Current Position

Visiting Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sciences of Art at Leuphana University Lüneburg

Current External Grants

Sept. 2020 – Dec. 2021 Collaborating member of the Mellon early-career scholars program “Extimacies: Critical Theory from the Global South;” main investigator at AUC: Dr. Surti Singh (Department of Philosophy), own sub-project: “Real Abstraction: A Global Aesthetics of Late Capitalism?”

Academic Publications

Current Publication Projects

1. Book: Realabstraktion: Die Geburt der Ästhetik aus dem Geiste des Kapitalismus [working title, “Real Abstraction: The Birth of Aesthetics from the Spirit of Capitalism”], 2021/22.
2. Journal guest-editorship: ARTMargins special issue on “Crisis,” Spring 2021.


3. “Teleologie ohne Endzweck.” Walter Benjamins Ent-stellung des Messianischen, Marburg: Tectum 2013: 

Co-Edited Volumes

1. Irving Wohlfarth: Collected Essays on Walter Benjamin [working title], eds. Sami Khatib, Jan Sieber (†), vol. 1: “Always radical, never consistent,” London: Verso (forthcoming 2021).
2. Critique: The Stakes of Form, eds. Sami R. Khatib, Holger Kuhn, Oona Lochner, Isabel Mehl, Beate Söntgen, Zürich, Berlin: Diaphanes, 2020.

Journal Articles (Peer Review)

1. “What Does Art Exhibit? Remarks on ‘Exhibition Value’,” in “Exhibiting Matters,” eds. Milica Tomić and Dubravka Sekulić, GAM, 2018, Vol. 14, 54-59. 
2. “Realism Today?” roundtable discussion, ed. Octavian Eşanu, in ARTMargins, 2018, Vol. 7, No. 1, 58-82.
3. “Barbaric Salvage: Benjamin and the Dialectics of Destruction,” special issue on “Barbarisms,” parallax, 2018, Vol. 24, No. 2, 135-158.
4. “Practice Makes Perfect. On Undoing Bourgeois Pedagogy,” special issue on “Walter Benjamin, Pedagogy and the Politics of Youth,” eds. Matthew Charles and Howard Eiland, boundary 2, Vol. 45, No. 2, 2018, 63-86.
5. “Response to ‘Art, Society/Text: A Few Remarks on the Current Relations of the Class Struggle in the Fields of Literary Production and Literary Ideologies’, ed. Karen Benezra, ARTMargins, 2017, Vol. 6, No. 3, 50-81.

6. “Where the Past Was, There History Shall Be: Benjamin, Marx, and the ‘Tradition of the Oppressed’,” special issue on Walter Benjamin: “Discontinuous Infinities,” eds. Jan Sieber and Sebastian Truskolaski, Anthropology & Materialism. A Journal of Social Research, 1/2017: stable URL:

7. “Melancholia and Destruction: Brushing Walter Benjamin’s ‘Angel of History’ Against the Grain”, special issue “Politics and Melancholia”, eds. Dominiek Hoens and Justin Clemens, Crisis and Critique, vol. 3, issue 2, September 2016, 20-39, stable URL: 

8. “Politics of ‘Pure Means’: Walter Benjamin on Divine Violence,” in Black Box: A Record of the Catastrophe, PM Press, Vol. 1 (Dec. 2015), 87-103.
9. “Messianisches Medium. Benjamins Sprachpolitik,” in Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, ed. Tamara Tagliacozzo, Vol. 8, N. 2: “Walter Benjamin, Gershom Scholem and Language,” Dec. 2014, 155-170, URL:
10. “Walter Benjamin and the Subject of Historical Cognition,” special issue “Walter Benjamin Unbound,” eds. Alexander Gelley, Ilka Kressner and Michael G. Levine, Annals of Scholarship, Vol. 21.1, 2015, 23-42.

11. “‘To Win the Energies of Intoxication for the Revolution’: Body Politics, Community, and Profane Illumination,” Anthropology & Materialism. A Journal of Social Research, 2/2014: “The Persistence of Myth,” stable URL: 

12. “Politika čistega sredstva – k Benjaminovi teoriji nasilja” [“Politics of Pure Means. On Walter Benjamin’s Critique of Violence”], Slovenian trans. Samo Tomšič, in Problemi. Journal for Psychoanalytic Theory and Philosophy, 214, 7-8/13 (2013), 85-124.

13. “A Non-Nullified Nothingness: Walter Benjamin and the Messianic,” Stasis. Journal in Social and Political Theory, First Issue: “Politics of Negativity,” Fall 2013, 82-108, stable URL: 

14. “The Messianic Without Messianism. Walter Benjamin's Materialist Theology,” Anthropology & Materialism. A Journal of Social Research, 1/2013: “Across the Fields,” stable URL: [republished in Jews and Revolutions, eds. Moshe Zuckermann and Rachel Livne-Freudenthal, Hebrew trans. Gal Hertz, Chidushim – Studies in the History of German and Central European Jewry, special issue, 18, 2016, 237-248].

15. “The Time of Capital and the Messianicity of Time: Marx with Benjamin,” Studies in Social and Political Thought, Vol. 20, Winter 2012/13, Sussex, 46-69, stable URL:

Book Chapters

1. “Marx, Real Abstraction and the Question of Form,” in: Critique: The Stakes of Form, eds. Sami R. Khatib, Holger Kuhn, Oona Lochner, Isabel Mehl, Beate Söntgen, Zürich, Berlin: Diaphanes, 2020, 69-92.
2. “How to Exhibit the Spatialization of History?,” in Theater, Garden, Bestiary: A Materialist History of Exhibition, ed. Tristan Garcia, Vincent Normand, Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2019, 259-268.
3. “‘Sinnlich übersinnlich’”: Die Ästhetik der Realabstraktion,” in Marx und die Krise, eds. Mauro Ponzi, Altea Koenig, Würzburg: Königshausen u. Neumann, 2019, 73-95.
4. “Karl Marx. Mit Benjamin für Marx, mit Marx für Benjamin,” in Entwendungen – Walter Benjamin und seine Quellen, eds. Jessica Nitsche, Nadine Werner, München: Fink, 2019, 321-347. 
5. “Walter Benjamin’s Figures of De-Figuration: The Barbarian, the Destructive Character, and the Monster,” in Benjamins Figures - Dialogues on the Vocation of the Humanities, eds. Madeleine Kasten, Rico Sneller, Gerard Visser, Nordhausen: Bautz, 2018, 71-92.
6. “Chapter 37: Society and Violence,” in Sage Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory, Vol. 2, eds. Werner Bonefeld, Beverley Best, Chris O’Kane, Newbury Park: Sage, 2018, 607-624.
7. “‘Sensuous Supra-Sensuous’. The Aesthetics of Real Abstraction,” in Aesthetic Marx, eds. Samir Gandesha and Johan F. Hartle, London: Bloomsbury, 2017, 49-72.
8. La desfiguración mesiánica. Walter Benjamin y Franz Kafka,” Spanish trans. Nicolás García, in Franz Kafka: culpa, ley y soberanía, eds. Esteban González Jiménez, Medellín: Editorial de la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, 2017, 197-219.
9. “No Future: The Space of Capital and the Time of Dying”, in Former West: Art and the Contemporary after 1989, eds. Maria Hlavajova and Simon Sheikh, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017, 639-652.
10. “Towards a Politics of ‘Pure Means’: Walter Benjamin and the Question of Violence,” in Conflicto armado, justicia y memoria, Tomo 1: “Teoría crítica de la violencia y prácticas de memoria y resistencia,” ed. Enan Enrique Arrieta Burgos, Medellín: Editorial de la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, 2016, 41-65.
11. “Medio messianico. La politica della lingua in Benjamin,” Italian trans. Stefano Marchesoni, in Walter Benjamin, Gershom Scholem e il linguaggio, eds. Tamara Tagliacozzo, Milano, Udine: Mimesis Edizioni, 2016, 17-38.
12. “Die Armut des Denkens. Anmerkungen zu Benjamin und Brecht,” in “Um Abschied geht es ja nun...” Festschrift für Hermann Haarmann, Marburg: Tectum, 2015, 41-64.
13. “Walter Benjamins ‘trans-materialistischer’ Materialismus. Ein Postskriptum zur Adorno-Benjamin-Debatte der 1930er Jahre,” in Am Kreuzweg von Magie und Positivismus. Walter Benjamin und die Anthropologie, eds. Carolin Duttlinger et al., Freiburg: Rombach, 2012, 149-178.
14. “Walter Benjamin und Karl Marx. Der ‘Begriff der Geschichte’ und die ‘Zeit des Kapitals’,” in Der sich selbst entfremdete und wiedergefundene Marx, eds. Helmut Lethen et al., München: Fink, 2010, 227-244.
15. “Geschichte, Retroaktivität, Text – Erkundungen zum ‘Begriff der Geschichte’ mit Walter Benjamin und Slavoj Zizek,” in Retrospektivität und Retroaktivität. Erzählen - Geschichte - Wahrheit, ed. Marcus A. Born, Würzburg: Königshausen u. Neumann, 2009, 235-249.

Reviews (Selection)

1. “Alexander Gelley. Benjamin’s Passages –Dreaming, Awakening”, in The Germanic Review: Literature, Culture, Theory, New York: Fordham UP, Spring 2016, vol. 91:2, 199-206.

2. “Jennings, Michael W.; Eiland, Howard: Walter Benjamin. A Critical Life”, in The New Inquiry (April 2014), stable URL: 

3. “Heinz Brüggemann, Günter Oesterle (eds.): Walter Benjamin und die romantische Moderne” published on the website of the International Walter Benjamin Society, Jan. 2010; stable URL: 

4. “Falko Schmieder: Ludwig Feuerbach und der Eingang der klassischen Fotografie. Zum Verhältnis von anthropologischem und Historischem Materialismus,” in Weimarer Beiträge, 4/2007, 627-631.

Miscellaneous Publications

Journalistic Works (Selection)

1. “Pop III: Das Ende der Kunst als Politik-Ersatz” [Pop III: The End of Art as a Surrogate for Politics], in Style and the Family Tunes, Vol. 2/4, 2009, 154-159 (deutsch/english).
2. “Kraftwerk, Neu!, Harmonia: Die Vorgeschichte eines aktuellen Nachlebens” [Kraftwerk, Neu!, Harmonia: The Prehistory of a Contemporary Afterlife], in Style and the Family Tunes, Vol. 4/4, 2009, 172-181 (deutsch/english).
3. “Überwachung und Biopolitik: Zukünftige Aufprallszenarien – Ein Leben gegen Überwachung” [Surveillence and Biopolitics: Future Scenarios of collision – A Life against Surveillence], in De:Bug, Magazin für elektronische Lebensaspekte, Vol. 104, 07/08 2006, 54.
4. “Linke Flyerkultur” [Left Flyer Culture], in Flyer Soziotope: Topographie einer Mediengattung, ed. Mike Riemel, Berlin: Archiv der Jugendkulturen, 2005, 186-193.

Essays in Catalogues

1. “Aura, or On Photographic Drive,” in Jaka Babnik, Pygmalions, Jakopic Gallery, City Museum, Ljubljana, 2019. 
2. “Dialektik der Faltung,” in Anne Gathmann, Statik der Resonanz, Elisabethkirche Kassel, exhibition on the occasion of documenta 14, Kassel, 2017.
3. “Undead Labour: Un/Spinning the Time of Real Abstraction,” in The Economy is Spinning, ed. Kris Dittel, OMP 132, Eindhoven, Feb. 2017, 48-59.
4. “This is the Reproducibility of Singular Time,” in This is the Time. This is The Record of the Time, eds. Angela Harutyunyan and Nat Muller, Beirut: AUB Press 2016, 40-49.
5. “Fugues of Time,” in Rapture, part 2/3, ed. Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), publication produced on the occasion of Camille Norment’s participation at La Biennale di Venezia for Art in 2015, Oslo, 2016, 53-83.

Invited Lectures and Workshops since 2017

Feb. 2020 Mellon Extimacies Mellon Grant conference “Authority, Anxiety and the Desire for Revolution in a Time of Austerity,” Paper: “Real Abstraction and the Unconscious of the Commodity Form,” American University of Beirut/Lebanon
Sept. 2019 “Critical Theory and Psychoanalysis,” Inaugural Workshop of “Extimacies: Critical Theory from the Global South;” Paper: “The Drive of Capital,” American University in Cairo/Egypt
July 2019 Workshop “Übersetzungen von Gewalt“ über Walter Benjamins “Zur Kritik der Gewalt;” Paper: “Entsetzung: Politik des reinen Mittels,” Centre Marc Bloch, Berlin/Germany
July 2019 Workshop “Ideologie. Eine Wiederaufnahme;“ Paper: “Ästhetik der Warenform: Ideologie, Phantasmagorie oder Fetisch?“ Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung, Berlin/Germany
June 2019 Reading Group and Lecture “The Perpetual Recurrence of Primitive Accumulation: Reading Marx with Rosa Luxemburg;” “Beyond Repair” summer school program of the German Pavilion 2019, Venice Biennale, Vencie/Italy
June 2019 University Lecture “Die Armut der Philosophie,” University of Applied Arts [Universität für angewandte Kunst], Vienna/Austria
June 2019 Mophradat Meeting Delphi/Greece
May 2019 Public Lecture “The Split between the Eye and Gaze: Visual Arts as Medium of Theory,” Department of the Arts, American University in Cairo/Egypt
April 2019 Lecture series “Walter Benjamin,” Lecture: “Messianisches ohne Messianismus. Mystik und Materialismus als Thema bei Benjamin,” University of Berne/Switzerland 
March 2019 Mellon Colloquium “The Universal, Singular, and Particular,” Part 1: Sociality, Time, and Modes of Production, Session 3 on “Real Abstraction and the Reproduction of the Capitalist Class Relation,” American University of Beirut/Lebanon
March 2019 Talk series of the exhibition “When Legacies Become Debts,” with Hamed Yousefi on the topic of “That Which Tomorrow Was Not: Legacies of an Anti-Western Revolution,” The Mosaic Rooms, London/UK
March 2019 Lecture series “Die Zukunft des Fortschritts;” Lecture: “Fortschritt ohne Geschichte? Zur Aktualität Walter Benjamins Fortschrittskritik, ”jour fixe initiative Frankfurt Main/Germany
Jan 2019 Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace Program (HWP), workshop series “Studies in Generic Form” with Iman Issa,” workshop on “Real Abstraction,” Ashkal Alwan – The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Beirut/Lebanon
Oct. 2018 Garage’s 6th International Conference: “To Which Time Do We Belong? The New Historicity and The Politics of Time,” Paper: “Always dehistoricize! The Space of Capital and the Aesthetics of the End Times,” Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow/Russia
Oct. 2018 Workshop: “Marx mit Marx lesen: Marx als Kampfplatz, Schauplatz, Arbeitsplatz,” Paper: “‘Sinnlich übersinnlich’: Zur Ästhetik der Realabstraktion,” Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich/Germany
July 2018 Stacion Summer School; Public Lecture: “Partisan Epistemologies”, Course: “Violence and Vision: Towards a Critical Theory of Seeing,” Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art, Prishtina/Kosovo 
April 2018 Qalandia International 2018 lecture series program, Public Talk: “What does art exhibit? Criticality as Commodity,” Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Ramallah/Palestine
March 2018 Presentation at “When Time is All You Have Left,” Thinking Together – Reading Circle, MaerzMusik festival, Berlin/Germany
Jan 2018 Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace Program (HWP), Public Talk: “Violence and Vision,” Ashkal Alwan – The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Beirut/Lebanon
Jan. 2018 Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace Program (HWP), workshop series “Preponderance of the Small” with Natascha Sadr Haghighian, reading seminar: “The Age of the World Picture,” Ashkal Alwan – The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Beirut/Lebanon 
Jan 2018 Conference “Concept/s: Hegel’s Aesthetics,” Paper: “Aesthetics as Sensuous Supra-Sensuous Science: Hegel-Marx-Benjamin,” Museum of Modern Art, MG+, Ljubljana/Slovenia
Dec. 2017 Pubic lecture and round table discussion “The Actuality of Walter Benjamin,” at American University in Cairo, AUC Tahrir Square, Cairo/Egypt
Nov. 2017 Public Talk and Workshop: “Objective Animism,” at Sandberg Instituut, Department of Critical Studies, Amsterdam/NL
Oct. 2017 International Conference “1917/2017: Revolutions, Communist Legacies and Spectres of the Future,” Paper: “No Future: Revolution and Melancholy,” European University at St. Petersburg/Russia
July 2017 Stacion Summer School; Public Lecture: “Barbaric Salvage? Surviving Capitalism after Culture,” Stacion – Center for Contemporary Art, Prishtina/Kosovo
May 2017 Public lecture series by Aufhebung, Paper: “Melancholia and Destruction,” Trubarjeva Hisa Literature, Ljubljana/Slovenia
April 2017 Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace Program (HWP), Workshop: “The Time of Debt and the Economy of Guilt,” Ashkal Alwan – The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Beirut/Lebanon
April 2017 Ashkal Alwan Home Workspace Program (HWP), Workshop: “The Space of Capital,” Ashkal Alwan – The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Beirut/Lebanon
Jan. 2017 Master class for graduate students on Benjamin’s “Theses on the Concept of History,” University of Toronto/Canada
Jan 2017 Public lecture “On Violence: Benjamin and Beyond,” Symposium “Benjamin in Palestine: Memory, Politics, Violence,” Victoria College, University of Toronto/Canada

Organized Conferences

March-May 2020 (postponed to Fall 2020) Organization and conceptualization of the “Convergences II: Contretemporal Practices of Art and Theory” workshop and talk series, co-organized by the Visual Arts program of the American University in Cairo (AUC), the Art History and Curating program of the American University of Beirut, and the IZK – Institute for Contemporary Art at Graz University of Technology, led by Sami Khatib (AUC), Angela Harutyunyan (AUB) and Milica Tomić (IZK)
March 2019 Organization of the “Global Theories of Critique” workshop series, workshop and public roundtable “Edward Said and Theodor W. Adorno” with Nadia Bou Ali, Surti Singh and Hakem Al-Rustom at the American University of Beirut/Lebanon
Dec. 2018

Co-organization and initiation of the conference and workshop “Karl Marx: The Untimely Contemporary” [“Karl Marx: Der unzeitgemäße Zeitgenosse”] in Ramallah and Birzeit/Palestine, in collaboration with Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center Ramallah, Goethe Institute Ramallah, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation office Ramallah, DFG research training group “Cultures of Critique” at Leuphana University Lüneburg, Departments of philosophy & cultural studies and democracy & human rights at Birzeit University/Palestine, details: 

Nov. 2018 Organization of the public roundtable “Critical Theory and Social Practice” with the DFG research training group “Cultures of Critique” of Leuphana University and the Beirut Institute for Critical Analysis and Research (BICAR), Lüneburg/Germany
Nov. 2018 Co-organization of the workshop “The Specters of Marx and the Fate of Critique” with Angela Harutyunyan, Nadia Bou-Ali, Mark Hayek, Natasha Gasparian, Ziad Kiblawi and Andrea Comair at the Leuphana University Lüneburg/Germany
Oct. 2018 Organization of the “Global Theories of Critique” workshop series, workshop: “Critical & Decolonial Theories: A Missed Dialogue?” with Surti Singh and Hakem Al-Rustom at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor/USA
March 2017 Co-organization of the “Historical Materialism” conference in Beirut in collaboration with collaboration with the Beirut Institute of Critical Analysis and Research (BICAR), the Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), Jnanapravaha Mumbai (JP) and the Historical Materialism Journal in London
May 2016

Organization of the panel “The ‘Tradition of the Oppressed’ and Its Discontents” of the conference “Do not Resuscitate: Critique and the Untranslatability of History”, Center for Arts and Humanities at the American University of Beirut/Lebanon (with Angela Harutyunyan),  

April 2016 Organization of the workshop “Critique Beyond Identity: Reading Walter Benjamin and Edward Said” at American University in Cairo, AUC Tahrir Square, Cairo/Egypt with Hakem Al-Rustom, Adam Talib
March 2016

Organization of the workshop “History as Tragedy, Comedy, and Farce”, Center for Arts and Humanities at the American University of Beirut/Lebanon,;

Feb. – March 2016

Organization of the workshop “The Promise and Compromise of Translation”, Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), Oslo/Norway, part II in Nov. 2016, details: 

Dec. 2015 Organization of the workshop and conference “Benjamin in Palestine: On the Place and Non-Place of Radical Thought” with Slavoj Zizek, Judith Butler, Yazan Khalili, Lara Khaldi, Paula Schwebel et al., International Academy of Art Palestine, Birzeit University, Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Ramallah/Palestine,
Nov. 2015 Organization of the public lecture, talk and workshop series “Convergences: Art, Theory and Practice”, at the Center for Arts and Humanities (Mellon Grant) at the American University of Beirut/Lebanon with Angela Harutyunyan, Walid Sadek.
June 2015

Organization of the conference “The ‘Tradition of the Oppressed’” with Jana Tsoneva, Multimedia institute klub MaMa, Zagreb/Croatia, 

May 2015 Organization of the second workshop on “Aktualität | Actuality in Walter Benjamin’s Philosophy” with Stefano Marchesoni, Nassima Sahraoui, Walter Benjamin Archiv Berlin, Walter Benjamin Archiv, Akademie der Künste Berlin/Germany
April 2015 Organization of the inaugural event of the Beirut Institute for Critical Analysis and Research (BICAR) with Nadia Bou Ali, Ray Brassier, Maya Andrea Gonzalez, Unesco Building, Beirut/Lebanon
Sept. 2014 Organization of the first workshop on “Aktualität | Actuality in Walter Benjamin’s Philosophy” with Achim Geisenhanslüke, Stefano Marchesoni, Nassima Sahraoui, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt/Germany
July 2013 Organization of the Jan van Eyck Association Opening Week, workshop “Why Theory?” with Ben Dawson, Gal Kirn, Samo Tomšič, Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICI), 
Dec. 2012

Organization: “Nihilism, Destruction, Negativity. Walter Benjamin and the ‘Organization of Pessimism’” workshop, Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht/NL,

Recent Papers (Selection)

May 2019 Historical Materialism Conference, Panteion University, Athens/Greece; Paper: “The Return of the Repressed: ‘Primitive Accumulation’ and Capitalist Temporalities”
Jan. 2019 Critical Theory Consortium conference “Fascism? Populism? Democracy? Critical Theories in a Global Context,” University of Brighton/UK; Paper: “Opinions that do (not) matter: Benjamin’s critique of fascism”
Jan. 2017 MLA Annual Convention, Philadelphia/USA; Paper: “Benjamin in Palestine”
Nov. 2016 Historical Materialism Annual Conference, London/UK; Paper: “The Age of Space and the Time of Capital”
Sept. 2016 “Repetition/s: Performance and Philosophy” Conference, Ljubljana/Slovenia; Paper: “Anti-Sisyphus: Capitalism and Repetition”
March 2016 “Global Adorno” conference, University of Amsterdam/NL; Paper: “Totality, History, Monadology”