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Personal profile

Research interests

Tom Bunyard’s primary research interests are focussed on the theoretical work of Guy Debord and the Situationist International, and on Debord’s central concept of ‘spectacle’. In 2011, he completed a PhD on this topic at Goldsmiths, University of London. The thesis traced the genealogy of Debord’s theory, interpreted it through its primary theoretical and philosophical influences, and foregrounded the central importance of time, history and praxis to Debord’s thought. Tom has recently completed a monograph on this topic. Titled Debord, Time and Spectacle: Hegelian Marxism and Situationist Theory, the book reconstructs and evaluates the conceptual framework that underlies Debord’s claims. In doing so, it places particular emphasis on the Hegelian and existential dimensions of Debord’s work, and focusses on his concerns with historical agency.

This study of the Debord’s work has led to an interest in the temporality of modern society, and related notions of social pathology. Tom is currently pursuing this by looking at new readings of Hegel’s philosophy, and at contemporary ‘value-form’ interpretations of Marx’s mature work. More broadly, his interests include: Marx and Marxism; Hegelian philosophy; existentialism; aesthetics and the avant-garde; continental philosophy; cultural and critical theory; philosophy of history.

Supervisory Interests

Tom has been involved in PhD supervision since 2013, and has brought two projects to completion. He would be interested in supervising research projects in areas such as Debord and the Situationists, Marx and Marxism, Hegel and reactions to Hegel’s philosophy, contemporary critical and cultural theory, and continental philosophy.  

Scholarly biography

Tom studied for his PhD at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. His thesis was on the Hegelian Marxist dimensions of Guy Debord’s theory of spectacle. After completing this PhD in 2011, Tom taught courses in cultural and critical theory at the University of East London, Middlesex University, and the University of Arts, London. Between 2012 and 2013, he worked as convenor of Goldsmiths’ MA in Cultural Theory, and in 2014, he started working in the Humanities Programme at the University of Brighton. 

Whilst working at Brighton, Tom was able to complete a large monograph on Debord’s theory. The book reconstructs Debord’s Hegelian Marxism through reading his work in the light of its primary theoretical and philosophical influences. Through doing so, it uses a discussion of Debord’s central interests in temporality to develop a holistic reading of his work, and to thereby explain how the various aspects of Debord’s oeuvre cohere as elements cohere.

Tom’s current work is an attempt to build on that study by drawing out and developing the aspects of Debord’s theory that seem most pertinent and viable today. 

Knowledge exchange

Tom is: an associate editor of the Marx and Philosophy Review of Books; a peer reviewer for Theory Culture and Society, Critical Studies, Studies in Social and Political Thought, and Bloomsbury’s philosophy book series; a member of the organisational committee of the Marx and Philosophy Society; and a contributor to Brighton University’s Centre for Applied Philosophy Politics and Ethics. 

 

Events, conferences and conference papers

Organised and co-organised events

‘The “Realisation” of Art and Politics in the Work of the Situationist International’, workshop, July 2018

‘Neurotic Conditions – A Workshop and Lecture with Benjamin Noys’, December 2017

‘150 Years of Das Kapital: The Critique of Capital and the Critique of Labour – A Workshop on Vol.1 of Capital, Introduced and Led by Werner Bonefeld’, February 2017

‘Benjamin Noys on Weird Realism’, The University of Brighton, February 2016, 

Workshop on Marx’s ‘On the Method of Political Economy’, The Marx and Philosophy Society, London, February 2015

‘Common Ground’, Goldsmiths, University of London, June 2013

‘Marx and Philosophy’, Goldsmiths, University of London, June 2008. 

‘Contemporary Marxist Thought’, Goldsmiths, University of London, April 2007

Talks and Conference Papers

‘Guy Debord’s Concepts of Life, Non-Life and Spectacle’, Historical Materialism Annual Conference, The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, November 2016

‘The Critique of Political Economy and Critical Political Economy’, University of Brighton, May, 2016

‘Subject-Object Unity and Workers’ Councils in Guy Debord’s Theory of Spectacle’, Never Work!, Cardiff University, July 2015

‘Marx’s 1857 Introduction to the Grundrisse’, Workshop on Marx’s ‘On the Method of Political Economy’, The Marx and Philosophy Society, London, February 2015 

‘Dialectical, Strategic Thought’, Historical Materialism Annual Conference, The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, November 2014

‘Closure and Subject-Object Unity in French Hegelianism’, University of Brighton, March 2014

‘Debord: Temporality, Praxis and Ethics’, University of Brighton, November 2013 

‘The Aestheticisation of the Historical Negative in the Work of Guy Debord and the Situationist International’, The Politics of Critique, University of Brighton, July 2012

‘The Aesthetics of the Absolute’, Situationist Aesthetics: The S.I., Now, University of Sussex, June 2012

‘The End of History and the End of Pre-History’, The London Conference in Critical Thought, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, Birkbeck, London, June 2012

‘The “Realisation of Philosophy” in the Work of the Situationist International’, Fifth Critical Theory Conference of Rome, Loyola University, Chicago, Rome Campus, May 2012

‘Temporality and Praxis in the Work of Guy Debord and the Situationist International’, Historical Materialism Annual Conference, The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, November, 2011

Hegel, Marx and the Possibilities of Presuppositionless Praxis’, The Research Group in Continental Philosophy Seminar Series on Hegel, Goldsmiths, University of London, November 2009

The Situationists and the “Historical Significance” of Détournement’, Historical Materialism Annual Conference, The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, November 2008

‘Lautréamont and the Aesthetics of Negativity’, A Day of Crisis, Goldsmiths, University of London, November 2008

‘Negativity and Détournement’, Faith and Fantasy, Goldsmiths, University of London, June 2008 

‘Theory and the Institution’, Attack the Headquarters, Goldsmiths, University of London, May 2008

‘Debord, Hegel and Historical Thought’, Free University of Berlin, January 2008

‘Guy Debord and Historical Thought’, Thinking with History,Goldsmiths, University of London, November 2007 

‘Debord, Unity and Mutual Recognition’, Historical Materialism Annual Conference, The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, November 2007

‘Debord’s spectacle, Hegel’s Christianity and the Rational State’,Image and Imagination, Goldsmiths, University of London, December 2006 

‘Debord’s Debt to Hegel’, Goldsmiths College Graduate Seminar Series, Goldsmiths, University of London, February 2006

‘Interpolating Interpellation’, Spectacle and the Spectacular, Buckingham Chilterns University College, April 2004

Research Output 2011 2018

Critical Theory and Cultural Studies

Bunyard, T. 1 Jun 2018 The Sage Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory. Best, B., Bonefeld, W. & O'Kane, C. (eds.). UK, p. 1348-1364 17 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

critical theory
cultural studies
school theory
Frankfurt School
mass culture

Debord, Time and Spectacle: Hegelian Marxism and Situationist Theory

Bunyard, T. 20 Nov 2017 Leiden. 430 p. (Historical Materialism)

Research output: Book/ReportBook - authored

File
Marxism
capitalist society
dialogue
history
evidence

"History is the Spectre haunting Modern Society": Temporality and Praxis in Guy Debord's Hegelian Marxism

Bunyard, T. 1 Nov 2014 20, p. 62-86 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
History
Spectre
Modernity
Temporality
Haunting
Open Access
File
Obsolescence
Temporality
Situationists
Guy Debord
Transpose

Debord, Time and History

Bunyard, T. 1 Jun 2011 19, 1, p. 3-36 34 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
History
Spectacle
Guy Debord
Temporality
Subjectivity