No other country and no other period has produced a tradition of major aesthetic debate to compare with that which unfolded in German culture from the 1930s to the 1950s. In Aesthetics and Politics the key texts of the great Marxist controversies over literature and art during these years are assembled in a single volume. They do not form a disparate collection but a continuous, interlinked debate between thinkers who have become giants of twentieth-century intellectual history.
The stories gathered in these pages lay bare the power of the arts to unsettle and rework deeply ingrained religious beliefs and practices. This book grounds its narrative in the accounts of 82 Evangelicals who underwent a sea-change of religious identity through the intervention of the arts. "There never would have been an undoing of my conservative Evangelical worldview" confides one young man, "without my encounter with the transcendent work of Mark Rothko on that rainy afternoon in London's Tate Modern." "The characters in The Brothers Karamazov began to feel like family to me," reports another individual, "and the doubts of Ivan Karamazov slowly saturated my soul." As their stories unfold, the subjects of the study describe the arts as sources of, by turns, "defamiliarization," "comfort in uncertainty," "a stand-in for faith" and a "surrogate transcendence." Drawing on memoirs, interviews, and field notes, Philip Salim Franics explores the complex interrelationship of religion and art in the modern West, and offers an important new resource for on-going debates about the role of the arts in education and social life.
There has always been a strong connection historically between aesthetics and radical politics, and this is no less true for the global justice movement’s current preoccupation with cultural approaches to political action. The essays collected here seek to engage with past and present convergences between the theories and practices of artists and writers and the theories and practices of movements for radical social change. There is already a massive amount of literature on Marxist approaches to aesthetics, art and literature, and whilst recognising the usefulness of such approaches, the essays collected here attempt to engage with culture from other radical critical positions - whether they be anarchist, autonomist, ecological or otherwise. Such perspectives have often been overlooked historically, but it is arguable that they now more centrally influence the activities of radical artists and activists. As such, the perspectives of these essays, which are often drawn from or inspired by the practices of the current global justice movement, exhibit an exhilarating political and generational break with the suppositions of earlier radical theoretical approaches to cultural critique.
Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics brings together some of Jacques Rancière's most recent writings on art and politics to show the critical potential of two of his most important concepts: the aesthetics of politics and the politics of aesthetics. In this fascinating collection, Rancière engages in a radical critique of some of his major contemporaries on questions of art and politics: Gilles Deleuze, Antonio Negri, Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou and Jacques Derrida. The essays show how Rancière's ideas can be used to analyse contemporary trends in both art and politics, including the events surrounding 9/11, war in the contemporary consensual age, and the ethical turn of aesthetics and politics. Rancière elaborates new directions for the concepts of politics and communism, as well as the notion of what a 'politics of art' might be. This important collection includes several essays that have never previously been published in English, as well as a brand new afterword. Together these essays serve as a superb introduction to the work of one of the world's most influential contemporary thinkers.
The Missed Encounter of Radical Philosophy with Architecture brings together a respected team of philosophers and architecture scholars to ask what impact architecture has over today's culture and society. For three decades critical philosophy has been in discourse with architecture. Yet following the recent radical turn in contemporary philosophy, architecture's role in contemporary culture is rarely addressed. In turn, the architecture discourse in academia has remained ignorant of recent developments in radical philosophy. Providing the first platform for a debate between critics, architects and radical philosophers, this unique collection unties these two schools of thought. Contributors reason for or against the claim of the "missed encounter" between architecture and radical philosophy. They discuss why our prominent critical philosophers devote stimulating writings to the ideological impact of arts on the contemporary culture - music, literature, cinema, opera, theatre - without attempting a similar comprehensive analysis of architecture. By critically evaluating recent philosophy in relation to contemporary architecture, The Missed Encounter of Radical Philosophy with Architecture presents a thorough understanding of the new relationship between architecture and radical philosophy.
This book originally examines how prominent communist intellectuals in China during the revolutionary period (1921 to 1940) constructed and presented identities for themselves and how they narrated their place in the revolution.
The Radical Attitude and Modern Political Theory focuses on the appearance of modernity that can be best described as radical. First appearing in the sixteenth century, the attitude is best seen not as a coherent ideology or tradition but as a series of conceptual resources that continue to inform political discourse in the present.
Interest in Theodor W. Adorno continues to grow in the English-speaking world as the significance of his contribution to philosophy, social and cultural theory, as well as aesthetics is increasingly recognized. Espen Hammer’s lucid book is the first to properly analyze the political implications of his work, paying careful attention to Adorno’s work on key thinkers such as Kant, Hegel and Benjamin. Examining Adorno’s political experiences and assessing his engagement with Marxist as well as liberal theory, Hammer looks at the development of Adorno’s thought as he confronts Fascism and modern mass culture. He then analyzes the political dimension of his philosophical and aesthetic theorizing. By addressing Jürgen Habermas’s influential criticisms, he defends Adorno as a theorist of autonomy, responsibility and democratic plurality. He also discusses Adorno’s relevance to feminist and ecological thinking. As opposed to those who see Adorno as someone who relinquished the political, Hammer’s account shows his reflections to be, on the most fundamental level, politically motivated and deeply engaged. This invigorating exploration of a major political thinker is a useful introduction to his thought as a whole, and will be of interest to scholars and students in the fields of philosophy, sociology, politics and aesthetics.