In praise of epideictic

Photo by Katie Montgomery on Unsplash What a time to be alive. The last six months or so have entailed a rather curious speeding up and slowing down of research activity: speeding up because, for a moment, there was time to devote to finishing things off. In between completing teaching online, I managed to make... Continue Reading →

Rhetoric as the Art of Making Interpretations

I want to make the case for conceiving rhetoric as a type of hermeneutical practice. That is, rhetorical speech is the ‘art’ of making interpretations. To judge public speech only in terms of whether it ‘accords with reality’, or not, is insufficient as a critical stance, not least because it fails to grasp how reality... Continue Reading →

Psychopolitics of Speech

Here's the cover for the new book -- Psychopolitics of Speech: Uncivil Discourse and the Excess of Desire (click title for publisher's web site) -- which will be published in May. The proofs have been done and you can order it now! Here's the blurb, too: The human capacity for speech is forever celebrated as... Continue Reading →

From Minneapolis to Oslo

In the last 8 months or so I've been finishing up my book, The Psychopolitics of Speech (now drafted and about to be finalised for submission), and giving a few papers from (or around) its contents. My last post on Merleau-Ponty marks out some of the direction I was taking: namely, towards a view of... Continue Reading →

Body Talk With Merleau-Ponty

It's been a while since the last post. I've been working on my book about the psychopolitics of speech, among other things, and making applications for research funding. In the summer of 2017 I also wrote up an article on Gramsci and Post-Marxism. But one of my more agreeable experiences of late has been an... Continue Reading →

The Man Without an Unconscious

The work of Massimo Recalcati is not much discussed in Anglo-American culture or academia. His writing is barely found in English translation (I know of only one article translated into English on hate in the journal Qui parles?), although he has produced a number of very popular (and pleasingly short) works as well as some... Continue Reading →

Talking of Excess

I have been trying to distill the things I've been working on of late to a clearish principle. Having spent some time exploring various Lacanian and pyschoanalytic ideas (see the last post for a rather dense version of this), I think it timely to identify a vocabulary that is more amenable to expanded discussion.  My... Continue Reading →

Can we start 2016 again?

Since I last blogged, UK citizens have made the regrettable decision to leave the EU. The referendum campaign felt like it had lasted for decades and was, especially in last few months, a hugely disagreeable event as far as its rhetoric goes. So I start the new term in Autumn, like many others, dispirited in... Continue Reading →


Thank heavens for Spring vacation. That Spring term (which has nothing to do with Spring btw, it's January to March!) always wears me down. This year it was hard going because there was lots of committee work to do (loads of new modules to process), new jobs, and just lots of conversation with students (where... Continue Reading →

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