Adrian Parr

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

Adrian Parr (born 1967) is an Australian-born philosopher and cultural critic. A specialist on the French continental philosopher Gilles Deleuze, she has published on the sustainability movement, climate change politics, activist culture, and creative practice.


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.

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 stint teaching at Deakin and RMIT Universities she accepted a position at Savannah College of Art and Design. During her time there she edited The Deleuze Dictionary (2005) with Columbia University Press and co-edited a volume of collected papers on Deleuze, published by Edinburgh University Press. While in Savannah, Adrian also 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, and from 2008 to 2013 has published four books, one each with MIT Press, Edinburgh University Press, Routledge, and Columbia University Press. In 2011 she was awarded her university's Rieveschl Award for Scholarly and Creative Work.

Parr has spoken on her work at the University of California at Berkeley, Harvard University, Cornell University,[1] UC Irvine, Calgary University, ZKM Center for Art and Media in Germany, The Ohio State University, the Museum of Sydney, the Opera House of Sydney, and the FreshOutlook Foundation. WCPO Nightly News[2] and the Canadian Broadcasting Commission have interviewed Parr for her views on environmental degradation and climate change politics. In 2010 she presented a TED talk for TEDxCincy.

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 2013, she was appointed Director of The Charles Phelps Taft Research Center and Chair of Taft Faculty.[3] Parr was also appointed UNESCO Co-Chair of Water Access and Sustainability with Prof. Dion Dionysiou in 2013.[4]

In November 2013, Adrian Parr and Michael Zaretsky co-directed the Future Cities; Livable Futures symposium, a public event that provided a platform for visionaries from across the disciplines 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. Future Cities; Livable Futures was featured in a Cincinnati Public Radio interview on WVXU in November 2013.[5]

In 2014, as an extension of her engagement with current urban transformations and effort to integrate the humanities into the public realm, Parr, through the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center, began the initiative to bring Louder Than A Bomb, the largest youth poetry slam in the nation, to Cincinnati. Local organizations, University of Cincinnati affiliations, spoken-word poets, and Cincinnati public school district teachers worked together to provide public platform for the voices of Cincinnati youth. In March 2015, Louder Than A Bomb Cincinnati was featured in a Cincinnati Public Radio interview on WVXU.[6]


Exploring the Work of Leonardo da Vinci (2003)

In 2003 Parr published her Ph.D dissertation, Creative Production: from Da Vinci to Deleuze. The press changed the title to, Exploring the Work of Leonardo da Vinci. In it, she examines the connections between science, technology, philosophy, art, and design developing a concept of creative production.

The Deleuze Dictionary (2005, 2010)

The Deleuze Dictionary provides an introduction to the concepts developed by the French continental philosopher Gilles Deleuze. In addition to the definitions of key Deleuzian concepts, the dictionary provides the reader with a series of 'connectives.' In the spirit of Deleuze, who proclaimed concepts are tools, the 'connectives' puts the concepts to work in areas such as politics, architecture, art, and cinema. The book was published by Columbia UP in 2005, and a revised and expanded 2nd edition was published jointly by Edinburgh UP and Columbia UP in 2010).A second revised edition of the book was published in 2010. The book was reviewed by the academic journals Continental Philosophy[7] and French Studies[8]

Deleuze and the Contemporary World (2006)

Co-edited with Ian Buchanan, Deleuze and the Contemporary World, brings together a group of Deleuze theorists to consider issues ranging from Middle East studies, to refugees, and traumatic events, using the concepts developed by Deleuze and Guattari to analyse and describe a variety of situations including militarism, the Holocaust, citizenship, immigration, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and colonisation.The books was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2006, and reviewed by French Studies[9]

Deleuze and Memorial Culture (2008)

Parr's second work, Deleuze and Memorial Culture, combines critical theory, cultural studies, and media theory with empirical research on trauma to describe the political scope of collective remembrance such as 9/11, the Holocaust, and the Amish shooting in Pennsylvania. At the centre of this book is a discussion of the politics of collective trauma; how trauma is politicised and in turn carries within it a political potential. The book was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2008, and reviewed by Future Anterior[10]

Hijacking Sustainability (2009)

In Hijacking Sustainability, she moves away from a tightly Deleuzian analysis, aligning more directly with activist theory. The book explains how the sustainability movement has been hijacked by the corporate sector, military, and government. She debunks the notion that individuals can buy their way out of the environmental problem through green consumption, and examines the greening of consumption with green brands, the contradictory stance of greening the violent operations of the military, the symbolic struggles waged over the greening of the White House, and the appropriation of sustainable development initiatives in low to middle-income countries. Critics of Hijacking Sustainability have pointed out that at times Parr's views of sustainability are overly idealistic. For instance, she contends ecovillages provide an important experiment in social and environmentally sustainable living. Jean Hillier has argued that this is far too idealist and points out that the life of an ecovillager is premised upon opting out of the mainstream, and for sustainability to really gain traction the movement cannot afford to turn its back on the everyday.[11] The book was published by MIT Press in 2009, and reviewed by The Guardian,[12] the academic journals Sympoke,[13] Radical Philosophy,[14][15] Spontaneous Generations: a Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science [16] and by the Electronic Green Journal,[17]

New Directions in Sustainable Design (2010)

In 2010 Parr and her husband, Michael Zaretsky, published New Directions in Sustainable Design, an anthology presenting a variety sustainable design and development initiatives, combining the viewpoints of practitioners and scholars. The central idea is that sustainable design is not simply about making something, but about changing the way people live, and their relationship to the world and one another. The book was published in London by Routledge in 2010.

The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics (2013)

In her most recent work, "The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change Politics," [18] she investigates the intersection of social and environmental justice issues. In it she describes how the principles of neoliberalism (privatisation, free market fundamentalism, individualism) are being used to respond to the practical questions posed by climate change. Her thesis is that neoliberal doctrine has infiltrated the politics of the environmental movement. The book was published by Columbia University Press in 2012

Mourning on This Earth Day Cincinnati Enquirer, (2013)[19]
Equitable Action on Climate Now, The World Financial Review (2013)[20]


  1. ^ Uncommon Spaces, Hillier Lecture, Cornell University, Monday 11 April 2011.
  2. ^ Interviewed by Scott Wegener, WCPO, 22 April 2011
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Heyne, Mark. "Future Cities; Livable Futures". Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Rinehart, Bill. "Poetry slam blends arts, youth cultures". WVXU. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  7. ^ Continental Philosophy
  8. ^ French Studies
  9. ^ James, I. (2009). "Deleuze and the Contemporary World." French Studies, 63, 4, 497–498.
  10. ^ Future Anterior
  11. ^ Jean Hillier, Review of Hijacking Sustainability, Deleuze Studies, vol.4 (2010): 209 [1]
  12. ^ The Guardian
  13. ^ Sympoke
  14. ^ Goodbun, J. "hijacking Sustainability"Radical Philosophy, 160, 43–45. Radical Philosophy
  15. ^ Moore, R. (2010). Adrian Parr. Hijacking Sustainability.
  16. ^ Spontaneous Generations: a Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science, 4, 1, 283–285.
  17. ^ Review of "Hijacking Sustainability"Electronic Green Journal
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^

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