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Professor Benjamin Noys

Professor of Critical Theory

Benjamin Noys


Benjamin Noys is Professor of Critical Theory and coordinator of the MA English Literature.

His research focuses on critical and literary theory, with particular interest in the avant-garde, film, and the cultural politics of theory.


Professor Noys’ research interests include:

  • Critical theory
  • Literary theory
  • Psychoanalysis
  • American literature
  • Film
  • The avant-garde
  • Art and art practice
  • Modern and contemporary poetry
  • Cultural politics.

He is External Affiliate of the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, Goldsmiths, University of London, contributing editor of Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, a member of the advisory editorial board of Film-Philosophy, and a corresponding editor of Historical Materialism.

He is currently completing a book on contemporary politics and developing a future project on neurosis.


Professor Noys teaches on the following undergraduate modules:

  • ENL 103 Strategies for Reading
  • ENL 108 Critical Perspectives
  • ENL 218 Postcolonial Readings
  • ENL 324 Psychoanalysis and Culture

He is also the Coordinator for the MA English Literature courses, and teaches on:

  • MAEN01 Literature in the Present Moment
  • MAEN03 Visions of the Real
  • MAEN04 Activating Research

He is also the coordinator for the MA dissertations.

PhD Supervision

Professor Noys is a qualified PhD Supervisor with successful supervisions on the visual and textual politics of pornography and the archiving of digital art.

He is looking to supervise in the areas of contemporary critical and cultural theory, film, psychoanalysis, the avant-garde, and the intersections of literature and theory.

Key Publications

His recent work includes the books The Persistence of the Negative (Edinburgh University Press 2010) and Malign Velocities: Accelerationism and Capitalism (Zero Books 2014), both dealing with the state of contemporary theory.

Recent and forthcoming articles and chapters include ‘Happy like Neurotics: Roland Barthes, Ben Lerner, and the Neurosis of Writing’, College Literature 45.1 (2018), ‘Matter against Materialism: Bruno Latour and the Turn to Objects’, in Theory Matters: The Place of Theory in Literary and Cultural Studies Today (2016), and pieces on drones, libidinal economy, intoxication and accelerationism, the ontologies of life, American literature, and the philosophy of art.

Selected publications

  • Malign Velocities: Accelerationism and Capitalism (Zero Books, 2014)
  • The Persistence of the Negative (Edinburgh University Press, 2010)
  • The Culture of Death (Berg 2005)
  • Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction (Pluto 2000)


  • BSc (Brunel University)
  • MA (Sussex University)
  • DPhil (Sussex University)

Research Output


Noys, B. (2024) The crisis of the present moment and the crisis of contemporary theory. South Atlantic Quarterly, 123 (2). pp. 343-362. ISSN 0038-2876 10.1215/00382876-11086587

Noys, B. (2022) Crisis and Transition: The Late Foucault and the Vocation of Philosophy. South Atlantic Quarterly, 121 (4). pp. 675-691. ISSN 0038-2876 10.1215/00382876-10066385

Noys, B. (2021) 'The Masses Make History’: On Jameson’s Allegory and Ideology. Historical Materialism, 29 (1). pp. 134-150. ISSN 1569-206X 10.1163/1569206x-12342000

Noys, B. (2020) Zones of Trauma: On Deleuze and Control. The Coils of the Serpent, 6. pp. 61-67. ISSN 2510-3059 5-qucosa2-728549

Noys, B. (2020) Stable Dematerialisations: The Dialectics of Bitcoin. Australian Humanities Review (66). ISSN 1325-8338

Noys, B. (2019) The Breakdown of Capitalist Realism. Mediations, 33 (1-2). pp. 159-166. ISSN 1942-2458

Noys, B. (2019) Utopias of the Text: Pre-Figurations of the Post-Literary. CounterText, 5 (1). pp. 1-18. ISSN 2056-4406 10.3366/count.2019.0148

Noys, B. (2019) Arguments within English Theory. Third Text, 32 (6). pp. 586-592. ISSN 0952-8822 10.1080/09528822.2018.1558645

Noys, B. (2018) The Peculiarities of English Culture. Historical Materialism, 26 (1). pp. 165-174. ISSN 1569-206X 10.1163/1569206x-12341556

Noys, B. (2018) “Freudful Mistakes”: On Forgetting and On Forgetting Psychoanalysis. Problemi, 2 (2). pp. 279-296. ISSN 0555-2419

Noys, B. (2018) Happy Like Neurotics: Roland Barthes, Ben Lerner, and the Neurosis of Writing. College Literature, 45 (2). pp. 222-245. ISSN 1542-4286 10.1353/lit.2018.0016

Noys, B. (2017) Skimming the surface: critiquing anti-critique. Journal for Cultural Research, 21 (4). pp. 295-308. ISSN 1479-7585 10.1080/14797585.2017.1370483

Noys, B. (2016) Bound to Labor: Life & Labor in (Early) Marx and (Early) Derrida. the minnesota review, 2016 (87). ISSN 0026-5667 10.1215/00265667-3630892

Noys, B. (2016) Full Spectrum Offense: Savoy’s Reverbstorm and the Weirding of Modernity. Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture, 49 (2). pp. 231-253. ISSN 0016-6928 10.1215/00166928-3512357

Noys, B. (2015) Vital Texts and Bare Life: The Uses and Abuses of Life in Contemporary Fiction. CounterText, 1 (2). pp. 169-185. ISSN 2056-4406 10.3366/count.2015.0016

Noys, B. (2015) Vital Texts and Bare Life: The Uses and Abuses of Life in Contemporary Fiction. CounterText, 1 (2). pp. 169-185. ISSN 2056-4406 10.3366/count.2015.0016

Noys, B. (2015) Drone Metaphysics. Culture Machine, 16. pp. 1-22. ISSN 1465-4121

Noys, B. (2014) The art of the absolute: relations, objects, and immanence. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 19 (1). pp. 171-185. ISSN 0969-725X 10.1080/0969725X.2014.920636

Noys, B. (2013) ‘Guy Debord’s Time-Image: In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (1978). Grey Room, 52. pp. 94-107. ISSN 1526-3819 10.1162/GREY_a_00118

Noys, B. (2013) The war of time: occupation, resistance, communization. Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, 10 (2). pp. 83-92. ISSN 1857- 8616

Noys, B. (2012) Forget Neoliberalism?: Baudrillard, Foucault, and the Fate of Critique. International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, 9 (3). ISSN 1705-6411

Noys, B., Lemm, V., Vatter, M. and Chirolla, G. (2012) Power, Life and Subjectivation Debate. Revista de Estudios Sociales, 43. pp. 166-173. ISSN 1900-5180 10.7440/res43.2012.14

Noys, B. (2012) The recirculation of negativity: theory, literature, and the failures of affirmation. Stasis, 1. pp. 140-155. 9785943801730

Noys, B. (2011) Agamben: Filming life, profaning the image. Fata Morgana, 13.

Noys, B. (2011) 'Grey in Grey': Crisis, critique, change. Journal of Critical Globalisation Studies, 4. pp. 45-60. ISSN 2040-8498

Noys, B. (2010) The horror of the real: Zizek's modern gothic. International Journal of Zizek Studies, 4 (4). ISSN 1751-8229

Noys, B. (2009) ‘Monumental Construction’: Badiou and the politics of aesthetics. Third Text, 23 (4). pp. 383-392. ISSN 1475-5297 10.1080/09528820903007669

Noys, B. (2008) Through a glass darkly: Alain Badiou’s critique of anarchism. Anarchist Studies, 16 (2). pp. 107-120. ISSN 0967-3393

Noys, B. (2008) ‘The end of the monarchy of sex’: Sexuality and contemporary nihilism. Theory, Culture & Society, 25 (5). pp. 104-122. ISSN 1460-3616 10.1177/0263276408095218

Noys, B. (2008) Crimes of the Near Future: Baudrillard / Ballard. International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, 5 (1). ISSN 1705-6411

Noys, B. (2007) La libido réactionnaire? The recent fiction of J. G. Ballard. Journal of European Studies, 37 (4). pp. 391-406. ISSN 0047-2441 10.1177/0047244107083226

Noys, B. (2007) Antiphusis: Werner Herzog’s 'Grizzly Man'. Film-Philosophy Journal, 11 (3). pp. 38-51. ISSN 1466-4615

Noys, B. (2007) Destroy cinema!/destroy capital!: Guy Debord's 'The Society of the Spectacle' (1973). Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 24 (5). pp. 395-402. ISSN 1050-9208 10.1080/10509200500536041

Noys, B. (2005) Shattering the subject: Georges Bataille and the limits of therapy. European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling, 7 (3). pp. 125-136. ISSN 1364-2537 10.1080/13642530500219665

Noys, B. (2005) Tulse Luper Database: Peter Greenaway, the New Media Object and the Art of Exhaustion. Image & Narrative: Online Magazine of the Visual Narrative, 6 (2 (12)). ISSN 1780-678X

Noys, B. (2003) Badiou’s Fidelities: Reading the Ethics. Communication & Cognition, 36 (1&2). pp. 31-44. ISSN 0378-0880

Noys, B. (2002) Time of death. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 7 (2). pp. 51-59. ISSN 0969-725X 10.1080/0969725022000046161

Noys, B. (2002) Fascinating (British) Fascism: David Britton’s 'Lord Horror'. Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice, 6 (3). pp. 305-318. ISSN 1364-2529 10.1080/13642520210164526

Noys, B. (1998) Georges Bataille’s Base Materialism. Cultural Values, 2 (4). pp. 499-517. ISSN 1479-7585 10.1080/14797589809359312

Noys, B. (1997) Communicative unreason: Bataille and Habermas. Theory, Culture & Society, 14 (1). pp. 59-75. ISSN 1460-3616 10.1177/026327697014001004

Noys, B. (1995) Into the “Jungle”. Popular Music, 14 (3). pp. 321-331. ISSN 0261-1430 10.1017/S0261143000007765

Book Sections

Noys, B. (2023) Planetary Technology and Reactionary Accelerationism. In: Reaction Formations: The Subject of Ethnonationalism. Berkley Forum in Humanities . Fordham University Press, New York, pp. 241-262. ISBN 9781531503147

Noys, B. (2022) Accelerationism: Adventures in Speed. In: Palgrave Handbook of Critical Posthumanism. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, London, pp. 1-18. ISBN 9783030426811 10.1007/978-3-030-42681-1_58-1

Noys, B. (2020) Seriously Funny: Comedy and Authority in The Boss of It All. In: The Object of Comedy: Philosophies and Performances. Performance philosophy . Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 145-162. ISBN 9783030277413 10.1007/978-3-030-27742-0

Noys, B. (2020) The Hammer of the Gods: Critique, after all. In: The Value of Critique: Exploring the Interrelations of Value, Critique, and Artistic Labour. University of Chicago Press: Campus Verlag, Chicago, IL, pp. 31-43. ISBN 9783593510101

Noys, B. (2018) Übermenschen and Untermenschen: Global Nietzsche and Postcolonial Fiction. In: History, Imperialism, Critique: New Essays in World Literature. Routledge, London, pp. 205-220. ISBN 9781138217508 10.4324/9781315440248

Noys, B. (2018) No Future: Punk and the Underground Graphic Novel. In: The Cambridge History of the Graphic Novel. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 235-250. ISBN 9781107171411 10.1017/9781316759981

Noys, B. (2017) ‘We are all prostitutes’: Crisis and Libidinal Economy. In: Credo Credit Crisis. Rowman & Littlefield, London, pp. 169-184. ISBN 9781783483815

Noys, B. (2016) Matter against Materialism: Bruno Latour and the Turn to Objects. In: Theory Matters: The Place of Theory in Literary and Cultural Studies Today. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 81-93. ISBN 978-1-137-47427-8

Noys, B. (2016) Christ Subjects: Michel Henry, Francois Laruelle, and the Politics of Life. In: Como se forma un sujeto politico? Universidad de Los Andes Press, Bogota, Columbia, pp. 199-212. ISBN 9789587743616

Noys, B. (2015) Intoxication and Acceleration: The Politics of Immanence. In: Literature and Intoxication: Writing, Politics and the Experience of Excess. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 185-201. ISBN 9781137487650

Noys, B. (2015) The savage ontology of insurrection: negativity, life, anarchy. In: The Anomie of the Earth: Philosophy, Politics, and Autonomy in Europe and the Americas. Duke University Press, London, UK, pp. 174-191. ISBN 9780822359210

Noys, B. (2015) Žižek’s reading machine. In: Repeating Žižek. Sic . Duke University Press, pp. 72-83. ISBN 9780822359050

Noys, B. (2015) 'Love and napalm: export USA’: schizoanalysis, acceleration, and contemporary american literature. In: Deleuze and the Schizoanalysis of Literature. Bloomsbury Academic, London, pp. 175-189. ISBN 9781472529633

Noys, B. (2014) The discreet charm of Bruno Latour. In: (Mis)readings of Marx in Continental Philosophy. Palgrave, Basingstoke, pp. 195-210. ISBN 9781137352828

Noys, B. (2014) ‘The untranscendable horizon of our time’: capitalist crisis and the ends of utopia. In: States of Crisis and Post-Capitalist Scenarios. Ashgate, Farnham, pp. 73-85. ISBN 9781409461890

Noys, B. (2014) Film-of-Life: Agamben’s Profanation of the Image. In: Cinema and Agamben: Ethics, Politics and the Moving Image. Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 89-101. ISBN 9781623561253

Noys, B. (2013) The violence of representation and the representation of violence. In: Violence and the Limits of Representation. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. ISBN 9781137296894

Noys, B. (2012) Attenuating Austria: The construction of Bourgeois Space in The Seventh Continent. In: The Cinema of Michael Haneke: Europe Utopia. Directors' Cuts (Wallflower Press) . Columbia University Press, pp. 141-150. ISBN 9781906660307

Noys, B. (2011) Psychopathology as a game: J. G. Ballard and conceptual crime. In: Crime Cultures: Figuring Criminality in Fiction and Film. Continuum Literary Studies . Bloomsbury, London, UK, p. 36. ISBN 9780826432353

Noys, B. (2010) ‘Remain true to the earth!’: remarks on the politics of Black Metal. In: Hideous Gnosis: Black Metal Theory Symposium 1. Glossator: Black Metal Theory, Lexington, pp. 105-128. ISBN 9781450572163

Noys, B. (1998) Transgressing transgression: the limits of Bataille’s fiction. In: Les Lieux Interdits: Transgression and French Literature. Hull Academic Press, pp. 307-323. ISBN 9780859586726

Conference or Workshop Items

Noys, B. (2013) Days of phuture past: accelerationism in the present moment. In: Accelerationism – A Symposium on Tendencies in Capitalism, 14 Dec 2013, Berlin. (Unpublished)

Noys, B. (2013) Derailing the train: Brutal accelerations and brutal interruptions. In: Brute Symposium, 3 May 2013, Centre for Creative Collaboration, London. (Unpublished)

Noys, B. (2013) My own public Germany: Notes on Michael Haneke’s 'The White Ribbon' (2009). In: The White Ribbon, Screening and Discussion, 15 April 2013, University of Sussex. (Unpublished)

Noys, B. (2012) Western nihilism. In: Historical Materialism Ninth Annual Conference, 8-11 Nov 2012, SOAS, London. (Unpublished)

Noys, B. (2011) Mourning and melancholia: Ultra-left disorders. In: Spaces of capital, moments of struggle: Historical Materialism Eighth Annual Conference, 10-13 Nov 2011, SOAS, London. (Submitted)

Noys, B. (2011) Bye, Bye, Mr Critique? In: New Directions in Critical Theory symposium, ‘Dangerous Ideas: Rethinking the Politics of Critique’, 11 Oct 2011, University of Brighton. (Unpublished)


Noys, B. (2023) Crisis and criticism: literary, cultural and political essays, 2009–2021. Historical Materialism Books Series, 307 (218). Brill. ISBN 9789004689558

Noys, B. (2023) The Matter of Language: Abstraction and Poetry. Seagull, Chicago, IL. USA. ISBN 9781803090740

Noys, B. and Toscano, A. (2023) Georges Bataille, critical essays: Volume 1: 1944–1948. The French List . Seagull Books. ISBN 9781803090603

Noys, B. (2014) Malign Velocities: Accelerationism and Capitalism. Zero Books, Winchester. ISBN 9781782793007

Noys, B. (2011) Communization and its discontents: Contestation, critique, and contemporary struggles. Minor Compositions, Brooklyn, New York. ISBN 9781570272318

Noys, B. (2010) The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Continental Theory. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh. ISBN 9780748638635 9780748638635

Noys, B. (2005) The Culture of Death. Berg, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9781845200688

Noys, B. (2000) Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction. Modern European Thinkers . Pluto Press, London. ISBN 9780745315928 9780745315874

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Dr Alison Green Chaplain
Alison Green
Associate Lecturer in Theology
Alison MacLeod
Visiting Professor in Creative Writing
Alwyn Turner
Alwyn Turner
Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Literary History

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