Mark Fisher

On this date in 1968, writer, theorist and critic Mark Fisher was born in the United Kingdom. Sometimes referred to by his online pseudonym “k-punk,” Fisher was initially known for his blog where he wrote about politics, music and culture. Fisher earned his B.A. in English and philosophy from Hull University in 1989 before completing his Ph.D. at the University of Warwick in 1999. His Ph.D. thesis, “Flatline Constructs: Gothic Materialism and Cybernetic Theory-Fiction” (1999), explored cybernetics and literature.

A co-founder of Zero Books and Repeater Books, Fisher worked as a philosophy and cultural theory lecturer before publishing his most well-known book, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (2009). For Fisher, “capitalist realism” is the sense that it is easier for the individual to imagine the end of the world than it would be for him/her to imagine the end of capitalism.

Fisher’s work expands on the work of other philosophers and theorists, including Jacques Derrida, Louis Althusser, Fredric Jameson and others. His book Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology, and Lost Futures (2014) popularized Derrida’s concept of “hauntology” — colloquially described as a “pining for a future that never arrived” — by exploring various potential but unachieved futures through cultural sources such as music and film.

Fisher’s The Weird and the Eerie (2017) was published posthumously after his suicide. k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher (2004-2016) was published in 2018. (D. 2017)

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