BA, MA (Penn)
Critical theory; intellectual history; comparative literature
Gavin Walker works in critical theory, intellectual history, cultural studies, and comparative literature at McGill University in Montreal, Québec, where he is Associate Professor of History. His research investigates global topics in contemporary theory and the formation of social thought in the twentieth century, particularly the global history of Marxist theory and philosophy; globalization and the national question; the relation of culture, translation, and political economy; and the main trends of critical theory, including deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and Marxism. He works principally in English, French, Japanese, and German language texts, with additional interests in Italy and Latin America.
Trained at Penn (BA, MA) and Cornell (PhD), he is a member of the editorial collective of positions: asia critique (Duke University Press), and a former Mellon Fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University. He has been a Visiting Researcher at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, Japan (2009-10), a member of the editorial committee of the Journal of the Canadian Historical Association / Revue de la Société historique du Canada (2014-2017), and a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for the Public Life of Arts & Ideas at McGill University (2016-2018). Walker is a founder and co-director, in collaboration with colleagues in the departments of English, Philosophy, and Political Science, of Critical Social Theory at McGill, a research group and series based at McGill University devoted to interdisciplinary and inter-university work in critical theory. He is the recipient of numerous individual grants from institutions such as the Japan Foundation (Canada, US, and UK), the Fulbright Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Fonds québécois de recherche – société et culture, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, including a current SSHRC Insight Grant from 2016-2022.
Walker’s books include The Sublime Perversion of Capital (Duke University Press, 2016); The Japanese ’68: Theory, Politics, Aesthetics (Verso, 2018); The End of Area: Biopolitics, Geopolitics, History, with Naoki Sakai (Duke University Press, forthcoming 2019); and a critical introduction to and translation of Kojin Karatani’s Marx: Towards the Centre of Possibility (Verso, forthcoming 2019). He is the author of over 50 articles and chapters, as well as many translations from Japanese, French, and Italian. He is currently finishing a new book, Topologies of the Dialectic: Cultural Forms and the Allegories of History.
Critical theory; intellectual history; literary and cultural studies; Marx and Marxism; nationalism and the national question; globalization and the postcolonial; philosophy, literature, and aesthetics; translation and semiotics; the philosophy of historical time.
Books and volumes:
The Japanese ’68: Theory, Politics, Aesthetics (Verso, 2018)
The Sublime Perversion of Capital: Marxist Theory and the Politics of History in Modern Japan (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2016). 264 pages. Clothbound ISBN: 978-0-8223-6141-1; Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-6160-2.
The End of Area: Biopolitics, Geopolitics, History, a special issue of positions: asia critique, edited by Gavin Walker and Naoki Sakai (Durham & London: Duke University Press, forthcoming 2019).
Articles and chapters:
“The Accumulation of Difference and the Logic of Area” in The End of Area: Biopolitics, Geopolitics, History, a special issue of positions: asia critique, vol. 27, no. 1, edited by Gavin Walker and Naoki Sakai (Durham & London: Duke University Press, forthcoming January 2019).
“The End of Area” (co-written with Naoki Sakai) in The End of Area: Biopolitics, Geopolitics, History, a special issue of positions: asia critique, vol. 27, no. 1, edited by Gavin Walker and Naoki Sakai (Durham & London: Duke University Press, forthcoming January 2019).
“The Post-'68 Conjuncture” in The Japanese ’68: Theory, Politics, Aesthetics, ed. Gavin Walker (London: Verso, forthcoming 2018).
“Revolution and Retrospection” in The Japanese ’68: Theory, Politics, Aesthetics, ed. Gavin Walker (London: Verso, forthcoming 2018).
“The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte: History, Politics, and Repetition” in The Bloomsbury Companion to Marx, ed. Imre Szeman et al(London: Bloomsbury, 2018).
“Marx in Japan” in The Bloomsbury Companion to Marx, ed. Imre Szeman et al(London: Bloomsbury, 2018).
“The Schema of the West and the Apparatus of Capture: Variations on Deleuze and Guattari” in Deleuze Studies, vol. 12, no. 2 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018), 210-235.
“Surplus alongside Excess: Uno Kōzō, Imperialism, and the Theory of Crisis,” co-written with Ken Kawashima, in Viewpoint 6: Imperialism, February 2018.
“On the Politics of Postcoloniality: Return(s) of the National Question in Marxist Theory” in Viewpoint 6: Imperialism, February 2018.
Roundtable on “Art, Society/Text: A Few Remarks on the Current Relations of the Class Struggle in the Fields of Literary Production and Literary Ideologies” (with Karen Benezra, Bruno Bosteels, Tom Eyers, Sami Khatib, and Samo Tomšič) in ARTMargins, vol. 6, no. 3 (Boston: MIT Press, October 2017), 70-75.
“The Subjective Drive of Capital: Kakehashi Akihide’s Phenomenology of Matter” in Confronting Capital and Empire: Rethinking Kyoto School Philosophy, ed. Murthy, Schaefer, and Ward (Leiden: Brill, 2017), 229-262.
“Tanigawa Gan and the Poetics of the Origin” in positions: asia critique, vol. 25, no. 2 (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2017), 351-387.
“The ‘Ideal Total Capitalist’: On the State-Form in the Critique of Political Economy” in Crisis & Critique, special issue on The Critique of Political Economy, November 2016, 434-455.
“Challenging Abe’s Japan” in Jacobin, 13 November 2015.
“Žižek with Marx: Outside in the Critique of Political Economy” in Repeating Žižek (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2015), 195-212.
“The Regime of Translation and the Figure of Politics” in Translation: A Transdisciplinary Journal, no. 4, special issue on “Politics” edited by Sandro Mezzadra and Naoki Sakai (Rimini: Raffaelli Editore, 2014), 30-52.
“Primitive Accumulation and the State-Form: National Debt as an Apparatus of Capture” in Viewpoint 4: The State, October 2014.
“The Reinvention of Communism: Politics, History, Globality” in South Atlantic Quarterly (113.4), special issue on Communist Currents, eds. Bruno Bosteels and Jodi Dean (Duke University Press, 2014), 671-685.
“Filmic Materiality and Historical Materialism: Tosaka Jun and the Prosthetics of Sensation,” in Tosaka Jun: A Critical Reader, eds. Ken Kawashima, Fabian Schaefer, and Robert Stolz (Ithaca: Cornell East Asia Series, 2013), 218-254.
“The Absent Body of Labour Power: Uno Kōzō’s Logic of Capital” in Historical Materialism, vol. 21, no. 4, Autumn 2013 (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 1-34.
“Limits and Openings of the Party: A Reply to Jason E. Smith” in Theory and Event 16.4 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).
“The Body of Politics: On the Concept of the Party” in Theory & Event 16.4 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).
「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: <Fukushi> to shihon no yokudō” (The Critique of Political Economy and the State-Form: ‘Welfare’ and the Drive of Capital) in Jōkyō, supplemental volume no. 2 (Tokyo: Jōkyō Shuppan, June 2013), 119-140.
“Citizen-Subject and the National Question: On the Logic of Capital in Balibar” in Postmodern Culture, (22.3) special issue on the work of Étienne Balibar (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, May 2013).
“On Marxism’s Field of Operation: Badiou and the Critique of Political Economy” in Historical Materialism, vol. 20, no. 2, Summer 2012 (Leiden: Brill), 39-74.
「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 Shisō, no. 1059, July 2012 (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten), 122-147.
“The World of Principle, or Pure Capitalism: Exteriority and Suspension in Uno Kōzō” in The Journal of International Economic Studies, no. 26 (Tokyo: Hōsei University, Institute for Comparative Economic Studies, 2012), 15-37.
「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 Gendai shisō: Revue de la pensée d’aujourd’hui, no. 40-2 (Tokyo: Seidosha, February 2012), 96-109.
“The Dignity of Communism: Badiou’s Communist Hypothesis,” in Socialism and Democracy, vol. 25, no. 3 (London: Routledge, 2011), 130-139.
“Primitive Accumulation and the Formation of Difference: On Marx and Schmitt,” in Rethinking Marxism, vol. 23, no. 3 (London: Taylor & Francis, 2011), 384-404.
“Postcoloniality and the National Question in Marxist Historiography: Elements of the Debate on Japanese Capitalism,” in Interventions, vol. 13, no. 1 (London: Taylor & Francis, 2011), 120-137.
「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 Seiji keizaigaku no seiji tetsugakuteki fukken: Riron no rironteki ‘rinkai-gaibu’ ni mukete (Political-Philosophical Resurrections of Political Economy: Towards the Theoretical Limit/Outside of Theory), ed. Nagahara Yutaka (Tokyo: Hōsei University Press, 2011), 351-390.
“Postcoloniality in Translation: Historicities of the Present,” in Postcolonial Studies, vol. 14, no. 1 (London: Taylor & Francis, 2011), 111-126.
「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”), Muri to iu iki to kyō no seisan (The Threshold of Excess [muri] and the Production of the Commons) Part 2, in Jōkyō, October 2010 (Tokyo: Jōkyō Shuppan, 2010), 185-203.
「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”), Muri to iu iki to kyō no seisan (The Threshold of Excess [muri] and the Production of the Commons) Part 1, in Jōkyō, May 2010 (Tokyo: Jōkyō Shuppan, 2010), 120-134.
“The Double Scission of Mishima Yukio: Limits and Anxieties in the Autofictional Machine” in positions: east asia cultures critique 18: 1, Spring 2010 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2010), 145-169.
------. “The Double Scission of Mishima Yukio: Limits and Anxieties in the Autofictional Machine,” reprinted in Perversion and Modern Japan: Psychoanalysis, Literature, Culture, eds. Nina Cornyetz and J. Keith Vincent (London: Routledge, 2010), 164-185.
“The Filmic Time of Coloniality: On Shinkai Makoto's The Place Promised in our Early Days,” in Mechademia 4: War/Time (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009), 3-18.
“On ‘the End’: Mishima Yukio and the Double Dislocation of Literature,” in Proceedings of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies, vol. 9: Literature and Literary Theory, eds. Atsuko Ueda and Richard H. Okada (Summer 2008), 240-246.