this book.”—J. M. Bernstein, New School for Social Research

“Rockhill sets forward a political philosophy of aesthetics that is at once sensuous and pragmatic. This book will make a strong contribution to a practical appreciation of aesthetics and politics.”—Tom Conley, Harvard University

“In this bold and erudite intervention into twentieth-century controversies surrounding art and politics, Rockhill dissolves a whole series of reifications, essentialisms, and other symptoms of magical thinking in a bath of ‘radical historicism.’”—Kristin Ross, New York University

“To isolationist theories and concepts, Rockhill opposes an energetic interventionist strategy that is particularly welcome in the present field of concept-formation.”— Jean-Pierre Cometti, University of Provence

“Elegantly written, informative, and never less than provocative. The result is a radical voice long unheard in the field of theoretical discourse on art.”—Ádám Takács, Eötvös Loránd University Budapest

“Rockhill’s book is a polemic against the various theoretical presuppositions and postures, which fatally misconstrue the relevant factors for assessing the actual agency of aesthetic practices. It is also an assertive defence of the ‘politicity’ of these practices…. [His] book is important because it gives exemplary attention to the factors that a competent approach to this area needs to consider… [read more]” — Alison RossNotre Dame Philosophical Review

“One welcomes [an] ambitious, iconoclastic work like Gabriel Rockhill’s Radical History and the Politics of Art[read more]” — Andrew WeinerRadical Philosophy

“Rockhill’s ambitious and erudite Radical History and the Politics of Art covers a sizable and variegated terrain… [read more]” — Pavel LemberskyH-Socialisms

“The basic claim that ties this engaging essay collection together is that past interpreters of the relationship between art and politics err in seeing the relationship in terms of two independent domains that exist prior to the relationship between them… [read more]” — C.R. McCallChoice

Radical History is an engagingly written book that is full of insight, and which judiciously and forcefully combines readings of some of the most cited critics on art and politics in the twentieth century. As such, it makes a new, demanding inquiry into the appropriate methodology for rethinking politicized aesthetic practices[read more]” — Sophie SeitaModernism/modernity

Radical History and the Politics of Art invites us to abandon many of the myths upon which debates on art and politics have relied for decades. The book successfully breaks with the binary logic behind the majority of studies on this subject and puts into question the widely accepted theory of aesthetic autonomy. Rockhill’s insightful critique of Jacques Rancière’s thought, his valuable reevaluation of the politics of avant-garde art, and his numerous concrete examples drawn from a variety of artistic traditions and commonly overlooked arts such as architecture, ensure that this work will quickly become a versatile reference. Overall this is a stimulating and forcefully argued book that clears the ground for future scholarship on the social politicity of art… [read more]” — Ioana Vartolomei Pribiag, SubStance

“Rockhill’s project is ambitious and very worth the while in that it forces us to struggle with what we take for granted: the relationship between ‘art’ and ‘politics.’ His work poses quite a challenge.” — John Randolph LeBlancClio: A Journal of Literature, History, and the Philosophy of History

Logique de l'histoire

Logique de l’histoire:  Pour une analytique des pratiques philosophiques.  Paris: Éditions Hermann, series “Hermann Philosophie,” 2010, p. 534.

Politics of Culture and the Spirit of Critique

Co-edited with Alfredo Gomez-Muller, in collaboration with S. Benhabib, N. Fraser, J. Butler, I. Wallerstein, C. West, W. Kymlicka, M. Sandel and A. Honneth:  Politics of Culture and the Spirit of Critique:  Dialogues.  New York:  Columbia University Press, Series “New Directions in Critical Theory,” 2011, p. 288.

Critique et subversion

French edition of Politics of Culture and the Spirit of Critique, with slight modifications:  Critique et subversion dans la pensée contemporaine américaine:  Dialogues.  Paris:  Éditions du Félin, 2010, p. 192.


Spanish edition of Politics of Culture and the Spirit of Critique, with slight modifications:  La teoría crítica en Norteamérica:  Política, ética y actualidad.  Medellín:  La Carreta Editores, 2008, p. 164.

Technologies de contrôle dans la mondialisation

Co-edited with Pierre-Antoine Chardel:  Technologies de contrôle dans la mondialisation:  Enjeux politiques, éthiques et esthétiques.  Paris:  Éditions Kimé, 2009, p. 207.

Jacques Rancière

Co-edited with Philip Watts:   Jacques Rancière:  History, Politics, Aesthetics.  Durham, North Carolina:  Duke University Press, 2009, p. 368.

Postscript on Insignificance

Edited and Co-translated with John V. Garner and the Villanova French Translation Workshop:  Cornelius Castoriadis.  Postscript on Insignificance:  Dialogues with Cornelius Castoriadis.  London:  Continuum Books, 2011, p. 160.

Politics of Aesthetics

Edited and Translated:  Jacques Rancière.  The Politics of Aesthetics.  London:  Continuum Books, 2004, p. 112.