Benjamin Noys is Professor of Critical Theory and coordinator of the MA English Literature. His research focuses on critical and literary theory, with particular interest in the avant-garde, film, and the cultural politics of theory. His recent work includes the books The Persistence of the Negative (Edinburgh University Press 2010) and Malign Velocities: Accelerationism and Capitalism (Zero Books 2014), both dealing with the state of contemporary theory. Recent and forthcoming articles and chapters include ‘Happy like Neurotics: Roland Barthes, Ben Lerner, and the Neurosis of Writing’, College Literature (2018), ‘Matter against Materialism: Bruno Latour and the Turn to Objects’, in Theory Matters: The Place of Theory in Literary and Cultural Studies Today (2016), and pieces on drones, libidinal economy, intoxication and accelerationism, the ontologies of life, American literature, and the philosophy of art. He is currently completing a book on contemporary politics and developing a future project on neurosis.
Each year this module involves guided study of major works from the tradition of Modern European Philosophy, focussing either on a single text or on a range of texts in relation to a theme. The module offers students the opportunity to undertake intensive study under the guidance of a Professor – Étienne Balibar – who is himself a major thinker in the Modern European Tradition. Past topics have included Althusser, the dispute over humanism and the idea of a philosophical anthropology and the reception of Das Kapital in the Western Marxist Tradition. For 2014–15 the module will focus on a study of Spinoza's Ethics , providing a general introduction to the structure and key ideas of the text, and proposing commentaries for 10 strategic propositions (or groups of propositions) chosen across the five ‘parts' of the work.
This took place not only at successful conferences in London , Paris , Berlin , and New York (which were attended by thousands of academics, students, and activists) but also through such best-selling books as Toni Negri and Michael Hardt's Empire , Alain Badiou's The Communist Hypothesis , and Gianni Vattimo's Ecce Comu . Although not all these philosophers consider themselves communist - at least, not in the same way - the fact that communist thought has been at the centre of their political research permits us to ask why there are so many communist philosophers today.