Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o: Globalectics: Theory and the Politics of Knowing (2012)

22 April 2017, dusan

“A masterful writer working in many genres, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o entered the East African literary scene in 1962 with the performance of his first major play, The Black Hermit, at the National Theatre in Uganda. In 1977 he was imprisoned after his most controversial work, Ngaahika Ndeenda (I Will Marry When I Want), produced in Nairobi, sharply criticized the injustices of Kenyan society and unequivocally championed the causes of ordinary citizens. Following his release, Ngũgĩ decided to write only in his native Gikuyu, communicating with Kenyans in one of the many languages of their daily lives, and today he is known as one of the most outspoken intellectuals working in postcolonial theory and the global postcolonial movement.

In this volume, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o summarizes and develops a cross-section of the issues he has grappled with in his work, which deploys a strategy of imagery, language, folklore, and character to ‘decolonize the mind.’ Ngũgĩ confronts the politics of language in African writing; the problem of linguistic imperialism and literature’s ability to resist it; the difficult balance between orality, or ‘orature’, and writing, or ‘literature’; the tension between national and world literature; and the role of the literary curriculum in both reaffirming and undermining the dominance of the Western canon. Throughout, he engages a range of philosophers and theorists writing on power and postcolonial creativity, including Hegel, Marx, Lévi-Strauss, and Aimé Césaire. Yet his explorations remain grounded in his own experiences with literature (and orature) and reworks the difficult dialectics of theory into richly evocative prose.”

Publisher Columbia University Press, New York, 2012
Wellek Library Lectures in Critical Theory series
ISBN 9780231159500, 0231159501
xi+104 pages

Reviews: Publishers Weekly (2011), Corbin Treacy (Transnational Lit, 2012), Danson Kahyana (Slip, 2012), Geoff Wisner (Words Without Borders, 2012), M.A. Orthofer (Complete Rev, 2012), Jenna N. Hanchey (E3W Rev of Books, 2013), Devin Zane Shaw (Society+Space, 2013), Magalí Armillas-Tiseyra (E-Misférica, 2014), Oliver Lovesey (Cambridge J Postcolonial Lit Inquiry, 2014), Ndiritu Wahome (2016).

Publisher
WorldCat

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Hal Foster: Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency (2015)

3 April 2016, dusan

Bad New Days examines the evolution of art and criticism in Western Europe and North America over the last twenty-five years, exploring their dynamic relation to the general condition of emergency instilled by neoliberalism and the war on terror.

Considering the work of artists such as Thomas Hirschhorn, Tacita Dean, and Isa Genzken, and the writing of thinkers like Jacques Rancière, Bruno Latour, and Giorgio Agamben, Hal Foster shows the ways in which art has anticipated this condition, at times resisting the collapse of the social contract or gesturing toward its repair; at other times burlesquing it.

Against the claim that art making has become so heterogeneous as to defy historical analysis, Foster argues that the critic must still articulate a clear account of the contemporary in all its complexity. To that end, he offers several paradigms for the art of recent years, which he terms “abject,” “archival,” “mimetic,” and “precarious.””

Publisher Verso, London and New York, 2015
ISBN 1784781460, 9781784781460
208 pages

Presentation and discussion (video, The Kitchen, NYC, Sep 2015)
Interview (John Douglas Millar, Mute, Nov 2015)

Reviews: Mark Steven (Affirmations 2015), Brian Dillon (Guardian 2015), Rachel Wetzler (ArtNews 2015).

Publisher
WorldCat

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Vincent Descombes: Modern French Philosophy (1979–) [EN, ES, GR, CZ, RU]

5 April 2014, dusan

“This is a critical introduction to modern French philosophy, commissioned from one of the liveliest contemporary practitioners and intended for an English-speaking readership. The dominant ‘Anglo-Saxon’ reaction to philosophical development in France has for some decades been one of suspicion, occasionally tempered by curiosity but more often hardening into dismissive rejection. But there are signs now of a more sympathetic interest and an increasing readiness to admit and explore shared concerns, even if these are still expressed in a very different idiom and intellectual context.

Vincent Descombes offers here a personal guide to the main movements and figures of the last forty-five years. He traces over this period the evolution of thought from a generation preoccupied with the ‘three H’s’ – Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger, to a generation influenced since about 1960 by the ‘three masters of suspicion’ – Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. In this framework he deals in turn with the thought of Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, the early structuralists, Foucault, Althusser, Serres, Derrida, and finally Deleuze and Lyotard. The ‘internal’ intellectual history of the period is related to its institutional setting and the wider cultural and political context which has given French philosophy so much of its distinctive character.” (from the back cover, 1980)

First published in French as Le Même et L’Autre, Les Éditions de Minuit, Paris, 1979

English edition
Translated by L. Scott-Fox and J. M. Harding
With a Foreword by Alan Montefiore
Publisher Cambridge University Press, 1980
ISBN 0521296722
192 pages

Review (Robert Young, MLN, 1982)
Review (Alasdair MacIntyre, London Review of Books, 1981)
Interview with the author (Praxis, 2012/2013)

Publisher (EN)

Modern French Philosophy (English, trans. L. Scott-Fox and J. M. Harding, 1980, no OCR)
Lo mismo y lo otro: cuarenta y cinco años de filosofía francesca (1933-1978) (Spanish, trans. Elena Benarroch, 2nd ed., 1982/1988, pp 12-15 missing, no OCR)
Το Ίδιο και το Άλλο: 45 χρόνια γαλλικής φιλοσοφίας 1933-1978 (Greek, trans. Λένα Κασίμη, 1984)
Stejné a jiné: Čtyřicetpět let francouzské filosofie (1933-1978) (Czech, trans. Miroslav Petříček jr, 1995, no OCR)
Sovremennaya frantsuzskaya filosofiya (Russian, trans. M.M. Fedorov, 2000, DJVU)