Cruel Optimism

Author : Lauren Berlant
ISBN : 0822350971
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 30.22 MB
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A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing. Offering bold new ways of conceiving the present, Lauren Berlant describes the cruel optimism that has prevailed since the 1980s, as the social-democratic promise of the postwar period in the United States and Europe has retracted. People have remained attached to unachievable fantasies of the good life—with its promises of upward mobility, job security, political and social equality, and durable intimacy—despite evidence that liberal-capitalist societies can no longer be counted on to provide opportunities for individuals to make their lives “add up to something.” Arguing that the historical present is perceived affectively before it is understood in any other way, Berlant traces affective and aesthetic responses to the dramas of adjustment that unfold amid talk of precarity, contingency, and crisis. She suggests that our stretched-out present is characterized by new modes of temporality, and she explains why trauma theory—with its focus on reactions to the exceptional event that shatters the ordinary—is not useful for understanding the ways that people adjust over time, once crisis itself has become ordinary. Cruel Optimism is a remarkable affective history of the present.
Category: Literary Criticism

Queer Times Queer Becomings

Author : E. L. McCallum
ISBN :
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 81.30 MB
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Queer theory essays on time and becoming in the fields of literature, philosophy, film, and performance.
Category: Literary Criticism

Dis Ability Studies

Author : Dan Goodley
ISBN : 9781134060832
Genre : Education
File Size : 81.13 MB
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In this ground-breaking new work, Dan Goodley makes the case for a novel, distinct, intellectual, and political project – dis/ability studies – an orientation that might encourage us to think again about the phenomena of disability and ability. Drawing on a range of interdisciplinary areas, including sociology, psychology, education, policy and cultural studies, this much needed text takes the most topical and important issues in critical disability theory, and pushes them into new theoretical territory. Goodley argues that we are entering a time of dis/ability studies, when both categories of disability and ability require expanding upon as a response to the global politics of neoliberal capitalism. Divided into two parts, the first section traces the dual processes of ableism and disablism, suggesting that one cannot exist without the other, and makes the case for a research-driven and intersectional analysis of dis/ability. The second section applies this new analytical framework to a range of critical topics, including: The biopolitics of dis/ability and debility Inclusive education Psychopathology Markets, communities and civil society. Dis/ability Studies provides much needed depth, texture and analysis in this emerging discipline. This accessible text will appeal to students and researchers of disability across a range of disciplines, as well as disability activists, policymakers, and practitioners working directly with disabled people.
Category: Education

Transforming Images

Author : Rebecca Coleman
ISBN : 9781317571469
Genre : PSYCHOLOGY
File Size : 59.4 MB
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Contemporary social and cultural life is increasingly organised around a logic of self-transformation, where changing the body is seen as key. Transforming Images examines how the future functions within this transformative logic to indicate the potential of a materially better time. The book explores the crucial role that images have in organising an imperative for transformation and in making possible, or not, the materialisation of a better future. Coleman asks the questions: which futures are appealing and to whom? How do images tap into and reproduce wider social and cultural processes of inequality? Drawing on the recent ‘turns’ to affect and emotion and to understanding life in terms of vitality, intensity and ‘liveness’ in social and cultural theory, the book develops a framework for understanding images as felt and lived out. Analysing different screens across popular culture – the screens of shopping, makeover television programmes, online dieting plans and government health campaigns – it traces how images of self-transformation bring the future into the present and affectively ‘draw in’ some bodies more than others. Transforming Images will be of interest to students and scholars working in sociology, media studies, cultural studies and gender studies.
Category: PSYCHOLOGY

Difference

Author : Elizabeth Weed
ISBN : 0822366576
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32.92 MB
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This special issue of differences celebrates the work of the contemporary feminist literary critic and theorist Barbara Johnson, whose work has been revolutionary in foregrounding concepts of “difference.” Johnson’s is a unique method of literary reading in which literature becomes, in her words, “a mode of cultural work, the work of giving-to-read those impossible contradictions that cannot yet be spoken.” The contributors to this issue recognize that one of Johnson’s primary gifts to literary studies is her ability to teach theoretical insights, not in a pedagogically prescriptive or didactic way, but through her exquisitely close readings of texts that illustrate the force of theory and language in practice. The first half of the issue comprises essays in which scholars influenced by Johnson offer close readings of texts ranging from Sandra Cisneros’s Carmelo to Edith Wharton’s “Roman Fever” to George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Each of the remaining essays is marked by the intimate voice of its author offering a reflective tribute to Johnson’s thought and teaching. Contributors. Lauren Berlant, Rachel Bowlby, Bill Brown, Mary Wilson Carpenter, Pamela Caughie, Lee Edelman, Jane Gallop, Bill Johnson González, Deborah Jenson, Lili Porten, Avital Ronell, Mary Helen Washington
Category: Social Science

The Man In The High Castle And Philosophy

Author : Bruce Krajewski
ISBN : 9780812699685
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 33.80 MB
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The Man in the High Castle is an Amazon TV show, based on the Philip K. Dick novel, about an “alternate present” (beginning in the 1960s) in which Germany and Japan won World War II, with the former Western US occupied by Japan, the former Eastern US occupied by Nazi Germany, and a small “neutral zone” between them. A theme of the story is that in this alternative world there is eager speculation, fueled by the illicit newsreel, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, about how the world would have been different if America had won the war. In The Man in the High Castle and Philosophy, twenty-two professional thinkers look at philosophical issues raised by this ongoing enterprise in “alternative history.” One question is whether it really made a profound difference that the Allies won the war, and exactly what differences in everyday life we may expect to arise from an apparent historical turning point. Could it be that some dramatic historical events have only superficial consequences, while some unnoticed occurrences lead to catastrophic results? Another topic is the quest for truth in a world of government misinformation, and how dissenting organizations can make headway.
Category: Philosophy

Sensational Flesh

Author : Amber Jamilla Musser
ISBN : 9781479868117
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 37.89 MB
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In everyday language, masochism is usually understood as the desire to abdicate control in exchange for sensation—pleasure, pain, or a combination thereof. Yet at its core, masochism is a site where power, bodies, and society come together. Sensational Flesh uses masochism as a lens to examine how power structures race, gender, and embodiment in different contexts. Drawing on rich and varied sources—from 19th century sexology, psychoanalysis, and critical theory to literary texts and performance art—Amber Jamilla Musser employs masochism as a powerful diagnostic tool for probing relationships between power and subjectivity. Engaging with a range of debates about lesbian S&M, racialization, femininity, and disability, as well as key texts such as Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs, Pauline Réage’s The Story of O, and Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality, Musser renders legible the complex ways that masochism has been taken up by queer, feminist, and critical race theories. Furthering queer theory’s investment in affect and materiality, she proposes “sensation” as an analytical tool for illustrating what it feels like to be embedded in structures of domination such as patriarchy, colonialism, and racism and what it means to embody femininity, blackness, and pain. Sensational Flesh is ultimately about the ways in which difference is made material through race, gender, and sexuality and how that materiality is experienced.
Category: Social Science

The Affect Theory Reader

Author : Melissa Gregg
ISBN : 9780822347767
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 43.25 MB
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A collection of essays on affect theory by groundbreaking scholars in the field
Category: Literary Criticism

Women S Narratives Of The Early Americas And The Formation Of Empire

Author : Mary McAleer Balkun
ISBN : 9781137543202
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 24.62 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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The essays in this collection examine the connections between the forces of empire and women's lives in the early Americas, in particular the ways their narratives contributed to empire formation. Focusing on the female body as a site of contestation, the essays describe acts of bravery, subversion, and survival expressed in a variety of genres, including the saga, letter, diary, captivity narrative, travel narrative, verse, sentimental novel, and autobiography. The volume also speaks to a range of female experience, across the Americas and across time, from the Viking exploration to early nineteenth-century United States, challenging scholars to reflect on the implications of early American literature even to the present day.
Category: Literary Criticism