Samir Gandesha

Professor, Director (Institute for the Humanities)
Global Humanities

Areas of interest

Politics and aesthetics, critical theory and phenomenology, authoritarianism and populism, and psychoanalysis.


  • PhD, Political Science, York University
  • MA, Political Science, York University
  • BA, International Relations, University of British Columbia


Samir Gandesha was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and immigrated with his parents as an infant to Canada in the mid-1960s. Members of his extended family were expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin in 1972 and entered Britain as refugees. As an undergraduate, he studied at SFU, UBC, and the London School of Economics. He did his MA and PhD at York University in Toronto and was a SSHRCC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California at Berkeley 1995-97, and was an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at Universität Potsdam, 2001-2002. He has been teaching at SFU since 2003 and has been on the Steering Committee of the Institute for the Humanities since 2004 and the Institute’s Director since 2010. He is Visiting Fellow at the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (BUAP), Mexico. He is co-editor with Johan Hartle of Spell of Capital: Reification and Spectacle (2017) and Aesthetic Marx (2017) both of which have been translated into Italian, co-editor of The “Aging” of Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory: Fifty Years Later, with Johan Hartle and Stefano Marino and Johan Hartle as well as Adorno and Popular Music: A Constellation of Perspectives (2019) with Colin Campbell and Stefano Marino. He is also editor of Spectres of Fascism: Historical, Theoretical and International Perspectives, which has also been translated into Spanish. Dr. Gandesha has delivered over 100 talks at universities across the globe.


Future courses may be subject to change.