Feminist Aesthetics and the Politics of Modernism (Columbia Themes in Philosophy, Social Criticism, and the Arts)

Feminist Aesthetics and the Politics of Modernism (Columbia Themes in Philosophy, Social Criticism, and the Arts)

Ewa Plonowska Ziarek

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0231161492

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Ewa Ziarek fully articulates a feminist aesthetics, focusing on the struggle for freedom in women's literary and political modernism and the devastating impact of racist violence and sexism. She examines the contradiction between women's transformative literary and political practices and the oppressive realities of racist violence and sexism, and she situates these tensions within the entrenched opposition between revolt and melancholia in studies of modernity and within the friction between material injuries and experimental aesthetic forms. Ziarek's political and aesthetic investigations concern the exclusion and destruction of women in politics and literary production and the transformation of this oppression into the inaugural possibilities of writing and action. Her study is one of the first to combine an in-depth engagement with philosophical aesthetics, especially the work of Theodor W. Adorno, with women's literary modernism, particularly the writing of Virginia Woolf and Nella Larsen, along with feminist theories on the politics of race and gender. By bringing seemingly apolitical, gender-neutral debates about modernism's experimental forms together with an analysis of violence and destroyed materialities, Ziarek challenges both the anti-aesthetic subordination of modern literature to its political uses and the appreciation of art's emancipatory potential at the expense of feminist and anti-racist political struggles.

Aesthetic and Artistic Autonomy (Bloomsbury Studies in Philosophy)

Critique of the Power of Judgment (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant)

Aesthetics (Fundamentals of Philosophy)

Flow: Nature's Patterns: A Tapestry in Three Parts

Perspecta 47: Money (Perspecta)

Adorno and Art: Aesthetic Theory Contra Critical Theory
















to the political struggles of women. Not only an aesthetic negation of political domination, the very possibility of women’s artistic revolutionary praxis depends, according to Woolf, on the collective “habit of freedom” (RO, 113) in political life. “When human relations change,” Woolf argues, “there is at the same time a change in religion, conduct, politics and literature.”11 In the concluding passage of A Room of One’s Own —a text that Jane Marcus reads as a literary feminist response to

to transform them into artistic creation. This unprecedented possibility of women’s art is presented in the concluding pages of A Room of One’s Own as the parable of the second coming of Shakespeare’s dead sister. This future resurrection of the female poet requires, however, a double preparation: women’s ongoing struggle for the political and economic culture of freedom, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the continuous literary struggle against ossified conventions and ideological phantoms

others, point out that in Western modernity different kinds of human activity, including art and politics, have become subordinated to commodity production. By colonizing art, labor, and political action, production not only perverts self-realization into alienation but culminates in the worldwide domination of nature and exploitation of other peoples. By subordinating all forms of making, speaking, acting, and work itself to alienated labor, Western political and economic praxis obliterates the

his famous formula “I prefer not to.” Agamben makes the powerful argument that possibility exceeds its historical realization. As he puts it, “contrary to the traditional idea of potentiality that is annulled in actuality, here we are confronted with a potentiality that conserves itself and saves itself in actuality. Here potentiality, so to speak, survives actuality” (PCE, 184.) Potentiality exceeds historical realization because it is distinguished from 108 revolutionary praxis and its mel

political and aesthetic practices. 156 female bodies, violence, and form In fact, despite the different trajectories and philosophical genealogies I reconstructed in this chapter, all the thinkers I have discussed implicitly or explicitly call for a rethinking of embodiment and materiality outside the violent and abstract regulation of bodies in modernity: outside exchangeability and abstract commodity form (Irigaray), outside sovereign decision on the state of exception (Agamben), and outside

Download sample