Islam as Empty Signifier and the Caliphate as Zero Institution: On Sayyid’s Recalling the Caliphate

Sayyid Qutub famously argued that Islam is in a state of jahaliya, or pre-Islamic ignorance in the modern world. This condition was total, extending both within and outside of Islamic majority societies. Qutub is considered a godfather of Islamist intellectuals because his position opened Islam to the political, and the consequence of Qutub’s idea calls… More Islam as Empty Signifier and the Caliphate as Zero Institution: On Sayyid’s Recalling the Caliphate

Is All Identity a Social Construct? Towards a Political Taxonomy of Rachel Dolezal

The #RachelDolezal story has sent social media into a tailspin. The details of the story are covered well in this original article from the local Spokane, WA newspaper where Rachel is based. We learn that Rachel Dolezal, a black woman artist and activist, married to a black man with adopted black babies and leader of an NAACP chapter… More Is All Identity a Social Construct? Towards a Political Taxonomy of Rachel Dolezal

A World Devoid of Shadows? The Imaginary as Luminescence and Non-Antagonistic

The walls of the imaginary are reflective. They are made of mirrors that trap the ego in a spiral of aggressive and violent conflict with the image and its myriad manifestations. The imaginary is thus a trap for thinking utopia, or revolutionizing society because it is itself the reflective and empty ground of specular misrecognition — but alas, it… More A World Devoid of Shadows? The Imaginary as Luminescence and Non-Antagonistic

Religion and Communitas: Structure and Anti-Structure

One of the reasons that religion persists in human civilization is because it is able to incorporate what the anthropologist Victor Turner calls communitas into structure, or normal society. Turner is a philosophical anthropologist, and in his classic study The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure, he points out how the liminal or transitional experiences of rituals… More Religion and Communitas: Structure and Anti-Structure

The Infantilization of Evangelicals in American Politics

When Karl Rove mobilized the Evangelical vote in the 2000 election, he opened a Pandora’s Box that everyone would subsequently try to close — or master. Evangelicals didn’t know they had such power politically, and it scared them. This fear has led them to retreat from politics — on a large scale — over the last eight years.… More The Infantilization of Evangelicals in American Politics

The Crowd and the Collective: Some Speculative Points

In Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Freud says that “each individual taken independently is a constitutive part of different crowds.” I understand this in two ways: the individual is a part of different crowds in the abstract sense that the crowd is a part of the subjective process in some way. The… More The Crowd and the Collective: Some Speculative Points

Becoming Your Own Boss. On Nightcrawler

How do we situate the film Nightcrawler by Dan Gilroy both in terms of its social commentary and genre? At a certain level, it’s like American Psycho for the post 2008 economic downturn and late finance capitalism period. Both films are ostensibly about how capitalist competition creates an intense sociopathy when subjects identify with the explicit demands… More Becoming Your Own Boss. On Nightcrawler

Excerpt: Thinking Islamic Governance with Continental Philosophy

I have a new essay on Wael Hallaq’s book, The Impossible State: Islam, Politics, and Modernity’s Moral Predicament at the very excellent publication Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World (http://sctiw.org/sctiw_review) coming out on February 10th. My main interest in this essay, in addition to reviewing the book, is to start a dialogue with Islam and continental philosophy… More Excerpt: Thinking Islamic Governance with Continental Philosophy

The Amputated Father: Kojève’s Theory of Revolution and Authority

With Agamben’s recent invoking of Kojève’s idea of the Latin empire against the German dominance in Europe, and with the recent translation of the short manifesto on authority Kojève wrote amidst the Second World War, it is worth revisiting exactly what sort of theory of revolution Kojève was concerned with. My review of The Notion of Authority:… More The Amputated Father: Kojève’s Theory of Revolution and Authority

My Book Review of The Left Hemisphere: Mapping Critical Theory Today

My review of Remzig Keucheyan’s, The Left Hemisphere: Mapping Critical Theory Today is up at the Huffington Post. As you can see from my review, I found the book to be a tremendous contribution to the field of left politics and organization and to the academic field of critical theory. Has critical theory begun to shrug off the… More My Book Review of The Left Hemisphere: Mapping Critical Theory Today

Public Series of Lectures on Resistance, Protest and Social Struggles

I’m hosting a public series for GCAS on the topic of Resistance, Protest and Social Struggles. This free and open to the public series will feature weekly lectures from philosophers, theorists and activists. We will meet weekly on Saturday’s starting February 7th to May 2nd. To register for this free series go here. The series is free and… More Public Series of Lectures on Resistance, Protest and Social Struggles

An Interview with Dr. Daniel Tutt about his GCAS Series, “Badiou & Philosophy”

Originally posted on GCAS–The BLOG:
GCAS Interview with Daniel Tutt on Badiou and Philosophy–To register and study with Alain Badiou & Daniel Tutt please follow this link:  https://globalcenterforadvancedstudies.org/gcas-badiou-and-philosophy-series/ Daniel Tutt, PhD January 11, 2015 Q:  What is your relationship with Alain Badiou? Daniel Tutt:  I am a student of Alain Badiou. After attending a couple…

The Queen Mob’s Teahouse

My first post as a blogger for the new webzine Queen Mob’s Teahouse is here. I wrote about the affect of shame in Lacan. This is a fun and creative collective for poets and writers of all different stripes. The brainchild of Berfrois, another website I have written for over the years.

Why Do the Masses Posses Reason?

The figure of the masses in protest takes on a near mystical and highly rational logic in post-Leninist thought during the twentieth century. For example, one of the things that Althusser abandoned in his theory of overdetermination was that the general contradiction between forces of production and relations of production–embodied in the antagonistic relation between the two… More Why Do the Masses Posses Reason?

Announcing New Badiou and Philosophy Seminars

I’m teaching three seminars on the work of Alain Badiou and philosophy for the Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS). The seminars will open with a consideration of Badiou’s relation to politics and psychoanalysis, a part of Badiou’s work I am the most drawn to, and which I have spent the most time studying. Then in… More Announcing New Badiou and Philosophy Seminars

Mourning, Psychoanalysis, and the Death of Adulthood

The widely read essay by A.O. Scott, “The Death of Adulthood in American Culture” argues pretty convincingly that the changing heroes and anti-heroes of contemporary television provide a glimpse into a larger shift in contemporary life, a shift that now means adulthood as we have come to know it, is conceptually untenable. The essay received a critique for… More Mourning, Psychoanalysis, and the Death of Adulthood

All in the Family: Community, Incommensurability and Dissensus

Kennan Ferguson’s All in the Family: On Community and Incommensurability puts forward a re-definition of the family as a metaphor for community. The main focus of the text is a re-interrogation of the family, away from an homogenous and normative basis for the grounding of community, but towards a definition of the family as a network of relations that… More All in the Family: Community, Incommensurability and Dissensus

Community and Subjectivity in Contemporary Theory: Dissertation Abstract

Since I have been away from writing essays and blogs for some time, it might be of interest to readers that I share the abstract of my dissertation that I have been working on, and have just finished. This is my penultimate draft and I plan to defend it this August. Overall, I feel good… More Community and Subjectivity in Contemporary Theory: Dissertation Abstract