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Literary Form and Social Process in the Beginnings of the Brazilian Novel
Author: Roberto Schwarz
Literary forms travel from core countries to the periphery of capitalism, where they are adopted under social conditions that differ from those in the countries of their origin. Besides being inevitable, the resulting maladjustments lead to new and original aesthetic problems, presenting to the reader the symptoms of the world’s complexity. When properly worked through, these allow for the rise of world-class art, as in the case of the great Brazilian novels by Machado de Assis.

First published in Portuguese in 1977 as Ao vencedor as batatas: Forma literária e processo social nos inícios do romance brasileiro by Duas Cidades/Editora 34, ISBN 978-85-7326-169-2, and presented here in a new English-language translation, To the Victor, the Potatoes! is a major work of one of the most significant Marxist literary critics of our time.
In Bourdieu in Question: New Directions in French Sociology of Art, Jeffrey A. Halley and Daglind E. Sonolet offer to English-speaking audiences an account of the very lively Francophone debates over Pierre Bourdieu’s work in the domain of the arts and culture, and present other directions and perspectives taken by major French researchers who extend or differ from his point of view, and who were marginalized by the Bourdieusian moment.

Three generations of research are presented: contemporaries of Bourdieu, the next generation, and recent research. Themes include the art market and value, cultural politics, the reception of artworks, theory and the concept of the artwork, autonomy in art, ethnography and culture, and the critique of Bourdieu on literature.

Contributors are: Howard S. Becker, Martine Burgos, Marie Buscatto, Jean-Louis Fabiani, Laurent Fleury, Florent Gaudez, Jeffrey A. Halley, Nathalie Heinich, Yvon Lamy, Jacques Leenhardt, Cécile Léonardi, Clara Lévy, Pierre-Michel Menger, Raymonde Moulin, Jean-Claude Passeron, Emmanuel Pedler, Bruno Péquignot, Alain Quemin, Cherry Schrecker, Daglind E. Sonolet.
Art History as Social Praxis: The Collected Writings of David Craven brings together more than thirty essays that chart the development of Craven’s voice as an unorthodox Marxist who applied historical materialism to the study of modern art. This book demonstrates the range and versatility of David Craven’s praxis as a ‘democratic socialist’ art historian who assessed the essential role the visual arts play in imagining more just and equitable societies. The essays collected here reveal Craven’s lifelong commitment to exposing interstices between western and non-western cultures by researching the reciprocating influences between First- and Third-World artists, critics and historians.
Marxist Essays on British Art and Art Theory, 1750–1850
At a time of growing interest in relations between Marxism and Romanticism, Andrew Hemingway’s essays on British art and art theory reopen the question of Romantic painting’s ideological functions and, in some cases, its critical purchase. Half the volume exposes the voices of competing class interests in aesthetics and art theory in the tumultuous years of British history between the American Revolution and the 1832 Parliamentary Reform Act. Half offers new perspectives on works by some of the most important landscape painters of the time: John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, John Crome, and John Sell Cotman. Four essays are hitherto unpublished, and the remainder have been updated and in several cases substantially rewritten for this volume.
Judgement and Creativity from Benjamin to Merleau-Ponty
Author: John E. O'Brien
In his Critique of Rationality, John Eustice O’Brien proposes a fascinating rectification for the distortion of technical necessity in Western Society due to unbridled instrumental reason. He begins with a review of this issue first raised by the Early German Romantics as discussed by Isaiah Berlin and Walter Benjamin. Following French social philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s radically different apperceptive epistemology, he explores the possibility of a social world in which each is anchored by a préobjective disposition to meaning based on the intersubjective presence of all. This justifies the postulate of aesthetic-consciousness as the site of socialization in communities of meaning, as a frame for judgment and creativity. The struggle must continue for awakening that consciousness if an open society is to be realized.
Author: Cathy Bergin
The legacy of the relationship between African American writers and Communism in the US is a contested one. Bergin argues that in three novels, by seminal mid-century authors (Wright, Himes and Ellison) Communism is not dismissed as incapable of meeting the demands of black political identity but is castigated for its refusal to do so. A detailed focus on the political milieu in which these texts operate challenges many of the presumptions about the ‘inability’ of Communism to comprehend racial oppression, which dominate literary critical approaches to these novels. She draws on the complex formations black political agency presumed and reproduced by American Communism during the Depression.
Author: Mark Abel
What is the relationship between music and time? How does musical rhythm express our social experience of time? In Groove: An Aesthetic of Measured Time, Mark Abel explains the rise to prominence in Western music of a new way of organising rhythm: groove. He provides a historical account of its emergence around the turn of the twentieth century, and analyses the musical components which make it work.
Tracing the influence of key philosophical arguments about the nature of time on musical aesthetics, Mark Abel draws on materialist interpretations of art and culture to challenge those, like Adorno, who criticise popular music’s metrical regularity. He concludes that groove does not simply reflect the temporality of contemporary society, but, by incorporating abstract time into its very structure, is capable of effecting a critique of it.