Walker’s research has largely been organized around six major areas of investigation, which inform his teaching and writing on thought, literature, and criticism in Europe, Japan, and North America:
- The global intellectual history of Marxism in the twentieth century; the development of Marxist theory after the critique of essentialism – psychoanalysis, capital and its ‘outside’, the politics and theory of the subject.
- Investigations of the national question today on a world scale: nationalism, language, translation, globalization and the postcolonial.
- The status of ‘theory’ within the humanities today; its relation to the critical analysis of ‘area studies’ within the contemporary university; the historical constitution and discursive maintenance of the ‘human sciences’ in the history of knowledge-production.
- The intersection of historical analysis and literary criticism as a mode of social-political and historiographical intervention, the nexus of philosophy and philology.
- Historiography and the philosophy of historical time; theory of the transition to capitalism; the literary, tropic, and psychoanalytic structure of the historical: allegory, metonymy, transference, retrospection, the symptom, and more.
- Philosophy, criticism, psychoanalysis and literature’s relation to a politics of emancipation in the wake of 1968. The contemporary analysis of the political conjuncture after neoliberalism: populism, late fascism, new nationalisms and the cultural politics of the new right