Affect, Technology, Cultural Politics
My main research focus is the completion of a monograph that presents shame as an affect shaped by the generative relationship between humanity and technology. It is from this vantage point that I rethink the ethical and political significance of the bodily automatims (scruple, blushing, inhibition) that make the feeling of shame and embarrassment so uncomfortably riveted to a feeling of singularity and isolation. Main points of reference include: affect theory & empathy, 20th Century French and German Thought (esp. Phenoenology, Existentialism and Poststructuralism), money, fashion & the phenomenon of (literary & linguistic) style. Please contact me for further information and drafts of forthcoming publications in this area.
Günther Anders: Technology, Ethics and the Role of Human Imagination and Art in the Anthropocene
I am involved in a number of editorial, research and translation projects centering on the writings of the philosopher, literary author and political activist Günther Anders.
It is hard to think of another 20th Century thinker who has been as categorically omitted from Anglophone scholarship as Günther Anders. His early work was translated into French by Emmanuel Levinas and cited as an influence by Jean-Paul Sartre, Gilles Deleuze and Franz Fanon, while the writings of Anders’s first wife Hannah Arendt, and of contemporaries such as Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse and Hans Jonas bear more than a mere thematic resemblance to his later critiques of technology and nuclear weapons. In Continental Europe, Anders’s multifaceted body of work and the equally rich secondary literature that has formed since the 1990s, have helped establish Anders’s writings as some of the most provocative, visionary and pragmatic resources with which to think the present.
There are promising signs that a similar development is gaining momentum in the English-speaking world. Over the last decade, engagements by thinkers such as Zygmunt Bauman, Ulrich Beck, Jean-Pierre Dupuy, Veit Erlmann, Roberto Esposito, Bruno Latour, Jean-Luc Nancy and Bernard Stiegler have begun to raise awareness of Anders’s thought. English translations are increasingly becoming available and a number of journal articles and book volumes on Anders’s work have been published. Since the publication of Prometheanism, I continue to remain actively involved in making Anders’s remarkable thought more accessible in English. Latest project: ‘Utopia Inverted – Technology and the Social’ (a special issue of Thesis Eleven I am editing together with David Mellor).