Book picks similar to
Ugly Feelings by Sianne Ngai


philosophy
theory
non-fiction
criticism

Desire in Language: A Semiotic Approach to Literature and Art


Julia Kristeva - 1980
    But the essays of Julia Kristeva in this volume, though they often deal with literature and art, do not amount to either "literary criticism" or "art criticism." Their concern, writes Kristeva, "remains intratheoretical: they are based on art and literature in order to subvert the very theoretical, philosophical, or semiological apparatus."Probing beyond the discoveries of Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Roman Jakobson, and others, Julia Kristeva proposes and tests theories centered on the nature and development of the novel, and on what she has defined as a signifying practice in poetic language and pictural works. Desire in Language fully shows what Roman Jakobson has called Kristeva's "genuine gift of questioning generally adopted 'axioms, ' and her contrary gift of releasing various 'damned questions' from their traditional question marks."

The Cultural Studies Reader


Simon During - 1993
    This expanded second edition offers: * 38 essays including 18 new articles* an editor's preface succinctly introducing each article* comprehensive coverage of every major cultural studies method and theory* an updated account of recent changes in the field* articles on new areas such as science and cyberculture, globalization, postcolonialism, public spheres and cultural policy* a fully revised introduction and an extensive guide to further reading.

Culture and Materialism


Raymond Williams - 2006
    Aside from his more directly theoretical texts, however, case-studies of theatrical naturalism, the Bloomsbury group, advertising, science fiction, and the Welsh novel are also included as illustrations of the method at work. Finally, Williams’s identity as an active socialist, rather than simply an academic, is captured by two unambiguously political pieces on the past, present and future of Marxism.

Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method


Kenneth Burke - 1966
    And much of the material presented here was used in that course. The title should serve well to convey the gist of these various pieces. For all of them are explicitly concerned with the attempt to define and track down the implications of the term "symbolic action," and to show how the marvels of literature and language look when considered form that point of view.

Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity


José Esteban Muñoz - 2009
    It has been stifled by this myopic focus on the present, which is short-sighted and assimilationist.Cruising Utopia seeks to break the present stagnancy by cruising ahead. Drawing on the work of Ernst Bloch, José Esteban Muñoz recalls the queer past for guidance in presaging its future. He considers the work of seminal artists and writers such as Andy Warhol, LeRoi Jones, Frank O'Hara, Ray Johnson, Fred Herko, Samuel Delany, and Elizabeth Bishop, alongside contemporary performance and visual artists like Dynasty Handbag, My Barbarian, Luke Dowd, Tony Just, and Kevin McCarty in order to decipher the anticipatory illumination of art and its uncanny ability to open windows to the future.In a startling repudiation of what the LGBT movement has held dear, Muñoz contends that queerness is instead a futurity bound phenomenon, a "not yet here" that critically engages pragmatic presentism. Part manifesto, part love-letter to the past and the future, Cruising Utopia argues that the here and now are not enough and issues an urgent call for the revivification of the queer political imagination.

Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures


Mark Fisher - 2014
    Fisher searches for the traces of these lost futures in the work of David Peace, John Le Carré, Christopher Nolan, Joy Division, Burial and many others.

Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture


Slavoj Žižek - 1991
    Slavoj Zizek, a leading intellectual in the new social movements of Eastern Europe, provides a virtuoso reading of the psycholanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan through the works of contemporary popular culture, from horror fiction and detective thrillers to popular romances and Hitchcock films.

The Limits of Critique


Rita Felski - 2015
    Felski argues that critique is a sensibility best captured by Paul Ricoeur’s phrase “the hermeneutics of suspicion.” She shows how this suspicion toward texts forecloses many potential readings while providing no guarantee of rigorous or radical thought. Instead, she suggests, literary scholars should try what she calls “postcritical reading”: rather than looking behind a text for hidden causes and motives, literary scholars should place themselves in front of it and reflect on what it suggests and makes possible. By bringing critique down to earth and exploring new modes of interpretation, The Limits of Critique offers a fresh approach to the relationship between artistic works and the social world.

The Posthuman


Rosi Braidotti - 2013
    Digital 'second life', genetically modified food, advanced prosthetics, robotics and reproductive technologies are familiar facets of our globally linked and technologically mediated societies. This has blurred the traditional distinction between the human and its others, exposing the non-naturalistic structure of the human. The Posthuman starts by exploring the extent to which a post-humanist move displaces the traditional humanistic unity of the subject. Rather than perceiving this situation as a loss of cognitive and moral self-mastery, Braidotti argues that the posthuman helps us make sense of our flexible and multiple identities.Braidotti then analyzes the escalating effects of post-anthropocentric thought, which encompass not only other species, but also the sustainability of our planet as a whole. Because contemporary market economies profit from the control and commodification of all that lives, they result in hybridization, erasing categorical distinctions between the human and other species, seeds, plants, animals and bacteria. These dislocations induced by globalized cultures and economies enable a critique of anthropocentrism, but how reliable are they as indicators of a sustainable future?The Posthuman concludes by considering the implications of these shifts for the institutional practice of the humanities. Braidotti outlines new forms of cosmopolitan neo-humanism that emerge from the spectrum of post-colonial and race studies, as well as gender analysis and environmentalism. The challenge of the posthuman condition consists in seizing the opportunities for new social bonding and community building, while pursuing sustainability and empowerment.

No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive


Lee Edelman - 2004
    His main target is the all-pervasive figure of the child, which he reads as the linchpin of our universal politics of “reproductive futurism.” Edelman argues that the child, understood as innocence in need of protection, represents the possibility of the future against which the queer is positioned as the embodiment of a relentlessly narcissistic, antisocial, and future-negating drive. He boldly insists that the efficacy of queerness lies in its very willingness to embrace this refusal of the social and political order. In No Future, Edelman urges queers to abandon the stance of accommodation and accede to their status as figures for the force of a negativity that he links with irony, jouissance, and, ultimately, the death drive itself.Closely engaging with literary texts, Edelman makes a compelling case for imagining Scrooge without Tiny Tim and Silas Marner without little Eppie. Looking to Alfred Hitchcock’s films, he embraces two of the director’s most notorious creations: the sadistic Leonard of North by Northwest, who steps on the hand that holds the couple precariously above the abyss, and the terrifying title figures of The Birds, with their predilection for children. Edelman enlarges the reach of contemporary psychoanalytic theory as he brings it to bear not only on works of literature and film but also on such current political flashpoints as gay marriage and gay parenting. Throwing down the theoretical gauntlet, No Future reimagines queerness with a passion certain to spark an equally impassioned debate among its readers.

Cultural Studies and the Study of Popular Culture


John Storey - 1993
    The book also provides a map of the development of cultural studies through discussion of its most influential approaches. Organized around a series of case studies, each chapter focuses on a different media form and presents a critical overview of the methodology for the actual study of popular culture. Individual chapters cover topics such as television, fiction, film, newspapers and magazines, popular music, and consumption (fan culture and shopping).For students new to the field, the book provides instantly usable theories and methods; for those more familiar with the procedures and politics of cultural studies, it provides a succinct and accessible overview.This edition has been revised, rewritten, and expanded throughout. The book now includes new sections on television audiences, reception theory, and globalization.

Precarious Life


Judith Butler - 2004
    In her most impassioned and personal book to date, Judith Butler responds in this profound appraisal of post-9/11 America to the current US policies to wage perpetual war, and calls for a deeper understanding of how mourning and violence might instead inspire solidarity and a quest for global justice.

What Is Posthumanism?


Cary Wolfe - 2009
    Then, in performing posthumanist readings of such diverse works as Temple Grandin's writings, Wallace Stevens's poetry, Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark, the architecture of Diller+Scofidio, and David Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, he shows how this philosophical sensibility can transform art and culture.For Wolfe, a vibrant, rigorous posthumanism is vital for addressing questions of ethics and justice, language and trans-species communication, social systems and their inclusions and exclusions, and the intellectual aspirations of interdisciplinarity. In What Is Posthumanism? he carefully distinguishes posthumanism from transhumanism (the biotechnological enhancement of human beings) and narrow definitions of the posthuman as the hoped-for transcendence of materiality. In doing so, Wolfe reveals that it is humanism, not the human in all its embodied and prosthetic complexity, that is left behind in posthumanist thought.

After Theory


Terry Eagleton - 2003
    His clear and accessible primer on literary theory was (and is) an indispensable guide to the post-modern era in the humanities. Now Eagleton argues that the golden age of cultural theory has ended, and with characteristic wit and verve, he traces its rise and fall from structuralism to post-colonial studies and beyond. In a new era of globalization and terrorism, Eagleton warns, the bundle of ideas known as post-modernism is essentially toothless. In this eloquent synthesis of a lifetime of learning, Eagleton challenges contemporary intellectuals to engage with a range of vital topics-love, evil, death, morality, religion, and revolution-that they've ignored over the past thirty years. Lively and provocative, Eagleton's latest will engage readers inside and outside the academy who are eager for a more holistic and humane way of "reading" the world. "A rare opportunity to enjoy the art of cultural and social diagnosis at its purest! Eagleton offers a unique combination of theoretical stringency and acerbic common-sense witticism, of critical historical reflection and the ability to ask the 'big' metaphysical questions." -- Slavoj Zizek

In the Wake: On Blackness and Being


Christina Sharpe - 2016
    Initiating and describing a theory and method of reading the metaphors and materiality of "the wake," "the ship," "the hold," and "the weather," Sharpe shows how the sign of the slave ship marks and haunts contemporary Black life in the diaspora and how the specter of the hold produces conditions of containment, regulation, and punishment, but also something in excess of them. In the weather, Sharpe situates anti-Blackness and white supremacy as the total climate that produces premature Black death as normative. Formulating the wake and "wake work" as sites of artistic production, resistance, consciousness, and possibility for living in diaspora, In the Wake offers a way forward.