Adrian Parr

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Adrian Parr.jpg
Born 1967
Sydney, Australia
Alma mater Monash University
Subject Contemporary philosophy

Adrian Parr (born 1967) is an Australian-born philosopher and cultural critic. She specializes in environmental philosophy and activism. She has also published on the sustainability movement, climate change politics, activist culture, and creative practice.

Early life[edit]

Parr was born in Sydney Australia. Her father, Mike Parr, and her aunt, Julie Rrap, are contemporary Australian artists who introduced Parr to the world of radical and activist culture at an early age. She attended elementary school for a period in Vienna, Austria and as a child travelled with her parents throughout the former East Bloc and West Europe.[citation needed]


She completed her bachelor's degree with First Class Honors in Philosophy at Deakin University in 1998, followed by a Master's in Philosophy there in 2000. She earned her PhD from Monash University in 2002 under the direction of the feminist philosopher Claire Colebrook . Parr's PhD dissertation "Creative Production: From Da Vinci to Deleuze” was revised and published by Edwin Mellen Press in 2003.



After a brief time[timeframe?] teaching at Deakin and RMIT Universities, she accepted a position at Savannah College of Art and Design. While in Savannah, Parr co-founded (with Avantika Bawa and Celina Jeffery) Drain: A Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture.

In 2006 she moved to the University of Cincinnati. Parr currently holds a joint appointment with the Department of Political Science and the School of Architecture and Interior Design at the University of Cincinnati. In 2011 she was awarded the Rieveschl Award for Scholarly and Creative Work.[citation needed] In 2013, she was appointed Director of The Charles Phelps Taft Research Center and Chair of Taft Faculty.[1] Parr was also appointed UNESCO Co-Chair of Water Access and Sustainability with Prof. Dion Dionysiou in 2013.[2]

Public outreach[edit]

In November 2013, Adrian Parr and Michael Zaretsky co-directed the Future Cities; Livable Futures symposium, a public event that provided a platform for attendees to share and discuss the future of urban life. Future Cities; Livable Futures featured an interdisciplinary panel of speakers focused on topics such as sustainable urban development, increasing population, inadequate infrastructure, poor social services, escalating health problems, and challenges posed by climate change.[3]

In 2014 Parr worked with local organizations, University of Cincinnati affiliations, spoken-word poets, and Cincinnati public school district teachers to bring Louder Than a Bomb,the largest youth poetry slam in the nation, to Cincinnati. According to an article in the News Record, "LTAB was originally founded in Chicago in 2001 through nonprofit Young Chicago Authors as a festival for young spoken word artists of diverse cultural backgrounds to gather and engage in performances of their poetry."[4]

Besides organizing community events, Parr also contributes by sharing her ideas in a public forum. In 2016, Natasha Lennard, well-known independent journalist, interviewed Parr as part of series, published in the New York Times, that focused upon critical theories of violence. During this interview, entitled Our Crime Against the Planet, and Ourselves, Parr discusses how climate degradation is not only a form of violence but a crime against humanity. Then, in a follow-up op-ed in the New York Times, Humans in Dark Times, Brad Evans, the founder/director of the Histories of Violence project, expanded upon Parr's framework of climate violence.


  • Parr, Adrian (212). Birth of a New Earth. New York City, New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231180098. 
    • Published in October, Parr's newest book been endorsed by many experts including Environmentalist Bill McKibben, UCLA Professor Ananya Roy, and Cultural Critic Henry Giroux. explores how activists and popular movements are fighting the environmental crisis of climate change and the ongoing devastation of the earth. The environmental movement has taken over. Its influence can be see in how corporate mission statements, government policy, and national security agendas now focus much more on sustainability. However, critics wonder if this environmental revolution actually goes against the current system or if this revolution is just evolving within the system itself. Yet, Parr says these two choices are not a part of what is happening with the environmental movement. She argues in favor of an emancipatory political imagination, maintaining that environmental politics engages the twofold problem of democratization and decolonization.
  • Parr, Adrian (212). The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics. New York City, New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231158289. 
    • This work investigates the intersection of social and environmental justice issues, arguing that the neoliberalism framework is hurting climate change talks and policy. Parr concentrates on how those with the most economic power continue to have control over the environmental change discourse. Many scholars felt this work contributed greatly to the field. In positive review of this work, M. M. Gunter Jr., of Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., wrote Parr “presents an engaging, hard-cutting critique of neoliberalism, arguing more transformative politics are needed to address climate change and sustainability problems worldwide but that a ‘Trojan horse’ of market mechanisms under the dominant neoliberal paradigm prevents viable alternatives from emerging.”[5] In Global Environmental Politics, Rebecca Pearse, a research associate working on the Global Arenas of Knowledge at the University of Sydney, also writes that the book gives scholars and activists, who are looking for an introduction of leftist critiques on environmental politics, will receive a good summary from Parr’s book.[6] Critical of this work, John Bellamy Foster, a sociology professor at the University of Oregon, writes in “Contemporary Sociology,” Parr “confuses matters by providing seemingly conflicting definitions of ‘neoliberalism,’ which she describes as (1) ‘a more virulent strain’ of the liberalism inherited from Adam Smith,’ (2) ‘a cultural mode of production that in turn defines the political economy,’ and (3) a particular ‘agenda.'”[7] He says Parr allows readers to use words such as “capital,” “capitalism, and “the law of value,” interchangeably, when the three words have three, different meanings. Ryder W. Miller, a freelance environmental and science reporter based in San Francisco, writes in the Electronic Green Journal (2013), that Parr focuses too much on drawbacks of the environmental movement and does not acknowledge all the achievements of the movement.[8]
  • Parr, Adrian; Zaretsky, Michael, eds. (2011). New directions in sustainable design. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415780373. 
    • Along with Michael Zaretsky, also a University of Cincinnati professor, Parr edited this anthology on sustainable design and development initiatives, combining the viewpoints of practitioners and scholars. The central idea is that sustainable design is not merely about material production but also about changing the way people live, their relationship to the world, and one another. This text combines a number of essays from recognized experts in sustainability practices, in theory and design to construction, on order to develop a comprehensive approach to thinking, designing, building, and living sustainably. According to WorldCat, the book is held in 228 libraries [9]
  • Parr, Adrian (2009). Hijacking sustainability. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. ISBN 0262517469. 
    • · In this work, Parr argues that contemporary environmental activism, rather than helping redress environmental issues, is actually hurting these same issues. She uses five examples of where the capitalists are hijacking sustainability: corporate image-greening, Hollywood activism, gated communities, the greening of the White House, and the incongruous efforts to achieve a ‘sustainable’ army. These examples are also used to help explain how architecture, especially urban spaces, add to global inequality by contributing more distinct boundaries between areas with and without poverty. This work received several positive reviews. Jean Hillier,[10] a professor at RMIT University’s School of Global, Urban & Social Studies in Australia, writes when reviewing “Hijacking Sustainability,” in the journal of “Deleuze Studies,” that “Parr maps the physical as well as intellectual spaces that construct boundaries between ‘normal/indecent, honest/criminal, and neighborly/threatening’ (135).” Antonelli Monika,[11] an associate professor at Minnesota State University, writes in, “the Electric Green Journal,” that Parr’s work “is a needed addition to environmental literature field due to the fact that there is limited information available on the attack on and the greenwashing of sustainability” (p. 209). Daniel Barber,[12] an associate professor and associate chair at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design, also wrote in the “American Book Review” journal that “Parr’s (piece) is the most theoretically sophisticated of this recent wave of environmentalist critique, and she provides a valuable interpretation of sustainability through the frameworks of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari and Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri” (p. 4). In a critical review of this work, R. Moore,[13] with the University of Toronto, argues that Parr failed to adequately define the core term “sustainability.” While a difficult task, greater clarity is required in order to avoid an argument that is “at best vague and at worst incomprehensible” (p. 284). Failing to clarify the term “sustainability culture,” Moore contends that readers do not get a good description of the type of individuals and organizations who can further environmental progress without adding to the capitalistic machine. Monika also notes she would like to see Parr add solutions about way people can fix this problem of “Hijacking Sustainability.”According to WorldCat, the book is held in 420 libraries [9][14][15]
  • Parr, Adrian (2008). Deleuze and memorial culture : desire, singular memory and the politics of trauma. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0748627545. [16]
    • This work combines critical theory, cultural studies, and media theory with empirical research to describe the political scope of collective remembrance of traumatic events, e.g., the event of 9/11, the Holocaust, and the Amish shooting in Pennsylvania. Parr argues that memorialization, e.g., monuments marking a tribute, is not a means of capturing a definitive, implicitly negative historical truth of events but is, instead, a form of cultural production of a collective memory, which offers means of positive therapeutic outcomes for a group of people.
  • Buchanan, Ian; Parr, Adrian, eds. (2006). Deleuze and the contemporary world. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press. ISBN 0748623426. 
    • Co-edited this anthology with Ian Buchanan, now the director of the Institute for Social Transformation Research based at the University of Wollongong, the goal of this book is to show how Deleuzian concepts can be seen in today’s political concerns. Contributors use Deleuzian theories when explaining a number of real-world issues, e.g., the Holocaust, immigration, and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Parr and Buchanan here defend Deleuzian concepts from some of their largest critics, many of whom attack Deleuze concepts as too abstract or idealistic. Contributors to this book include, Nicholas Thoburn, senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Manchester; Kenneth Surin, Professor of Literature and Professor of Religion and Critical Theory at Duke University; Rosi Braidotti, Distinguished University Professor at Utrecht University and director of the Centre for the Humanities in Ultrect, in the Netherlands ; Verena Andermatt Conley, Visiting Professor at Harvard University; Paul Patton, Philosophy Professor at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia; Eugene W. Holland, Comparative Studies professor at Ohio State University; Patricia Pisters, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam; and Colebrook (who is mentioned above). According to WorldCat, the book is held in 217 libraries [9][17]
  • Parr, Adrian (2005). The Deleuze dictionary. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0748618996. 
    • First published by Columbia University Press in 2005, the book was subsequently expanded and published 2010 by both Columbia University Press and Edinburgh University Press. In the 2010 edition, Parr makes a new connection between Deleuze’s more recent work and architecture, cinema, psychoanalysis, biology, and geography. An expanded bibliography is also included. The book includes more than 150 entries, with some focus on individuals who have impacted Deleuze’s work such as Spinoza, Nietzsche, Kafka, Hume, Leibniz, and Bergson, while the majority of the entries focus on Deleuze’s main oppositional concepts, e.g., molar/molecular, exteriority/interiority, and deterritorialisation/reterritorialization. To help readers, many of the entries also provide a list of “’connectives,’” which point readers toward other sections in the dictionary. According to WorldCat, the book is held in 502 libraries [9] Revised edition released 2010[18]
  • Parr, Adrian (2003). Exploring the work of Leonardo da Vinci within the context of contemporary philosophical thought and art. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN 0773465642. 
    • Parr reworked and published her dissertation under a new title, with Edwin Mellen Press. This work examines the connections between science, technology, philosophy, art, and design developing a concept of creative production. Looking at the da Vinci’s sketchbooks and work, Parr analyzes his method of creative production, arguing that da Vinci takes and reworks what is real, through an imaginative process, allowing a new reality to emerge. According to WorldCat, the book is held in 103 libraries [9]

List of Awards and Honors[edit]

  • Received an ARC (Australia Research Council) Linkage Grant of AU$272,000 for a project, "Curating Cities: A Database of Eco Public Art," 2011.[19]
  • George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Creative and/or Scholarly Works, University of Cincinnati, 2011.[20]
  • Hillier Memorial Lecture, Cornell University, 2011.[21]
  • Parr's documentary, the Intimate Reality of Waters, has also received a number of awards as well, including:
1. Best Documentary at the United International Independent Film Festival
2. First-time Film Maker at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards
3. Cultural Feature at the Hollywood International Independent Awards
4. Writer at the Hollywood International Independent Awards
5. Narration at the Hollywood International Independent Awards
6. Picture at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival
7. Best Woman Film Maker at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival
8. Best First-time Film Maker at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival
9. Best Documentary Director at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival
10. Official Selection Award at the Louisville International Film Festival
11. the Board of Directs Award at the North Carolina Film Awards; and
12. the documentary was a finalist in the best documentary category at the Paris Art Movie Awards.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-26. 
  3. ^ Heyne, Mark. "Future Cities; Livable Futures". Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Francisco, Autumn (March 10, 2015). "The News Record". 
  5. ^ Gunter Jr., M.M. (August 2013). "Book Review of the Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics". Choice Reviews Online. 
  6. ^ Pearse, R. (2014). "Book Review". Global Environmental Politics. 14 (1). 
  7. ^ Foster, J.B. (2015). "The Climate Movement: Environmental Sociology, Climate Change, and the Left". Contemporary Sociology. 44 (3): 314–321. 
  8. ^ Miller, R. (2013). "Book Review". Electronic Green Journal. 1 (35). 
  9. ^ a b c d e WorldCat author file
  10. ^ Hillier, Jean (2010). "Book Review". Deleuze Studies. 4 (1): 138–145. 
  11. ^ Monika, Antonelli (2010). "Book Review: Hijacking Sustainability". Electric Green Journal. 1 (29). 
  12. ^ Barber, Daniel (2010). "Commandeering Potential". American Book Review. 32 (1): 4. 
  13. ^ Moore, R. (2010). "Review: Adrian Parr, Hijacking Sustainability". Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science. 4 (1): 284–285. 
  14. ^ Hillier, Jean (March 2010). "Adrian Parr (2009), Hijacking Sustainability, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 209pp.". Deleuze Studies. 4 (1): 138–145. doi:10.3366/E1750224110000899. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  15. ^ Wilson, Aimee (2010). "Hijacking Sustainability: Capitalism, Militarism, and the Struggle for Collective Life (review)". symploke. 18 (1-2): 387–389. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Frichot, Hélène (2011). "Conexa, Conjuncta, Disjuncta: What Can a Monument Do?" (PDF). Future Anterior. 8 (2): 74–86. doi:10.1353/fta.2011.0014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-20. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  17. ^ James, Ian (October 2009). "Deleuze and the Contemporary World (review)". French Studies: A Quarterly Review. 63 (4): 497–498. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  18. ^ Bryden, Mary (October 2008). "The Deleuze Dictionary(review)". French Studies: A Quarterly Review. 62 (4): 503–504. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  19. ^ "Curating Cities: A Database of Eco Public Art | National Institute for Experimental Arts". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  20. ^ "University of Cincinnati 2011 Faculty Awards Winners". University of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2016-01-25. 
  21. ^ "Hillier Memorial Lecture | Albert R. Mann Library". Retrieved 2016-01-25. 

External links[edit]