|School||Continental Philosophy, Comparative Literature, Media Studies, Philosophy of Religion|
|Main interests||Pessimism, Nihilism, Antihumanism, horror fiction, horror film, mysticism, weird fiction|
Eugene Thacker is an author and associate professor at The New School in New York. Thacker is known for his work in philosophy, media theory, and the study of genre horror and science fiction. Thacker’s most recent books are the Horror of Philosophy series and After Life, and he also writes a column called "Occultural Studies."
Thacker's book After Life shows how the ontology of life operates by way of a split between "Life" and "the living," making possible a "metaphysical displacement" in which life is thought via another metaphysical term, such as time, form, or spirit: "Every ontology of life thinks of life in terms of something-other-than-life...that something-other-than-life is most often a metaphysical concept, such as time and temporality, form and causality, or spirit and immanence" Thacker traces this theme from Aristotle, to Scholasticism and mysticism/negative theology, to Spinoza and Kant, showing how this three-fold displacement is also alive in philosophy today (life as time in process philosophy and Deleuzianism, life as form in biopolitical thought, life as spirit in post-secular philosophies of religion). Ultimately Thacker argues for a skepticism regarding "life": "Life is not only a problem of philosophy, but a problem for philosophy.
In his ongoing series Horror of Philosophy, Thacker explores the idea of the "unthinkable world" as represented in the horror genre, in philosophies of pessimism and nihilism, and in the apophatic ("darkness") mysticism traditions. In the first volume, In The Dust Of This Planet, Thacker calls the horror of philosophy "the isolation of those moments in which philosophy reveals its own limitations and constraints, moments in which thinking enigmatically confronts the horizon of its own possibility." Thacker distinguishes the "world-for-us" (the human-centric view of the world), and the "world-in-itself" (the world understood via the sciences), from what he calls the "world-without-us": "the world-without-us lies somewhere in between, in a nebulous zone that is at once impersonal and horrific." 
Thacker's work has often been associated with contemporary philosophies of nihilism and pessimism, as well as to speculative realism. In an interview with True Detective creator and writer Nic Pizzolatto, Thacker's book In The Dust of This Planet is cited as an influence on the TV series, along with Ray Brassier's Nihil Unbound, Thomas Ligotti's The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, Jim Crawford's Confessions of an Antinatalist, and David Benatar's Better Never To Have Been.
Thacker is also an author of experimental fiction. His writing has appeared in anthologies such as Degenerative Prose (published by Black Ice/FC2), Diagram: Selections from the Magazine (edited by Ander Monson), and Debug: Primary Techno Noir (edited by Kenji Siratori). Thacker has produced book arts projects, and an "anti-novel" titled An Ideal for Living. With Ronald Sukenick and Mark Amerika, Thacker helped establish Alt-X Press, for which he edited the anthology Hard_Code. Thacker has previously collaborated with Fakeshop, Biotech Hobbyist, and Merzbow.
Thacker has worked with a number of independent presses, including Alt-X, Ex Occidente, gnOme, Gobbet, Punctum, Quodlibet, Schism, and Zero. Thacker has written the Forewords to the English editions of the works of E.M. Cioran, published by Arcade Press, as well as the Preface and Annotations to Clive Barker's novella Cabal, published in a special edition by Fiddleblack Press.
- Into the Influx Incision (Mercury Arts Press, 1994)
- Editor, Hard Code: Narrating the Network Society (Alt-X Press, 2001)
- Biomedia (University of Minnesota Press, 2004)
- The Global Genome: Biotechnology, Politics, and Culture (MIT Press, 2005)
- The Exploit: A Theory of Networks, co-authored with Alexander R. Galloway (University of Minnesota Press, 2007)
- After Life (University of Chicago Press, 2010)
- In The Dust Of This Planet - Horror of Philosophy, vol. 1 (Zero Books, 2011)
- Dark Nights of the Universe (with Daniel Coluciello Barber, Nicola Masciandaro, and Alexander R. Galloway) ([NAME] Publications, 2013)
- Co-Editor, with Nicola Masciandaro, Glossator 7: The Mystical Text (Black Clouds Course Through Me Unending), (2013)
- Excommunication: Three Inquiries in Media and Mediation (with Alexander R. Galloway and McKenzie Wark) (University of Chicago Press, 2013)
- And They Were Two In One And One In Two, co-edited with Nicola Masciandaro (Schism Press, 2014)
- An Ideal for Living: Anti-Novel (Gobbet Press, 2014 [orig. 2006])
- Georges Bataille
- Gilles Deleuze
- Michel Foucault
- Arthur Schopenhauer
- horror fiction
- experimental literature
- Emil Cioran
- Thacker, After Life, p. x.
- Thacker, After Life, p. x.
- Thacker, In The Dust Of This Planet - Horror of Philosophy vol. 1, p. 2.
- Thacker, In The Dust Of This Planet - Horror of Philosophy vol. 1, p. 6.
- "Writer Nic Pizzolatto on Thomas Ligotti and the Weird Secrets of True Detective."
- An electronic version of the book is available at the Alt-X Press website.
- Fakeshop is a media art group, which has presented work at Ars Electronica, The Kitchen NYC, Siggraph, and the 2000 Whitney Biennial.
- Thacker collaborated with Biotech Hobbyist to produce Creative Biotechnology: A User's Manual (Locus+, 2004).
- Thacker produced a CD of noise music released by Extreme Records (Sketches for Biotech Research, XCD-046), as well as a collabortive CD with Merzbow, part of the Merzbow Box Set released in 2000. The Box Set also includes a book with Thacker's essay "Bataille/Body/Noise."
- Cabal & Other Annotations, published by Fiddleblack
- The New School: Eugene Thacker
- Occultural Studies Column, Mute.
- Interview with Roy Christopher from 2006, also in the book Follow for Now.
- After Life, talk and interview, Ctheory/PAC-TAC lecture series, November 2008
- Nine Disputations on Theology and Horror, published in Collapse vol. IV (2008)
- Lecture at The New School, November 8, 2010
- Expanding Mind 9/30/2010. Erik Davis and Maja D'Aoust interview Nicola Masciandaro and Eugene Thacker on the subject of black metal
- Nekros or the Poetics of Biopolitics, "Incognetum Hactenus - A Journal on Art, Philosophy, and Horror"
- Black Infinity, lecture at the "Leper Creativity" conference, The New School, 11 March 2011 (with co-panelists Alex Galloway and Nicola Masciandaro)
- Interview on philosophy and horror, To The Best Of Our Knowledge, 10/30/2011
- Divine Darkness, lecture at "Dark Materialisms" conference, London Natural History Museum, 12 January 2011
- Divine Darkness, lecture at "Speculative Medievalisms" conference, King's College London, 14 January 2011
- Wayless Abyss: Mysticism, Mediation, & Divine Nothingness, Postmedieval journal #3 (2012)
- Dark Nights of the Universe, The Public School NYC/Recess Gallery, April 26-29 2012 (with Daniel Coluciello Barber, Nicola Masciandaro, and Alexander R. Galloway)
- Day of Wrath, "Glossator 6 (2012): Black Metal", 89-120.
- 'Horror of philosophy' interview on Expanding Mind Radio, 9 July 2012
- All for Nought, Nietzsche Workshop IV, Parsons/The New School, 13 April 2013 (starts at 35:00 min)
- "The Sight of a Mangled Corpse - Interview with Eugene Thacker" in the journal Scapegoat, issue 05 (2013)
- Excommunication - Mediating the Nonhuman, with Alexander Galloway and McKenzie Wark, NYU, 16 April 2014