Richer London

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Dr Paul Rekret

Associate Professor of Politics


 Dr Paul Rekret


Before joining Richmond I had been a lecturer in political theory at Queen Mary, University of London. I  hold a BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto, an MA in Philosophy 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, my work 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 pop 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.

I am also currently the host of ‘Beholder Halfway’, a series of radio documentaries that air monthly on Resonance. Extra and I write regularly for a number of publications on the politics of popular music.

Faculty Research


–Down With Childhood: Pop Music and the Social Status of Children. Repeater Books. Forthcoming, September 2017.

–Derrida and Foucault: Philosophy, Politics, Polemics, Rowan & Littlefield. Forthcoming, October 2017.

Selected Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

-‘Critique of New Materialism: Barad, Bennett and Meillassoux and the Politics of Knowledge,’ Theory, Culture, Society. In press.

-‘Working Holiday: Labour and Leisure in Trap’, Cesura//Accesso, Volume 2, March 2017.

-‘The Question and the Problem’ in Vernon Cisney & Nicolae Morar (Eds.) Between Derrida and Foucault. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016.

-A Critique of New Materialism: Ethics and Ontology, Subjectivity, Subjectivity 9.3 (2016): 225-245.

-‘From Political Topographies to Political Logics: Laclau, Sohn-Rethel and Real Abstraction’.  Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory, 23.2 (2016): 281-291. [with Simon Choat]

–‘The sovereignty of sovereignty and the restricted object of critical IR.’ Global Discourse (2016): 1-4.

-‘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: Ashgte, 2014.

-‘The Impasse of Post-Metaphysical Political Theory: On Derrida and Foucault.’  Telos: Politics After Metaphysics Special Issue. Winter 2012, no. 161.  Pp. 79-98.

Conferences Organised:

-‘Biotechnology, Biopolitics, Biocapital’, Richmond University, October 2015. Part of the ‘Rethinking the Anthropocene Workshops’ held at 7 UK universities.

-‘Mapping for Justice: Engaging Our Geographical Imaginations and Using the Power of Maps in Struggles for Social Change’, Richmond University, June 2015.

-Manchester Workshops in Political Theory (MANCEPT) Panel convenor: ‘Ontology and Politics’. University of Manchester, September 2011.

-‘Immanence and Materialism’, Queen Mary, University of London, June 2009.

-‘Ontology and Politics’, Queen Mary, University of London, June 2008.

Selected Invited Presentations:

-‘On Materialism’, presentation to Praktyka Teoretyczna Workshops, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, July 2016.

-‘The Lockean Logic of the Present’, presented to What is New Materialism? Workshop, University of Westminster, London, March 2016.

-‘The Loss of Innocence the Growth of Despair: the Contradictions of Childhood and Popular Musics’, presented to Marxism in Culture Seminar Series, University College, London, March 6, 2015.

-‘Polemics and Incommensurability: Rethinking Contemporary Political Theory.’ Politics and the Fragility of Things: Themes from the Work of William Connolly. University of Nottingham, June 2012.

-‘Unpacking Walter Benjamin Unpacking His Library.’  Invited talk to mark the launch of Paravion Press’ edition of Walter Benjamin, Unpacking My Library.  Berlin. March, 2012.

Selected Conference Presentations:

-‘Free Time’, Gentrifying the Political conference, University of Kent, 2016.

‘Cogito Ergo Habo’, Political Studies Association annual conference, University of Brighton, 2016.

-‘Cogito Ergo Habo: Identity in an Age of Biotechnology’ presented to ‘Biotechnology, Biopolitics, Biocapital Workshop, Richmond University, October 2015.

-‘We are all Neo-Cartesians Now’ presented to ‘Politics & Emotions’ Workshop, Bournemouth University, July 9-10, 2015.

-‘Children’s Story: Rap Music and the Crisis of the Ideal of Childhood’ presented to London Conference in Critical Theory, June 2015.

Get in touch

I teach on:
BA Political Science
BA 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.