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Jacques Ranciere: History, Politics, Aesthetics

Jacques Ranciere: History, Politics, Aesthetics

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Edited by Gabriel Rockhill, Edited by Philip Watts

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  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 23mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2009
  • Publication City/Country: North Carolina
  • ISBN 10: 0822345064
  • ISBN 13: 9780822345060
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 240,159

Product description

The French philosopher Jacques Ranciere has influenced disciplines from history and philosophy to literature, art history, and film studies. His research into nineteenth-century workers' archives, his reflections on political equality, his critique of the traditional division between intellectual and manual labour, and his analysis of the place of literature, film, and art in modern society have all constituted major contributions to contemporary thought. In this collection, leading scholars in the fields of philosophy, literary theory, and cultural criticism engage with Ranciere's work, illuminating the originality, breadth, and rigor of his thought, as well as its relevance to current debates. They also clarify and explore the relationships between Ranciere and the various authors and artists he has analyzed, ranging from Plato and Aristotle to nineteenth-century literature, contemporary film, and the work of theorists such as Erich Auerbach, Pierre Bourdieu, and Gilles Deleuze. The contributors to this collection do not simply elucidate Ranciere's project; they also critically respond to it from their own perspectives. They consider the theorist's engagement with the writing of history, with institutional and narrative constructions of time, and with the ways that individuals and communities can disrupt what he has called the 'distribution of the sensible'. They examine his conception of politics as that which happens when the hierarchies, the divisions, and the partitions of the social order are disrupted. The contributors take up topics such as the relationship between art and politics in Ranciere's thought and his distinctive contribution to film studies as they explore the novel and powerful account of aesthetics that he has developed since the late 1990s. In the collection's final essay, Ranciere addresses some of the questions of method and style raised by the other contributors. The contributors include: Alain Badiou; Etienne Balibar; Bruno Bosteels; Yves Citton; Tom Conley; Solange Guenoun; Peter Hallward; Todd May; Eric Mechoulan; Giuseppina Mecchia; Jean-Luc Nancy; Andrew Parker; Jacques Ranciere; Gabriel Rockhill; Kristin Ross; James Swenson; Rajeshwari Vallury; and, Philip Watts.

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Author information

Garbiel Rockhill is an assistant professor of philosophy at Villanova University. He is edited and translated Jacques Ranciere's The Politics of Aesthetics. Philip Watts is an associate professor of French at Columbia University. He is the author of Allegories of the Purge: How Literature Responded to the Postwar Trials of Writers and Intellectuals in France.Philip Watts is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of French and Romance Philology at Columbia University. He is the author of "Allegories of the Purge."

Review quote

"In his contribution to this excellent edited volume, Alain Badiou situates the development of Jacques Rancie're's thought in the intellectual milieu of 1960s France. The defining issue that had emerged in this context concerned the relation between intellectual authority and social action, that is, the problem of transmission of revolutionary experience. Badiou outlines how Rancie're has engaged in a 'struggle on two fronts' in developing a response to this problem... This book draws together 16 critical responses to Rancie' re's work, which emerged from conferences held at the University of Pittsburgh and the Centre Culturel International de Cerisy la Salle in 2005. The book is organized around Ranciere's contribution to history, politics and aesthetics." - Andrew Schaap, Contemporary Political Theory "It contextualises Ranciere's work in a way that one cannot achieve through reading him directly, offering a companion to his core writings. In addition nearly all of the pieces infuse Ranciere's work with a sense of urgency and timelessness that can often be lost in volumes focused on a single thinker... Impressive and much-needed discussion of Ranciere's thought and should prove invaluable to those with an interest in his work." Roger Glover, Political Studies Review, January 2012 "What makes this volume the book that everyone interested in Jacques Ranciere has to have is its incomparable roster of contributors. Ranciere himself sets a standard of intellectual seriousness, and the contributors honour him by wrestling strenuously with his thought. They illuminate the trajectory of that thought and the connections between the historian of class and the philosopher of equality, the thinker of politics and the thinker of aesthetics. You can see why Ranciere is one of the few French thinkers creating an ever greater excitement in North America." Bruce Robbins, author of Upward Mobility and the Common Good: Toward a Literary History of the Welfare State "This timely collection of essays should finally jump-start the English-speaking conversation about the work of Jacques Ranciere, one of the most innovative political philosophers now writing. His method of equality, his contrast of a stable 'police' order with 'the political' as an interruption of that order by those invisible within it, and his idea that both politics and art involve modes of distributing/partitioning the sensible together form a unique constellation of radical political thinking."--J. M. Bernstein, New School for Social Research

Back cover copy

"This timely collection of essays should finally jump-start the English-speaking conversation about the work of Jacques Ranciere, one of the most innovative political philosophers now writing. His method of equality, his contrast of a stable 'police' order with 'the political' as an interruption of that order by those invisible within it, and his idea that both politics and art involve modes of distributing/partitioning the sensible together form a unique constellation of radical political thinking."--J. M. Bernstein, New School for Social Research

Table of contents

Contents; Introduction: Jacques Ranciere: Penseur de l'envers: Gabriel Rockhill and Phil Watts; I. History; 1: Historicizing Untimeliness: Kristin Ross; 2: The Lessons of Jacques Ranciere: Knowledge and Power after the Storm: Alain Badiou; 3: Sophisticated Continuities and Historical Discontinuities, Or, Why Not Protagoras?: Eric Mechoulan; 4: The Classics and Critical Theory in Postmodern France: The Case of Jacques Ranciere: Giuseppina Mecchia; 5: Ranciere and Metaphysics: Jean-Luc Nancy; II Politics; 6: What Is Political Philosophy? Contextual Notes: Etienne Balibar; 7: Ranciere in South Carolina: Todd May; 8: Political Agency and the Ambivalence of the Sensible: Yves Citton; 9: Staging Equality: Ranciere's Theatrocracy and the Limits of Anarchic Equality; Peter Hallward; 10: Ranciere's Leftism, Or, Politics and Its Discontents: Bruno Bosteels; 11: Jacques Ranciere's Ethical Turn and the Thinking of Discontents: Solange Guenoun; III Aesthetics; 12: The Politics of Aesthetics: Political History and the Hermeneutics of Art: Gabriel Rockhill; 13: Cinema and Its Discontents: Tom Conley; 14: Politicizing Art in Ranciere and Deleuze: The Case of Postcolonial Literature: Raji Vallury; 15: Impossible Speech Acts: Jacques Ranciere's Erich Auerbach: Andrew Parker; 16: Style indirect libre: James Swenson; Afterword: The Method of Equality: An Answer to Some Questions: Jacques Ranciere