Dr Paul Rekret

Dr Paul Rekret

Associate Professor of Politics


Before joining Richmond Paul Rekret had been a lecturer in political theory at Queen Mary, University of London. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto, an MA in Philosophy & Cultural Analysis from the Universiteit van Amsterdam, and a PhD in Politics from Queen Mary, University of London.

In order to understand the global politics of digital culture, his research embraces cultural theory, political philosophy and global political economy to interrogate changing relationships between mind and body. This involves exploring questions such as how changing experiences of work might be reflected in the tropes of popular music as well as the music industry itself. It also entails asking how, in an epoch of ‘big data’ and nanotechnology, rapidly changing spatial and temporal scales of media have different effects on lives and identities around the world.

His work in political and cultural theory has been published widely, including the journals Theory, Culture & Society, Constellations, and Journal of Popular Music Studies. He is the author of two books, Down With Childhood: Popular Music and the Crisis of Innocence and Derrida and Foucault: Philosophy, Politics, Polemics.

He speaks regularly at international conferences and festivals, including Tate Liverpool (UK), CTM Festival (Germany), Regenerative Feedback (USA/ the Netherlands), and Unsound Festival (Poland). His work on music politics has featured in a range of media including Frieze, The Wire, the Guardian, Folha de S.Paolo, BBC Radio 4, NTS Radio, the New Inquiry, the Quietus, Spex, the London Review of Books blog, and elsewhere. He also hosts Beholder Halfway, a radio essay airing monthly on Resonance.Extra.


Paul Rekret, Down With Childhood: Pop Music and the Crisis of Innocence, London: Repeater Books, 2017.

Paul Rekret, Derrida and Foucault: Philosophy, Politics, Polemics, Rowan & Littlefield, 2017.

Refereed Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

Paul Rekret & Krystian Szadkowski, ‘Intellectual Property’, in Sara Farris, Beverly Skeggs, Alberto Toscano (Eds.), Handbook of Marxism, London: Sage [in press]

Le Mardi Gras Listening Collective, ‘Music and Economic Planning’, South Atlantic Quarterly 119(1) January 2020, (co-authored with Fred Moten, Stefano Harney, Dhanveer Singh Brar, Fumi Okiji, Louis Moreno and Ronald Rose-Antoinette) [in press].

Paul Rekret, ‘Melodies Wander Around as Ghosts: On Playlist as Cultural Form’, Critical Quarterly, 61(2) 2019.

Paul Rekret, ‘Cogito Ergo Habo: Philosophy, Money, and Method’ in Camille Barbagallo, Nicholas Beuret, & David Harvie (eds) Silvia Federici & George Caffentzis, Pluto Press, 2019.

Paul Rekret, ‘Beneath the Opulent Surface: Adorno and Pop Music Reconsidered’, Journal of Popular Music Studies, 31(2) 2019.

Paul Rekret, ‘Jacques Derrida and Deconstruction’, in Jeremy Jennings (Ed.), The Cambridge History of French Thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.

Paul Rekret, ‘Seeing Like a Cyborg? The Innocence of Posthuman Knowledge’ in Christian Fuchs & David Chandler (eds.), Digial Objects/Digital Subjects: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Big Data Capitalism, London: Westminster University Press, 2019.

Paul Rekret, ‘The Head, the Hand and Matter: New Materialism and the Politics of Knowledge’, Theory, Culture & Society, 35(7-8): 49-72, 2018/2019.

Paul Rekret, ‘Posthumanism’s Tabula Rasa: On Theory, Innocence, and Consumption’, in Research in Education: Policy, Theory and Practice, 101(1): 25-29, 2018.

Paul Rekret, ‘Critical IR & the Sovereignty of Sovereignty’, in Bronwyn Winter & Lucia Sorbera (eds.), Contending Legitimacy in World Politics: The State, Civil Society and the International Sphere in the Twenty-first Century, London: Routledge, 2017 [republished from Global Discourse, 2016].

Paul Rekret, ‘Working Holiday: Rap Music, Political Economy, and the Poetics of Gentrification’, Cesura//Accesso: Journal for Music, Poetics & Politics [2017].

Paul Rekret, ‘The Question and the Problem’ in Vernon Cisney & Nicolae Morar (Eds.) Between Foucault and Derrida. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp.189-206, 2017.

Paul Rekret, ‘A Critique of New Materialism: Ethics and Ontology’Subjectivity, 9(3): pp. 225-245, 2016.

Paul Rekret, ‘Critical IR & the Sovereignty of Sovereignty’, Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs and Critical Thought. Published online May 16 2016.

Paul Rekret & Simon Choat, ‘From Political Topographies to Political Logics: Laclau, Sohn-Rethel and Real Abstraction’.  Constellations: Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory, 23(2): 281-291, 2016.

Paul Rekret, ‘Generalised Antagonism and Political Ontology in the Debate Between Laclau and Negri’ in A Kioupkolis & G. Katsambekis (Eds.) The Biopolitics of the Multitude Versus the Hegemony of the People: A Debate On Radical Democracy and Collective Movements Today.  London: Ashgate, 2014.

Paul Rekret, ‘The Impasse of Post-Metaphysical Political Theory: On Derrida and Foucault.’  Telos: Politics After Metaphysics Special Issue, 161:79-98, 2012.

Recent Editorially Reviewed Articles:

Paul Rekret, ‘The Future of the Experimental Music Festival’, Frieze: Arts & Culture, October 2019.

Paul Rekret, ‘Patrick Goddard at Seventeen Gallery’, Frieze: Arts & Culture, May 2019.

Paul Rekret, ‘Audint’, The Wire, June 2019.

Paul Rekret, ‘K-Punk’, Frieze: Arts & Culture, November 2019.

Paul Rekret, ‘Chill Wave: On Musical Streaming and Musical Form’Frieze Magazine, No. 195, May 2018.

Paul Rekret, ‘Blood of An American’, [sleevenote essay for Bobby Wright, Blood of an American, Melodies International], 2018.

Paul Rekret, Rory Gibb & Anja Kanngieser, ‘Of Sonic Defiance of Extinction: Sound Art and Ecological Crisis’ in Turmoil: CTM Festival 2018 Magazine, pp.26-30, 2018..

Paul Rekret, ‘Tackling Homelessness, One Deportation At A Time’, London Review of Books Blog, 20 December.

Paul Rekret, ‘Always Tell Your Mommy: Rave, Childhood, & Rebellion’the Quietus, September 2017.

Paul Rekret, ‘Affect and Politics: Assessing the ‘Affective Turn’ in A. Feigenbaum & P. Reilly (Eds), Politics and Emotions, Press Books, 2017.

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I teach on:
BA Political Science
BA International Relations
MA International Relations

Some of the courses I teach:

PLT 6200 –Contemp Pol Theory

PLT 4100 – Major Political Thinkers

PLT 6420 – Gender, Politics and International Relations

PLT 6420 – Gender, Politics and Intl Relations

INR6420 – International Human Rights

INR7101 – Theories of International Relations

INR7500 – MA Dissertation in International Relations

Research Clusters:
The Study of the State, Power and Globalisation

Research Interest & Expertise:

In the aim of understanding global digital culture, from popular music to big data and biotechnology, my research embraces cultural and political theory. These theoretical approaches offer a frame for exploring changing relationships between mind and body in the context of the information age. Starting from the question of the embodiment of human identity and thought has provided me with a theoretical framework from which to understand a wide variety of cultural phenomena including contemporary popular music, children’s cultures, digital media and changing conceptions of what it means to be a human being.

A recently completed monograph entitled Down With Childhood traces a crisis in ideals of childhood innocence. Drawing in particular on Frankfurt School critical theory and feminist political thought, the book traces the sources of this crisis to the demise of the Fordist social contract.

In a series of recent and forthcoming publications, I examine concepts of subjectivity in light of transformations associated with global digital culture. I look to the contexts of biotechnology and digital media production, and ecosystems management in order to assess continuities between conceptions of the body in the present and in early modernity. This follows from earlier research on thought’s relation to the body and to the world which is also the subject of a forthcoming monograph entitled Derrida and Foucault: Philosophy, Politics, Polemics to be published with Rowan and Littlefield in 2017.

Especially with regards to my interest in popular music and culture, I am also a practitioner. I have written for a number of popular culture platforms including The Quietus and Cesura//Acceso and have been interviewed for the Guardian and reviewed in Folha de S.Paulo. I am the host and producer of a regular radio programme entitled ‘Beholder Halfway’ on Resonance FM, a London radio station.