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Hardcover | $42.00 Short | £34.95 | 264 pp. | 6 x 9 in | April 2016 | ISBN: 9780262034401
eBook | $30.00 Short | April 2016 | ISBN: 9780262332200
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Pirate Philosophy

For a Digital Posthumanities


In Pirate Philosophy, Gary Hall considers whether the fight against the neoliberal corporatization of higher education in fact requires scholars to transform their own lives and labor. Is there a way for philosophers and theorists to act not just for or with the antiausterity and student protestors—“graduates without a future”—but in terms of their political struggles? Drawing on such phenomena as peer-to-peer file sharing and anticopyright/pro-piracy movements, Hall explores how those in academia can move beyond finding new ways of thinking about the world to find instead new ways of being theorists and philosophers in the world.

Hall describes the politics of online sharing, the battles against the current intellectual property regime, and the actions of Anonymous, LulzSec, Aaron Swartz, and others, and he explains Creative Commons and the open access, open source, and free software movements. But in the heart of the book he considers how, when it comes to scholarly ways of creating, performing, and sharing knowledge, philosophers and theorists can challenge not just the neoliberal model of the entrepreneurial academic but also the traditional humanist model with its received ideas of proprietorial authorship, the book, originality, fixity, and the finished object. In other words, can scholars and students today become something like pirate philosophers?

About the Author

Gary Hall is Research Professor of Media and Performing Arts and Director of the Centre for Disruptive Media at Coventry University. He is the author of Culture in Bits and Digitize This Book!


“It is difficult to imagine a more comprehensive account of contemporary academic publishing, and indeed to imagine a critic better suited to guiding us through the murky terrain of copyright agreements, open access initiatives, and piratical practices. But Hall provides more than a deeply engaging analysis—this is a pirate manifesto showing the way forward to the transformation of the very mode and distribution of humanities scholarship itself.”
Rita Raley, Department of English, University of California, Santa Barbara
“On the uncharted waters of the digital sphere, pirates easily slip by the tectonic plates of knowledge production and intellectual property. Gary Hall, himself a brilliant pirate, troubles the liquid boundaries between the human and the nonhuman, and between the humanities, digital humanities, and posthumanities. Through testing, teasing, and even attacking, he encounters unexpected and pseudo-pirates. The bold tacks of his pirate philosophy reveal a new world, while transforming it as well.”
Jean-Claude Guédon, Professor of Comparative Literature, Université de Montréal
Pirate Philosophy is a handbook of clarification for all those adrift in theory, for those who want a graceful, expert navigation of the changing relations of knowledge and power. Pirate Philosophy keelhauls, one by one, theories of the commons, new materialism, posthumanism, and Internet piracy, testing and teasing simultaneously a host of uniformed agents ranging from digital humanities to intellectual property law to the bound book itself. It rejects all forms of patterned radicalism to give us a clear picture of the challenges facing academic practice today.”
Christopher M. Kelty, Professor of Information Studies and Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles