Jane Anna Gordon: Creolizing Political Theory: Reading Rousseau through Fanon (2014)

25 March 2021, dusan

“Might creolization offer political theory an approach that would better reflect the heterogeneity of political life? After all, it describes mixtures that were not supposed to have emerged in the plantation societies of the Caribbean but did so through their capacity to exemplify living culture, thought, and political practice. Similar processes continue today, when people who once were strangers find themselves unequal co-occupants of new political locations they both seek to call “home.”

Unlike multiculturalism, in which different cultures are thought to co-exist relatively separately, creolization describes how people reinterpret themselves through interaction with one another. While indebted to comparative political theory, Gordon offers a critique of comparison by demonstrating the generative capacity of creolizing methodologies. She does so by bringing together the eighteenth-century revolutionary Swiss thinker Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the twentieth-century Martinican-born Algerian liberationist Frantz Fanon. While both provocatively challenged whether we can study the world in ways that do not duplicate the prejudices that sustain its inequalities, Fanon, she argues, outlined a vision of how to bring into being the democratically legitimate alternatives that Rousseau mainly imagined.”

Publisher Fordham University Press, New York, 2014
Just Ideas series
ISBN 9780823254811, 082325481X
xv+294 pages

Reviews: Anne Norton, Sharon Stanley, Fred Lee, Thomas Meagher (with author’s response, Contemporary Political Theory, 2018).
See also: Forum on Creolizing Theory (ed. Lewis R. Gordon, Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy, 2017), The Creolization of Education, Pedagogy, and Political Theory (ed. Lewis R. Gordon, Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 2018).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF

Jonas Staal: Propaganda Art in the 21st Century (2019)

24 February 2021, dusan

“Propaganda art—whether a depiction of joyous workers in the style of socialist realism or a film directed by Steve Bannon—delivers a message. But, as Jonas Staal argues, propaganda does not merely make a political point; it aims to construct reality itself. Political regimes have shaped our world according to their interests and ideology; today, popular mass movements push back by constructing other worlds with their own propagandas.

Staal shows that propaganda is not a relic of a totalitarian past but occurs today even in liberal democracies. He considers different historical forms of propaganda art, from avant-garde to totalitarian and modernist, and he investigates the us versus them dichotomy promoted in War on Terror propaganda art—describing, among other things, a fictional scenario from the Department of Homeland Security, acted out in real time, and military training via videogame. He discusses artistic and cultural productions developed by such popular mass movements of the twenty-first century as the Occupy, activism by and in support of undocumented migrants and refugees, and struggles for liberation in such countries as Mali and Syria.

Staal proposes a new model of emancipatory propaganda art—one that acknowledges the relation between art and power and takes both an aesthetic and a political position in the practice of world-making.”

Publisher MIT Press, September 2019
ISBN 9780262042802, 0262042800
230 pages

Interview with author: Pierre d’Alancaisez (New Books Network, 2021, podcast).

Reviews: Christoph Chwatal (Third Text, 2020), Hailey Maxwell (The Drouth, 2020), Joerg Bader (Critique d’art, 2019, FR).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF, PDF (12 MB, updated on 2021-4-13)

ArtLeaks Gazette (2013–)

19 February 2019, dusan




“ArtLeaks is a collective platform initiated by an international group of artists, curators, art historians and intellectuals in response to the abuse of their professional integrity and the open infraction of their labor rights. In the art world, such abuses usually disappear, but some events bring them into sharp focus and therefore deserve public scrutiny. Only by drawing attention to concrete abuses can we underscore the precarious condition of cultural workers and the necessity for sustained protest against the appropriation of politically engaged art, culture and theory by institutions embedded in a tight mesh of capital and power.”

Edited by Corina L. Apostol (1-4), Vladan Jeremić (1-4), David Riff (1), Dmitry Vilensky (1), Vlad Morariu (1), Raluca Voinea (2), Brett Alton Bloom (3), and Rena Rädle (4)
Publisher ArtLeaks
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA License

Project website

Issue 1, May 2013: PDF, PDFs
Issue 2, Jun 2014: PDF, PDFs
Issue 3, Aug 2015: PDF, PDFs
Issue 4, Sep 2017: PDF, PDFs