The Political Imaginarium: Image, Object, Gesture

The Political Imaginarium: Image, Object, Gesture

In his book Le Portrait du roi (1981), Louis Marin famously claims that “The king is only truly king, that is, monarch, in images.” To be sure, Marin’s work explicitly refers back to a premodern political theology of the image, but it arguably also inaugurates a modern genre of political iconography that brings together political theory, history, philosophy, sociology, religious studies, art and literary studies to explore the bond between the power of the image and the images of power. But what would it mean to speak of politics as a privileged place or site for making images? How far does politics consist in the power of the image or, conversely, the imageof power? To what extent do paintings, sculpture, literary texts and artifacts represent, perform, critique or resist the “reality” of political power? In short, what is the relation between the power to represent and the representation of power? In this series of webinars (March/April 2021), experts in political theory, sociology, history, philosophy, theology, art history and comparative literature explore the past and present of our “political imaginarium”.

Organisers: Arthur Bradley (Lancaster University) and Antonio Cerella (Kingston University).

For infomation, contact Arthur Bradley at: a.h.bradley@lancaster.ac.uk

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Microhistory and Global History – discussion between Carlo Ginzburg and Francesca Trivellato

Microhistory and Global History – discussion between Carlo Ginzburg and Francesca Trivellato

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Books received – Edelstein, Geroulanos & Wheatley, Balzac, Lévi-Strauss, Lichnerowicz et. al., Mallory & Adams, Derrida

A mix of recently received books – the new translations of Balzac’s Lost Souls and Derrida’s Clang from University of Minnesota Press in recompense for review work, and Dan Edelstein, Stefanos Geroulanos & Natascha Wheatley (eds.), Power and Time: Temporalities in Conflict and the Making of History, sent by University of Chicago Press. The others were bought second-hand, mainly for the Foucault work.

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Grégoire Chamayou, The Ungovernable Society: A Genealogy of Authoritarian Liberalism – Polity, March 2021

Grégoire Chamayou, The Ungovernable Society: A Genealogy of Authoritarian Liberalism – Polity, translated by Andrew Brown, March 2021

Rebellion was in the air. Workers were on strike, students were demonstrating on campuses, discipline was breaking down. No relation of domination was left untouched – the relation between the sexes, the racial order, the hierarchies of class, relationships in families, workplaces and colleges. The upheavals of the late 1960s and early 1970s quickly spread through all sectors of social and economic life, threatening to make society ungovernable. This crisis was also the birthplace of the authoritarian liberalism which continues to cast its shadow across the world in which we now live.

To ward off the threat, new arts of government were devised by elites in business-related circles, which included a war against the trade unions, the primacy of shareholder value and a dethroning of politics. The neoliberalism that thus began its triumphal march was not, however, determined by a simple ‘state phobia’ and a desire to free up the economy from government interference. On the contrary, the strategy for overcoming the crisis of governability consisted in an authoritarian liberalism in which the liberalization of society went hand-in-hand with new forms of power imposed from above: a ‘strong state’ for a ‘free economy’ became the new magic formula of our capitalist societies.

The new arts of government devised by ruling elites are still with us today and we can understand their nature and lasting influence only by re-examining the history of the conflicts that brought them into being.

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Colm McAuliffe on the 1973 ICA festival that sparked British interest in Francophone structuralist and post-structuralist thought – Verso blog

The French Programme: How Theory Came to London – Colm McAuliffe on the 1973 ICA festival that sparked British interest in Francophone structuralist and post-structuralist thought.

March 1973: two months after Britain joins the European Economic Community, the French historian of ideas Michel Foucault is scheduled to give a lecture in London. Foucault is one of the star attractions of the French Programme, a month-long series of lectures and screenings at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari, and Tzvetan Todorov are among the other avatars of Francophone structuralist and post-structuralist thought appearing throughout the month, described in the French newspaper Combat as “the most important French cultural event ever organised in Britain”, and one which has been almost entirely funded by the British Government, eager to foster positive cultural relations between Britain and its sister nations in the Common Market. [continues here]

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Michel Foucault, Speaking the Truth about Oneself: Lectures at Victoria University, Toronto, 1982 – University of Chicago Press, September 2021

Michel Foucault, Speaking the Truth about Oneself: Lectures at Victoria University, Toronto, 1982 – University of Chicago Press, September 2021, edited by Henri-Paul Fruchaud and Daniele Lorenzini, English edition established by Daniel Louis Wyche

A collection of Foucault’s lectures that trace the historical formation and contemporary significance of the hermeneutics of the self.
 
Just before the summer of 1982, French philosopher Michel Foucault gave a series of lectures at Victoria University in Toronto. In these lectures, which were part of his project of writing a genealogy of the modern subject, he is concerned with the care and cultivation of the self, a theme that becomes central to the second, third, and fourth volumes of his History of Sexuality. Throughout his career, Foucault had always been interested in the question of how constellations of knowledge and power produce and shape subjects, and in the last phase of his life, he became especially interested not only in how subjects are formed by these forces, but in how they ethically constitute themselves.

In this lecture series and accompanying seminar, Foucault focuses on antiquity, starting with classical Greece, the early Roman empire, and concluding with Christian monasticism in the fourth and fifth centuries AD. Foucault traces the development of a new kind of verbal practice—“speaking the truth about oneself”—in which the subject increasingly comes to be defined by its inner thoughts and desires. He deemed this new form of “hermeneutical” subjectivity important not just for historical reasons, but also due to its enduring significance in modern society. Is another form of the self possible today?

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Philosophical Inquiries, Vol 9 No 1, 2021 – special section on Ian Hacking

Philosophical Inquiries, Vol 9 No 1, 2021 – special section on Ian Hacking

Introduction open access, other papers require subscription

Introduction. Ian Hacking and the Historical Reason of the Sciences Matteo Vagelli, Marica Setaro115-120

Naturalism, pragmatism and historical epistemology David Hyder121-144

Ian Hacking’s metahistory of science Manolis Simos, Theodore Arabatzis145-166

Were experiments ever neglected? Ian Hacking and the history of the philosophy of experiments Massimiliano Simons, Matteo Vagelli167-188

Understanding stability in cognitive neuroscience through Hacking’s lens Jacqueline Sullivan189-208

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Does Attention to Language Matter Anymore? Philology, Translation, Criticism – special issue of boundary 2, 2021

Does Attention to Language Matter Anymore? Philology, Translation, Criticism – special issue of boundary 2, 2021 (requires subscription)

Paul A. Bové / Editor’s Note / 1

Jonathan Arac / Ways of Working with Language / 3

David Golumbia / The Deconstruction of Philology / 17

Howard Eiland / Language Matters / 35

Susan H. Gillespie / The Possibility of Translation / 49

Jeffrey Sacks / The Philological Thesis: Language without Ends / 65

Tanıl Bora / Excerpts from Zamanın Kelimeleri: Yeni Türkiye’nin Siyasî Dili (Words of Our Times: The Political Language of New Turkey) / 109

Joe Cleary / The English Department as Imperial Commonwealth, or The Global Past and Global Future of English Studies / 139

Marc Nichanian / Philology from the Point of View of Its Victims / 177 Andrew Warren / Between Form and Formalization: Angus Fletcher’s

The Topological Imagination / 207
Howard Eiland / The Fate of Philology / 237

Intervention

Lindsay Waters / To Become What One Is: Why I Seek the Revival of Criticism / 251

Contributors / 265

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Sasha Engelmann, Sensing Art in the Atmosphere: Elemental Lures and Aerosolar Practices – Routledge, September 2020

Sasha Engelmann, Sensing Art in the Atmosphere: Elemental Lures and Aerosolar Practices – Routledge, September 2020

This book engages artistic interventions in the aerial elements to investigate the aesthetics and politics of atmosphere.

Sensing Art in the Atmosphere: Elemental Lures and Aerosolar Practices traces the potential of artistic, community-driven experiments to amplify our sensing of atmosphere, marrying attentions to atmospheric affect with visceral awareness of the materials, institutions and processes hovering in the air. Drawing on six years of practice-led research with artistic and activist initiatives Museo Aero Solar and Aerocene, initiated by artist Tomás Saraceno, each chapter develops creative relations to atmosphere from the studio to stratospheric currents. Through narrative-led writing, the voices of artists and collaborators are situated and central. In dialogue with these aerographic stories and sites, the book develops a notion of elemental lures: the sensual and imaginative propositions of aerial, atmospheric and meteorological phenomena. The promise of elemental lures, Engelmann suggests, is to reconcile our sensing of atmosphere with the myriad social, cultural and political forces suspended in it. Through tales of floating journeys, shared envelopes of breath and surreal levitations, the book foregrounds the role of art in crafting alternative modes of perceiving, moving and imagining (in) the air.

The book ends with a call for elemental experiments in the geohumanities. It makes an important and original contribution to elemental geographies, the geohumanities and interdisciplinary scholarship on air and atmosphere.

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Stuart Hall, Selected Writings on Marxism, Duke University Press, 2021 (open access introduction by Gregor McLennan)

Stuart Hall, Selected Writings on Marxism, Duke University Press, 2021 – the introduction by Gregor McLennan is open access here

Throughout his career Stuart Hall engaged with Marxism in varying ways, actively rethinking it to address the political and cultural exigencies of the moment. This collection of Hall’s key writings on Marxism surveys the questions central to his interpretations of and investments in Marxist theory and practice. It includes Hall’s readings of canonical texts by Marx and Engels, Gramsci, and Althusser; his exchanges with other prominent thinkers about Marxism; his use of Marxist frameworks to theorize specific cultural phenomena and discourses; and some of his later work in which he distanced himself from his earlier attachments to Marxism. In addition, editor Gregor McLennan’s introduction and commentary offer in-depth context and fresh interpretations of Hall’s thought. Selected Writings on Marxism demonstrates that grasping Hall’s complex relationship to Marxism is central to understanding the corpus of his work.

This is part of Hall’s Selected Works. As previously posted, Selected Writings on Race and Difference, edited by Paul Gilroy and Ruth Wilson Gilmore is also published at the same time. The open access introduction by Paul Gilroy is here.

[updated to correct the spelling of the editor’s name, with apologies]

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