Agamben, Giorgio (1942–)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DD3594-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 2017
Retrieved April 23, 2019, from

List of works

  • Agamben, G. (1970) L’uomo senza contenuto, Milano: Rizzoli; trans. Georgia Albert as The Man Without Content, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999.

    (Treats G. W. F. Hegel’s end of art thesis, and prefigures later engagements with spectatorship, alienation, experience, and nihilism.)

  • Agamben, G. (1977) Stanze. La parola e il fantasma nella cultura occidentale, Turin: Einaudi; trans. Ronald L. Martinez as Stanzas: Word and Phantasm in Western Culture, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

    (Agamben’s most sustained response to psychoanalysis, treating problems of melancholia, phantasm, commodification, semiotics, and love.)

  • Agamben, G. (1978) Infanzia e storia. Distruzione dell’esperienza e origine della storia, Turin: Einaudi; trans. Liz Heron as Infancy and History: On the Destruction of Experience, London: Verso, 1993.

    (Develops an account of how human experience is destroyed in modernity, dealing with problems of language, play, history, and temporality.)

  • Agamben, G. (1982) Il linguaggio e la morte. Un seminario sul luogo della negatività, Turin: Einaudi; trans. Karen E. Pinkus with Michael Hardt as Language and Death: The Place of Negativity, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991.

    (Turns on an engagement with death in Heidegger and Hegel, developing accounts of language, voice, negativity, and sacrifice that are crucial for understanding the mature works.)

  • Agamben, G. (1985) Idea della prosa, Milano: Feltrinelli; trans. Michael Sullivan and Sam Whitsitt as Idea of Prose, Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995.

    (Presents elliptical fragments on an eclectic range of topics, including love, communism, study, power, vocation, death, and awakening.)

  • Agamben, G. (1990) La comunità che viene, Turin: Einaudi; trans. Michael Hardt as The Coming Community, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

    (Presents a vision of Agamben’s positive political philosophy, treating questions of communism, language, capital, and the state.)

  • Agamben, G. (1995) Homo Sacer. Il potere sovrano e la nuda vita, Turin: Einaudi; trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen as Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998.

    (Uses the distinction between zoē and bios to develop an account of the relationship between sovereignty and bare life in Western politics.)

  • Agamben, G. (1998) Quel che resta di Auschwitz. L’archivio e il testimone, Turin: Bollati Boringhieri; trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen as Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive, New York: Zone Books, 1999.

    (Draws on survivor accounts, etymology, and a range of philosophical and literary sources as it deals with problems of witnessing, testimony, and ethics.)

  • Agamben, G. (1999) Potentialities: Collected Essays in Philosophy, trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen, Stanford: Stanford University Press; Italian edition entitled La Potenza del pensiero: Saggi e conferenze, Milan: Neri Pozza, 2005.

    (An anthology of essays written in the 1980s and 1990s treating issues such as potentiality, language, gesture, history, and redemption.)

  • Agamben, G. (2000) Il tempo che resta. Un commento alla Lettera ai Romani, Turin: Bollati Boringhieri; trans. Patricia Dailey as The Time That Remains: A Commentary on the Letter to the Romans, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2005.

    (Deals with problems of redemption, messianism, and political subjectivity via a commentary on the texts of St Paul, which Agamben works to show were also crucial for Benjamin.)

  • Agamben, G. (2003) Stato di eccezione, Torino: Bollati Boringhieri; trans. Kevin Attell as State of Exception, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

    (Analyses the role declarations of states of emergency, martial law, and states of siege have played in the extension of sovereign power, developing a philosophical account of the relationship between law, anomie, and life.)

  • Agamben, G. (2002) L'aperto. L’uomo e l’animale, Turin: Bollati Boringhieri; trans. Kevin Attell as The Open: Man and Animal, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004.

    (Turns to the categories of humanity and animality, working to show how humanism works to produce the former by excluding the latter.)

  • Agamben, G. (2007) Il Regno e la Gloria: Per una genealogia teologica dell’economia e del governo, Vicenza: Neri Pozza; trans. Lorenzo Chiesa with Matteo Mandarini as The Kingdom and the Glory: For a Theological Genealogy of Kingdom and Glory, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011.

    (Returns to the Aristotelian division of oikos and polis, tracing the development of an economic paradigm through St Paul, early Christianity, Trinitarian debates, medieval thought, and early modern liberalism, and concluding with an account of the function of glory in contemporary politics.)

  • Agamben, G. (2008) Il sacramento del linguaggio. Archeologia del giuramento, Rome: Sagittari Laterza; trans. Adam Kotsko as The Sacrament of Language: An Archaeology of the Oath, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011.

    (Presents an archaeology of the oath, showing its location at the intersection of life, language, and politics.)

  • Agamben, G. (2011) Altissima povertà. Regole monastiche e forma di vita, Milan: Neri Pozza; trans. Adam Kotsko at The Highest Poverty: Monastic Rules and Form-of-Life, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013.

    (Turns to the monastic phenomenon of the Middle Ages, which Agamben reads as a failed attempt at constructing a ‘form-of-life’.)

  • Agamben, G. (2012) Opus Dei. Archeologia dell’ufficio, Turin: Bollati Boringhieri; trans. Adam Kotsko as Opus Dei: An Archaeology of the Office, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013.

    (Presents an archaeology of the concept of duty, tracing its emergence back through the history of Christian liturgy, and culminating in an account of the split in Western philosophy between the ontology of command and the ontology of being.)

  • Agamben, G. (2014) L’uso dei corpi, Vicenza: Neri Pozza; trans. Adam Kotsko as The Use of Bodies, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016.

    (Refigures problems basic to the Homo Sacer series, including private and public life, ethics and ontology, use, property, and appropriation, and form-of-life.)

  • Agamben, G. (2015) Stasis: la guerra civile come paradigma politico, Turin: Bollati Boringhieri; trans. Nicholas Heron as Stasis: Civil War as a Political Paradigm, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015.

    (Essays examining the role of civil war in Ancient Greek political thought and in the philosophy of Hobbes.)

References and further reading

  • Abbott, M. (2014) The Figure of This World: Agamben and the Question of Political Ontology, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

    (Defends and develops Agamben’s philosophy as post-Heideggerian political ontology, providing new interpretations of key concepts, including bare life and the exception.)

  • Attell, K. (2015) Giorgio Agamben: Beyond the Threshold of Deconstruction, New York City: Fordham University Press.

    (Argues for the importance of Jacques Derrida’s work for Agamben’s thinking, showing how the latter’s concepts respond to those of the former, and how both philosophers treat parallel sets of political problems.)

  • Bignall, S. and Svirsky, M. (2012) Agamben and Colonialism, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

    (Twelve essays evaluating the significance of Agamben’s work for postcolonial theory.)

  • Calarco, M. and DeCaroli, S. (eds) (2007) Giorgio Agamben: Sovereignty and Life, Stanford: Stanford University Press.

    (Essays giving critical treatments of a range of issues in Agamben’s philosophy, including sovereignty, bare life, politics, eugenics, and the exception. Includes an essay by Agamben on work and inoperativity.)

  • Clemens, J., Heron, N. and Murray, A. (eds) (2008) The Work of Giorgio Agamben: Law, Literature, Life, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

    (Focusing on Agamben’s earlier works, these essays give sympathetic accounts of a number of key concepts, often extending them in new directions through creative applications. Includes an essay by Agamben on Kafka.)

  • Dickinson, C. (2011) Agamben and Theology, London: T&T Clark.

    (Provides an overview of the theological significance of Agamben’s work, treating issues of redemption, messianism, the sacred, glory, and sovereignty.)

  • Dickinson, C. and Kotsko, A. (2015) Agamben’s Coming Philosophy: Finding a New Use for Theology, London: Rowman and Littlefield.

    (Essays dealing with Agamben’s writings on theology, and examining his relationship to thinkers such as Walter Benjamin, Emmanuel Levinas, and René Girard.)

  • Durantaye, L. De la (2009) Giorgio Agamben: A Critical Introduction, Stanford: Stanford University Press.

    (A comprehensive introduction to Agamben’s work, drawing on the Homo Sacer series as well as the earlier works.)

  • Frost, T. (ed.) (2013) Giorgio Agamben: Legal, Political, and Philosophical Perspectives, Abingdon: Routlege.

    (Essays by scholars from a number of disciplinary backgrounds treating a range of issues in Agamben’s work, with a focus on his positive political philosophy.)

  • Kishik, D. (2012) The Power of Life: Agamben and the Coming Politics, Stanford: Stanford University Press.

    (Develops an account of Agamben’s philosophy of life, positioning his thought in relation to his key influences, including Kafka, Benjamin, Foucault, and Arendt.)

  • McLoughlin, D. (ed.) (2016) Agamben and Radical Politics, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

    (Twelve essays on Agamben’s recent works on government and economy. Includes an essay by Agamben called ‘Capitalism as Religion’.)

  • Mills, C. (2008) The Philosophy of Agamben, Stocksfield: Acumen.

    (An introductory survey of Agamben’s key ideas, giving critical accounts of his treatments of problems such as language, aesthetics, sovereignty, and ethics.)

  • Murray, A. (2010) Giorgio Agamben, London: Routledge.

    (An introductory overview of Agamben’s work, focusing on his philosophy of language, life, ethics, politics, and aesthetics.)

  • Murray, A. and Whyte, J. (eds) (2011) The Agamben Dictionary, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

    (Brings over 25 scholars together to provide accounts of key terms from Agamben’s philosophical vocabulary.)

  • Norris, A. (ed.) (2005) Politics, Metaphysics, and Death: Essays on Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer, Durham: Duke University Press.

    (Essays giving critical treatments of a range of issues in Agamben’s philosophy, with a focus on his political thought.)

  • Prozorov, S. (2014) Agamben and Politics: A Critical Introduction, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

    (Works to demonstrate the affirmative dimension of Agamben’s political thought, with a focus on the key concept of inoperativity.)

  • Wall, T. C. (1999) Radical Passivity: Levinas, Blanchot, and Agamben, New York: State University of New York Press.

    (Presents a philosophy of passivity via readings of Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Blanchot, and Agamben.)

  • Watkin, C. (2010) The Literary Agamben: Adventure in Logopoesis, London: Continuum.

    (Examines Agamben’s philosophy of literature, focusing on issues of language, poiesis, and modernity.)

  • Watkin, C. (2013) Agamben and Indifference: A Critical Overview, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.

    (Presents a systematization of Agamben’s thought by giving an account of the role of indifference in his philosophical method.)

  • Whyte, J. (2013) Catastrophe and Redemption: The Political Thought of Giorgio Agamben, Albany: State University of New York Press.

    (A critical account of Agamben’s political thought with a focus on the importance of redemption in his philosophy.)

  • Zartouladis, T. (2010) Giorgio Agamben: Power, Law, and the Uses of Criticism, Abindgon: Routledge.

    (Clarifies the foundations of the Homo Sacer project by connecting it with Agamben’s earlier texts, demonstrating the importance of Agamben’s thought for the philosophy of law.)

Citing this article:
Abbott, Mathew. Bibliography. Agamben, Giorgio (1942–), 2017, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DD3594-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
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