Photo of Richard Gilman-Opalsky
School of Politics and International Affairs
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PAC 362
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Dr. Richard Gilman-Opalsky’s teaching and research focus on the history of political philosophy, Continental and contemporary social theory, Marxism, capitalism, autonomist politics, postmodern philosophy, critical theory, global social movements, and feminist philosophy.

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky earned his Ph.D. in Political Science at The New School for Social Research (2006). His M.A. (The New School for Social Research) and B.A. (Hofstra University) are in Philosophy.

He is author of many books, including: Imaginary Power, Real Horizons (2024), The Communism of Love (2020), Riotous Epistemology (2019), Specters of Revolt (2016), Precarious Communism (2014),  Spectacular Capitalism (2011), and Unbounded Publics (2008). He is co-editor of Against Capital in the Twenty-First Century: A Reader of Radical Undercurrents (2018).

Spectacular Capitalism was selected as "Book of the Month" for October 2011 by The International Herbert Marcuse Society. Dr. Gilman-Opalsky has published numerous articles in social theory and political philosophy, especially on revolution, global revolts, philosophy of praxis, and capitalism and its culture. He has lectured on his research throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, and China. His work has been published in German, Greek, Spanish, and French.

  • Dr. Gilman-Opalsky was named University Scholar 2018-2019.

Listen to Dr. Gilman-Opalsky on NPR Illinois’ Community Voices (2022).


Communist Ontologies: An Inquiry into the Construction of New Forms of Life (Autonomedia, 2024)

Imaginary Power, Real Horizons: The Practicality of Utopianism (AK Press, 2024)

The Communism of Love: An Inquiry into the Poverty of Exchange Value (AK Press, 2020).

Riotous Epistemology: Imaginary Power, Art, and Insurrection (Autonomedia / Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, 2019).

Against Capital in the Twenty-First Century: A Reader of Radical Undercurrents (Temple University Press, 2018).

Specters of Revolt: On the Intellect of Insurrection and Philosophy from Below (Repeater Books / Random House, 2016).

Precarious Communism: Manifest Mutations, Manifesto Detourned (Autonomedia, 2014).

Spectacular Capitalism: Guy Debord and the Practice of Radical Philosophy (Autonomedia, 2011). Also available in Greek translation.

Unbounded Publics: Transgressive Public Spheres, Zapatismo, and Political Theory (Lexington Books, 2008).


Critical Reflections on Capitalist China: Notes from the China Lectures (Situations Journal, Vol. IX, Nos. 1 and 2).

The Communism of Love: How the COVID pandemic has revealed anew the importance of Marx’s Gemeinwesen (Public Seminar at The New School, May 2021).

The Communist Secret of Love (Ill Will Editions, January 2021).

Love: a counterpower to capital worthy of its name (ROAR Magazine, January 2021).

Capitalismo, revuelta y comunidad. Entrevista a Richard Gilman-Opalsky (Sociohistórica, n. 47, e133, Marzo-Agosto 2021).

The Eternal Return of Revolt: A Conversation with Richard Gilman-Opalsky (Ill Will Editions, July 2020).

Spectral Compositions in a Time of Revolt [Co-authored with Stevphen Shukaitis] (Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present/ASAP Journal, Johns Hopkins University Press, May 2018.

Revolt as Reason, Reason as Revolt: On the Praxis of Philosophy from Below (In Spontaneous Combustion: The Eros Effect and Global Revolution, Edited by Jason Del Gandio and AK Thompson, SUNY Press, 2017).

The Ferguson Revolt Did Not Take Place (The Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, May 2015).

Marxism Not Statism: Autonomist Trajectories in the 21st Century (Left Curve: Journal of Art, Critical Culture, Theory and Politics, Number 38, June 2014).

The Reasonable “Madness” of Revolt (Fifth Estate, Volume 48, Number 2, Issue 390, Fall/Winter 2013).

Becoming-Ghost, Specters of Revolt: The Ghosts of Geist and Capital (Solidarité: Journal of Radical Theory, Volume 1, Number 2, August 2013).

Unjamming the Insurrectionary Imagination: Rescuing Détournement from the Liberal Complacencies of Culture Jamming (Theory in Action, Volume 6, Number 3, July 2013).

Beyond the Old Virtue of Struggle: Autonomy, Talent, and Revolutionary Theory (Rhizomes Journal, Issue Number 24, 2012).

Why New Socialist Theory Needs Guy Debord: On the Practice of Radical Philosophy (Crisis, Politics, and Critical Sociology, Edited by Graham Cassano and Richard A. Dello Buono, Studies in Critical Social Sciences, Volume 17, Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012).

Upheaval as Philosophy: Eleven Theses on Guy Debord (Left Curve: Journal of Art, Critical Culture, Theory and Politics, Number 35, April 2011).

Selectively Forgetting Baudrillard: Rescuing Praxis from the Wreckage (Theory in Action, Volume 3, Number 2, April 2010).


Dr. Gilman-Opalsky on Specters of Revolt, Marxism, Anarchism, and Resistance to Capitalism

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky’s TED Talk

NPR Broadcast of Dr. Gilman-Opalsky’s TED talk

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky’s Incite Seminar on The Communism of Love

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky at East Side Institute, New York City

Seminar on Dr. Gilman-Opalsky’s research at The Institute for the Radical Imagination

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky discusses The Communism of Love on a podcast for Woodbine, NYC

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky discusses The Communism of Love at the Third Annual UIS Author Festival

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky releases new book exploring the communism of love

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky’s podcast interview about The Communism of Love

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky’s University Scholar Acceptance Speech: “Two Marginal Notes on Recognition”

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky’s “Specters of Revolt” ECCE Speaker Series Book Launch Lecture

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky on “Spectacular” Politics and Revolt on NPR Illinois

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky Talks About His Book Specters of Revolt

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky in a Film Trailer for the Documentary “Insurrections”

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky “On Revolt and Philosophy”

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky Releases New Book Exploring The Communist Manifesto

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky’s Engaged Citizenship Common Experience Lecture: Engagement in a World Without Bodies

Dr. Gilman-Opalsky’s Radio Interview on Spectacular Capitalism

Video on Why Dr. Gilman-Opalsky Chose to Study Political Philosophy

Presentation by Dr. Gilman-Opalsky at New York University in April, 2014