This week I’m writing a PhD chapter on Aum Shinrikyo and the Accelerationist aesthetic and political philosophy. Accelerationism extrapolates the intensification of neoliberal capitalism as a pathway to a possible post-capitalist utopia. It has its Right (Nick Land) and Left (Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek) variants which are usually examined in terms of conceptual theory-building and teleology. But it’s also possible to examine Accelerationism through other lenses.
One of these lenses is the career trajectory of a university-based Early Career Researcher: usually the first five to seven years after PhD conferral or the initial period of being an independent researcher. Dr Nick Srnicek of Kings College London illustrates some successful ECR strategies. He built an initial track record of academic publications in aesthetic theory and the philosophy of historical materialism. He has had successful collaborations with Alex Williams (on Accelerationism) and Helen Hester (on social reproduction and the crisis of work). He engaged with debates and controversies about his research – such as on Accelerationism – whilst maintaining a broader context in his research program. He has had good relationships with publishers including Verso (Inventing The Future coauthored with Alex Williams) and Polity (Platform Capitalism).
Dr Srnicek’s use of successful ECR strategies is demonstrated by an upward trajectory of Google Scholar citations and impacts. His current research is situated at the nexus of international political economy and digital economy and some recent collaborative work with Helen Hester on anti-work. This is a broader and deeper positioning of his research program than an Accelerationist description and it should create greater longevity.