For Humanism

For Humanism : Explorations in Theory and Politics

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Today, anti-humanism is a dominant, even definitive, feature of contemporary theory. Setting out to challenge this tendency, editors David Alderson and Kevin Anderson argue that the political moment demands a reappraisal of the humanist tradition.

Humanism, in all its diversity and complexity, may facilitate the renewal of progressive theory through the championing of human subjectivity, agency and freedom. Across four extended essays, David Alderson, Kevin Anderson, Barbara Epstein and Robert Spencer engage critically with the Marxist tradition, recent developments in poststructuralism, postcolonialism and queer theory.

Incorporating an overview of the historical context that resulted in socialist humanism's eclipse in the 1950s and '60s, and a strident critique of anti-humanism, For Humanism offers a coherent and compelling argument for the rehabilitation of a much maligned tradition.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 20.32mm | 294.84g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745336140
  • 9780745336145
  • 1,316,902

Table of contents

Introduction: Humanism's Other Story, by Timothy Brennan

1. The Rise, Decline and Possible Revival of Socialist Humanism, by Barbara Epstein

2. Marxist Humanism After Structuralism and Poststructuralism:

The Case for Renewal, by Kevin Anderson

3. Postcolonialism is a Humanism, by Robert Spencer

4. Queer Theory, Solidarity and Bodies Political, by David Alderson

Conclusion, by David Alderson and Robert Spencer

Notes on Contributors

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Review quote

'A major intervention into contemporary discussions about the resources of political hope, this volume insists upon the continuing indispensability and, indeed, radicalness of humanism as both a critical philosophy and a moral-political template' -- Neil Lazarus, Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick
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About Robert Spencer

David Alderson is Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature at the University of Manchester. He has written widely about the relations between gender, sexuality and neoliberalism. He is co-editor of For Humanism: Explorations in Theory and Politics (Pluto, 2017) and author of Sex, Needs, and Queer Culture: From Liberation to the Postgay (Zed Books, 2016). Robert Spencer is Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literatures and Cultures at the University of Manchester. He writes and teaches in the areas of modernism, cultural theory and postcolonial writing. He is co-editor of For Humanism (Pluto, 2017).
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