The Art of Social Critique

The Art of Social Critique : Painting Mirrors of Social Life

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By treading the common ground between the arts, humanities and social sciences, The Art of Social Critique raises important questions about the role of art in society, and posits art as a qualitative form of social inquiry. The authors cover a range of artists whose methods of "seeing" social life - observing, analyzing and portraying society - draw on the sociological, psychological, historical, and political imagination.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 594 pages
  • 160.02 x 228.6 x 38.1mm | 1,043.26g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739149237
  • 9780739149232

Table of contents

Introduction Seeing Beyond the Verge of Sight: Imagination(s) and Social Inquiry Shawn Chandler Bingham Part I. Novel Visions Chapter 1: Sociology on the Road: The Sociological Imagination of Jack Kerouac Valerie Chepp and Paul Dean Chapter 2: Jean Genet: A Case Study of the Artist's Explication and Alteration of Social Practice William Koch Chapter 3: James Baldwin: The Novelist as Historian and Public Intellectual Brent Lamons Part II. Poetic Inquiry Chapter 4: Carolyn Forche and the Fraught Nature of Poetic Witness Andrea Scarpino Chapter 5: American Poetry: Process as Vision Gregg Mosson Part III. Building Social Structures Chapter 6: Frank Lloyd Wright: Building an American Architecture from Within Outward Gail Satler Chapter 7: The Architect as "Molder of the Sensibilities of the General Public": Bruno Taut and his Architekturprogramm Markus Breitschmid Part IV. Painting Mirrors Chapter 8: Tellin' It Like It Is: Social Realism and the Art of Aaron Douglas Damon Powell Chapter 9: Political Cartoons: Artful Commentary Elaine Miller Chapter 10: Mourning America's War Harms: Alan Magee's Trauerbeit Robert Stanton Image Gallery Part V. Performing Life Chapter 11: Other People's Dancers: Paul Taylor's Choreography by Messenger Paul Rutz Chapter 12: Reconceptualization through Theater: Reflections on Mirror Theatre's "(Re)Productions Joe Norris Chapter 13: Standing Up Racism: Richard Pryor and the Development of a Contentious Racial Politics James Michael Thomas Part VI. Sounding Off Chapter 14: Learning from Lennon: Using Songs and Stardom to Promote Peace and Justice James R. Pennell Chapter 15: "She is Risen": Creating Feminist Identities and Challenging Patriarchy through the Music of Tori Amos Adrienne Trier-Bieniek and Patricia Leavy Chapter 16: Propagandhi and the Politics of Subcultural Resistance Philip G. Lewin and Timothy M. Gill Part VII. Reel Life Chapter 17: Staging Truth: Errol Morris's Pursuit of the Objective in the Subjective Jared Del Rosso
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Review quote

The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life is a welcome addition to the literature on the arts and social change. Unusually wide-ranging in the art forms and topics it covers, and filled with useful insights, this anthology should prove of great interest to scholars and students in American studies, ethnic and gender studies, sociology, the fine arts and literary/cultural studies. -- T. V. Reed, author of The Art of Protest: Culture and Activism from the Civil Rights Movement to the Streets of Seattle What a marvelous journey this book is. These encounters with the likes of Jack Kerouac, James Baldwin, Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Pryor, Tori Amos, and "The Wire", are all potent reminders that our art is the enduring and essential mirror we need to make sense and meaning in the world. The Art of Social Critique, is both inspiring and entertaining. Read and weep, read and laugh, read and be provoked. -- William Cleveland, author of Art and Upheaval and Between Grace and Fear: The Role of the Arts in a Time of Change Shawn Bingham's The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life is a tour de force of how artists of all kinds use their talents, skills, and visions to embrace, interpret, and change the world. This collection of essays proves without a doubt that artists play crucial roles in the politics of cultural values and norms, not just policy and protest. Thus, these articles go beyond the cliched debate over whether artists should be political-their work is inevitably and inescapably political. Instead this book investigates the myriad ways in which artists are sociological in their representations of and conversations with the social world. From architecture to poetry, from stand-up comedy to rock music, Bingham's anthology will give readers an array of tools for investigating how art and artists provide us with the most powerful interdisciplinary depictions of our life and times-something all students of the social world will want to know. -- Corey Dolgon, Worcester State College
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About Shawn Chandler Bingham

Shawn Chandler Bingham directs the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences program at the University of South Florida. His recently authored books include Thoreau and the Sociological Imagination (Rowman & Littlefield 2008) and a forthcoming book on disability and comedy.
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