Me, standing in front of the two-room cottage in rural Donegal where my Grandma Bridie and her nine siblings grew up. An extraordinary transformation took place in the lives of working class people in the mid to late 20th century. My work is part of an intellectual attempt to continue that social progress towards collective power and emancipation.

‘Left-wing but not too preachy’ – Financial Times.

I was born in Camberwell, London in 1987. I’ve written a few books since then and now I teach political thought at the Open University.

My most recent book is Spinoza and the Politics of Freedom, based on my PhD, out with Edinburgh University Press in 2021.

Island Story: Journeys Through Unfamilar Britain (Repeater Books, 2016), shortlisted for the Orwell Prize 2017.

It relates four months cycling across the British Isles, based on the popular Searching for Albion blog. Described by Anna Minton as ‘a beautifully written account of a journey around contemporary Britain which is both political and poetic – a rare combination’.

Previous to this, I wrote Negative Capitalism: Cynicism in the Neoliberal Era, (Zero, 2013). Paul Mason said it ‘represents a new generation of critique by what I’ve termed graduates without a future. Taylor brings together incisive and provocative analysis alongside personal experience … In a time of economic meltdown and mass struggle, this book offers one way out of the current crisis.’

In July 2020 I was appointed as a Lecturer in Social and Political Thought at the Open University. Prior to that, I taught history at Goldsmiths, University of London, and philosophy at the Mary Ward Centre, London, since around September 2016.

I’ve published short pieces in the New Statesman, Fair Observer, Review 31, Dust Magazine, Roar, OpenDemocracy, and Nyx, a Noctournal. I’ve been invited to speak on shows like Radio 4’s Moral Maze, Open Country, and Making History programme, as well as the People’s Parliament, House of Commons, and the OECD Forum in June 2017.

This is my webpage. It is an irregularly updated record of what I’m up to, of possible interest only to my dad (hi Dad!) You can contact me below if you like.

dan . taylor @ open . ac . uk     @dantaylor42


9 thoughts on “about

  1. My god. Coleoptera just took my breath. How amazing and fantastic. I wondered if I could reblog it and can’t figure out how!! It’s beautiful, breathtaking, sinful, hard and fluid….I love it and thanks for the beauty!

  2. Dan you have some wonderful story here.
    I wonder if you will submit to your short story “Learning how to disappear” to being read at a event at the Albany theatre on the 16th of August. I am a volunteer at the Lewisham Talking Newspaper, and we are holding an event called “recorded live” This is a profile raising event sponsored by the NHS. The LTN hopes to record short stories, poetry and music for our regular listeners as well as hopefully connect with the North Lewisham area. We would happily supply a copy of the recording for your use. No money is being generated by the event as it is as I said simply to raise the profile of our free service.

    Thank you for your time
    Matthew Crowfoot

  3. “To work is the only moral injunction in contemporary politics. Not working, or not working enough, have become so socially reprehensible that governments now seek to discipline and punish the poor without fear of electoral backlash.”

    WRONG! Substitute JOB for Work, and this extract from your article makes sense. (You might observe the propagandistic technique of conflating work with jobs). I call this Jobism, and that’s clearly not doing much good.

    But how do we frame the alternative?? “Not just Jobs or Bad Work — Good Work of all kinds and Better Lives too”. But how to make readers of the Daily Mail buy into this vision?

    Are you up for it? Fighting Jobism, campaigning for Good Work?

    1. Hmm, I’d disagree and suggest that ‘work’ is the moral aim: this is in keeping with the virtue of ‘drive’ and ‘dedication’ that is demanded of young people from the point of competitive exams, to unpaid internships, onwards. At the same time, it captures the moral quality of work itself within jobs, particularly when pressure from staff restructures and performance reviews compels employees to demonstrate a better ability to ‘work’, and an ability to work better. The pat language of ‘staff development’ really has at its core the improvement of productivity. Whilst ‘jobs’ may feel like the most discernible characteristic of modern labour, the insecurity and precarity of workers continually moving from one short-term job to another is less an issue of jobism and more an issue of insecure pay and working rights. The moralising virtue of ‘work’ is a smokescreen that places success and failure with the hard-working individual, rather than the greater civil problems of disorganised and unregulated (and hence unprotected) labour. I’m all for fighting for a good quality of public life with equal rights, and opportunities, for all – of which work is just one part. But thanks for a really interesting suggestion there.

      1. I suggest you read (re-read surely) Ivan Illitch ‘The Right to Useful Unemployment’. Some, many jobs are good, intrinsically rewarding, some jobs are sinecures. Man!y forms of unpaid work are very demanding eg caring for sick relatives. If we can’t agree on the distinction between ‘work’ and ‘jobs’, and how for propagandistic reasons jobs and work have been elided, unpaid work (other than training for jobs) is branded ‘unproductive’ then we’re at cross purposes. Sorry, I thought we had the start of an interesting conversation!

  4. Hi Taylor,

    Read your last post and it is empowering. I loved it. Discovered you thanks to Znet. Thought you’d be interested in this illustration depicting meaningless human existence: https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=637373459632942&set=a.484365654933724.95206.482787601758196&type=1&theater

    Don’t be mislead into thinking that I’m writing to you exclusively because of sharing the same interests, it is also due to self-marketing!!!!!

    Feel free to use any of my posts.


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