Tuesday 1 July 2008

The Persistence of the Negative

A very early trail for my next book, The Persistence of the Negative: a critique of Contemporary Theory which has just been accepted by Edinburgh University Press. It's around half complete and the deadline is 2009 for completion with final publication in 2010. As I go on with it tasters, spin-offs, and other related matters will appear here. This is the 'blurb' as it stands:

The Persistence of the Negative offers an original and compelling critique of contemporary Continental theory through a rehabilitation of the negative. Against the usual image of rival thinkers and schools this book identifies and attacks a shared consensus on the primacy of affirmation and the expelling of the negative that runs through the leading figures of contemporary theory: Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Bruno Latour, Antonio Negri, and Alain Badiou. Not confined to theory this affirmationist consensus has echoed across the humanities, in which an emphasis on historical context, materiality, and the complexity and density of social relations have become the agreed doxa. While positioning the emergence of affirmative theory as a political response to the corrosive effects of contemporary capitalism and the waning of political agency, this book argues that all too often affirmation is left re-affirming the conditions of the present rather than providing the means to disrupt and resist them. Refusing to endorse an anti-theory position that would read theory as the symptom of political defeat The Persistence of the Negative traverses these leading thinkers in a series of lucid readings to reveal the disavowed effects of negativity operating within their work. In a radical new approach this subterranean current of negativity is developed to provide the conditions for thinking a disruptive sense of agency that can fracture the supposedly ‘smooth’ unfolding of global capitalism. Overturning the limits of recent debates on the politics of theory The Persistence of the Negative vigorously defends the return of theory to its political calling.

No comments: