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Professor Esther Leslie

BA MA DPhil (Sussex)
Professor in Political Aesthetics

Co-director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities

Esther Leslie has research interests in Marxist theories of aesthetics and culture, with a particular focus on the work of Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno.

Other research interests include the poetics of science, the bleeding edge of technologies, European literary and visual modernism and avant gardes, animation, colour and madness, art philosophy and politics.

Her books are Walter Benjamin: Overpowering Conformism (Pluto 2000), and Hollywood Flatlands, Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant Garde (Verso 2002), Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry (Reaktion, 2005) and Walter Benjamin (Reaktion 2007), Derelicts: Thought Worms from the Wreckage(Unkant, 2014), Liquid Crystals: The Science and Art of a Fluid Form (Reaktion, 2016) and, with Melanie Jackson, Deeper in the Pyramid (Banner Repeater, 2018).

Her translations include Georg Lukacs, A Defence of 'History and Class Consciousness' (Verso 2002) and Walter Benjamin: The Archives (Verso, 2007), On Photography (Reaktion, 2015) and, with Sam Dolbear and Sebastian Truskolaski, Walter Benjamin The Storyteller: Tales out of Loneliness, (Verso, 2016).

She is actively involved in editing two journals:

Contact details

tel: 020 3073 8401

About Professor Esther Leslie