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Dr Alex Corcos


Email: A dot Corcos dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building
University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

Claycroft Activity Zone

Research Interests and Areas of Expertise

Modern and contemporary French thought, politics and cinema.

Structure, organisation and agency in the neoliberal university. Education strategy and comparative corruption.

Environmental Law (especially tree preservation and 'breach of the peace' legislation).

Climate Hypomania

Cynical spoudaiogeloion and Alexthurgic parrhēsía

Bacteriophages and viruses more generally. This is part of the interdisciplinary, Wellcome Trust funded Discipline Bridges Scheme, 'Virus Fear: Cultural Resistance to Bacteriophage Therapy' with colleagues at the University of Leicester.


Teaching the Truth

1st April 2020

We are writing from the canopy. 20 metres up an old lime tree. 6 days into the attempted eviction
of Crackley Wood. 1 week into the Covid lockdown.
Bats come out of hibernation today, and the hawkers have been sent in to get rid of the nesting
birds. HS2 are preparing to cut down this ancient woodland without Notice to Proceed.
There are four of us in this tree, currently isolated from one or two more further down. The four of
us being a father and scientist, a former Taekwondo national champion/World’s OKest Bass
Player, a rovin’ philosophy dropout, and a squirrel-eating folk singer.
We have 5 demands.
Ultimately, we want to stop HS2. It does not serve ordinary people. It does not accommodate for
a culture gearing towards a society with ecology on the agenda. HS2 is proclaimed to be carbon
neutral in 120 years, yet during a time of biological annihilation and climate emergency, they
consider wiping out precious woodland and endangered habitat a sound ecological plan.
The British public have not been informed of the costs or the implications of the project.
Considering this is the most expensive railway per mile in the history of the world, at an
estimated £307 million per mile, and being paid for by public money, this is completely
undemocratic. We therefore seek a democratic solution.
We demand a citizen’s assembly in the nature of the one used in Ireland for the repeal of the
eighth amendment on abortion. This will ensure public money is used to meet public needs not
private interests (at a time when the NHS has to decide who it can and cannot treat, leaving the
more vulnerable facing death as a result of lack of staff and funds). This is our primary demand.
We also have demands that require immediate action.
• Stop HS2 during this pandemic. This is not essential work. HS2 should not be exempt from
their current social responsibility. We have witnessed the impossibility of workers being able
to keep to their social distancing.
• Stop this eviction, and all others, during this pandemic. We have witnessed the bailiffs
be unwilling or unable to comply with the social distancing policy. Any kind of eviction brings
high stress, which threatens the immune system. We are also at a height of 20 metres from
the woodland floor, exposed to the elements with no free access to food or water. We are
being given an ultimatum: either highly risk our personal immune systems, and therefore our
close family and community’s health, or hold onto our current home, which is part of the little
remaining precious ecosystem we all rely on. This is completely unjust.
• Stop any irreversible work until both Chris Packham’s court case on the legality of the
project, and Notice to Proceed go ahead. That includes habitat destruction of any kind, work
involving displacing homes, ground and preparatory works, etc.
• Should work cease, we demand that workers receive adequate compensation, the sum
of which to be decided by the workers themselves, as only they know the needs for which
this compensation need fill. The fallouts of poor decisions made by upper management and
politicians should not fall upon those who are forced to implement them.
The thirsty occupants

Languages and Cultures Beyond Boundaries

The Story of Modern France

Modern French Language II

The New Wave in French Cinema

Politics and Violence in Modern France

French Cinema

Celebrity and Performance in French Cinema

Work and Professionalism in Modern European Thought

What is ‘work’? Why are educational establishments so saturated with encouragements to employability, management, leadership, professionalism etc.? Why is it assumed so unquestioningly that work should be the overwhelming focus of your studies and lives? This module critically assess the shifting concept of work in European thought. Although we are encouraged to understand ‘work’ - in the abstract, disembodied sense - to be of some kind of universal value which transforms the world for the better, many modern artists, philosophers, anthropologists, sociologists, filmmakers and political thinkers have questioned this assumption.

This module will introduce you to the history of anti-work thought with the aim of helping you navigate ‘the world of work’ with an enhanced critical and analytical understanding of its conventions, dogmas and hierarchies. As this historically determined notion of work underpins the creation and communication of value in our societies, this module ignores traditional distinctions regarding communicational forms and is interdisciplinary in methodology.

In the era of climate breakdown, work is arguably the most important social ritual constituting the contemporary ‘business as usual’ -- the phrase ‘work-life balance’ is particularly haunting in this respect. Also crucial to this module are the mental health consequences of the erosion of autonomy, spontaneity, solidarity and community indicative of contemporary work practices.

This module is aimed at all students.

This module is especially well-suited to students interested in modern European philosophy, politics, history, economics and business, or who wish to develop their textual analysis skills. There are no pre-requisites for the module and the module is open to students from any degree combination across the School of Modern Languages and Cultures and also to students from other departments.

For purposes of compliance with consumer protection law, please note that module availability is subject to change according to the designs of School Management.


'Mouvement/Occupation/Debout: The Situationist International and their legacy of protest', Modern & Contemporary France, 26, (2018), 165-178.

Online here:

I am currently on strike from academic publishing as I wish to take a qualitative and not quantitative approach to communicating my research. This strike is also motivated by philosophical and political convictions regarding intellectual property and the structure and organisation of the neoliberal university.

Conference Papers

'Vivre sans temps mort et jouir sans entraves: Mustapha Khayati, The Situationist International and the build up to May '68 in the universities', Unveiling Hidden Discourses: 1968 Fifty Years Later, University of Warwick, May 2018.

'Internationale situationniste', May '68 in Reviews, University of Birmingham, April 2018.

'Legacies of May: Nuit Debout and the Situationist International', Révoltes et Révolutions, The University of Louisianna at Lafayette, March 2018.

'Communication contenant sa propre critique: The Situationists contra Jean-Luc Godard.' Film-Philosophy, Lancaster, July 2017.

Entreprise de terrorisme cinématographique: Violence and Détournement in Guy Debord’s Film.’ Film-Philosophy, Edinburgh, July 2016.

Ne Travaillez Jamais: The Refusal of Work according to Maurizio Lazzarato and the Situationist International.’ Work Stories: Documenting, Narrating and Representing the French Workplace, Institute for Modern Languages Research, London, April 2016.

Psychogéographie, dérive, urbanisme unitaire: The Early Situationists.’ Space and Place’, Warwick School of Modern Languages and Cultures Postgraduate Conference, University of Warwick, February 2013.

‘Resistance to Narrativity in Francois Ozon’s Sitcom.’ Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community Postgraduate Conference, Birkbeck College, University of London, May 2012.


BA, PhD (Warwick), MA (Birkbeck, London)

Professional Memberships

XR Educators

The Northern Theory School

Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France


Office hours

Term 2 19/20


By appointment (via email)

Work eh?

Future Nostalgia