Santiago Zabala is a philosopher and cultural critic. Since 2010 he has been ICREA Research Professor of Philosophy at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, where he teaches contemporary philosophy, supervises Ph.D. theses, and directs the UPF Center for Gianni Vattimo’s Archives and Philosophy. In addition to an extensive speaking schedule at conferences, festivals, and biennales, Zabala is also visiting professor at Renmin University, IDSVA, and several other international institutions.
His books, articles, and research focus on the meaning of art, politics, and freedom in the twenty-first century when, as he claims, "the greatest emergency has become the absence of emergency." The goal of philosophy for Zabala is to thrust us into these absent emergencies (such as climate change or economic inequality) in order to disrupt the ongoing “return to order” that surveillance capitalism and right-wing populism are imposing upon us. These problems are discussed in his most recent books—Being at Large: Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2020) and Why Only Art Can Save Us: Aesthetics and the Absence of Emergency (Columbia University Press, 2017)—and in many articles. His forthcoming book is Disruption.