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Gavin Walker


<p>PhD (Cornell)</p>

Specialization by Geographical Area: 
Specialization by Time Period: 
1900 - Today
Contact Information

Dept of History and Classical Studies
855, rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montréal, Québec H3A 2T7

514-398-4400 ext.09274
Email Address: 
gavin [dot] walker [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Leacock 627
Office Hours: 

Gavin Walker is Assistant Professor of History and East Asian Studies at McGill University. He has been a Mellon Graduate Fellow in the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University and a visiting researcher at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, Japan. His research deals with topics in critical theory, intellectual history, modern Japanese cultural studies, Marx, Marxist theory and the history of Marxism, the history of social and political thought, historiography and the philosophy of history, literary and film studies. His essays and translations have appeared in various edited volumes and journals in English and Japanese such as Shisō, Jōkyō, Gendai Shisō, positions: asia critique, Postcolonial Studies, Traces, Mechademia, Historical Materialism, Rethinking Marxism, Interventions, Postmodern Culture, Theory & Event, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Socialism & Democracy, among others.

Walker is a member of the editorial collective of positions: asia critique (Duke University Press) and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association / Revue de la Société historique du Canada.

Walker’s first book, The Sublime Perversion of Capital: Marxist Theory and the Politics of History in Modern Japan (forthcoming from Duke University Press), deals with the history of the debate on Japanese capitalism, and particularly the work of Uno Kōzō in relation to contemporary topics in Marxist theory and historiography, postcolonial studies, and critical theory. Taking this debate as an unexamined ‘prehistory’ of current controversies over the question of uneven development in capitalist modernity, the book attempts to consider four interconnected points: 1) a theorization of the temporality of world capitalism and an accompanying rethinking of the period of primitive accumulation; 2) the relation between the production of subjectivity and the historical production of labor power as a commodity; 3) possibilities for rethinking the national question in Marx and Marxist thought and a rereading of nationalism in modern Japanese thought in light of the above points; and 4) an evaluation of new possibilities for intervention between Marxism and postcolonial studies, and particularly in relation to conceptions of ‘alternative modernity’ in historical theory.

He is currently finishing two other book manuscripts: 1) Topologies of the Dialectic: Cultural Form and the Production of Japanese Modernity, which treats the ways in which critical social thought saturated diverse fields of cultural production – particularly poetry, literature, philosophy, and criticism – through the long twentieth century in Japan, transforming itself as a body of theoretical knowledge and its concrete objects of analysis in the process; and 2) The Philosophy of Primitive Accumulation: Capital, Nation, History, which revisits the crucial Marxian concept of the so-called ‘primitive accumulation’, taking in a wide variety of key figures in critical social thought (Marx, Agamben, Althusser, Balibar, Deleuze and Guattari, Foucault, Hegel, Schmitt), and connecting them to the history of debates in Marxist theory on the transition from feudalism to capitalism and on the national question. The book argues that we must restore, and indeed create for this term its own proper philosophical and theoretical development by refusing the artificial division between historical studies (on the transition) and theoretical works (on the concept of violence, of origin, of sovereignty), producing instead a new articulation between the trends of Marxist historiography and those of critical theory and contemporary philosophy.

In addition, he has completed a volume on the biopolitics and geopolitics of area studies (co-edited with Naoki Sakai) entitled The End of Area, and is finishing a translated volume of selected writings of Uno Kōzō and a volume on the history of Marxist historiography in Japan (co-edited with Katsuya Hirano).

Graduate Supervision: 

Modern Japan; Marx, Marxist theory and the history of Marxism; intellectual history; cultural studies; critical theory, social theory, cultural and literary theory, postcolonial studies; history and literature; history of nationalism; historical sociology; historiography; literary and film studies. 

Selected Publications: 

<p><em>Books and volumes:</em></p>
<p><i>The Sublime Perversion of Capital: Marxist Theory and the Politics of History in Modern Japan</i> (Durham &amp; London: Duke University Press, forthcoming).</p>
<p><i>The End of Area: Biopolitics, Geopolitics, History</i>, a special issue of <i>positions: asia critique</i>, edited by Gavin Walker and Naoki Sakai (Durham &amp; London: Duke University Press, forthcoming).</p>
<p><em>&nbsp;Articles and chapters:</em></p>
<p>&nbsp;“Tanigawa Gan and the Poetics of the Origin” in <i>positions: asia critique</i> (Durham &amp; London: Duke University Press, forthcoming).</p>
<p>&nbsp;“The Schema of the West and the Apparatus of Capture: Variations on Deleuze and Guattari” in <i>Deleuze and the Non-West</i>, a special issue of <i>Deleuze Studies</i> (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, forthcoming).</p>
<p>&nbsp;“The Accumulation of Difference and the Logic of Area,” in <i>The End of Area: Biopolitics, Geopolitics, History</i>, a special issue of <i>positions: asia critique</i>, edited by Gavin Walker and Naoki Sakai (Durham &amp; London: Duke University Press, forthcoming).</p>
<p>&nbsp;“The End of Area” (co-written with Naoki Sakai) in <i>The End of Area: Biopolitics, Geopolitics, History</i>, a special issue of <i>positions: asia critique</i>, edited by Gavin Walker and Naoki Sakai (Durham &amp; London: Duke University Press, forthcoming).</p>
<p>&nbsp;“Žižek with Marx: Outside in the Critique of Political Economy” in <i>Repeating Žižek </i>(Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2015), 195-212.</p>
<p><a href="https://www.dukeupress.edu/Repeating-Zizek">https://www.dukeupress.edu/R...
<p>&nbsp;“The Regime of Translation and the Figure of Politics” in <i>Translation: A Transdisciplinary Journal</i>, no. 4, special issue on “Politics” edited by Sandro Mezzadra and Naoki Sakai (Rimini: Raffaelli Editore, 2014), 30-52.</p>
<p><a href="http://translation.fusp.it/issues/issue-4/the-regime-of-translation-and-...
<p>&nbsp;“Primitive Accumulation and the State-Form: National Debt as an Apparatus of Capture” in <i>Viewpoint 4: The State</i>, October 2014.</p>
<p><a href="http://viewpointmag.com/2014/10/29/primitive-accumulation-and-the-state-...
<p>&nbsp;“The Reinvention of Communism: Politics, History, Globality” in <i>South Atlantic Quarterly </i>(113.4), special issue on <i>Communist Currents</i>, eds. Bruno Bosteels and Jodi Dean (Duke University Press, 2014), 671-685.</p>
<p><a href="http://saq.dukejournals.org/content/113/4/671">http://saq.dukejournals.o...
<p>&nbsp;“Filmic Materiality and Historical Materialism: Tosaka Jun and the Prosthetics of Sensation,” in <i>Tosaka Jun: A Critical Reader</i>, eds. Ken Kawashima, Fabian Schaefer, and Robert Stolz (Ithaca: Cornell East Asia Series, 2013).</p>
<p><a href="http://eap.einaudi.cornell.edu/node/10547">http://eap.einaudi.cornell.ed...
<p>&nbsp;“The Absent Body of Labour Power: Uno Kōzō’s Logic of Capital” in <i>Historical Materialism</i>, vol. 21, no. 4, Autumn 2013 (Leiden: Brill, 2013).</p>
<p><a href="http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/1569206...
<p>&nbsp;“Limits and Openings of the Party: A Reply to Jason E. Smith” in <i>Theory and Event</i> 16.4 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).</p>
<p><a href="https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_and_event/v016/16.4.walker01.html">...
<p>&nbsp;“The Body of Politics: On the Concept of the Party” in <i>Theory &amp; Event</i> 16.4 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).</p>
<p><a href="https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/theory_and_event/v016/16.4.walker.html">ht...
<p>&nbsp;「政治経済(学)批判と国家形態―〈福祉〉と資本の慾動」『情況』思想理論編第二号(東京:情況出版、2013年6月別冊). “Seijikeizai(gaku) hihan to kokka keitai: &lt;Fukushi&gt; to shihon no yokudō” (The Critique of Political Economy and the State-Form: ‘Welfare’ and the Drive of Capital) in <i>Jōkyō</i>, supplemental volume no. 2 (Tokyo: Jōkyō Shuppan, June 2013), 119-140.</p>
<p><a href="http://situation.main.jp">http://situation.main.jp</a></p>
<p>&nbsp;“Citizen-Subject and the National Question: On the Logic of Capital in Balibar” in <i>Postmodern Culture</i>, (22.3) special issue on the work of Étienne Balibar (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, May 2013).</p>
<p><a href="http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/postmodern_culture/v022/22.3.walker.html">h...
<p>&nbsp;“On Marxism’s Field of Operation: Badiou and the Critique of Political Economy” in <i>Historical Materialism</i>, vol. 20, no. 2, Summer 2012 (Leiden: Brill), 39-74.</p>
<p><a href="http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/10.1163/156920612x640297...
<p>&nbsp;「現代資本主義における「民族問題」の回帰―ポストコロニアル研究の新らたな政治的動向」『思想』(1059号)7月号2012年(東京:岩波書店)122-147頁. “Gendai shihonshugi ni okeru ‘minzoku mondai’ no kaiki: Posutokoroniaru kenkyū no aratana seijiteki dōkō” (“The Return of the National Question in Contemporary Capitalism: New Political Directions in Postcolonial Studies”) in <i>Shisō</i>, no. 1059, July 2012 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten), 122-147.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.iwanami.co.jp/shiso/1059/shiso.html">http://www.iwanami.co.jp...
<p>&nbsp;“The World of Principle, or Pure Capitalism: Exteriority and Suspension in Uno Kōzō” in <i>The Journal of International Economic Studies</i>, no. 26<i> </i>(Tokyo: Hōsei University, Institute for Comparative Economic Studies, 2012), 15-37.</p>
<p><a href="http://repo.lib.hosei.ac.jp/handle/10114/7111">http://repo.lib.hosei.ac....
<p>&nbsp;「資本の世界における〈街頭の事実〉―恐慌・国家・国債」『現代思想』2012年2月号、96-109頁. “Shihon no sekai ni okeru ‘gaitō no jijitsu’: Kyōkō, kokka, kokusai”(“The ‘Facts of the Streets’ in the World of Capital: Crisis, State, and the National Debt”) in <i>Gendai shisō: Revue de la pensée d’aujourd’hui</i>, no. 40-2<i> </i>(Tokyo: Seidosha, February 2012), 96-109.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.seidosha.co.jp/index.php?%BA%C4%CC%B3%B4%ED%B5%A1">http://www...
<p>&nbsp;“The Dignity of Communism: Badiou’s Communist Hypothesis,” in <i>Socialism and Democracy</i>, vol. 25, no. 3 (London: Routledge, 2011), 130-139.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08854300.2011.601174">http://...
<p>&nbsp;“Primitive Accumulation and the Formation of Difference: On Marx and Schmitt,” in <i>Rethinking Marxism</i>, vol. 23, no. 3 (London: Taylor &amp; Francis, 2011), 384-404.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08935696.2011.583016">http://...
<p>“Postcoloniality and the National Question in Marxist Historiography: Elements of the Debate on Japanese Capitalism,” in <i>Interventions</i>, vol. 13, no. 1 (London: Taylor &amp; Francis, 2011), 120-137.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369801X.2011.545583">http://...
<p>「資本のプロレタリア的零度―外部の政治的物理学」『政治経済学の政治哲学的復権―理論の理論的〈臨界‐外部〉にむけて』長原豊編(東京:法政大学出版局、2011年)351-390頁. “Shihon no puroretariateki reido: gaibu no seijiteki butsurigaku” (“Capital’s Proletarian Degree Zero: The Political Physics of the Outside”) in <i>Seiji keizaigaku no seiji tetsugakuteki fukken: Riron no rironteki ‘rinkai-gaibu’ ni mukete </i>(Political-Philosophical Resurrections of Political Economy: Towards the Theoretical Limit/Outside of Theory), ed. Nagahara Yutaka (Tokyo: Hōsei University Press, 2011), 351-390.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.h-up.com/bd/isbn978-4-588-60241-2.html">http://www.h-up.com/b...
<p>“Postcoloniality in Translation: Historicities of the Present,” in <i>Postcolonial Studies</i>, vol. 14, no. 1 (London: Taylor &amp; Francis, 2011), 111-126.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13688790.2010.547159">http:/...
<p>「権力としての資本―政治的賭けと〈共〉の稀少性」『無理という閾と〈共〉の生産』〔下〕『情況』2010年10月号、185-203頁. “Kenryoku toshite no shihon: Seijiteki kake to kyō no kishōsei” (“Capital as Power: The Political Wager and the Rarity of the Commons”), <i>Muri to iu iki to kyō no seisan</i> (The Threshold of Excess [<i>muri</i>] and the Production of the Commons) Part 2, in <i>Jōkyō</i>, October 2010 (Tokyo: Jōkyō Shuppan, 2010), 185-203.</p>
<p><a href="http://situation.main.jp">http://situation.main.jp</a></p>
<p>「資本の起源的閾―襞としての労働力」『無理という閾と〈共〉の生産』〔上〕『情況』2010年5月号、120-134頁. “Shihon no kigenteki iki: hida toshite no rōdōryoku” (“Capital’s Originary Threshold: Labor Power as Fold”), <i>Muri to iu iki to kyō no seisan</i> (The Threshold of Excess [<i>muri</i>] and the Production of the Commons) Part 1, in <i>Jōkyō</i>, May 2010 (Tokyo: Jōkyō Shuppan, 2010), 120-134.</p>
<p><a href="http://situation.main.jp">http://situation.main.jp</a></p>
<p>“The Double Scission of Mishima Yukio: Limits and Anxieties in the Autofictional Machine” in <i>positions: east asia cultures critique</i> 18: 1, Spring 2010 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010), 145-169.</p>
<p><a href="http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/positions/v018/18.1.walker.html">http://mus...
<p>&nbsp;------. “The Double Scission of Mishima Yukio: Limits and Anxieties in the Autofictional Machine,” reprinted in <i>Perversion and Modern Japan: </i><i>Psychoanalysis, Literature, Culture</i>, eds. Nina Cornyetz and J. Keith Vincent (London: Routledge, 2010), 164-185.</p>
<p>&nbsp;“The Filmic Time of Coloniality: On Shinkai Makoto's <i>The Place Promised in our Early Days</i>,” in <i>Mechademia 4: War/Time</i> (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009), 3-18.</p>
<p><a href="http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/mechademia/v004/4.walker.html">http://muse....
<p>“On ‘the End’: Mishima Yukio and the Double Dislocation of Literature,” in <i>Proceedings of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies</i>, vol. 9:<i> Literature and Literary Theory</i>, eds. Atsuko Ueda and Richard H. Okada (Summer 2008), 240-246.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.cla.purdue.edu/slc/AJLS/table%20pajls9.pdf">http://www.cla.pu...

Assistant Professor