Late Light

Why Late Light?

A mission statement

Late Light is the journal of the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. Our premise is that critical theory is a living, public practice that requires daring experiments of intellect and form across the humanities, arts, and sciences. We are committed to a capacious, heterodox historical materialism. We value writing that asks sincere and salient questions about the world and answers those questions with stylistic ambition and all possible precision. We are interested in the new (but not in novelty for novelty’s sake), the strange (if it is adequate to the strangeness of life as we know it), and the imaginative (so long as imagination is accompanied by ruthless critical integrity). Four kinds of pieces appear in each issue: long, medium, short, and tiny—forming in each edition a new collection of essays, reviews, poems, aphorisms, and marginalia.

Our publication works in the tradition of Karl Kraus’s lively, biting Die Fackel (The Torch), an early 20th-century Viennese periodical that mixed genres from high to low, from satirical to analytic. The torch is no longer an emblem of our moment, but there are other ways of lighting the present. Late light is the blue light of screens, the phosphorous of flares, the midnight glow of wildfire, and the light—still possible—of critical reflection.