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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.

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Edited by Richard Shusterman

Cities are defined by their complex network of busy streets and the multitudes of people that animate them through physical presence and bodily actions that often differ dramatically: elegant window-shoppers and homeless beggars, protesting crowds and patrolling police. As bodies shape city life, so the city’s spaces, structures, economies, politics, rhythms, and atmospheres reciprocally shape the urban soma. This collection of original essays explores the somaesthetic qualities and challenges of city life (in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas) from a variety of perspectives ranging from philosophy, urban theory, political theory, and gender studies to visual art, criminology, and the interdisciplinary field of somaesthetics. Together these essays illustrate the aesthetic, cultural, and political roles and trials of bodies in the city streets.

Fashion and Contemporaneity

Realms of the Visible

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Edited by Laura Petican

This book represents the voices of scholars, fashion designers, bloggers and artists, who speak to the pervasive nature of fashion in matters of politics, history, economics, sociology, religion, culture, art and identity. Dialogically open, the volume offers a broad apprehension of visual matter in the global contemporary context with fashion at its core, exploring its metamorphosing, media-oriented and ‘disordered’ modes of being in the early twenty-first century. The book’s contributors consider topics of universal import stemming from the realm of fashion, its dissemination and impact, from institutional, corporate, collective and individual perspectives, reflecting on the morphing, interchanging and revolutionary quality of the visual realm as the basis for continued research in fashion studies. Contributors are Shari Tamar Akal, Jess Berry, Naomi Braithwaite, Claire Eldred, Sarah Heaton, Hilde Heim, Demetra Kolakis, Sarah Mole, Lynn S. Neal, Laura Petican, Cecilia Winterhalter, Manrutt Wongkaew.

Eleanor Smith's Hull House Songs

The Music of Protest and Hope in Jane Addams's Chicago

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Graham Cassano, Rima Lunin Schultz and Jessica Payette

In Eleanor Smith’s Hull House Songs : The Music of Protest and Hope in Jane Addams’s Chicago, the authors republish Hull House Songs (1916), together with critical commentary. Hull-House Songs contains five politically engaged compositions written by the Hull-House music educator, Eleanor Smith. The commentary that accompanies the folio includes an examination of Smith’s poetic sources and musical influences; a study of Jane Addams’s aesthetic theories; and a complete history of the arts at Hull-House. Through this focus upon aesthetic and cultural programs at Hull-House, the authors identify the external, and internalized, forces of domination (class position, racial identity, patriarchal disenfranchisement) that limited the work of the Hull-House women, while also recovering the sometimes hidden emancipatory possibilities of their legacy.

With an afterword by Jocelyn Zelasko.

Speculation as a Mode of Production

Forms of Value Subjectivity in Art and Capital

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Marina Vishmidt

In Speculation as a Mode of Production: Forms of Value Subjectivity in Art and Capital, Marina Vishmidt offers a new perspective on one of the main categories of capitalist life in the historical present. Writing not under the shadow but in the spirit of Adorno’s negative dialectic, her work pursues speculation through its contested terrains of philosophy, finance, and art, to arrive at the most detailed analysis that we now possess of the role of speculation in the shaping of subjectivity by value relations. Featuring detailed critical discussions of recent tendencies in the artistic representation of labour, and a brilliant reconstruction of the philosophical concept of the speculative from its origins in German Romanticism, Speculation as a Mode of Production is an essential, widescreen theorisation of capital’s drive to self-expansion, and an urgent corrective to the narrow and one-sided periodisations to which it is most commonly subjected.

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Andrew Milner

Edited by J.R. Burgmann

Again, Dangerous Visions: Essays in Cultural Materialism brings together twenty-six essays charting the development of Andrew Milner’s distinctively Orwellian version of cultural materialism between 1981 and 2015. The essays address three substantive areas: the sociology of literature, cultural materialism and the cultural politics of the New Left, and utopian and science fiction studies. They are bookended by two conversations between Milner and his editor J.R. Burgmann, the first looking back retrospectively on the development of Milner’s thought, the second looking forward prospectively towards the future of academia, the political left and science fiction.

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Mikhail Lifshitz

Mikhail Lifshitz is a major forgotten figure in the tradition of Marxist philosophy and art history. A significant influence on Lukács, and the dedicatee of his The Young Hegel, as well as an unsurpassed scholar of Marx and Engels’s writings on art and a lifelong controversialist, Lifshitz’s work dealt with topics as various as the philosophy of Marx and the pop aesthetics of Andy Warhol. The Crisis of Ugliness (originally published in Russian by Iskusstvo, 1968), published here in English for the first time, and with a detailed introduction by its translator David Riff, is a compact broadside against modernism in the visual arts that nevertheless resists the dogmatic complacencies of Stalinist aesthetics. Its reentry into English debates on the history of Soviet aesthetics promises to re-orient our sense of the basic coordinates of a Marxist art theory.

The Plant Contract

Art’s Return to Vegetal Life

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Prudence Gibson

The Plant Contract argues that visual and performance art can help change our perception of the vegetal world, and can return us to nature and thought. Via an investigation into the wasteland, robotany, feminist plants, and nature rights, this phytology-love story investigates how contemporary art is mediating the effects of plant-blindness, caused by human disassociation from the natural world. It is also a gesture of respect for the genius of vegetal life, where new science proves plants can learn, communicate, remember, make decisions, and associate. Art is a litmus test for how climate change affects human perception. This book responds to that test by expressing plant-philosophy to a wider public, through an interrogation of plant-art.

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Edited by Annie Ring, Henriette Steiner and Kristin Veel

Architecture and Control makes a collective critical intervention into the relationship between architecture, including virtual architectures, and practices of control since the turn of the twentieth to twenty-first centuries. Authors from the fields of architectural theory, literature, film and cultural studies come together here with visual artists to explore the contested sites at which, in the present day, attempts at gaining control give rise to architectures of control as well as the potential for architectures of resistance. Together, these contributions make clear how a variety of post-2000 architectures enable control to be established, all the while observing how certain architectures and infrastructures allow for alternative, progressive modes of control, and even modes of the unforeseen and the uncontrolled, to arise.

Contributors are: Pablo Bustinduy, Rafael Dernbach, Alexander R. Galloway, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Maria Finn, Runa Johannessen, Natalie Koerner, Michael Krause, Samantha Martin-McAuliffe, Lorna Muir, Mikkel Bolt Rasmussen, Anne Elisabeth Sejten and Joey Whitfield

Disgust and Desire

The Paradox of the Monster

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Edited by Kristen Wright

Monsters have taken many forms across time and cultures, yet within these variations, monsters often evoke the same paradoxical response: disgust and desire. We simultaneously fear monsters and take pleasure in seeing them, and their role in human culture helps to explain this apparent contradiction. Monsters are created in order to delineate where the acceptable boundaries of action and emotion exist. However, while killing the monster allows us to cast out socially unacceptable desires, the prevalence of monsters in both history and fiction reveals humanity’s desire to see and experience the forbidden. We seek, write about, and display monsters as both a warning and wish fulfilment, and monsters, therefore, reveal that the line between desire and disgust is often thin. Looking across genres, subjects, and periods, this book examines what our conflicted reaction to the monster tells us about human culture.