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    Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (John Hope Franklin Center Books (Paperback)) (Paperback) By (author) Jane Bennett

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    DescriptionIn "Vibrant Matter" the political theorist Jane Bennett, renowned for her work on nature, ethics, and affect, shifts her focus from the human experience of things to things themselves. Bennett argues that political theory needs to do a better job of recognizing the active participation of nonhuman forces in events. Toward that end, she theorizes a 'vital materiality' that runs through and across bodies, both human and nonhuman. Bennett explores how political analyses of public events might change were we to acknowledge that agency always emerges as the effect of ad hoc configurations of human and nonhuman forces. She suggests that recognizing that agency is distributed this way, and is not solely the province of humans, might spur the cultivation of a more responsible, ecologically sound politics: a politics less devoted to blaming and condemning individuals than to discerning the web of forces affecting situations and events. Bennett examines the political and theoretical implications of vital materialism through extended discussions of commonplace things and physical phenomena including stem cells, fish oils, electricity, metal, and trash. She reflects on the vital power of material formations such as landfills, which generate lively streams of chemicals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can transform brain chemistry and mood. Along the way, she engages with the concepts and claims of Spinoza, Nietzsche, Thoreau, Darwin, Adorno, and Deleuze, disclosing a long history of thinking about vibrant matter in Western philosophy, including attempts by Kant, Bergson, and the embryologist Hans Driesch to name the 'vital force' inherent in material forms. Bennett concludes by sketching the contours of a 'green materialist' ecophilosophy.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Vibrant Matter

    Title
    Vibrant Matter
    Subtitle
    A Political Ecology of Things
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Jane Bennett
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 200
    Width: 147 mm
    Height: 226 mm
    Thickness: 13 mm
    Weight: 363 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780822346333
    ISBN 10: 0822346338
    Classifications

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 17430
    BIC E4L: POL
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T7.1
    B&T Book Type: NF
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: RNK, JPA
    BISAC V2.8: PHI019000
    DC22: 320.01
    Ingram Subject Code: PL
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T General Subject: 610
    DC22: 304.2
    BISAC V2.8: SOC015000, POL010000
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    LC subject heading: , , , , ,
    LC classification: GF21 .B465 2010
    Thema V1.0: RNK, JPA
    Publisher
    Duke University Press
    Imprint name
    Duke University Press
    Publication date
    01 March 2010
    Publication City/Country
    North Carolina
    Author Information
    Jane Bennett is Professor of Political Theory and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. She is the author of "The Enchantment of Modern Life: Attachments, Crossings, and Ethics "and "Thoreau's Nature: Ethics, Politics, and the Wild," and an editor of "The Politics of Moralizing "and" In the Nature of Things: Language, Politics, and the Environment."
    Review quote
    "Vibrant Matter is a fascinating, lucid, and powerful book of political theory. By focusing on the 'thing-side of affect,' Jane Bennett seeks to broaden and transform our sense of care in relation to the world of humans, non-human life, and things. She calls us to consider a 'parliament of things' in ways that provoke our democratic imaginations and interrupt our anthropocentric hubris."--Romand Coles, author of Beyond Gated Politics: Reflections for the Possibility of Democracy "Vibrant Matter represents the fruits of sustained scholarship of the highest order. As environmental, technological, and biomedical concerns force themselves onto worldly political agendas, the urgency and potency of this analysis must surely inform any rethinking of what political theory is about in the twenty-first century."--Sarah Whatmore, coeditor of The Stuff of Politics: Technoscience, Democracy, and Public Life "This manifesto for a new materialism is an invigorating breath of fresh air. Jane Bennett's eloquent tribute to the vitality and volatility of things is just what we need to revive the humanities and to redraw the parameters of political thought."--Rita Felski, author of Uses of Literature "Vibrant Matter takes us on a journey through the philosophical tradition of critical vitalism - or, in Bennett's terms, vital materialism - in order to help us recognize the profound yet delightful weirdness of being in a body that only seems to belong to us." Los Angeles Review of Books, May 9th 2012
    Back cover copy
    "This manifesto for a new materialism is an invigorating breath of fresh air. Jane Bennett's eloquent tribute to the vitality and volatility of things is just what we need to revive the humanities and to redraw the parameters of political thought."--Rita Felski, author of "Uses of Literature "