New Book

For Humanism: Explorations in Theory and Politics

25th Apr 2017


For Humanism: Explorations in Theory and Politics

Edited by David Alderson and Robert Spencer



‘A major intervention into contemporary discussions about the resources of political hope, this volume insists upon the continuing indispensability and, indeed, radicalness of humanism as both a critical philosophy and a moral-political template. Each of the individual chapters – on socialist humanism, political philosophy, postcolonialism, and queer theory – is noteworthy for the ways in which it conjoins scholarly rigour with passionate political commitment.’


Neil Lazarus, Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick



Buy the book from the UK publisher:

Buy the book in Canada:

Buy the book in the United States:



About the book:


Today, anti-humanism is a dominant, even definitive, feature of contemporary theory. For Humanism sets out to challenge this by establishing the historical context that resulted in humanism’s eclipse, critiquing anti-humanism, and exploring alternative, neglected traditions and possible new directions.


Humanism is a diverse and complex tradition that may facilitate the renewal of progressive theory through the championing of human subjectivity, agency and freedom. Across four extended essays, David Alderson, Kevin Anderson, Barbara Epstein and Robert Spencer engage critically with the Marxist tradition, recent developments in poststructuralism, postcolonialism and queer theory.




Read an extract from the book here:




David Alderson is Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature at the University of Manchester. He has written widely about the relations between gender, sexuality and neoliberalism, and is the author of Sex, Needs, and Queer Culture: From Liberation to the Postgay (2016).


Robert Spencer is Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures at the University of Manchester. He writes and teaches in the areas of modernism, cultural theory and postcolonial writing.




PAPERBACK: FEBRUARY 2017 / 240 PAGES / ISBN 9780745336145 / £21.99





Want an inspection copy for your course? Visit

Want a book for review? Email the publisher’s publicity team at

Sign up to the Pluto Press newsletter for new books, news and events:



You Tube: