Jason Barker

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Jason Barker
Jason Barker in 2008
Born1971 (age 51–52)
London, England
Academic background
Academic work
InstitutionsKyung Hee University
Main interestsKarl Marx, Alain Badiou, Jacques Lacan
Notable works

Jason Barker (born 1971) is a British theorist of contemporary French philosophy, film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is a professor of cultural studies at Kyung Hee University in the Graduate School of British and American Language and Culture,[1] and visiting professor at the European Graduate School,[2] where he teaches in the Faculty of Media and Communication alongside Alain Badiou, Judith Butler, Jacques Rancière, Avital Ronell, Slavoj Žižek, and others.[3]

Most notable for his translation and introductions to the philosophy of Alain Badiou, Barker draws on an eclectic range of influences including neoplatonism, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and Marxism.[4] Writing in both the English and French languages, Barker has also contributed to debates in post-Marxism.[5]

Early life[edit]

Barker was born in London, England.[6] He studied at the Surrey Institute of Art & Design, University College, and graduated with a degree in media studies in 1995.[6] He then studied philosophy at Cardiff University, obtaining a PhD in 2003.[6]

Karl Marx[edit]

In an article published in The Guardian in February 2012, Barker criticised the selective interpretation of Karl Marx's writings by economists such as Nouriel Roubini (who declared: "Karl Marx was right") when responding to the global recession. According to Barker, such interpretations water down the revolutionary aspects of Marx's ideas and focus unduly on their reformist tendencies.[7]

Writing in The New York Times on the occasion of the Marx bicentennial anniversary, Barker argued: "The key factor in Marx’s intellectual legacy in our present-day society is not 'philosophy' but 'critique,' or what he described in 1843 as 'the ruthless criticism of all that exists: ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be'".[8]

Marx Returns[edit]

Barker is the author of Marx Returns. The story focuses on the life of Karl Marx and his struggle to write his major work on political economy, Capital. Philosopher Ray Brassier described it as "[c]urious, funny, perplexing, and irreverent".[9] According to Nina Power, reviewing the work in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Marx Returns is "an imaginative, uplifting, and sometimes disturbing alternative history".[10]

Marx Reloaded[edit]

Barker is the writer, director and producer of the 2011 partly animated documentary film Marx Reloaded,[11] which considers the relevance of Marx's ideas in the aftermath of the global economic and financial crisis of 2008—2009.[12] The film includes interviews with several distinguished philosophers including Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, John N. Gray, Alberto Toscano, Peter Sloterdijk and Slavoj Žižek.

The London Evening Standard cited the film alongside the 2012 re-edition of The Communist Manifesto and Owen Jones' best-selling book Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class as evidence of a resurgence of left-wing ideas.[13]

British philosopher Simon Critchley has described Marx Reloaded as "a great introduction to Marx for a new generation"[14] while German political scientist Herfried Münkler has called it "the type of film that Marx himself would have approved of".[2]

Select bibliography[edit]

Nonfiction works[edit]

  • Alain Badiou: A Critical Introduction, London: Pluto Press, 2002, ISBN 9780745318004.

Fiction works[edit]

Edited works[edit]

As translator[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "English Language & Education".
  2. ^ a b "Biography" Archived 14 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Faculty".
  4. ^ See Barker, "Topography and Structure".
  5. ^ See Barker, "De L'État au Maître: Badiou et le post-marxisme".
  6. ^ a b c "Jason Barker".
  7. ^ "Karl Marx is never going to provide therapy for bankers".
  8. ^ "Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were Right!".
  9. ^ a b "Marx Returns".
  10. ^ "Time and Freedom in Jason Barker's "Marx Returns".
  11. ^ Film review at Time Out
  12. ^ "Marx Reloaded" Archived 21 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine official website.
  13. ^ "The Marx effect". The London Evening Standard. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  14. ^ "Marx Reloaded". Icarus Films. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  15. ^ Jason Barker and Justin Clemens "Justine & Jacquie and their adventures on the other side (an excerpt)", Meanjin, Winter 2023.
  16. ^ "맑스 재장전 - 자본주의와 코뮤니즘에 관한 대담".

External links[edit]