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Dr Eugene Brennan, Lecturer (ULIP)
Dr Eugene Brennan, Lecturer in International Politics


MA Modern History (University College Dublin); PhD French Studies (University of London Institute in Paris) 

Summary of research interests and expertise 

  • Critical Theory
  • Marxism
  • Cultural Studies
  • Postcolonialism 

I specialise in the work of the 20th-century French theorist Georges Bataille. My PhD thesis examined the anglophone reception of his work and investigated how a number of countercultural scenes made adventurous use of his ideas, problematising his broader place within ‘French Theory’. Since completing my thesis, I have continued my research into the ways in which Bataille’s capacious thought and writings continue to animate and energise new currents in contemporary critical theory. My recent publications on this subject include a chapter in Georges Bataille and Contemporary Thought (2017), and articles in Theory, Culture & Society (2018) and Cahiers Bataille 4 (2019)

An increasingly important strand of my research concerns contemporary crisis theory, examining how non-state actors and theorists make radical, often unfamiliar, innovations in their movements against the evolving forms of crisis management which include capitalism’s logistical turn, as well as the increasingly authoritarian tendencies of liberal states. This is the focal point of a seminar series I am organising at ULIP for the 2020-2021 academic year, while an article I have written on the subject, ‘Crisis calls for opacity: Tiqqun, logistical Capitalism and the Black radical tradition’, is forthcoming in Theory & Event.

Finally, cultural studies has been central to my research in a variety of forms. I am interested in how different forms of popular culture offer stimulating sites of possibility for working through difficult political and theoretical questions. I have written on French philosophy’s impact on popular-music journalism (Revue Palimpsestes, 2019), on Afrofuturist criticism and the antiracist politics of science fiction (L’Atelier, 2019), and beyond academia I regularly write on culture and politics for the press, including review-articles and essays for the Irish Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Washington Post and Blind Field: A Journal of Cultural Inquiry.

Recent publications

  • ‘Crisis Calls for Opacity: Bataille, Tiqqun and Logistical Capitalism’ in Theory & Event (forthcoming 2021).
  • ‘Hermeticism Contra Hermeneutics: Kodwo Eshun’s Afrofuturism and the Challenges of Black Abstraction’ in L’Atelier 11.1 (2019), 52–66
  • ‘French Theory and British Popular Modernism: The Case of the New Musical Express’ in Revue Palimpsestes 33 (2019), 199–213
  • ‘The Politics of Religious Fervour: New Considerations on Georges Bataille and Religion’, Theory, Culture and Society, 35.4-5 (2018), 217–231
  • ‘The Politics of Excess and Restraint: Reading Bataille Alongside and Against Accelerationism’ in Will Stronge (ed.), Georges Bataille and Contemporary Thought (London: Bloomsbury, 2017), 217–238
  • ‘Dictionnaire critique de Georges Bataille : Musique’, Cahiers Bataille 4 (Éditions les Cahiers, 2019), 150–152
  • The International Black Panthers’, The Los Angeles Review of Books (September 2018)
  • A Hidden Landscape Once a Week: Between the Lines of UK Music Journalism’, The Irish Times, 23 March 2019