Professor Alberto Toscano

Staff details

Position Professor of Critical Theory
Department Sociology
Email a.toscano (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7081
Professor Alberto Toscano

Alberto works across critical social theory and philosophy. His current research is divided into three main strands: a theoretical and historical inquiry into the politics of authoritarianism and their links to the racial, geopolitical and gendered crises of capital, set out in his recent book Late Fascism: Race, Capitalism and the Politics of Crisis; the study of tragedy as a framework through which to understand collective politics and its discontents, from decolonisation to climate action; and the development of ‘real abstraction’ as a heuristic for the analysis contemporary capitalism, notably in its nexus with processes of racialization, automation and digitalization. He also maintains an abiding interest in artistic efforts to represent or ‘map’ racial capitalism, and in the revitalisation of a critical theory of political action informed by anti-colonial and anti-racist thought – as evidenced in his recent collection of essays Terms of Disorder: Keywords for an Interregnum.

Academic qualifications

  • BA Liberal Arts, Eugene Lang College, New School for Social Research 1997
  • MA in Continental Philosophy, University College Dublin 1999
  • PhD in Philosophy, University of Warwick 2003

Research interests

• critical theory
• Marxism
• contemporary European philosophy
• Italian thought and literature
• tragedy
• racial capitalism
• fascism
• anti-colonial thought
• media and communication theory
• aesthetics, visual culture and art theory

Publications and research outputs


Toscano, Alberto. 2017. Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea (2nd edition). London: Verso. ISBN 9781786630544

Toscano, Alberto and Kinkle, Jeffrey. 2015. Cartographies of the Absolute. Alresford: Zero Books. ISBN 9781780992754

Toscano, Alberto. 2010. Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea. London: Verso. ISBN 9781844674244

Toscano, Alberto. 2006. The Theatre of Production: Philosophy and Individuation between Kant and Deleuze. Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN 1403997802

Edited Book

Skeggs, Beverley; Farris, Sara R.; Toscano, Alberto and Bromberg, Svenja, eds. 2021. The SAGE Handbook of Marxism. London: SAGE Publications. ISBN 9781473974234

Book Section

Toscano, Alberto. 2019. Tragedy. In: John Frow, ed. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Literary Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Toscano, Alberto. 2019. Mayakovsky at Mirafori: Operaismo and the Negation of Poetry’. In: Ruth Jennison and Julian Murphet, eds. Communism and Poetry: Writing Against Capital. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 109-129. ISBN 9783030171568

Toscano, Alberto. 2018. Antiphysis/Antipraxis: Universal Exhaustion and the Tragedy of Materiality. In: Brent Ryan Bellamy and Jeff Diamanti, eds. Materialism and the Critique of Energy. MCM' Publishing, pp. 471-499.

Toscano, Alberto. 2017. A Spectre is Not Haunting Europe. In: Dominik Finkelde, ed. Badiou and the State. Baden-Baden: Nomos, pp. 213-222. ISBN 978-3-8487-3224-1

Toscano, Alberto. 2016. After October, Before February: Figures of Dual Power. In: Slavoj Žižek, ed. Fredric Jameson, An American Utopia: Dual Power and the Universal Army. London: Verso. ISBN 9781784784539

Toscano, Alberto. 2015. Taming the Furies: Badiou and Hegel on The Eumenides. In: Jim Vernon and Antonio Calcagno, eds. Badiou and Hegel: Infinity, Dialectics, Subjectivity. Rowman & Littlefield / Lexington Books, pp. 193-205. ISBN 978-0-7391-9989-3

Toscano, Alberto. 2015. Seeing Socialism: On the Aesthetics of the Economy, Production and the Plan. In: Dimitrakaki Angela and Lloyd Kirsten, eds. Economy: Art, Production and the Subject in the 21st Century. 11 Liverpool: University of Liverpool Press. ISBN 9781781381380

Toscano, Alberto. 2015. Plasticity, Capital and the Dialectic. In: Brenna Bhandar and Jonathan Goldberg-Hiller, eds. Plastic materialities : politics, legality, and metamorphosis in the work of Catherine Malabou. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, pp. 91-109. ISBN 9780822358572

Toscano, Alberto. 2015. Photography Against the Flow: Abstraction and Logistics in Allan Sekula's Writings. In: Hilde van der Gelder and UNSPECIFIED, eds. Allan Sekula. Ship of Fools / The Dockers’ Museum. Leuven: University of Leuven Press, pp. 45-54. ISBN 9789462700055

Toscano, Alberto. 2015. What is Capitalist Power? Reflections on Truth and Juridical Forms. In: Martina Tazzioli; Sophie Fuggle and Yari Lanci, eds. Foucault and the History of Our Present. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 26-42. ISBN 978-1-349-48142-2

Toscano, Alberto. 2015. 'America's Belgium': W.E.B. Du Bois on Class, Race, and the Origins of World War 1. In: Alexander Anievas, ed. Cataclysm 1914: The First World War and the Making of Modern World Politics. 89 Leiden: Brill, pp. 236-257. ISBN 9789004262683

Toscano, Alberto. 2014. Aleatory Rationalism. In: Alain Badiou; Ray Brassier and Alberto Toscano, eds. Badiou: Theoretical Writings. London: Continuum, pp. 253-278. ISBN 9780826461452

Toscano, Alberto. 2011. Anti-Sociology and its Limits. In: , ed. Reading Rancière. London: Continuum, pp. 217-237. ISBN 9781441137814

Toscano, Alberto. 2007. Marxism Expatriated: Alain Badiou's Turn. In: Jacques Bidet and Stathis Kouvelakis, eds. Critical Companion to Contemporary Marxism. Leiden: Brill, pp. 529-548. ISBN 9789004145986


Toscano, Alberto. 2021. Elsewhere and Otherwise: Introduction to a Symposium on Fredric Jameson’s ‘Allegory and Ideology’. Historical Materialism, 29(1), pp. 113-122. ISSN 1465-4466

Toscano, Alberto. 2021. The Faust Variations. Historical Materialism, 29(1), pp. 162-173. ISSN 1465-4466

Toscano, Alberto. 2021. The Tragic Festival. Nineteenth-Century French Studies, 49(3-4), pp. 657-681. ISSN 0146-7891

Toscano, Alberto. 2020. Race, Class and Tragedy: Nietzsche and the Fantasies of Europe. Crisis and Critique, 7(1), ISSN 2311-8172

Mandarini, Matteo and Toscano, Alberto. 2020. Planning for Conflict. South Atlantic Quarterly, 119(1), pp. 11-30. ISSN 0038-2876

Williams, Evan Calder and Toscano, Alberto. 2019. Wrong Place, Right Time: '68 and the Impasses of Periodization. Cultural Politics, 15(3), pp. 273-288. ISSN 1743-2197

Toscano, Alberto. 2019. The Ignoble Savage: Racism, Myth and the Anthropological Machine. Theory & Event, 22(4), pp. 1105-1124. ISSN 2572-6633

Toscano, Alberto. 2019. ‘By contraries execute all things’: Figures of the savage in European philosophy. Radical Philosophy, 2.04, pp. 9-22. ISSN 0300-211X

Toscano, Alberto. 2018. The Civil War of Images. Political Tragedies, Political Iconographies. Filosofski Vestnik, 39(2), pp. 17-40. ISSN 0353-4510

Toscano, Alberto and Calder Williams, Evan. 2017. The Southern Line: The Meridione and the Limits to Periodisation. Estetica. Studi e Ricerche, VII(2), pp. 233-254. ISSN 2039-6635

Toscano, Alberto. 2017. The Broken Music of the Revolution: Trotsky and Blok. Crisis and Critique, 4(2), pp. 404-426. ISSN 2311-8172

Toscano, Alberto and Bhandar, Brenna. 2017. Representing Palestinian dispossession: land, property, and photography in the settler colony. Settler Colonial Studies, 7(1), pp. 1-18. ISSN 2201-473X

Toscano, Alberto. 2016. Limits to Periodization. Viewpoint,

Toscano, Alberto. 2016. The Promethean Gap: Modernism, Machines and the Obsolescence of Man. Modernism/Modernity, 23(3), pp. 593-609. ISSN 1071-6068

Toscano, Alberto. 2016. The World is Already Without Us. Social Text, 34(2), pp. 109-124. ISSN 0164-2472

Toscano, Alberto. 2016. Sovereignty and Deviation: Notes on Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason, Volume 2. Crisis and Critique, 3(1), pp. 280-299. ISSN 2311-8172

Toscano, Alberto. 2016. Tragedy and Jubilee. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 39(3), pp. 352-359. ISSN 0141-9870

Toscano, Alberto. 2016. A Structuralism of Feeling? New Left Review(97), pp. 73-93. ISSN 0028-6060

Toscano, Alberto. 2015. La Indigencia Europea. La Circular, 3,

Toscano, Alberto and Bhandar, Brenna. 2015. Race, Real Estate and Real Abstraction. Radical Philosophy(194), pp. 8-17. ISSN 0300-211X

Toscano, Alberto and Woodcock, Jamie. 2015. Spectres of Marxism: a comment on Mike Savage's market model of class difference. The Sociological Review, 63(2), pp. 512-523. ISSN 0038-0261

Toscano, Alberto. 2015. Burning Dwelling Thinking. Mute Magazine,

Toscano, Alberto. 2015. The Detour of Abstraction. Diacritics, 43(2), pp. 68-90. ISSN 0300-7162

Toscano, Alberto. 2015. Capital (It Fails Us Now): Introduction to a Mini-Symposium on Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century. Historical Materialism, 23(1), pp. 53-69. ISSN 1465-4466

Toscano, Alberto. 2014. Materialism Without Matter: Abstraction, Absence and Social Form. Textual Practice, 28(7), pp. 1221-1240. ISSN 0950-236X

Toscano, Alberto. 2014. Reformism and Melancholia: Economic Crisis and the Limits of Sociology'. Sociology, 48(5), pp. 1024-1038. ISSN 0038-0385

Toscano, Alberto. 2014. Lineaments of the Logistical State. Viewpoint, 4,

Toscano, Alberto. 2014. Politics in Pre-Political Times. Politics and Culture, "The Politics of Alain Badiou",

Toscano, Alberto. 2014. Profecía congelada: El Manifiesto Comunista hoy. Isegoría(50), pp. 37-43. ISSN 1130-2097

Toscano, Alberto. 2014. Transition Deprogrammed. South Atlantic Quarterly, 113(4), pp. 761-775. ISSN 0038-2876

Toscano, Alberto. 2014. The Tactics and Ethics of Humanitarianism. Humanity, 5(1), pp. 123-147. ISSN 2151-4364

Toscano, Alberto. 2014. The Uncompromising Classes. Theory and Event, 17(2),

Toscano, Alberto. 2014. Alien Mediations: Critical Remarks on The Making of the Indebted Man. The New Reader(1),

Toscano, Alberto. 2012. Seeing it Whole: Staging Totality in Social Theory and Art. The Sociological Review, 60(S1), pp. 64-83. ISSN 0038-0261

Toscano, Alberto. 2011. Divine Management: Critical Remarks on Giorgio Agamben's The Kingdom and the Glory. Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities, 16(3), pp. 125-136. ISSN 0969-725X

Toscano, Alberto. 2009. The sensuous religion of the multitude: Art and abstraction in Negri. Third Text, 23(4), pp. 369-382. ISSN 0952-8822

Toscano, Alberto. 2008. The Culture of Abstraction. Theory, Culture & Society, 25(4), pp. 57-75. ISSN 0263-2764

Toscano, Alberto. 2008. Sovereign Impunity. New Left Review, 50(n/a), pp. 128-135. ISSN 0028-6060

Toscano, Alberto. 2008. The Open Secret of Real Abstraction. Rethinking Marxism, 20(2), pp. 273-287. ISSN 14758059

Toscano, Alberto. 2008. Carl Schmitt in Beijing: Partisanship, Geopolitics and the Demolition of the Eurocentric World. Postcolonial Studies, 11(4), pp. 417-433. ISSN 1368-8790

Toscano, Alberto. 2007. David Harvey. Development And Change, 38(6), pp. 1127-1135. ISSN 14677660

Toscano, Alberto. 2007. Powers of Pacification: State and Empire in Gabriel Tarde. Economy and Society, 36, pp. 597-613. ISSN 14695766

Toscano, Alberto. 2007. Vital Strategies: Maurizio Lazzarato and the Metaphysics of Contemporary Capitalism. Theory, Culture and Society, 24(6), pp. 71-91. ISSN 02632764

Chiesa, Lorenzo and Toscano, Alberto. 2007. Agape and the Anonymous Religion of Atheism. Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities, 12(1), pp. 113-126. ISSN 14692899

Toscano, Alberto. 2007. From Pin Factories to Gold Farmers: Editorial Introduction to a Research Stream on Cognitive Capitalism, Immaterial Labour, and the General Intellect. Historical Materialism, 15(1), pp. 3-11. ISSN 1569206X

Toscano, Alberto. 2006. Fanaticism: A brief history of the concept. Eurozine, ISSN 1684-4637

Toscano, Alberto. 2006. Can Violence Be Thought? Notes on Badiou and the Possibility of (Marxist) Politics. Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, 5(1), pp. 9-38. ISSN 14099268

Toscano, Alberto. 2006. Dual Power Revisited: From Civil War to Biopolitical Islam. Soft Targets, 2.1, pp. 150-155.

Toscano, Alberto. 2006. The Bourgeois and the islamist, or, the other subjects of Politics. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 2(1-2), pp. 15-38. ISSN 18329101

Chiesa, Lorenzo and Toscano, Alberto. 2005. Ethics and capital, ex nihilo. Umbr(a): A Journal of the Unconscious, 1, pp. 9-23. ISSN 10870830

Toscano, Alberto. 2004. From the State to the World? Badiou and Anti-Capitalism. Communication and Cognition, 37(3-4), pp. 199-224. ISSN 03780880

Toscano, Alberto. 2004. Factory, territory, metropolis, Empire. Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities, 9(2), pp. 197-216. ISSN 0969-725X

Toscano, Alberto. 2003. Art Against Empire: On Alliez and Negri's 'Peace and War'. Theory Culture & Society, 20(2), pp. 103-108. ISSN 14603616

Toscano, Alberto. 2001. The Method of Nature, The Crisis of Critique. Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy, 11, pp. 36-61.

Toscano, Alberto. 2000. To Have Done with the End of Philosophy. Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy, 9, pp. 220-238.

Toscano, Alberto. 1999. Fanaticism and Production: On Schelling's Philosophy of Indifference. Pli: The Warwick Journal of Philosophy, 8, pp. 46-70.

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