Crisis and Criticism

Literary, Cultural and Political Essays, 2009–2021


Crisis and Criticism is a series of interventions from 2009 to 2021 engaging with the literary, cultural and political responses to the capitalist crisis of 2007–8. Challenging the tendency to treat crisis as natural and beyond human control, this book interrogates our cultural understanding of crisis and suggests the necessity of ruthless criticism of the existing world. While responses to crisis have retreated from the critical, choosing to inhabit apocalyptic fantasies instead, only a critical understanding of the causes of crisis within capitalism itself can promise their eventual overcoming.

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Benjamin Noys, DPhil (1998), University of Sussex, is Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Chichester. His publications include The Persistence of the Negative (Edinburgh University Press, 2010), Malign Velocities (Zero Books, 2014) and The Matter of Language (Seagull, 2023).


Part 1 The Moment of Critique

1 The Distance of Critique

2 Matter against Materialism

3 Apocalypse and Crisis

Part 2 Crisis Culture

4 The Aesthetics of Crisis

5 Scale, Commodity, Totality

6 The Crisis of European Philosophy

Part 3 Crisis and Communisation

7 Communisation and the Fabric of Struggles

8 Communisation and the End of Art

9 War and Communisation

Part 4 Critical Figures

10 The Masses Make History: On Fredric Jameson

11 History and Crisis: Gregory Elliott and the End of Marxism

12 Crisis as Catastrophe: Francis Mulhern on Cultural Criticism

13 Crisis and Capitalist Realism: The Antinomies of Mark Fisher


Academics, postgraduates and students in literary, cultural, political and philosophical subjects with an interest in contemporary culture and how that culture has been shaped by capitalist crisis.
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