Post-Politics and the Aesthetic Imagination
This Call for Papers seeks abstracts for essays that reflect on the analytical bridges that might exist between post-political theory and the study of aesthetics broadly conceived. The main question the project aims to answer is the following: Decades after everything was declared to be political, what are the affordances, triumphs, and pitfalls of a post-political theory of aesthetics?
The work of theorists of post-politics such as Jacques Rancière, Chantal Mouffe, Ernesto Laclau, Alain Badiou, Slavoj Žižek, and Erik Swyngedouw among others has exposed the processes by which political action is currently being eroded, sites for its practice are increasingly disappearing, and political agency is in need of urgent revitalization. At the same time, much post-political critical discourse has concentrated on connecting the saturation of the practice of politics, as well as its subsequent evacuation, with the need to formulate new and alternative ways to generate meaningful political change.
While post-political theory has featured in analyses traditionally labelled “political,” a more explicit reflection on the contours, scope, and interpretive value of post-political theory for the study of aesthetics is absent in the critical theory corpus and it can offer a crucial contribution. At the core are questions: What does the post-political stand for exactly, and how can issues concerning representation (textual, visual, aural, etc. as well as political) be rethought through this lens? Related questions immediately arise that may provide an adequate critical frame. What imaginative processes dovetail political activity and the work of the aesthetic imagination in the posterior period marked by the “post” in post-politics?
–> Because post-political theory places a special emphasis on neoliberalism and governance, papers that explore a wider range of connections, exploring other themes, topics, and registers will be given preference. How can the boundaries of post-political theory be expanded as it works in conjunction with and for the purpose of exploring the work of the creative imagination? What particular genres delineate specific dimensions of the post-political best? Which modes, styles, and techniques help us describe it? How is the production and consumption of specific works embedded in the post-political?
–> Also, while proposals will be considered for essays dealing with literature, this CFP will give priority to essays dealing with film, media, and other artistic forms, while exploring topics such as: