New Books in Critical Theory

Interviews with Scholars of Critical Theory about their New Books

http://newbooksnetwork.com/category/politics-society/critical-theory/

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      Martin Shuster, “New Television: The Aesthetics and Politics of a Genre” (U Chicago Press, 2017)


      How should we understand our new golden age of television? In New Television: The Aesthetics and Politics of a Genre (University of Chicago Press, 2017), Martin Shuster, Director of Judaic Studies and Assistant Professor at Goucher College, interrogates New Television and offers both a defense and critique. Drawing on the work of the late Stanley Cavell, along with others including Hannah Arendt, the book explores the ontology of New Television, the medium of the screen, and the nature of ...


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         52m
       
       

      Ari Heinrich, “Chinese Surplus: Biopolitical Aesthetics and the Medically Commodified Body” (Duke UP, 2018)


      Ari Larissa Heinrich’s new book, Chinese Surplus: Biopolitical Aesthetics and the Medically Commodified Body (Duke University Press, 2018), is a fascinating study of representations of the Chinese body in the context of biotechnology.  How are bodies reproduced, broken apart, and circulated?  And how do the representations of these processes help us understand transnational biopolitics? Heinrich takes up these questions and others in this pathbreaking work, one that will change how readers th...


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         45m
       
       

      Noreen Giffney and Eve Watson, “Clinical Encounters in Sexuality: Psychoanalytic Practice and Queer Theory” (Punctum Books, 2017)


      Psychoanalysis is a queer theory. That’s what Tim Dean said, according to Eve Watson in the afterword to Clinical Encounters in Sexuality: Psychoanalytic Practice and Queer Theory (Punctum Books, 2017), a new book that she co-edited with Noreen Giffney. In her interview for this podcast, Watson qualifies that declaration by saying that psychoanalysis isn’t always a queer theory, but it should be. “There are many psychoanalyses.”
      Queer theory challenges the conventional approach to sexua...


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         51m
       
       

      James M. Jasper, “The Emotions of Protests” (U Chicago Press, 2018)


      How do emotions affect participation in protests, and in politics more generally? In The Emotions of Protests (University of Chicago Press, 2018), James M. Jasper develops a solid critique to approaches that present political action as strictly rational and emotions as something outside the realm of strategy. Instead, Jasper speaks about feeling-thinking processes to highlight the interaction between strategic thinking and emotions, and the impact they have on participation in politics.


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         1h5m
       
       

      Paula Serafini, “Performance Action: The Politics of Art Activism” (Routledge, 2018)


      How can art change the world? In Performance Action: The Politics of Art Activism (Routledge, 2018), Paula Serafini, a Research Associate at the University of Leicester’s CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media Economies, explores art activism looking at the power, potential, and problematics of art for political and social change. The book draws on a wealth of ethnographic material, including the author’s own art activism, to show the complexity as well as the importance ...


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         37m
       
       

      Hongwei Bao, “Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Tongzhi Activism in Postsocialist China” (NIAS Press, 2018)


      Hongwei Bao’s book is a thoughtful exploration of gay identity and queer activism in China. This work stems from the term and identity tongzhi, which means “comrade” and in more recent decades has been a popular term to refer to gay people and sexual minorities more broadly. Based on ethnographic research and a solid theoretical base, Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Tongzhi Activism in Postsocialist China (NIAS Press, 2018) explores queer identity, activism, and governmentality in China, wh...


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         44m
       
       

      Rob Sullivan, “The Geography of the Everyday: Toward an Understanding of the Given” (U Georgia Press, 2017)


      How to theorize what goes without saying? In The Geography of the Everyday: Toward an Understanding of the Given (University of Georgia Press, 2017), Rob Sullivan develops a general theory of everydayness as the necessary, if elusive, starting point for social and spatial theorists across disciplines. Proceeding in stepwise fashion, Sullivan builds an account of this concept that scopes over space, place, history, time itself, social and biological reproduction, embodiment, the object world,...


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         52m
       
       

      Ignacio Aguiló, “The Darkening Nation: Race, Neoliberalism, and Crisis in Argentina” (U Wales Press, 2018)


      In The Darkening Nation: Race, Neoliberalism, and Crisis in Argentina (University of Wales Press, 2018), Ignacio Aguiló studies the sociocultural impact caused by the failure of the IMF economic measures in Argentina of 2001-2002. Through the lens of cultural production (films, novels, short stories, artwork and music), the author explores two of the country’s so-called exceptionalisms: whiteness and economic success. These myths, heavily endorsed by the military dictatorship during the 19...


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       2018-06-19  57m
       
       

      Aaron Kuntz, “The Responsible Methodologist: Inquiry, Truth-Telling, and Social Justice” (Left Coast Press, 2015)


      In this episode, I speak with Aaron M. Kuntz about his book, The Responsible Methodologist: Inquiry, Truth-Telling, and Social Justice (Left Coast Press, 2015). This book offers a thorough and much-needed interrogation of the role of research methodologist in today’s neo-liberalist era. Kuntz reflects upon the social and cultural structure that gave rise to the conventional role of a methodologist, a technocrat and middle-manager of knowledge production. He urges social and educational r...


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       2018-06-18  1h3m
       
       

      Bruno Chaouat, “Is Theory Good for the Jews?: French Thought and the Challenge of the New Antisemitism” (Liverpool University Press, 2017)


      “Is Theory Good for the Jews?” asks author Bruno Chaouat, professor of French at the University of Minnesota, in his appropriately titled book Is Theory Good for the Jews?: French Thought and the Challenge of the New Antisemitism (Liverpool University Press, 2017) . The title carries a measure of Chaouat’s characteristically ironic, self-deprecatory, yet polemical tone. So, Chaouat wonders, in both winking reference to the anti-Semitic trope of Jewish tribalism and self-involvement, and at th...


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       2018-06-11  1h10m