Jane Anna Gordon: Creolizing Political Theory: Reading Rousseau through Fanon (2014)
Filed under book | Tags: · black people, colonialism, creolization, decolonization, freedom, governance, law, modernity, political theory, politics, power, race, theory
“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
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).
Jonas Staal: Propaganda Art in the 21st Century (2019)
Filed under book | Tags: · art history, artistic research, avant-garde, democracy, modernism, performance, politics, power, propaganda, totalitarianism, war on terror
“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
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).
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Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung: In a While or Two We Will Find the Tone: Essays and Proposals, Curatorial Concepts, and Critiques (2020)
Filed under book | Tags: · body, colonialism, epistemology, gender, history, ideology, indigenous peoples, knowledge, memory, power, race, refugees, religion, slavery
“This collection of writings from Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung presents, for the first time in one volume, essays and proposals edited anew. Ndikung’s expanded curatorial practice delineates the space of exhibition making as a space of critical thinking and of experimentation. By proximity, these texts echo each other, resonate with each other, interfere with each other, and present perspectives on the political, poetic, and philosophical potentials of exhibition making, beyond the tight corset of the discipline itself.”
Compiled by Sunette Viljoen and Federica Bueti
Edited by Chiara Figone and Ines Juster
Publisher Archive Books, Berlin, 2020
ISBN 3948212139, 9783948212131
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